Archive for the ‘History & Heros’ Category

72 Years Ago Today — The Attack On Pearl Harbor… Still NOT Forgetting

Saturday, December 7th, 2013

PearlHarborMemorial

I originally posted this in 2005 and have updated it a couple of times. I like to present it every December 7th as the story is as poignant as ever, especially with our troops still in theater in Afghanistan. They really are our best and brightest — far too many were lost 72 years ago today.

USS_Oklahoma-postalHandstamp

This year in the November issue of Smithsonian Magazine, one of the objects rescued from the sinking USS Oklahoma was the ship’s postmark handstamp dated Dec. 6th, 1941. It was featured in the article “101 Objects That Changed America”, and although this item itself certainly didn’t change anything, the events of that fateful day changed EVERYTHING.

We came together as a nation after the attack on Pearl, and after our own generation suffered the attack on 9/11/2001. Here in 2013, we find the United States about as divided in ideology as it was just before the Civil War. We must never forget what happened 72 years ago, as well as only 12 years ago. There are still tens of millions of radical Islamists out there that want ALL of us dead. The policies of the last 5 years have fractured our relationships with friends and enemies alike. The Middle East is in MORE turmoil, and the stability achieved in the hard fought win in Iraq is crumbling, as is the plight of women in Afghanistan, again.

We Americans, saved the world from tyranny in WWII, not sure that we have the stomach for ever doing that again. However, the world will always be a dangerous place, with tyrants and dreamers of nightmares to inflict on their fellow humans… Like the Talking Heads song says, “Same as it ever was . . . same as it ever was.”

– Okie, 12/7/2013


This post is one that I wrote in 2005 to commemorate this tragic, special day. Instead of just linking to it I decided to post it anew, as the stories of those that worked valiantly to save as many lives as possible deserve to be told again. The comments that I made about our brave men and women serving in Afghanistan and Iraq are even more true today. Our fathers, mothers, uncles and aunts — The Greatest Generation — stepped up, took on the mantle of terrible responsibility and did their duty — history awaits whether we will stay the course and complete the tasks that destiny has assigned to our own.


[From 'Okie' -- 2005:]

It’s Pearl Harbor day, and most veterans, especially those that saw battle, never talk to non-veterans about their military service. In my own family, I know that all of my uncles served, many in WWII, but only much later, most after their passings, did I find out only a little of what they had done in the war.

My wife’s and my father were Navy guys, mine a pharmacists mate on a troop/supply transport ship named the “Mighty A”. The most dangerous thing that he ever told me about was his ship being hit with a dud torpedo. If it hadn’t been a dud, the story would have been more exciting, but he would not have been the one to tell me about it! I know nothing about my wife’s father’s Navy experiences, I just have a picture of him in his dress blues, dashing in appearance, with a small earring worn in a defiant manner, along with a scan of his honorable discharge that I worked into a pictorial tribute that accompanied his funeral almost a decade ago. Several of his brothers were also in the Navy, a couple were in the BUDs area of service that later became the Navy SEALS, and were covert operatives in Naval Intelligence and served in later branches of the intelligence services during Korea and Vietnam.

Which brings me to today, Pearl Harbor Day. I don’t know if any of my uncles were at Pearl Harbor. If they were, they never talked about it with me. In reading the LA Times this AM, I learned that the USS Oklahoma, a 27,500-ton Nevada class battleship, and the men who served and died aboard her, have finally been given their own special acknowledgment.

Tribute to Pearl Harbor Battleship Is Unveiled

From Times Wire Reports

Sixty-three years after the surprise attack that plunged the United States into World War II, hundreds of men who died aboard the battleship Oklahoma are finally getting their own special tribute.

A new exhibit of photos, artifacts and oral histories was unveiled in Honolulu to honor the 429 men from the Oklahoma who died in the Dec. 7, 1941, attack by the Japanese.

That is the second-highest number of Pearl Harbor casualties behind the battleship Arizona, where most of its 1,177 killed crew members remain entombed after the ship sank in the attack.

I guess King Neptune had plans for this mighty ship, other than allowing her to be scrapped. The Kansas City Star adds more information to the above.

The Oklahoma was refloated in 1943 and sold for scrap after the war, but it sank in the Pacific Ocean while being towed to California.

Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and other military bases on Oahu lasted two hours. Twenty-one ships were heavily damaged, and 320 aircraft were damaged or destroyed. In all, about 2,390 persons were killed and about 1,178 were wounded, according to the National Park Service, which maintains the Arizona site.


Powerline
has a wonderful tribute that includes President Franklin Roosevelt’s speech asking Congress for a declaration of war and Churchill’s reaction.

