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'They Are Firing at Us': A mission president's experience in World War II

Wilford Woodruff Emery (1889-1954) was president of Samoan Mission at the outbreak of World War II. He wrote of a harrowing wartime experience in the South Pacific:

While in the Samoan Mission Sister Emery and I had been over to the island of Tutuila for a visit. We had completed our work and prepared to return to Upolu, our headquarters. We were late leaving the harbor of Pago Pago and it got dark on us almost as soon as we reached the open sea. We headed westward for our destination and then made ourselves as comfortable as possible. We lay on the hatchway in preference to the small, ill-smelling bunks inside the cabin. If it should rain we would take to the cabin to keep from getting wet. It was a beautiful night, although pitch dark. The few passengers and two or three of the crew also made themselves comfortable on the hatchway, using their lifebelts as pillows for their heads.

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