Saturday, December 07, 2013

December 7, 1941, 2400 Americans were killed by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor. This began World War II

"On the morning of Sunday, December 7, 1941, Japanese bombers, fighter planes, and torpedo planes attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. This sneak attack brought the United States into World War II."

"Tactically, Pearl Harbor was a U.S. defeat. In all, more than 2,400 soldiers, sailors and Marines were killed and almost 1,200 wounded, as well as more than 1,000 civilians, most of them by U.S. anti-aircraft artillery shells landing in residential areas.
Dad with his Stearman biplane
In all, eight battleships were sunk or damaged so badly it took years for them to be repaired. Two, including the USS Arizona, were total losses. In addition, 10 other major ships were heavily damaged. In addition, 165 airplanes were destroyed.

Japanese losses numbered 185 airmen and sailors, 29 aircraft, five mini-submarines and a large submarine.

But the Japanese miscalculated. Their primary target, the U.S. Navy's aircraft carriers, were out of the harbor on exercises. And when initial reports of success and fear that a response by U.S. forces was imminent led to cancellation of a planned third strike, the Imperial Japanese navy left largely undamaged the vital fuel tank farms and submarine facility at Pearl Harbor.

The carriers, their vital fuel intact, and the long arm of the submarine fleet would take the war home to the Japanese. What began at Pearl Harbor ended with Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It took almost four years, but Pearl Harbor ended up as a strategic victory for the United States."

12/6/13, "Pearl Harbor memories fading with time," USA Today, John Andrew Prime. top image from National Archives. Image of pilot is my father and a Stearman biplane in the 1940's. He was an Air Force pilot, flew missions in the Pacific, B-29's, and sometimes biplanes. He's still living as of December 7, 2013 and is 91. At the end of the war, he flew to Guam and picked up some surviving American soldiers who had been captured by the Japanese. He says the men weren't in very good shape.

  • Born in Brooklyn, 1922.

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