Thursday Thirteen #5


On this, the 65th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, I offer these sobering facts about that fateful day:

1. It was a Sunday morning.

2. At 7:02am Opana Radar Station on Oahu, privates manning the radar (the only one turned on at that time of the day) noticed a large number of approaching aircraft. A squadron from California was expected, so no one was alarmed.

3. 53 minutes later, at 7:55am, the Japanese attacked with deadly force. The first wave of 183 attacked almost defenseless American ships in Pearl Harbor and planes at three nearby airfields.

4. One hour later, at 8:59am, another wave of 167 Japanese planes followed.

5. A fleet of small submaries was also part of the attack.

6. When the attack was finished, 21 of 96 ships at anchor had been sunk. Of the 394 planes at nearby airfields, 188 (almost half) were destroyed and 59 were damaged.

7. The death toll was 2,403 Americans, including 68 civilians.

8. Total wounded was 1, 178 Americans.

9. The largest number of casualties was suffed on the USS Arizona. This massive battleship, nearly 6 football fields in length, was sunk in 9 minutes, killing 1,177 aboard.

10. the USS Oklahoma rolled onto her side. Of the 1,301 on board, 429 died.

11. Though American battleships suffered great damage, no aircraft carriers were in port, so they escaped the attack. And, of the 21 battleships that were sunk (noted above in #6) all but three were eventually refit and sailed again under the American flag during WWII.

12. Admiral Isoruku Yamamoto, who planned the Japanese attack, had studied at Harvard and warned the Japanese government of the temperament and capabilites of the American people. He stressed that for the Pearl Harbor attack to succeed, it must be a crushing blow.

13. The attack, though devastating, was not a crushing blow. In fact, it gave American soldiers a rallying cry that carried them through to the end of the war: "Remember Pearl Harbor."

Until next time,


Jill's Mom :

Yes, this is an interesting project and you're right WWll vets will be gone in a few years as well as most of us who grew up during that era and can remember it well. It was a different time and place that's for sure. I found your blog on Pearl Harbor Day interesting and how well I remember that day. Actually we were attacked on American soil that day in a very similar way of Sept. 11, 2006 and yet this generation seems to think 9/11 was unique and it was not. Our ships were sunk right in the harbor early on a Sun. AM even as a great many of the service men were still asleep in their bunks., not only at Pearl but in some of the other islands. A friend of mine had a son in the Navy at Cavite and he was killed right on the ship. They never had a chance and yet the fight went right on despite the high loss of life and most of our Pacific fleet of ships. The war in the Pacific started immediately eventho our defenses were badly crippled and soon after we were also fighting on the European front against Germany, we were waging mighty wars on two fronts and EVERYTHING was thrown into the war effort. Every factory was converted to manufacturing military equipment of some kind. Men volunteered in great numbers to join the military, it's what threw women into the work force(up until then very, very few women worked outside the home EVER) because there was such a shortage of men to do the work, so women & older men worked in the plants & factories to manufacture equipment, ammunition & everything that goes with maintaining a HUGE war. Hundreds and hundreds were killed EVERY day and we didn't get war news until several weeks after it had happened. No television, we saw the news in the movie theaters a few weeks after it happened. Didn't have those stupid reporters from CNN & networks like that on the spot filming everything as it happened, so there was a lot less agitation among the general public. Everyone was too busy fighting the war in some way or other. There was not a family that wasn't affected. The fighting on those Pacific islands was terrible because the conditions were so bad, the jungle heat, insects and diseases. It was a blood and guts war there and also in Europe and the D-Day invasion was horrible, the way men were slaughtered without a chance as they came ashore for the attack on the European mainland. Everyone was in the war effort and they knew WHY they were fighting and WHAT they were fighting for. They were too busy giving their all in whatever way they could to be undermining the government and second-guessing the president & the generals. They had a draft, too,
but guys didn't wait for that, they volunteered in droves. Then after they got farther into Europe and discovered the concentration camps it was a whole new story (I heard just the other day there's some group now who is trying to prove there was no Holocaust...the guys who saw the camps first hand came home and told what they saw....of course most of them are gone and even most of the Jews who were persecuted.) I don't know what people are thinking of..they should've lived it in those days. It was certainly a part of my life I'll always remember and I think it definitely shaped the values and lives of all of us who lived those days. There was nothing being manufactured except things for the war new cars, nor appliances, gas was rationed, food was rationed (sugar, meat, chocolate, butter,coffee . We had ration books with stamps for all those things) clothing, shoes (you had to have a coupon to buy a pair of shoes). We simply made DO. The families of the men who were killed , received their insurance from the military, but no one stood around and expected the government to pay them for the disaster at Pearl Harbor, which you could understand that it was a government responsibility for the safety of the country & the military, while I fail to see that 9/11 was the fault of the government nor the obligation to reimburse those people for that tragedy. Everyone was in it together, just like Pearl Harbor, but there's certainly been a radical split-off a dozen different ways over 9/11 & they're still at it.

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