Sunday, December 7, 2008

Remember Pearl Harbor

U.S.S. Arizona December 7, 1941

from Atlas Shrugs:

December 7, 1941, When men were men and America knew who she was

Victor Davis Hanson on December 7, 1941

QUESTION: How many U.S. Navy ships were destroyed when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor?

ANSWER: Eighteen were sunk or heavily damaged. Five of the eight U.S. battleships in port sank (California, Nevada and West Virginia were rebuilt; Arizona was a total loss; Oklahoma was raised but scrapped.) Six cruisers and destroyers were sunk. The Pacific fleet aircraft carriers, the Enterprise, Lexington and Saratoga, were at sea and not harmed in the Dec. 7, 1941 assault -- 67 years ago today.

When the attack ended shortly before 10:00 a.m., less than two hours after it began, the American forces has paid a feae [sic ?] battleships USS Arizona (BB-39), USS California (BB-44), USS Maryland (BB-46), USS Nevada (BB-36), USS Oklahoma (BB-37), USS Pennsylvania (BB-38), USS Tennessee (BB-43) and USS West Virginia (BB-48); cruisers USS Helena (CL-50), USS Honolulu (CL-48) and USS Raleigh (CL-7); the destroyers USS Cassin (DD-372), USS Downes (DD-375), USS Helm (DD-388) and USS Shaw (DD-373); seaplane tender USS Curtiss (AV-4); target ship (ex-battleship) USS Utah (AG-16); repair ship USS Vestal (AR-4); minelayer USS Oglala (CM-4); tug USS Sotoyomo (YT-9); and Floating Drydock Number 2. Aircraft losses were 188 destroyed and 159 damaged, the majority hit before the had a chance to take off. American dead numbered 2,403. That figure included 68 civilians, most of them killed by improperly fused anti-aircraft shells landing in Honolulu. There were 1,178 military and civilian wounded.

Japanese losses were comparatively light. Twenty-nine planes, less than 10 percent of the attacking force, failed to return to their carriers.

The Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941
Related Resources:
Ships Present at Pearl Harbor, 0800 7 December 1941
Action Report for Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet, including other commands, and ships at Pearl Harbor
Additional Action Reports concerning the Attack on Pearl Harbor
Where were the Carriers on 7 December 1941?
Oral Histories of Pearl Harbor Attack
Survivor Reports-Pearl Harbor
U.S. Ships named for Sailors to Commemorate their Actions during the Attack on Pearl Harbor
The U.S. Navy in Hawaii, 1826-1945: An Administrative History
Pearl Harbor Navy Medical Activities, 1941
Pearl Harbor Submarine Base History, 1918-1945

We Remembered Pearl Harbor!

At 7:55 Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, Japanese warplanes unleashed the attack that would mark the U.S. entry into World War II. More than 2,335 soldiers, sailors and Marines died, along with 68 civilians.

Reunion of Pearl Harbor attack Survivors

Ceremonies at Pearl Harbor marking the 65th anniversary of the attack in 2006 were expected to be the last major reunion of survivors. That gathering drew 385 survivors, said Muehleib, 86, of Virginia Beach, Va., who was in the Army Air Corps at Hickam Field for the attack.In 1991, an estimated 4,000 traveled to Pearl Harbor for 50th anniversary ceremonies. About 100 attended the 2001 ceremonies.

USS Arizona memorial is a hallowed place
Tucson, Arizona Published: 12.07.2008

advertisementToday is the 67th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the United States' entry into World War II. The following updates an editorial that ran Dec. 7, 2006.

A visit to the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor in Hawaii is a retreat into a hallowed space.

A still, silent place wrapped in the beauty of the Pacific Ocean, it is a refuge for respectful reflection.

Visitors to the USS Arizona Memorial, a national park, arrive early in the day, get a ticket and wait for up to two hours with the hundreds of others wanting a better understanding of our nation's history.

The visitors are of all ages; many are extended families with grandpas and grandchildren sharing the experience. There are more than 1.5 million visitors from many nations to Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial annually.

Before a Navy launch carries you across the harbor waters to the memorial, you'll have time to wander and view the displays. The exhibits and the film have an emotional impact, but they are largely informative, educational and academic. The memorial, however, is personal.

As a Pacific breeze blows across the memorial, which straddles the battleship, the sunken ship is visible below the lapping, shallow waters. It is impossible to forget that it is the tomb of 1,177. You pray, ponder, reflect in a milieu of profound sadness.

Unfortunately, the museum and visitor center is deteriorating. It must be rebuilt so that future generations can fully remember and appreciate the history-altering day and aftermath.