As we remember those lost and those who fought so bravely on this day, 63 years ago, let us reflect on the fact that Japan is now one of our strongest allies and important trading partners. It took a long time to help them overcome the damage to their country and society caused by their leaders’ wartime ambitions, but with our guidance and financial help, Japan was brought into the modern world and became an important part of the world’s economy. They are a part of the “Coalition of the Willing” in Iraq.

We must look to our past and not be too impatient in our present. The same fighting spirit of our fathers and forefathers exits within the warriors that are helping the Iraqi people even at this very minute. Many will come back, and not tell their stories for years to come, if at all, but they will be valiant stories, none the less! . . . db

[Update] LGF provides this link to the Navy’s archive of images and information, with some of the pics taken from Japanese warplanes.

Battleship row at Pearl Harbor

According to the Navy site the following is what was going on here, as taken from a Japanese fighter:

Torpedo planes attack “Battleship Row” at about 0800 on 7 December, seen from a Japanese aircraft. Ships are, from lower left to right: Nevada (BB-36) with flag raised at stern; Arizona (BB-39) with Vestal (AR-4) outboard; Tennessee (BB-43) with West Virginia (BB-48) outboard; Maryland (BB-46) with Oklahoma (BB-37) outboard; Neosho (AO-23) and California (BB-44).
West Virginia, Oklahoma and California have been torpedoed, as marked by ripples and spreading oil, and the first two are listing to port. Torpedo drop splashes and running tracks are visible at left and center.
White smoke in the distance is from Hickam Field. Grey smoke in the center middle distance is from the torpedoed USS Helena (CL-50), at the Navy Yard’s 1010 dock.
Japanese writing in lower right states that the image was reproduced by authorization of the Navy Ministry.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Battleship row at Pearl Harbor

Vertical aerial view of “Battleship Row”, beside Ford Island, during the early part of the horizontal bombing attack on the ships moored there. Photographed from a Japanese aircraft.
Ships seen are (from left to right): USS Tennessee with USS West Virginia moored outboard; USS Maryland with USS Oklahoma moored outboard; and USS Neosho, only partially visible at the extreme right. West Virginia and Oklahoma are gushing oil from their many torpedo hits and are listing to port. Oklahoma’s port deck edge is already under water. Nevada has also been torpedoed.

Battleship row at Pearl Harbor

Rescue teams at work on the capsized hull of USS Oklahoma (BB-37), seeking crew members trapped inside, 7 December 1941. The starboard bilge keel is visible at the top of the upturned hull.
Officers’ Motor Boats from Oklahoma and USS Argonne (AG-31) are in the foreground.
USS Maryland (BB-46) is in the background.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

I hope that the Navy won’t mind that I’ve “borrowed” these three images and descriptions to help make this a better presentation and memorial for this day. I urge anyone interested in Pearl Harbor to follow the links to the Navy Archives site to better comprehend the full extent of the tragedy and valiant courage that defines this “day that lives in infamy”!

(Okie)

Postal Stamp Image is from here: http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/aroundthemall/2009/12/remembering-pearl-harbor/

71 Years Ago Today — The Attack On Pearl Harbor… Never Forget

Friday, December 7th, 2012

I originally posted this in 2005 and have updated it a couple of times. I like to present it every December 7th as the story is as poignant as ever, especially with our troops still in theater in Afghanistan. They really are our best and brightest — far too many were lost 71 years ago today. According to the Christian Science Monitor:

More than 2,000 people are gathering at Pearl Harbor on Friday to mark the 71st anniversary of the Japanese attack that killed thousands of people and launched the United States into World War II.

Ceremonies get under way with a moment of silence at 7:55 a.m., the exact time the bombing began in 1941.

We came together as a nation after the attack on Pearl, and after our own generation suffered the attack on 9/11. Here in 2012, we find the United States about as divided in ideology as it was just before the Civil War. We must never forget what happened 71 years ago, as well as only 11 years ago. There are still tens of millions of radical Islamists out there that want ALL of us dead. Like the Talking Heads song says, “Same as it ever was . . . same as it ever was.”

– Okie, 12/7/2012


This post is one that I wrote in 2005 to commemorate this tragic, special day. Instead of just linking to it I decided to post it anew, as the stories of those that worked valiantly to save as many lives as possible deserve to be told again. The comments that I made about our brave men and women serving in Afghanistan and Iraq are even more true today. Our fathers, mothers, uncles and aunts — The Greatest Generation — stepped up, took on the mantle of terrible responsibility and did their duty — history awaits whether we will stay the course and complete the tasks that destiny has assigned to our own.


