December 7, 1941
|On December 8, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared
in his now famous
that December 7, 1941, was a day that would live in infamy. In 2001,
Hollywood released their version of the story of that day, and as it
happens to be one of great significance to me also, I take this
opportunity to create a little web site devoted to my little part of the
AJ Bird, Jr. was the son of Andrew Jackson Bird and Georgia Bird , of Metter, Georgia. Vivian Majors was the daughter of MW Majors and Elizabeth Majors of Moultrie, Georgia. Although they met in Georgia while attending college there, AJ left Georgia and joined the Army Air Corps. He was soon stationed in Honolulu, HI, and shortly thereafter Vivian joined him, and they were married in Hawaii , and lived there at Luke Field (predecessor to Hickam Field ) for several years during the 1930's.
Above all else, AJ was a pilot. Once in a while though, Vivian got to tag along for an incredible ride as she did on this day. After leaving Hawaii, and living for a while in Shreveport, LA, they moved to Greenville, SC. There AJ was the Base Commander at Greenville Army Air Force Base, a training base for B-25 pilots, the B-25 being the plane made famous in the Jimmy Doolittle Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo raid and other important missions during WWII. It was there, on December 7, 1941, that they first heard the news that Japan had bombed their former home, and that some of their friends had been among the thousands killed or injured in the raid.
And on that same Sunday, my father took my mother in his arms, and in an atmosphere of what I know was love, and with what I am sure included passion, they decided to bring a new life into this world... and they called him Richard Alan Bird when he was born on August 24, 1942. I remain mildly fascinated today that I was conceived on the day so many died.
After the war, AJ and Vivian moved back to Hickam Field where, by then Colonel Bird was the Base Commander during 1946-7, and his office was in the building pictured above. He was instrumental in starting the Air Transport Command (later MATS), the "airline" of the military while serving there.