Journalist Frank Sullivan recalled the placid days prior to the war - before map-gazing became the norm and a whole new group of names entered the nation's daily vocabulary:
"On December 6, 1941 probably not one soul out of ten not living on the Pacific Coast could have told you the name of our important naval base at Hawaii - and such an oddly gentle, peaceful name, too! The names of general MacArthur, General Marshall and Admiral Leahy were familiar to newspaper readers, but very few people outside Washington D.C. or the services could have told you who Nimitz or Halsey or Eisenhower or Mark Clark or Ernie King or Uncle Joe Stillwell was. And no one at all outside the circle of their friends could have told you who were Colin Kelly, Captain Wheless, John Bulkley, Butch O'Hare, Dorie Miller, Ensign Gay or Donald Mason or Daniel Callaghan. You probably wouldn't have had the foggiest notion of the location of Sumatra and Singapore, but dollars -to-donuts, you couldn't have told have told what or where Bataan, Port Moseby, Darwin, Midway, Wake, the Coral Sea, Buna, Guadalcanal or the Solomon Islands - or for that matter, Casablanca, Oran, or Bizerte."