On December 7, 1941, I had been on this earth for exactly six weeks. The events of that day are the reason that I spent much of the first four years of my life alone with my mother because my dad was overseas.
Its hard to believe its been 75 years ago. I can remember my uncle's and parents talking about it when I was growing up in the late 1950's.
At that time it had only been about 20 years when it occurred.
Now we are living in the time frame of 9/11 and its been almost 17 years ago when it happened. It surely doesn't seem like it.
We have to be ever vigilant more than ever.
I was still a bit less then three years from being born on Dec. 7, 1941, but when I was in college I remember taking a course on warfare in the modern world. One of the lessons that I took away from it (the class) was that if the military doesn't think that something is a good idea, from the strategic standpoint, it usually isn't. Admiral Yamamoto had studied in the United States (Harvard) and understood our country. He was ordered to design the Pearl Harbor attack and did so. He never thought that attacking the USA was a good idea. As the Japanese found out the hard way, it wasn't.
I believe the most memorable quote from Admiral Yamamoto was "I fear that we have awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve!" I wonder how much different it would be today....never mind....
I didn't really know exactly what had happened. I was 5 1/2 years old. I remember that we didn't have a working radio so we went for a ride with my aunt and uncle in their 1939 Plymouth which had a car radio and listened to the president speak. I knew something important had happened. I also remember one uncle who went on a bus to Fort Ord for induction into the army. He was 37 years old but single. We said goodby to him at the bus stop. Later he returned. I didn't know at the time but he was rejected for being blind in one eye and a heart murmer from Rhumatic fever when he was a boy. My dad was "Auxiliary Police" which trained for a possible police action and the uncle who had been rejected by the army was an "Auxiliary Fireman" Another uncle was an "Air Raid Warden".
The whole country was involved in the war effort. We collected newspapers for paper drives at school and bought savings stamps and bonds. At night we had to use black shades on the windows and I also remember the search lights which would shine on airplanes at night to identify their origin. That was the most patriotic time I can remember in my lifetime.
My arrival on the scene was 6 years off that day. I've always been fascinated with some of the less spotlighted history that the attack put in motion. On Dec. 8 Roosevelt asked for and received a declaration of war against Japan and only Japan. On Dec. 11 Hitler declared war on the U.S., pretty much as a unilateral decision. We reciprocated, I think on the same day. I've often wondered how things may have been different if he had used better judgement.
I was in the Navy and spent a year in Pearl in 1988. Several of our crew members were able to reenlist on the Arizona Memorial. After reenlisting, they were given the flag that had been hoisted that morning on Arizona's flagstaff. These ceremonies took place in the morning before the )&(;,$6 tourists arrived. Needless to say this was an emotional event and I remember many hard ass old salts in near tears at the end of the ceremony.
My uncle was in the service and was stationed in Pearl Harbor when it was attacked. I never talked to him about it, now I wished I had.
When I was in the Navy, 1958, first trip out of the US my ship entered Pearl Harbor and tied up to the Quay's where the Missouri is now. That made a big impression on a young sailor. I stood on the fantail of my ship looking into the Arizona.
And I am in Japan right now. Here they do not know Pearl just the A-Bomb. The schools or public does not speak or teach about how the U.S. wound up in WWII. But I was wearing my Pearl Harbor Pin on my shirt hoping someone would ask.. only one person at the work area did..
My dad was in the Naval Air Corps and was assigned to Pearl Harbor a couple months after the attack. He flew on Consolidated PBY aircraft based at Pearl on submarine patrol before being transferred to Wakde atoll a few months into 1942, where they operated PB4Y-5 aircraft.
Interestingly, a story appeared today about a PBY that was stationed on Pearl at the time. I am hoping to find out if it was part of Dad's unit.
I wasn't even thought of at that time, but every time I see videos of that horrific event it chokes me up. I think about the only thing as bad of course would be 9/11. God bless all those brave men lost, since passed on, and those few that still survive. If I ran into one I'd take 'em to lunch.
PBY Museum up here on Whidbey Island in Oak Harbor. Haven't been yet but it's on my list. You drive by and there's one pulled right up to a fence like it's going to turn onto the active.
IT was before my time. But my Dad remembers hearing about it in the movie theatre. Afterwards, he said my grandaddy wanted to go buy a paper to see about the details.
My wife's uncle and his brother went down to join the army the next day. Her uncle participated in the Normandy invasion 2-1/2 years later.
