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Around 3:15 a.m., I awoke to the sound of what I initially assumed was distant thunder. But as I came fully awake, I realized that the guns were firing again. At first, I thought they were simply doing another drill, though it seemed awfully late. Moreover, there was something about the rate and intensity of the bombardment that just didn’t seem right, especially after I glanced at my clock. Scotty Littleton's House on The Strand During 1941 My small bedroom, which was directly over our front door, faced south, and thus my view of the ocean was oblique. However, the sky, or what I could see of, it was filled with blinding searchlights and the bright flashes of exploding rounds. I was, of course, thoroughly familiar with both, thanks to all the target practice I’d witnessed. But heretofore, the searchlights and the explosions had always been well out over the ocean and for the most part invisible from my bedroom windows, at least when I was in bed. This time everything seemed much closer.