[From 'Okie' -- 2005:]

It’s Pearl Harbor day, and most veterans, especially those that saw battle, never talk to non-veterans about their military service. In my own family, I know that all of my uncles served, many in WWII, but only much later, most after their passings, did I find out only a little of what they had done in the war.

My wife’s and my father were Navy guys, mine a pharmacists mate on a troop/supply transport ship named the “Mighty A”. The most dangerous thing that he ever told me about was his ship being hit with a dud torpedo. If it hadn’t been a dud, the story would have been more exciting, but he would not have been the one to tell me about it! I know nothing about my wife’s father’s Navy experiences, I just have a picture of him in his dress blues, dashing in appearance, with a small earring worn in a defiant manner, along with a scan of his honorable discharge that I worked into a pictorial tribute that accompanied his funeral almost a decade ago. Several of his brothers were also in the Navy, a couple were in the BUDs area of service that later became the Navy SEALS, and were covert operatives in Naval Intelligence and served in later branches of the intelligence services during Korea and Vietnam.

Which brings me to today, Pearl Harbor Day. I don’t know if any of my uncles were at Pearl Harbor. If they were, they never talked about it with me. In reading the LA Times this AM, I learned that the USS Oklahoma, a 27,500-ton Nevada class battleship, and the men who served and died aboard her, have finally been given their own special acknowledgment.

Tribute to Pearl Harbor Battleship Is Unveiled

From Times Wire Reports

Sixty-three years after the surprise attack that plunged the United States into World War II, hundreds of men who died aboard the battleship Oklahoma are finally getting their own special tribute.

A new exhibit of photos, artifacts and oral histories was unveiled in Honolulu to honor the 429 men from the Oklahoma who died in the Dec. 7, 1941, attack by the Japanese.

That is the second-highest number of Pearl Harbor casualties behind the battleship Arizona, where most of its 1,177 killed crew members remain entombed after the ship sank in the attack.

I guess King Neptune had plans for this mighty ship, other than allowing her to be scrapped. The Kansas City Star adds more information to the above.

The Oklahoma was refloated in 1943 and sold for scrap after the war, but it sank in the Pacific Ocean while being towed to California.

Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and other military bases on Oahu lasted two hours. Twenty-one ships were heavily damaged, and 320 aircraft were damaged or destroyed. In all, about 2,390 persons were killed and about 1,178 were wounded, according to the National Park Service, which maintains the Arizona site.


Powerline
has a wonderful tribute that includes President Franklin Roosevelt’s speech asking Congress for a declaration of war and Churchill’s reaction.

As we remember those lost and those who fought so bravely on this day, 63 years ago, let us reflect on the fact that Japan is now one of our strongest allies and important trading partners. It took a long time to help them overcome the damage to their country and society caused by their leaders’ wartime ambitions, but with our guidance and financial help, Japan was brought into the modern world and became an important part of the world’s economy. They are a part of the “Coalition of the Willing” in Iraq.

We must look to our past and not be too impatient in our present. The same fighting spirit of our fathers and forefathers exits within the warriors that are helping the Iraqi people even at this very minute. Many will come back, and not tell their stories for years to come, if at all, but they will be valiant stories, none the less! . . . db

[Update] LGF provides this link to the Navy’s archive of images and information, with some of the pics taken from Japanese warplanes.

Battleship row at Pearl Harbor

According to the Navy site the following is what was going on here, as taken from a Japanese fighter:

Torpedo planes attack “Battleship Row” at about 0800 on 7 December, seen from a Japanese aircraft. Ships are, from lower left to right: Nevada (BB-36) with flag raised at stern; Arizona (BB-39) with Vestal (AR-4) outboard; Tennessee (BB-43) with West Virginia (BB-48) outboard; Maryland (BB-46) with Oklahoma (BB-37) outboard; Neosho (AO-23) and California (BB-44).
West Virginia, Oklahoma and California have been torpedoed, as marked by ripples and spreading oil, and the first two are listing to port. Torpedo drop splashes and running tracks are visible at left and center.
White smoke in the distance is from Hickam Field. Grey smoke in the center middle distance is from the torpedoed USS Helena (CL-50), at the Navy Yard’s 1010 dock.
Japanese writing in lower right states that the image was reproduced by authorization of the Navy Ministry.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Battleship row at Pearl Harbor

Vertical aerial view of “Battleship Row”, beside Ford Island, during the early part of the horizontal bombing attack on the ships moored there. Photographed from a Japanese aircraft.
Ships seen are (from left to right): USS Tennessee with USS West Virginia moored outboard; USS Maryland with USS Oklahoma moored outboard; and USS Neosho, only partially visible at the extreme right. West Virginia and Oklahoma are gushing oil from their many torpedo hits and are listing to port. Oklahoma’s port deck edge is already under water. Nevada has also been torpedoed.

