Friday, December 7, 2018

"A Day That Lives In Infamy"

Pearl Harbor, Ship, Warship, Destroyed On this day, seventy two years ago, American was attacked by the Japanese causing us to join a war going on in Europe and Asia.

I have relatives who fought in World War II, who built planes at Boeing, but only one is still alive but probably not for that much longer.

He was living in Honolulu on that fateful day, but was not at Pearl Harbor itself because he was only in high school at the time.

He talks about having heard the attack and seen the planes as they flew over head.  Everyone is aware the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor just before 8 o'clock on that Sunday Morning when most people were asleep, or eating breakfast.  He spoke of Iolani Place being bombed because the Japanese also dropped bombs over Honolulu in addition to attacking the Naval Base.

In addition, Pearl Harbor was not only attacked by air, the Japanese used mini subs whose mission was to slip into Pearl Harbor to sink ships that way.  Although the attack was a surprise, the Japanese were only able to send two waves of planes because the Americans successfully returned fire.

When the smoke cleared, just over 2400 military personnel were dead, almost 1200 were wounded, and 6 battleships were destroyed or sunk while many more were damaged. and 169 planes destroyed.  The  Japanese lost 29 airplanes, 5 midget submarines, and 129 attackers.

The Japanese wanted to disable the United States by destroying aircraft carriers but none were in port at the time of the attack so they were only able to sink battleships.  At the time of the attack, the Japanese sent 360 planes in the first wave when many military personnel were off base on leave to attend religious services.

Although the wave of planes had been noted by two radar techs, they were told to ignore it because the base was expecting a bunch of B-17's that day and it was assumed the group was the B-17's.  Imagine the surprise the military felt when the first bomb was dropped. The next day, the Japanese bombed Guam, the Philippines, and Wake Island.

Furthermore, since the Japanese dropped bombs in various locations in Honolulu, civilians were injured and killed.  68 civilians died and another 103 were injured during the two attack waves.  No one was immune to the bombs and bullets fired by the Japanese. Those who died ranged in age from a few months old to seniors.

Let us remember this day and those who lost their lives.  Let us also remember those who are still alive and remember it happening such as the man I mentioned.  He's reached an age where he does not remember it as clearly since surviving a stroke and dementia is spreading.  The number of people who have clear memories of this event is dwindling every day.

Please let me hear what you think.  Have a great day and always remember Pearl Harbor.

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