The good news is that the $58 million campaign for a larger facility with a museum that would protect artifacts from the elements is progressing well. The contract to construct the visitor center and museum was awarded by the Navy on Sept. 22., 2008. Groundbreaking was Nov. 5.

The expanded Pearl Harbor Memorial Museum and Visitor Center will be almost double the current size and will have research and education facilities and more amenities.
The facility promises to be an appropriate commemoration.

Arizona Daily Star, Tuscon, AZ

USS Arizona Memorial

HAWAII Magazine visits the USS Arizona Memorial
by: Sherie Char
posted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 12:18 AM

It’s been 67 years since the attack on Pearl Harbor took place.

Today, we honor those who lost their lives during the attack on Dec. 7, 1941. A memorial ceremony will be held at Pearl Harbor’s Kilo Pier from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. A moment of silence will be observed at 7:55 a.m.—the exact time the first wave of bombs struck Pearl Harbor. Admission is free.

In the November/December 2008 issue of HAWAII Magazine, we take you along on a visit I took to the USS Arizona Memorial. A handful of my photos from the trip appeared in the magazine. Here's the rest of the collection, in a slideshow below. (Click on the slideshow frame to enlarge photos.) See 2008/12/7/Hawaii_Magazine_USS_Arizona_Memorial_visit

I also took a video of my trip. As you can see, many people were truly touched and moved by their time on the memorial as well.

You can read about the rest of my visit in our Pearl Harbor feature story, “Remembering the Battle,” featured in our November/December 2008 issue, which is available at most national bookstores and newsstands, by print subscription and in a digital format you can download today.

Have you visited the USS Arizona Memorial? Was your experience as emotional as mine? Share your thoughts with us and other readers below.


Remembering Pearl Harbor
POSTED: December 7, 2008
Hilton Sollid, Minot, North Dakota

After three weeks of basic training, we were shipped to Pearl Harbor. Upon arriving there eight months after the attack, a lot of improvement had been made in reconstruction, etc. Of course, the most destruction, the destroyed ships, were still lying there, especially "Battleship Row," where lies the USS Utah, USS Nevada, the USS Oklahoma, the USS Arizona and some destroyers, as I remember. The Arizona laid near the shore of Ford Island, a small strip of land inside the Pearl Harbor.

We were assigned to Grumman F6F fighter planes. We serviced and worked on these planes for the carriers that came into the harbor. Incidentally, at the time of the attack, all the aircraft carriers were out to sea fortunately.

From the barracks where we stayed, we would drive not too far from the Arizona to our hangar where we worked as machinists mates. After driving past there for many months, I didn't realize the significance of the tragedy that lay there until years later when it became a shrine thousands of visitors would come to see.

At that time they were "righting the USS Oklahoma," which lay on its side. Finally after it was upright, they dismantled the superstructure with intentions of towing it to San Francisco to put on display and at the same time to sell war bonds.

Now, during that time, rumors flew fast, and the one was that it had broken apart in rough seas en route to California.

After 20 months at Pearl, I returned to Seattle, June 6, 1944, D Day. The flags were waving, the bells were ringing.

I remember President Roosevelt talking on the radio saying, "A dastardly attack on Dec. 7, 1941 ... A day that will live in infamy."

In 1979, my wife and I went back. What a change. We weren't allowed to go on Ford Island, which is restricted. I would like to have seen my old haunts, which, of course, really changed I suppose. We went aboard a motor launch to the Arizona, which has a large platform over it, holding hundreds of people. As you look down on the sunken ship, not visible now, there is an occasional bubble of oil rising to the surface after all these years.

The people stood in solemn silence, thinking of all those lying below.

The veterans of this past war are fast leaving this world and as wars of the past this one, too, will fade into history.


Veteran rejoins fallen shipmates
Remains of a sailor from the USS Arizona will be placed at his station on the ship
By Gregg K. Kakesako
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Dec 07, 2008 > News > Hawaii News >

Seven years ago, former USS Arizona crewman Charles William "Bill" Guerin learned that upon his death, his remains could be entombed with his fallen shipmates on the sunken battleship.

"He thought about it and we talked about it for a long time," said his wife of 63 years, Margaret Guerin. "He never forgot all those men who went down with the ship. He said, 'I would like to be down with them.' That was why he chose to be buried there."

This afternoon, following the ceremonies marking the 67th anniversary of the Dec. 7, 1941, attack, Bill Guerin's remains will be placed in the well of gun turret 4, which was his battle station.

The Arizona lost 1,177 crew members during the Japanese attack. The remains of more than 1,000 are entombed there.

Of the 334 who survived the attack, Guerin and 31 of his shipmates chose to be buried there. Only veterans who were assigned to the USS Arizona at the time of the attack qualify for burial there.