Battleship row at Pearl Harbor

Rescue teams at work on the capsized hull of USS Oklahoma (BB-37), seeking crew members trapped inside, 7 December 1941. The starboard bilge keel is visible at the top of the upturned hull.
Officers’ Motor Boats from Oklahoma and USS Argonne (AG-31) are in the foreground.
USS Maryland (BB-46) is in the background.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

I hope that the Navy won’t mind that I’ve “borrowed” these three images and descriptions to help make this a better presentation and memorial for this day. I urge anyone interested in Pearl Harbor to follow the links to the Navy Archives site to better comprehend the full extent of the tragedy and valiant courage that defines this “day that lives in infamy”!

(Okie)

Pearl Harbor Day — the USS Oklahoma — a Post Redux “x” Five

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

I originally posted this in 2005 and have updated it a couple of times. I like to present it every December 7th as the story is as poignant as ever, especially with thousands more of our troops being sent off to war in Afghanistan. They really are our best and brightest — far too many were lost 70 years ago today.


This post is one that I wrote in 2005 to commemorate this tragic, special day. Instead of just linking to it I decided to post it anew, as the stories of those that worked valiantly to save as many lives as possible deserve to be told again. The comments that I made about our brave men and women serving in Afghanistan and Iraq are even more true today. Our fathers, mothers, uncles and aunts — The Greatest Generation — stepped up, took on the mantle of terrible responsibility and did their duty — history awaits whether we will stay the course and complete the tasks that destiny has assigned to our own.


[From 'Okie' -- 2005:]

It’s Pearl Harbor day, and most veterans, especially those that saw battle, never talk to non-veterans about their military service. In my own family, I know that all of my uncles served, many in WWII, but only much later, most after their passings, did I find out only a little of what they had done in the war.

My wife’s and my father were Navy guys, mine a pharmacists mate on a troop/supply transport ship named the “Mighty A”. The most dangerous thing that he ever told me about was his ship being hit with a dud torpedo. If it hadn’t been a dud, the story would have been more exciting, but he would not have been the one to tell me about it! I know nothing about my wife’s father’s Navy experiences, I just have a picture of him in his dress blues, dashing in appearance, with a small earring worn in a defiant manner, along with a scan of his honorable discharge that I worked into a pictorial tribute that accompanied his funeral almost a decade ago. Several of his brothers were also in the Navy, a couple were in the BUDs area of service that later became the Navy SEALS, and were covert operatives in Naval Intelligence and served in later branches of the intelligence services during Korea and Vietnam.

Which brings me to today, Pearl Harbor Day. I don’t know if any of my uncles were at Pearl Harbor. If they were, they never talked about it with me. In reading the LA Times this AM, I learned that the USS Oklahoma, a 27,500-ton Nevada class battleship, and the men who served and died aboard her, have finally been given their own special acknowledgment.

Tribute to Pearl Harbor Battleship Is Unveiled

From Times Wire Reports

Sixty-three years after the surprise attack that plunged the United States into World War II, hundreds of men who died aboard the battleship Oklahoma are finally getting their own special tribute.

A new exhibit of photos, artifacts and oral histories was unveiled in Honolulu to honor the 429 men from the Oklahoma who died in the Dec. 7, 1941, attack by the Japanese.

That is the second-highest number of Pearl Harbor casualties behind the battleship Arizona, where most of its 1,177 killed crew members remain entombed after the ship sank in the attack.

I guess King Neptune had plans for this mighty ship, other than allowing her to be scrapped. The Kansas City Star adds more information to the above.

The Oklahoma was refloated in 1943 and sold for scrap after the war, but it sank in the Pacific Ocean while being towed to California.

Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and other military bases on Oahu lasted two hours. Twenty-one ships were heavily damaged, and 320 aircraft were damaged or destroyed. In all, about 2,390 persons were killed and about 1,178 were wounded, according to the National Park Service, which maintains the Arizona site.


Powerline
has a wonderful tribute that includes President Franklin Roosevelt’s speech asking Congress for a declaration of war and Churchill’s reaction.

As we remember those lost and those who fought so bravely on this day, 63 years ago, let us reflect on the fact that Japan is now one of our strongest allies and important trading partners. It took a long time to help them overcome the damage to their country and society caused by their leaders’ wartime ambitions, but with our guidance and financial help, Japan was brought into the modern world and became an important part of the world’s economy. They are a part of the “Coalition of the Willing” in Iraq.

We must look to our past and not be too impatient in our present. The same fighting spirit of our fathers and forefathers exits within the warriors that are helping the Iraqi people even at this very minute. Many will come back, and not tell their stories for years to come, if at all, but they will be valiant stories, none the less! . . . db

[Update] LGF provides this link to the Navy’s archive of images and information, with some of the pics taken from Japanese warplanes.

