By the end of the following month -- January 1942 -- the American military sent all family members to the mainland United States. She, and her mother and brother, moved to an apartment on Kanawha Boulevard in Charleston.
Kenna's mother, Ruth Mohler Phillips, was raised in St. Albans. Her brother, Dan Mohler, was president of Charleston National Bank. Kenna's father, the colonel, was from Buckhannon.
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor killed 2,402 Americans and wounded 1,282 others. Eight U.S. battleships were damaged or sunk -- including the USS West Virginia, which was later raised, refitted and sent back into battle. Additionally, three cruisers, three destroyers and two other warships were hit, and 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed.
In the wake of the attack, Kenna's father was reassigned to China. Gen. Short, who along with the Navy's Hawaii commander, Adm. Husband E. Kimmel, was blamed for dereliction of duty for the events leading up to the surprise attack, was removed from his Pearl Harbor command 10 days after the attack and retired from the Army in February 1942.
Kenna went on to attend Hollins College in Virginia, and later married a Charleston attorney, Lee Kenna. The two lived in Charleston.
For a long time, Kenna resisted revisiting Hawaii.
"I didn't want to go back for a while because all I could remember was the sad part," she said.
She did eventually go to the island for a tour of the memorial for the USS Arizona, a battleship that was sunk during the attack, claiming the lives of 1,177 men. She said she had a bad experience at the memorial. She was offended when a group of young Japanese men talked loudly through the audio tour, she said.
"That's the only time I've been back," she said.
Kenna, who is spending her winter in Florida, is a resident of the Edgewood Summit retirement home. She doesn't have any specific plans to mark the anniversary of the attack this year, she said.
"I'll just think about what happened," she said, "and the people I lost that I used to know."
Reach Lori Kersey at lori.ker...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.