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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

70 Years Later, Pearl Harbor Never Forgets; is Never Forgotten

Aloha,
Today is the 70th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii.
Source: U.S. Naval Historical Archives
I live about ten minutes from historic Ford Island’s “Battleship Row,” and the final resting place of the USS Arizona, where 1,177 men died in attacks that killed more than 2,400 people.
Several commemorative events are planned throughout the island, and I hope to post more later.
For now, here are some pictures, and a few lesser-known details about “the day that will live on in infamy.”
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Radio bulletin from Honolulu heard over WCAE (Pittsburgh, PA) at 4:15 p.m.  (Dec.7, 1941)
“We have witnessed this morning the attack of Pearl Harbor and a severe bombing of Pearl Harbor by army planes, undoubtedly Japanese. The city of Honolulu has also been attacked and considerable damage done. This battle has been going on for nearly three hours. One of the bombers dropped within 50 feet of (...???taunty-tower...?). Its no joke. It’s a real war.”
Source: 2008-2009 UMKC University Libraries
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Resting Place - Japan did not limit its offensive to Pearl Harbor; on the same December day in 1941, they also attacked American forces in the Philippines. (Despite being notified of the assault on Pearl Harbor hours before Japanese forces attacked in the Philippines, Gen. Douglas MacArthur inexplicably failed to prepare his troops to respond.)
Photo by Bob Landry/TIME & LIFE Pictures
A closer look at the wreckage of the USS Arizona. The Navy, which was able to salvage an astonishing number of ships damaged or sunk by the Japanese, could not fully salvage the Arizona.
Today, the USS Arizona Memorial straddles the ship's sunken hull and commemorates the events of that long-ago Sunday. Of the 1,177 Arizona sailors killed that day, 1,102 have the ship as their final resting place.
Source: Yahoo.com
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The USS Arizona Memorial today
Source: Mark Koopmans

Source: U.S. Naval Historical Archives






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One of several USS Arizona memorial plaques on Nob Hill, a U.S. Navy historical residential community on Ford Island.
Source: Mark Koopmans
Source: Mark Koopmans












A second bronze plaque erected to commemorate the loss of life on the USS Arizona seventy years ago today.

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Pearl Harbor veteran Robert Templet, who was a Radioman 1st Class at Ford Island during the attack, is pictured outside his home in Metairie, Louisiana Dec. 4, 2011.
Source: REUTERS/Lee Celano
Templet was walking to breakfast on Dec. 7, 1941, when he heard a plane motor surging at his back. He turned and saw the pilot, his goggles atop his head, smiling down at him before a torpedo fell from the plane's belly.
Stories like Templet's are documented in "Infamy: December 1941," opening today at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.
Source: Yahoo.com
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In this artist’s interpretation of a photograph, Sailors stand beneath the American flag on the 12-foot rangefinder platform of the USS Arizona’s mainmast at some point after the Pearl Harbor attacks. The rangefinder has been removed from the platform, as have the searchlights from the 36-inch searchlight platform above it.
Artwork by Jim Caiella
The mainmast was removed from the Arizona’s wreckage on 23 August 1942 and scrapped. At the height of the war, little thought was given to artifacts or the Arizona’s significance as a national shrine. Featured on the "From Our Archive" page of the December 2009 issue of Proceedings.)
Source: U.S. Naval Institute




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Mary Ann Ramsey, a recent high school graduate and then-resident of Ford Island described what happened in the immediate aftermath of the attacks in an article originally published by the U.S. Naval Institute (Winter 1991.)
“...The entire island seemed to be blowing up. It was then that a fluster of activity outside telegraphed the arrival of our wounded. Passenger cars, Navy vehicles – any transport at hand – began to pull up, discharging men from the Arizona and the ships around her.
“A young man, filthy black oil covering his burned, shredded flesh, walked in unaided. The skin hung from his arms like scarlet ribbons, as he staggered toward my mother for help. Looking at me, he gestured to his throat, trying to speak; he must have swallowed some of the burning oil as he swam through the inferno.
The Corridor of Henry Adair Bunker (12.04.11)
“His light blue eyes against the whites, made more so by the oil clinging to his face, were luminous in visible shock at what they had seen and experienced  that awful morning. We directed him to the mattresses now lining the corridor of the shelter, as the Marines herded us into a side room in order to keep the passageway clear for the arrival of more wounded.”
Source: COMSUBPAC Public Affairs Office.

6 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Must be amazing to see all of that history in person.

Melanie Fowler said...

It just give me chills to read about it. These are wonderful pictures. Thanks Mark.

Chantele Sedgwick said...

Beautiful pictures and tribute. Thanks for sharing. I hope to visit Pearl Harbor someday. :)

Jen said...

A wonderful post, Mark. The description of the injured man at the bottom is terrible.
The city I live in, Townsville in North Queensland, Australia, was bombed during WWII, but it certainly wasn't on this devastating scale. I've lived and travelled throughout the Pacific as a child, and it's strange how the memory of the war, so many decades ago, is still so strong.

Green Monkey said...

it also gives me chills and I thought of you when I realized the anniversary. thanks for sharing the photo's and your words.

Mark said...

@Alex: Yes, it was amazing and humbling to be there at this time, especially knowing the Pearl Harbor Survivors Assn. is disbanding at the end of the month...

@Melanie: Mahalo, and it was an honor to have the opportunity to speak with a few of the Survivors.

@Chantele: Mahalo, and bring the family with you... we always have a few extra airbeds:)

@Jen: Mahalo, and I can't imagine how Mary, the writer, felt... she was a teenager getting ready for church, probably, and then all hell broke loose... Also, I've interviewed more than a few WWII vets and for them, it's not just a saying: they never do forget.

@Shannon: Mahalo, and thanks again for always supporting my blog.

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