Battleship row at Pearl Harbor

According to the Navy site the following is what was going on here, as taken from a Japanese fighter:

Torpedo planes attack “Battleship Row” at about 0800 on 7 December, seen from a Japanese aircraft. Ships are, from lower left to right: Nevada (BB-36) with flag raised at stern; Arizona (BB-39) with Vestal (AR-4) outboard; Tennessee (BB-43) with West Virginia (BB-48) outboard; Maryland (BB-46) with Oklahoma (BB-37) outboard; Neosho (AO-23) and California (BB-44).
West Virginia, Oklahoma and California have been torpedoed, as marked by ripples and spreading oil, and the first two are listing to port. Torpedo drop splashes and running tracks are visible at left and center.
White smoke in the distance is from Hickam Field. Grey smoke in the center middle distance is from the torpedoed USS Helena (CL-50), at the Navy Yard’s 1010 dock.
Japanese writing in lower right states that the image was reproduced by authorization of the Navy Ministry.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Battleship row at Pearl Harbor

Vertical aerial view of “Battleship Row”, beside Ford Island, during the early part of the horizontal bombing attack on the ships moored there. Photographed from a Japanese aircraft.
Ships seen are (from left to right): USS Tennessee with USS West Virginia moored outboard; USS Maryland with USS Oklahoma moored outboard; and USS Neosho, only partially visible at the extreme right. West Virginia and Oklahoma are gushing oil from their many torpedo hits and are listing to port. Oklahoma’s port deck edge is already under water. Nevada has also been torpedoed.

Battleship row at Pearl Harbor

Rescue teams at work on the capsized hull of USS Oklahoma (BB-37), seeking crew members trapped inside, 7 December 1941. The starboard bilge keel is visible at the top of the upturned hull.
Officers’ Motor Boats from Oklahoma and USS Argonne (AG-31) are in the foreground.
USS Maryland (BB-46) is in the background.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

I hope that the Navy won’t mind that I’ve “borrowed” these three images and descriptions to help make this a better presentation and memorial for this day. I urge anyone interested in Pearl Harbor to follow the links to the Navy Archives site to better comprehend the full extent of the tragedy and valiant courage that defines this “day that lives in infamy”!

(Okie)

Pearl Harbor Day — the USS Oklahoma — a Post Redux “x” Four

Monday, December 7th, 2009

I originally posted this in 2005 and have updated it a couple of times. I like to present it every December 7th as the story is as poignant as ever, especially with thousands more of our troops being sent off to war in Afghanistan. They really are our best and brightest — far too many were lost 68 years ago today.


This post is one that I wrote in 2005 to commemorate this tragic, special day. Instead of just linking to it I decided to post it anew, as the stories of those that worked valiantly to save as many lives as possible deserve to be told again. The comments that I made about our brave men and women serving in Afghanistan and Iraq are even more true today. Our fathers, mothers, uncles and aunts — The Greatest Generation — stepped up, took on the mantle of terrible responsibility and did their duty — history awaits whether we will stay the course and complete the tasks that destiny has assigned to our own.

What’s making this particular December 7th [2007] more memorable is that the U.S.S. Oklahoma is finally getting the recognition it has for so long deserved.

The monument to its sailors features slabs of black marble arranged in a V and bearing the ship’s name and image. Behind it are 429 white-marble pillars, each 7 feet tall and engraved with the name of a victim.

Kevin King, an artist from Oklahoma, spearheaded the drive for the monument after visiting Pearl Harbor with his son in 2000. He was stunned to find no mention of the ship at Ford Island or at the National Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, the graveyard in the Punchbowl crater – part of an inactive volcano – where the Oklahoma victims’ remains were interred in mass graves after the battleship was raised in 1943.

“It just got my blood up – especially being from Oklahoma – that these 429 people are just forgotten,” King said.

He worked with the USS Oklahoma Association and crisscrossed the country at his own expense to interview the ship’s survivors. The association raised $1 million to build the monument.


[From 'Okie' -- 2005:]

It’s Pearl Harbor day, and most veterans, especially those that saw battle, never talk to non-veterans about their military service. In my own family, I know that all of my uncles served, many in WWII, but only much later, most after their passings, did I find out only a little of what they had done in the war.

