Dec 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor bombed - Kimber Forum


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Old 12-07-2017, 05:06 AM   #1
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Dec 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor bombed

At 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time, a Japanese dive bomber bearing the red symbol of the Rising Sun of Japan on its wings appears out of the clouds above the island of Oahu. A swarm of 360 Japanese warplanes followed, descending on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in a ferocious assault. The surprise attack struck a critical blow against the U.S. Pacific fleet and drew the United States irrevocably into World War II.

With diplomatic negotiations with Japan breaking down, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his advisers knew that an imminent Japanese attack was probable, but nothing had been done to increase security at the important naval base at Pearl Harbor. It was Sunday morning, and many military personnel had been given passes to attend religious services off base. At 7:02 a.m., two radar operators spotted large groups of aircraft in flight toward the island from the north, but, with a flight of B-17s expected from the United States at the time, they were told to sound no alarm. Thus, the Japanese air assault came as a devastating surprise to the naval base.

Much of the Pacific fleet was rendered useless: Five of eight battleships, three destroyers, and seven other ships were sunk or severely damaged, and more than 200 aircraft were destroyed. A total of 2,400 Americans were killed and 1,200 were wounded, many while valiantly attempting to repulse the attack. Japan’s losses were some 30 planes, five midget submarines, and fewer than 100 men. Fortunately for the United States, all three Pacific fleet carriers were out at sea on training maneuvers. These giant aircraft carriers would have their revenge against Japan six months later at the Battle of Midway, reversing the tide against the previously invincible Japanese navy in a spectacular victory.

The day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, President Roosevelt appeared before a joint session of Congress and declared, “Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” After a brief and forceful speech, he asked Congress to approve a resolution recognizing the state of war between the United States and Japan. The Senate voted for war against Japan by 82 to 0, and the House of Representatives approved the resolution by a vote of 388 to 1. The sole dissenter was Representative Jeannette Rankin of Montana, a devout pacifist who had also cast a dissenting vote against the U.S. entrance into World War I. Three days later, Germany and Italy declared war against the United States, and the U.S. government responded in kind.

The American contribution to the successful Allied war effort spanned four long years and cost more than 400,000 American lives.
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:40 AM   #2
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I visited Pearl in 1970. The USS Arizona Memorial is, literally awesome, in the true sense of the word.

And our ships were still lined up 2 by 2, as they were on that day.

Many of the buildings on Hickam still showed the effects of the strafing runs made by the Japanese fighters; lots of pockmarks in the stucco.

I was there right around the time that Tora! Tora! Tora! came out in the theaters.
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:07 AM   #3
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Mrs. Cuca's parents were both born in raised in Hawaii. And both of them witnessed the attack on Pearl Harbor. Her father was only 15 years old and was working in the Pratt and Whitney plant on Ford Island at the time. He was off on Sunday hanging out with friends when the attack occurred and actually witnessed a Japanese fighter bomber flying low over the island after he dropped his ordinance. Him and his two friends thought surely they would be strafed as they cross the railroad tressel trying to run away and get far from the action at the harbor. He watch the Arizona burn for three days and three nights but at his age he could not enter into the service. All he could do was to volunteer as a litter bearer for the dead and wounded that were recovered from the water and the ships. Two years later he joined the Navy at 17 with a letter from his mother giving permission and without any basic training he was put on a ship and set out to sea. We were at war.
He stayed in the Navy for 24 years and is a veteran of three wars: World War II, Korea and Vietnam where he was on the ground at a PT base.
He is 90 years old and his wife is 87 and they both live with us here in Helena Montana as my wife and I have been taking care of them for the past four years and until they no longer need us.
Today is the day that commemorates the whole course of his future life.
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Old 12-07-2017, 02:00 PM   #4
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Wink My Experience at Pearl Harbor

While my son was stationed at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii, with the 25th Infantry Division, Mrs. Lineman and I visited him and his family. Being a major history buff, I could not let the chance to experience Pearl Harbor escape me while I was there.

Schofield Barracks was one of the posts that were attacked by Japanese planes on Dec. 7th. There are still buildings at Schofield with machine gun bullet and bomb shrapnel holes in them. The buildings have been restored and remodeled, but the holes were left as a reminder.
Bullet Riddled Bldg Schofield Barracks.jpg

I also went to the naval base at Pearl Harbor and toured the USS Missouri and the USS Arizona memorial. I was more than impressed with the size and power of the "Mighty Mo"!! Special historical noting of the brass marker embedded in the deck marking the spot where the Japanese unconditional surrender was signed.

Last of all, and most impressive was the USS Arizona Memorial. It is a breathtaking and very emotional experience. Standing on the floating memorial and knowing that 1,177 sailors and Marines are entombed below your feet gives one an eerie, awe inspiring feeling. (I got that same feeling when I visited the Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany. Over the 12 years of use as a concentration camp, the Dachau administration recorded the intake of 206,206 prisoners and deaths of 31,951.)
3.Arizona.Memorial2.jpg 3.USS Arizona Memorial.JPG 3-Turret #3 USS Arizona (2).jpg

One part of the Arizona experience puzzled me. That was the large number of Japanese visitors that came out to the memorial? I was very curious as to the reason for this. Is it to show respect? As an apology? As a reminder of by gone Japanese power? Do hoards of American tourists visit the Hiroshima bomb sight in Japan like this? Nothing derogatory intended by this. I am just truly curious as to the reasoning for the large number of Japanese visiting the Arizona Memorial.

The Japanese attack created both fear and hate. Many Americans feared that the west coast of the United States was the next target of the Japanese. The hate generated by the sneak attack sparked many young men to sign up for military duty. One of these was my father-in-law who flew a TBM Avenger torpedo bomber off the carrier USS San Jacinto (the same carrier that President George H. W. Bush flew off). Per my father-in-law's own quote, "I never flew over a piece of Japanese held territory that I didn't bomb, shoot up or piss on!" He hated all things Japanese til the day he died.
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:04 PM   #5
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I worked in a grocery store in the early 70's and the baker said he was on the Missouri and was watching the surrender ceremony when it happened. I was in awe that he was there! Never forgot that. Most kids today don't even think twice about it.

I also grew up with a neighbor who was a fireman and almost like an Uncle to me. He was out in the channel on a supply ship on D-day! A lot of amazing folks us older members have crossed paths with a long time ago.
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:42 PM   #6
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Dec 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor bombed

Re: The Japanese visiting.
Could be tourists or were part of it in a different shape or form.

But if they were Vets, remember even in other wars, there were enemies that didn’t ask to be there. They didn’t agree and followed orders. A lot feel guilty just like some of us.

PS: I was out there in ‘87. It affected me then and now it hurts even worse and makes me cry.
Its something special to see.

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Old 12-07-2017, 08:14 PM   #7
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My father was a gunner's mate on a ship in the Philippines during WWII. His crew was credited with shooting down six Japanese zeros in the battles for the islands. I still have his many medals.

In 1972 he bought a Toyota Hi-Lux pick-up truck for me to drive in high school. It was cheap and got great gas mileage. The first ever Japanese car in our family. I asked him once if he had any issues with buying a Japanese car. He said he held no ill will of the Japanese people of 1972 for what the government of Japan in 1941 did then. He said, "I followed orders ... their soldiers followed their orders ...we died, they's all in the past now" My father was the greatest man I have ever known. When he died over 400 people tried to attend his funeral, cars were backed up for blocks. Hundreds just stood in the parking lot. I try to live up to him ... I fail often ... but I still try at 62.
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