Jackie Robinson went to Hawaii in the fall of 1941 to join a semiprofessional, racially integrated football team, the Honolulu Bears. On weekends he was a member of the team, and during the week a construction worker. At the end of the short season, he returned to the United States on December 5, 1941, and arrived in California right after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that took the nation into war.
After UCLA, Jackie was hired to play semi-pro football with the Honolulu Bears. Their first exhibition game was in Pearl Harbor. Jackie left Honolulu on December 5, 1941, just two days before the Japanese attacked. He was actually on the ship Lurline on his way home when Congress formally declared war.