My wife’s and my father were Navy guys, mine a pharmacists mate on a troop/supply transport ship named the “Mighty A”. The most dangerous thing that he ever told me about was his ship being hit with a dud torpedo. If it hadn’t been a dud, the story would have been more exciting, but he would not have been the one to tell me about it! I know nothing about my wife’s father’s Navy experiences, I just have a picture of him in his dress blues, dashing in appearance, with a small earring worn in a defiant manner, along with a scan of his honorable discharge that I worked into a pictorial tribute that accompanied his funeral almost a decade ago. Several of his brothers were also in the Navy, a couple were in the BUDs area of service that later became the Navy SEALS, and were covert operatives in Naval Intelligence and served in later branches of the intelligence services during Korea and Vietnam.

Which brings me to today, Pearl Harbor Day. I don’t know if any of my uncles were at Pearl Harbor. If they were, they never talked about it with me. In reading the LA Times this AM, I learned that the USS Oklahoma, a 27,500-ton Nevada class battleship, and the men who served and died aboard her, have finally been given their own special acknowledgment.

Tribute to Pearl Harbor Battleship Is Unveiled

From Times Wire Reports

Sixty-three years after the surprise attack that plunged the United States into World War II, hundreds of men who died aboard the battleship Oklahoma are finally getting their own special tribute.

A new exhibit of photos, artifacts and oral histories was unveiled in Honolulu to honor the 429 men from the Oklahoma who died in the Dec. 7, 1941, attack by the Japanese.

That is the second-highest number of Pearl Harbor casualties behind the battleship Arizona, where most of its 1,177 killed crew members remain entombed after the ship sank in the attack.

I guess King Neptune had plans for this mighty ship, other than allowing her to be scrapped. The Kansas City Star adds more information to the above.

The Oklahoma was refloated in 1943 and sold for scrap after the war, but it sank in the Pacific Ocean while being towed to California.

Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and other military bases on Oahu lasted two hours. Twenty-one ships were heavily damaged, and 320 aircraft were damaged or destroyed. In all, about 2,390 persons were killed and about 1,178 were wounded, according to the National Park Service, which maintains the Arizona site.


Powerline
has a wonderful tribute that includes President Franklin Roosevelt’s speech asking Congress for a declaration of war and Churchill’s reaction.

As we remember those lost and those who fought so bravely on this day, 63 years ago, let us reflect on the fact that Japan is now one of our strongest allies and important trading partners. It took a long time to help them overcome the damage to their country and society caused by their leaders’ wartime ambitions, but with our guidance and financial help, Japan was brought into the modern world and became an important part of the world’s economy. They are a part of the “Coalition of the Willing” in Iraq.

We must look to our past and not be too impatient in our present. The same fighting spirit of our fathers and forefathers exits within the warriors that are helping the Iraqi people even at this very minute. Many will come back, and not tell their stories for years to come, if at all, but they will be valiant stories, none the less! . . . db

[Update] LGF provides this link to the Navy’s archive of images and information, with some of the pics taken from Japanese warplanes.

Battleship row at Pearl Harbor

According to the Navy site the following is what was going on here, as taken from a Japanese fighter:

Torpedo planes attack “Battleship Row” at about 0800 on 7 December, seen from a Japanese aircraft. Ships are, from lower left to right: Nevada (BB-36) with flag raised at stern; Arizona (BB-39) with Vestal (AR-4) outboard; Tennessee (BB-43) with West Virginia (BB-48) outboard; Maryland (BB-46) with Oklahoma (BB-37) outboard; Neosho (AO-23) and California (BB-44).
West Virginia, Oklahoma and California have been torpedoed, as marked by ripples and spreading oil, and the first two are listing to port. Torpedo drop splashes and running tracks are visible at left and center.
White smoke in the distance is from Hickam Field. Grey smoke in the center middle distance is from the torpedoed USS Helena (CL-50), at the Navy Yard’s 1010 dock.
Japanese writing in lower right states that the image was reproduced by authorization of the Navy Ministry.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Battleship row at Pearl Harbor

Vertical aerial view of “Battleship Row”, beside Ford Island, during the early part of the horizontal bombing attack on the ships moored there. Photographed from a Japanese aircraft.
Ships seen are (from left to right): USS Tennessee with USS West Virginia moored outboard; USS Maryland with USS Oklahoma moored outboard; and USS Neosho, only partially visible at the extreme right. West Virginia and Oklahoma are gushing oil from their many torpedo hits and are listing to port. Oklahoma’s port deck edge is already under water. Nevada has also been torpedoed.

Battleship row at Pearl Harbor

Rescue teams at work on the capsized hull of USS Oklahoma (BB-37), seeking crew members trapped inside, 7 December 1941. The starboard bilge keel is visible at the top of the upturned hull.
Officers’ Motor Boats from Oklahoma and USS Argonne (AG-31) are in the foreground.
USS Maryland (BB-46) is in the background.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

I hope that the Navy won’t mind that I’ve “borrowed” these three images and descriptions to help make this a better presentation and memorial for this day. I urge anyone interested in Pearl Harbor to follow the links to the Navy Archives site to better comprehend the full extent of the tragedy and valiant courage that defines this “day that lives in infamy”!

