Posted on 12/06/2018 at 04:05 PM by Blog Committee
A Date Which Will Live In Infamy
Every year, survivors, veterans, and visitors from around the world remember the 2,403 service members and civilians who were killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The attack also resulted in an additional 1,178 Americans wounded, the sinking of four U.S. Navy battleships (two of which were later raised), and the destruction of 188 aircraft. The following day the United States declared war on Japan.
On January 7, 1943, a little more than one year since the tragedy at Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed the nation in his State of the Union address. His words were carried by radio to all Americans across the country and military forces stationed around the world.
“First in the importance in the American scene has been the inspiring proof of the great qualities of our fighting men. They have demonstrated these qualities in adversity as well as in victory. As long as our flag flies over this Capitol, Americans will honor the soldiers, sailors and Marines who fought our first battles of this war against overwhelming odds the heroes – living and dead, of Wake and Bataan and Guadalcanal, of the Java Sea and Midway and the North Atlantic convoys. Their unconquerable spirit will live forever.”
- The attack lasted 110 minutes from the time the first wave launched their attack at 7:48 a.m. until the second wave ended at 9:45 a.m.
- The Japanese attacked the United States without warning, which was later judged to be a war crime.
- The Japanese traveled 3,400 miles on six aircraft carriers across the Pacific to execute their attack on Pearl Harbor.
- The Japanese specifically chose to attack on a Sunday because they believed Americans would be more relaxed and less alert on a weekend.
- The United States aircraft carriers, the primary targets of the attack, were not at the Hawaiian base at the time.
- Seven of the eight U.S. battleships in the harbor were lined up in “Battleship Row.”
- All eight of the U.S. battleships were either sunk or damaged. Amazingly, all but two (the Arizona and the Oklahoma) returned to active duty.
- The USS Arizona exploded when a bomb breached its forward magazine (i.e. the ammunition room). Approximately 1,100 U.S. servicemen died on board.
- The Japanese had sent five midget submarines to help target the battleships. American forces sunk four and captured the fifth.
- In addition to the eight battleships, 11 other ships were sunk.
Written by Ron Goodwin