Guerin, a resident of Bellevue, Neb., was 85 when he died on Dec. 22, 2007, in Omaha, Neb.

Today, his wife, Margaret, son Michael, daughter Diane, granddaughter Janice Rose, nieces Debra Stevenson and Terry Lou Brown, and nephews Terry Stevenson and Rick Hodgen will watch while National Park Service divers take Guerin's urn and place it in gun turret 4.

At 18, Guerin enlisted while still in high school in Idaho because jobs were scare then.

In March 1941 he was assigned to the Arizona as a gunner's mate while the battleship was being overhauled at the Bremerton Navy Yard near Seattle.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Guerin was finishing his breakfast when the bombs started falling.

En route to his battle station below turret 4, he felt two large explosions that made the entire ship shudder, his wife said. When water started to rise in his compartment, Guerin and the other sailors realized they had to leave.

Guerin, according to his biography, realized what had occurred after he crawled out of the turret to Arizona's main deck.

"It was a total shock," Guerin said in his biography. "I don't believe I was very scared ... but it did stop you in disbelief. Let's put it that way 'cause it is a shock when you're 19 years old and you're faced with an unknown you don't know nothing about. No one is trained for that kind of situation. You know you have drills, but you're really not prepared for anything like this."

Margaret said her husband and other Arizona sailors dove into the burning water surrounding the battleship and swam to Ford Island.

Guerin was later assigned to the destroyer USS MacDonough, which participated in operations at Wake Island, Truk, Bougainvillea, Salamanua, Lae, Guadalcanal, Savo Island, New Guinea, the Aleutian Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Mariana Islands and Guam. Guerin transferred to the Air Force in 1947 and was assigned to the Strategic Air Command, participating in the Berlin Airlift before retiring as a master sergeant in 1962.

With his wife, he managed apartment complexes and trailer parks in California and Idaho after leaving the Air Force.

Guerin's family will be among more than 2,000 people expected to attend the National Park Service and the Navy's joint memorial ceremony this morning at Pearl Harbor's Kilo Pier.

Pearl Harbor commemoration to focus on US response

HONOLULU (AP) — With an eye on the immediate aftermath of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, thousands of World War II veterans and other observers are expected on Sunday to commemorate the 67th anniversary of the devastating Japanese military raid.

The theme of the event — "Pacific War Memories: The Heroic Response to Pearl Harbor" — is something of a departure from the past.

Usually, the commemoration focuses on the attack on the USS Arizona, Pearl Harbor and several other installations on Oahu. But this year's remembrance ceremony will center more on the months following the raid, said Eileen Martinez, chief of interpretation for the National Park Service.

"We're moving into the Pacific War, the first strike back," she said.

To that end, one of two keynote speakers will be Thomas Griffin, a surviving member of the pilots and crew who answered the Pearl Harbor attack four months later with an aircraft carrier-launched bomber raid on Tokyo.

The B-25 mission, led by Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle, inflicted little damage on Japan but boosted morale in America and led the embarrassed Japanese government to launch an ill-fated attack on Midway Island.

The other keynote address will be delivered by Admiral Robert F. Willard, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Sunday's commemoration will feature a performance by the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band, morning colors, a Hawaiian blessing, a rifle salute by the U.S. Marine Corps and a recognition of those who survived the attack.

At 7:55 a.m., when the attack began 67 years ago, a moment of silence will be observed. The destroyer USS Chung-Hoon will render honors to the USS Arizona, which still lies beneath the harbor with its dead.

Almost 2,400 Americans were killed and nearly 1,180 injured when Japanese fighters bombed and sank 12 naval vessels and heavily damaged nine others on Dec. 7, 1941. The Arizona, which sank in less than nine minutes after an armor-piercing bomb breached its deck and exploded in the ship's ammunition magazine, lost 1,177 sailors and marines. About 340 of its crew survived.

Other major installations on Oahu, such as Wheeler Field and Kaneohe Naval Air Station, also were attacked.

This year's ceremony comes weeks after construction began on a new visitor's center for the USS Arizona Memorial. The existing center, which was built 28 years ago on reclaimed land, is sinking. Officials have said it will be unusable in a few years.

This year's event will be held a half-mile away at Kilo Pier of Naval Station Pearl Harbor, the site for next year's commemoration as well. The new visitor's center is scheduled to open Dec. 7, 2010.
Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Source: Department of Defense. 50th Anniversary of World War II Commemorative Committee. Pearl Harbor: 50th Anniversary Commemorative Chronicle, "A Grateful Nation Remembers" 1941-1991. Washington: The Committee, 1991.

2 September 1945, Surrender of Japan on U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay, Japan

Japanese Delegation leaving U.S.S. Missouri after signing surrender documents

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