Hi Steve, Japan doesn't do anything that other countries don't do as well. Their kids don't learn about the Japanese unprovoked attack on Pearl Harbor, our kids don't learn that the Spanish-American war was started by an aggressive United States that used a coal bunker explosion on the Maine as an excuse for starting the war. I also don't remember being taught about the "trail of tears" when the Seminoles were taken on a death march from Florida to Oklahoma. Please don't get the idea that I am anti-US government, but all citizens of the world are exposed to self-serving propaganda. It is up to us to sort out what really happened, from what we are taught. I am a retired public school teacher.
I must have had a progressive schooling, because we were taught about the trail of tears and other things--our history has some very bright moments, but it also has some dark ones. My mom remembers going to school one day and all the oriental students were gone (to "relocation" camps).
But yes, most countries do tread lightly over their "bad" moves when teaching history. I remember going to a museum in Mexico where they had a display on the Spanish-American war--the point of view was much different than ours!
As an old Vet, I simply CANNOT equate a sneak attack on our country with a ''world government'' view that equates American internal historical actions with the worst the the world has to offer. NOT teaching PRIDE in and LOYALTY to our country has resulted in this group of whining under 30's crying for their puppies and ''safe zones''....Not posted for discussion- my opinion is set in STONE. I would much prefer to discuss cars, not differences between those who will NEVER agree. Have a nice day, ALL.
Correction, the plane in the video is not a PBY, it is a Sikorsky flying boat. A more passenger oriented aircraft, probably not associated with Dad's VP unit.
You guys are right. Imagine my surprise when I went to a museum in PA and found that Sherman was regarded as a hero, rather than the war criminal he was.
I remember being in Dixie and hearing how terrible and unwelcome Lincoln and Grant were- except when it came to spending my $5's and $50's there!
Hal, I have no idea whether the story is true, but I read it years ago. In World War I, when the first soldiers of the American Expeditionary Force landed in England, the English wanted to welcome them with something appropriate. Since the group on one ship was part of the Georgia National Guard, they searched for some appropriate music to play as the Americans marched off the ship. Imagine the GIs' surprise when they heard the band playing a resounding "Marching Through Georgia."
Your post reminded me of a story from WWI when the first US soldiers were captured by the Germans. The Germans wanted to know how the US could be fighting on the side of the British when they had burn our Capital a hundred years earlier. Most of the US soldiers looked at them like they were crazy.
Hi Gary, I am not questioning your loyalty, and I will match mine against anybody's. I have lived in this country for more then seven decades and I believe it to be the best (country) on Earth. I do however, have to comment that I have no opinions (besides possibly what is right and what is wrong) that are cast in stone. I like to believe that as a (hopefully) intelligent person, I am willing to revise any opinion that I hold based on new and verified information that I receive. No offense intended.
G.R., I agree with you wholeheartedly. I'm listening to Dick Lodge's link atm, I believe Yamamoto also said something to the effect of how great our manufacturing capabilities are--and now, "were". Hopefully this can change. Back then the POTUS "had a pair". Last 8 years not so much. Here's banking on a new pair being around!
There have always been things we don't read about in our history books. In doing geneology, I found that some of my relatives were from Canada and they were first from the colonies which became the United States. One woman was married to a Torrey soldier and her brother fought with Washington's army. That caused a split in the family. Those who were loyal to the king lost their land and citizenship! That part is not in our history books! They were granted land in Canada by the king and that's how they were forced to leave the states. Some even changed the spelling of their last names when that happened.
The same thing will happen if California or any other state secedes from the union. We will have to decide whether to keep our citizenship by relocating to another state or to lose our land by staying in California. Might even need a passport or be banned from traveling across the state line.
I thought that the issue of succession was resolved by 1865.
In the 25 years years leading up to the war, the U.S. based
(and gov't. supported) Eugenics Research Office (ERO) was
heavily promoting the "eradication of undesirables" that would
become the basis of the Final Solution. The ERO was able to
lobby the legalization of forced sterilization in more than half
the states, but never able to get forced euthanasia approved -
not that they did not try. They WERE able to see to it that over
half a million Americans were forcefully sterilized.
Today, Nazis are vilified as possessed demons from hell, yet
it was U.S. interests that gave them all the material and ideology
to get started.
Strange how no one talks about that. Hmmm ...
War Against the Weak - Edwin Black, is a most excellent read
on this subject.
Gary H. when I posted that our history has bright spots and dark spots, I neglected to say that I think the bright spots are much more numerous than our dark spots. This is still, IMHO, the best country on earth to live in for the average citizen. Now if your very wealthy, well, normal rules apparently don't apply!
If you are very wealthy, normal rules don't apply anywhere. The golden rule is:"Them that has the gold makes the rules." That is one thing that has remained constant throughout history. I don't expect it to change anytime soon.