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#161: A Day That Will Live In Infamy

Monday, December 07, 2009

At 7:53 a.m. on December 7, 1941 the first Japanese assault wave, with 51 'Val' dive bombers, 40 'Kate' torpedo bombers, 50 high level bombers and 43 'Zero' fighters, commenced an attack on U.S. ships in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, with flight commander, Mitsuo Fuchida, sounding the battle cry: "Tora! Tora! Tora!" (Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!).

The Americans were taken completely by surprise. The first attack wave targeted airfields and battleships. The second wave targeted other ships and shipyard facilities. The air raid lasted until 9:45 a.m. Eight battleships were damaged, with five sunk. Three light cruisers, three destroyers and three smaller vessels were lost along with 188 aircraft. The Japanese lost 27 planes and five midget submarines which attempted to penetrate the inner harbor and launch torpedoes.

Escaping damage from the attack were the prime targets: the U.S. Pacific Fleet aircraft carriers Lexington, Enterprise and Saratoga, which were not in the port. Also escaping damage were the base fuel tanks.

The casualty list included 2,335 servicemen and 68 civilians killed, with 1,178 wounded. Included were 1,104 men aboard the Battleship USS Arizona killed after a 1,760-pound air bomb penetrated into the forward magazine causing catastrophic explosions.

On Monday, December 8, the United States and Britain declared war on Japan with President Roosevelt calling December 7, "...a date which will live in infamy..."

Sadly, nearly all of the survivors are now gone and many of today's youth know nothing of the battle.

But many of us do remember and say "Thank You" to those who lost their lives and who endured debilitating injuries and loss of limbs and eyesight. You will never be forgotten as protectors of our country's shores.

To the survivors still with us, we salute you.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • GOODHEALTH4EVER
    THANK YOU FOR THIS POST. I NOTICED THERE WAS LITTLE IN THE MEDIA ON "PEARL HARBOR DAY" AS WE USED TO CALL IT. IT MADE DH AND ME SAD THAT THE YOUNG KIDS AREN'T TAUGHT ABOUT THIS IN SCHOOL. THIS IS PART OF OUR COUNTRY'S HISTORY AND THE PEOPLE THAT GAVE THEIR LIVES MUST NOT BE FORGOTTEN. AGAIN, THANK YOU
    4143 days ago
  • MARYSUPPORTS
    SALUTE!
    4145 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4114015
    AMEN to that, Lou. It seems many don't care what history brought this country to freedom. I join you in honoring our history! Thanks.
    4145 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5002230
    Thank you, Lou.
    4145 days ago
  • YATMAMA
    My Uncle Willie died this year. On that day he was aboard the USS Maryland. Oh, the stories he told about remembering no noise whatsoever, having been rendered deaf for a while, about being covered in gasoline and having to strip off his uniform because it was soaked in fuel. I am so thankful that our family had an up close taste of this bite of our history. After the war he became an NOPD officer. After retiring from the police force he became a diver for La. Wildlife and Fisheries. What a rich and rewarding life he led. I join you in honoring his memory today, too, Lou, along with all the Pearl Harbor survivors who have gone before or are still here with us.
    4145 days ago
  • SPARKLOVE
    emoticon emoticon
    4145 days ago
  • NANA-JEAN
    Thank you for posting this.
    I hope we always remember those who have given so much for our country.

    My husband and I went on vacation this year to Muskegon Michigan. We toured one of the submarines, the Silverslides, that served in the War. It is one of two that are available for touring. You can even sleep aboard her if you wish.


    4145 days ago
  • LAURIES_PLACE
    I know the survivors here in Norfolk were getting together today, as they do every year. The more I learn about history, the more I want to learn. The events, the people, the circumstances that make up history are a tapestry I never tire of trying to unravel. These things that make up our history show the power of G-d and the strength of spirit of humankind.
    4145 days ago
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