Pearl Harbor

Posted: December 7, 2011 in Uncategorized
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“Yesterday, Dec. 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.”~ President Franklin D. Roosevelt radio speech delivered on December 8th, 1941.

The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941 (December 8 in Japan). The attack was intended as a preventive action in order to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with military actions the Empire of Japan was planning in Southeast Asia against overseas territories of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the United States.

The base was attacked by 353 Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo planes in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers. All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four being sunk. Of the eight damaged, six were raised, repaired and returned to service later in the war. The power station, shipyard, maintenance, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building (also home of the intelligence section) were not attacked. Japanese losses were light.

The attack came as a profound shock to the American people and led directly to the American entry into World War II in both the Pacific and European theaters. The following day (December 8th) the United States declared war on Japan.  Subsequent operations by the U.S. prompted Germany and Italy to declare war on the U.S. on December 11, which was reciprocated by the U.S. the same day.

American casualities and losses:

4 battleships sunk
3 battleships damaged
1 battleship grounded
2 destroyers sunk
1 other ship sunk
3 cruisers damaged

1 destroyer damaged
3 other ships damaged
188 aircraft destroyed
155 aircraft damaged
2,402 killed
1,247 wounded

Japanese casualities and losses:

4 midget submarines sunk
1 midget submarine grounded
29 aircraft destroyed
64 killed
1 captured

Civilian casualities:

57 killed
35 wounded

The result in this attack was a Japanse tactical victory. The United States declared war on the Empire of Japan. And Nazi German and fascist Italian declaration of war on the United States.

The beginning of World War II for the United States.

All of this happened seventy (70) years ago today. As I understand, nearly 100 survivors of that horrific attack were at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii to reflect and remember.

These are the events of the world that change the face of history. The Americans would go on to fight for over three years until the end of the war. Many sacrificed their lives in the name of their country.

Not too many who are alive today can answer the question, “Where were you when Pearl Harbor was attacked?”. And within the next several years, there won’t be many veterans of this great war around. So we stop and ponder on what they’ve done to make this country what it is today. A place of freedom and liberty.

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