(Okie)

Memorial Day — Giving Thanks, Paying Respect To Those That Have Given All

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Memorial Day 2008 — One of my brain dead clients has already called and left a message about something meaninless and stupid to be considering on this day. I’ve got a blackberry pie in the oven, the flag out on the balcony is gently wafting in the light onshore breeze. It’s only in the 60s here today, but the sun is shining and the sky is a clear blue. All in all, life is good!

However, this day is for remembering those whose lives were cut short in service to their country, for their sacrifices over the ages that allows us to get together and eat, drink and have fellowship knowing that we live in the most free country on the planet, despite the hyperventilation of the Lefties over loss of “rights”. I’ve looked high and low and, “Nope!” No lost rights here, except maybe to pray in a public school, have the Ten Commandments displayed in a court house or on public property, have a teeny-tiny-little cross as a part of the Los Angeles County Seal as it has been since the beginning — but hey, those things might inconvenience or embarrass some poor secular soul so they have to go in the name of tolerance and acceptance. Somehow I don’t think this is what our brothers, sisters, fathers and grandfathers fought for . . . but hey, what does this ol’ Okie know, anyway?

We decorated the graves of my wife’s father and mother on Saturday. With her death being only a fews days over a month ago we didn’t think we could get through being over there today. Regardless, it bears repeating:

“Life is good!”

Just last year I posted the following. It still holds true today.

Memorial Day 2007

This is the final resting place for my wife’s father, who proudly served in the Navy during WWII, as did my Dad. Both were fortunate to come back alive, in one piece — although I am sure that each carried memories that haunted them for the rest of their lives.

Many more were, and are today, not so fortunate. Those that are serving today deserve even more respect and consideration from the rest of us, as they have freely volunteered their service to this great country.

If you see someone in uniform, be sure and thank them for their service. You can also honor them by donating to worthy causes like the United Warrior Survivor Foundation and Soldiers’ Angels.

As you go about this holiday, if you are decorating the graves of loved ones, as you pass those with flags, be sure and say a prayer of thanks for that person who served. They are the reason that we have the freedoms that we have, that we can live the lives we live.

Thank you . . .

Pearl Harbor Day ’05 — the USS Oklahoma — a Post Redux, Redux

Friday, December 7th, 2007

This post is one that I wrote in 2005 to commemorate this tragic, special day. Instead of just linking to it I decided to post it anew, as the stories of those that worked valiantly to save as many lives as possible deserve to be told again. The comments that I made about our brave men and women serving in Afghanistan and Iraq are even more true today. Our fathers, mothers, uncles and aunts — The Greatest Generation — stepped up, took on the mantle of terrible responsibility and did their duty — history awaits whether we will stay the course and complete the tasks that destiny has assigned to our own.

What’s making this particular December 7th more memorable is that the U.S.S. Oklahoma is finally getting the recognition it has for so long deserved.

The monument to its sailors features slabs of black marble arranged in a V and bearing the ship’s name and image. Behind it are 429 white-marble pillars, each 7 feet tall and engraved with the name of a victim.

Kevin King, an artist from Oklahoma, spearheaded the drive for the monument after visiting Pearl Harbor with his son in 2000. He was stunned to find no mention of the ship at Ford Island or at the National Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, the graveyard in the Punchbowl crater – part of an inactive volcano – where the Oklahoma victims’ remains were interred in mass graves after the battleship was raised in 1943.

“It just got my blood up – especially being from Oklahoma – that these 429 people are just forgotten,” King said.

He worked with the USS Oklahoma Association and crisscrossed the country at his own expense to interview the ship’s survivors. The association raised $1 million to build the monument.

[From 'Okie' -- 2005:]

It’s Pearl Harbor day, and most veterans, especially those that saw battle, never talk to non-veterans about their military service. In my own family, I know that all of my uncles served, many in WWII, but only much later, most after their passings, did I find out only a little of what they had done in the war.

My wife’s and my father were Navy guys, mine a pharmacists mate on a troop/supply transport ship named the “Mighty A”. The most dangerous thing that he ever told me about was his ship being hit with a dud torpedo. If it hadn’t been a dud, the story would have been more exciting, but he would not have been the one to tell me about it! I know nothing about my wife’s father’s Navy experiences, I just have a picture of him in his dress blues, dashing in appearance, with a small earring worn in a defiant manner, along with a scan of his honorable discharge that I worked into a pictorial tribute that accompanied his funeral almost a decade ago. Several of his brothers were also in the Navy, a couple were in the BUDs area of service that later became the Navy SEALS, and were covert operatives in Naval Intelligence and served in later branches of the intelligence services during Korea and Vietnam.

