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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pearl Harbor Day

70 years ago today, is a day that will live in infamy.  8 am in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, men who getting ready for battle in the Pacific (but not realizing it was coming for them) lay in their bunks relaxing on a Sunday morning sleeping in.  What they did not know (but the US government had an inkling of) was that there were 353 Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo planes in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers.  There were only 8 US Navy battleships docked at Pearl Harbor, and they were in port, not ready for battle at all, this was a complete unfair advantage.  Four of the battleships sunk, aircraft was damaged, and 2400 Americans lost their life that day.
The Japanese Empire said they did it, because they did not want any interference from the US on their own military actions against the UK, the Netherlands, and of course the US.

  • Arizona: Exploded; total loss. 1,177 dead.
  • Oklahoma: Capsized, 429 dead. Refloated November 1943; capsized and lost while under tow to the mainland May 1947
  • West Virginia: two bombs, seven torpedoes, sunk; returned to service July 1944. 106 dead.
  • California: two bombs, two torpedoes, sunk; returned to service January 1944. 100 dead.
  • Nevada: six bombs, one torpedo, beached; returned to service October 1942. 60 dead.
  • Tennessee: two bombs; returned to service February 1942. 5 dead.
  • Maryland: two bombs; returned to service February 1942. 4 dead (including floatplane pilot shot down).
  • Pennsylvania (Kimmel’s Flagship): in drydock with Cassin and Downes, one bomb, debris from USS Cassin; remained in service. 9 dead 
  • Utah: Capsized; total loss. 58 dead.
  •  Helena: One torpedo; returned to service January 1942. 20 dead.
  • Raleigh: One torpedo; remained in service.
  • Honolulu: Near miss, light damage; remained in service.
  •  Cassin: in drydock with Downes and Pennsylvania, one bomb, burned; returned to service February 1944.
  • Downes: in drydock with Cassin and Pennsylvania, caught fire from Cassin, burned; returned to service November 1943.
  • Shaw: Three bombs; returned to service June 1942.
  • Oglala (minelayer): Damaged by torpedo hit on Helena, capsized; returned to service (as engine-repair ship) February 1944.
  • Vestal (repair ship): Two bombs, blast and fire from Arizona, beached; returned to service by August 1942.
  • Curtiss (seaplane tender): One bomb, one Japanese aircraft; returned to service January 1942. 19 dead.

I found this site  
   it has a number of facts on it, I am going to pick and choose a few off of it.
  • Although the aerial attack was very successful, the submarines failed to finish off any wounded ship inside the harbour.
  • The attack's success surprised the Japanese as much as the Americans.
  • The last part of the decoded Japanese message stated that U.S. relations were to be severed.
  • The Japanese attack force was under the command of Admiral Nagumo.
  • Japansese force consisted of six carriers with 423 planes.
  • At 6 a.m. the first Japanese attack wave of 83 planes took off.
  • Nickname for Pearl Harbor is "Gibraltar of the Pacific."
  • The attack was the climax of a decade of worsening relations between the U.S. and militaristic Japan.
  • A U.S. embargo on necessary supplies for war prompted the attack on Pearl Harbor.
  • The Japanese Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku planned the attack with great care.
  • All of the planes on the Japanese ships were fully feuled and armed.
  • The Japanese planes took off about 90 minutes from Pearl Harbor.
  • The Japanese were interested in the Hawaiian islands since the islands were annexed by the U.S. in 1898.
  • An admiral said, "leaving aside the unspeakable treachery of it, the Japanese did a fine job."
  • Japanese suffered just small losses.
  • The attack crippled the United States fleet.
  • The main reason for the attack was over economic issues.
  • A U.S. Army private who noticed the large flight of planes on his radar screen was told to ignore them because a flight of B-17s from the continental U.S. was expected at the time.
  • More than 180 U.S. aircraft were destroyed.
  • A white concrete and steel structure now spans the hull of the sunken ship as a memorial.
  • The memorial was dedicated on May 30, 1962.
  • The air raid lasted until about 9:45 a.m.
In my opinion one of the worst things to happen out of Pearl Harbor, isn't that we were brought into WW2, but that in the US, we put Japanese in Concentration Camps.  True these camps were not anywhere near the horror of the German camps, or the Japanese POW camps.  But that they even had to exist is bullcrap!
These people had nothing to do with the bombing and destruction of Pearl Harbor, there was no conspiracy, these were innocent people who were trying to make their lives better, by coming to a new country that everyone made such a hype about.  Why do we make such a hype about our country, saying its the *best country out there* and that we are the most tolerant? Its complete garbage.  We have had slavery (of whites, blacks and Native Americans).  The Blacks had to fight for their civil rights for over 200 years before it was granted, even today they are bullied and abused by ignorant people.
We have the KKK, the White Supremists, Aryan Nation (whatever they want to call themselves), gangs of all races, and how often do you say or hear someone say  "If you can't speak English, why did you come here?"  Did your grandparents or great grandparents when they first came to this country know English? Did they speak German, Russian, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Deutch, etc etc in the home for years until they learned, IF they ever learned?
You say "Go back where you came from" Why don't you? This nation is ONLY a little over 200 years old, NONE of us, except for the Native Americans have been here long enough to say something like that.  I can guarantee you, that black, native American, Japanese, Irish, Hispanic man that is your dentist, or teacher, or gardner, or neighborhood handyman, his family has most likely been here at least 50 years longer than yours.
One of my hobbies is to do genealogy, and some of my family has been here since around 1640's but that is only one line, nearly everyone else arrived between the Revolutionary War and WW1.  The time period of about 150 years that the states saw the hugest immigration.  They were searching for a better life, a better education, a better job.  Some found it, some didn't, but no matter what, at least they tried to make their life better, are you disrespecting their memory by making it hard on others?
I apologize for my soap box, this is one of a couple of things that just stick in my craw.  We all want a better life for our future, and our children, but if we bully and hurt others, are we making it better and are we living up to the dreams our forefathers had?

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