Which brings me to today, Pearl Harbor Day. I don’t know if any of my uncles were at Pearl Harbor. If they were, they never talked about it with me. In reading the LA Times this AM, I learned that the USS Oklahoma, a 27,500-ton Nevada class battleship, and the men who served and died aboard her, have finally been given their own special acknowledgment.

Tribute to Pearl Harbor Battleship Is Unveiled

From Times Wire Reports

Sixty-three years after the surprise attack that plunged the United States into World War II, hundreds of men who died aboard the battleship Oklahoma are finally getting their own special tribute.

A new exhibit of photos, artifacts and oral histories was unveiled in Honolulu to honor the 429 men from the Oklahoma who died in the Dec. 7, 1941, attack by the Japanese.

That is the second-highest number of Pearl Harbor casualties behind the battleship Arizona, where most of its 1,177 killed crew members remain entombed after the ship sank in the attack.

I guess King Neptune had plans for this mighty ship, other than allowing her to be scrapped. The Kansas City Star adds more information to the above.

The Oklahoma was refloated in 1943 and sold for scrap after the war, but it sank in the Pacific Ocean while being towed to California.

Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and other military bases on Oahu lasted two hours. Twenty-one ships were heavily damaged, and 320 aircraft were damaged or destroyed. In all, about 2,390 persons were killed and about 1,178 were wounded, according to the National Park Service, which maintains the Arizona site.


Powerline
has a wonderful tribute that includes President Franklin Roosevelt’s speech asking Congress for a declaration of war and Churchill’s reaction.

As we remember those lost and those who fought so bravely on this day, 63 years ago, let us reflect on the fact that Japan is now one of our strongest allies and important trading partners. It took a long time to help them overcome the damage to their country and society caused by their leaders’ wartime ambitions, but with our guidance and financial help, Japan was brought into the modern world and became an important part of the world’s economy. They are a part of the “Coalition of the Willing” in Iraq.

We must look to our past and not be too impatient in our present. The same fighting spirit of our fathers and forefathers exits within the warriors that are helping the Iraqi people even at this very minute. Many will come back, and not tell their stories for years to come, if at all, but they will be valiant stories, none the less! . . . db

[Update] LGF provides this link to the Navy’s archive of images and information, with some of the pics taken from Japanese warplanes.

Battleship row at Pearl Harbor

According to the Navy site the following is what was going on here, as taken from a Japanese fighter:

Torpedo planes attack “Battleship Row” at about 0800 on 7 December, seen from a Japanese aircraft. Ships are, from lower left to right: Nevada (BB-36) with flag raised at stern; Arizona (BB-39) with Vestal (AR-4) outboard; Tennessee (BB-43) with West Virginia (BB-48) outboard; Maryland (BB-46) with Oklahoma (BB-37) outboard; Neosho (AO-23) and California (BB-44).
West Virginia, Oklahoma and California have been torpedoed, as marked by ripples and spreading oil, and the first two are listing to port. Torpedo drop splashes and running tracks are visible at left and center.
White smoke in the distance is from Hickam Field. Grey smoke in the center middle distance is from the torpedoed USS Helena (CL-50), at the Navy Yard’s 1010 dock.
Japanese writing in lower right states that the image was reproduced by authorization of the Navy Ministry.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Battleship row at Pearl Harbor

Vertical aerial view of “Battleship Row”, beside Ford Island, during the early part of the horizontal bombing attack on the ships moored there. Photographed from a Japanese aircraft.
Ships seen are (from left to right): USS Tennessee with USS West Virginia moored outboard; USS Maryland with USS Oklahoma moored outboard; and USS Neosho, only partially visible at the extreme right. West Virginia and Oklahoma are gushing oil from their many torpedo hits and are listing to port. Oklahoma’s port deck edge is already under water. Nevada has also been torpedoed.

Battleship row at Pearl Harbor

Rescue teams at work on the capsized hull of USS Oklahoma (BB-37), seeking crew members trapped inside, 7 December 1941. The starboard bilge keel is visible at the top of the upturned hull.
Officers’ Motor Boats from Oklahoma and USS Argonne (AG-31) are in the foreground.
USS Maryland (BB-46) is in the background.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

I hope that the Navy won’t mind that I’ve “borrowed” these three images and descriptions to help make this a better presentation and memorial for this day. I urge anyone interested in Pearl Harbor to follow the links to the Navy Archives site to better comprehend the full extent of the tragedy and valiant courage that defines this “day that lives in infamy”!

(db)