Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Dec 7th, 1941, 0753 Hours - Attack Erupts at Pearl Harbor

Read the entire Time line of events here. The following is an excerpt:

0342 Minesweeper CONDOR sights periscope off Honolulu Harbour ...notifies patrol destroyer WARD to investigate. 0458 Minesweeper CROSSBILL and CONDOR enter Pearl Harbor... defective submarine net remains open.
0600 - 200 miles south of Oahu carrier ENTERPRISE launches 18 aircraft to scout ahead...then to land at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor...ETA 0800.
0610 - 220 miles north of Oahu Admiral Nagumo orders launching of 1st wave of 183 aircraft off three carriers...2 are lost during takeoff.
0630 Destroyer WARD again notified of submarine sighting this time by supply ship ANTARES off Pearl Harbor entrance...Navy patrol plane (PBY) dispatched to the scene.
0645 WARD opens fire on target hitting conning tower...as she closes in drops depth charges..air attack by PBY follows.
0653 WARD'S commander Captain Outerbridge sends message to Commandant 14th Naval District: 'We have attacked, fired upon and dropped depth charges upon submarine operating in defensive sea area'.
0700 Commander Fuchida flying towards Oahu directs his pilots to home in on local radio station. 0702 Private's Lockhard and Elliott of Opana Radar Station pick up what appears to be a flight of unidentified aircraft bearing in 132 miles north of Oahu...discussion follows.
0706 Private Elliott phones switchboard operator Joseph McDonald at Information Center, Ft. Shafter, telling of a large formation of aircraft approaching the Island.
0715 Capt. Outerbridge's attack message, delayed in decoding is delivered to duty officer, 14th Naval District, and to Admiral Kimmel's duty officer...Japanese launch 2nd wave of 168 assault aircraft...
0720 Joseph McDonald finding Lt. Tyler in Information Center, calls Opana and patches Lt. Tyler thru to Private Lockard who describes the large flight picked up on radar and is told, 'Well don't worry about it.'
0755 Attack Erupts at Pearl Harbor

There is also an awesome media show/map at National Geographic that is very moving.

Having parents that remember Pearl Harbor as a day that changed their lives forever, I cannot let it go by unremembered. It is to them what September 11th is to me. And there are so many similarities....althought it was the Japanese who attacked, we had to join the fight in both the Pacific and the European fronts to guarantee the peace and safety of our homeland. (Read a fabulous essay about the similarities here) There are differences too....back then, everyone supported the troops and made personal sacrifices in their daily lives to help them. My parents still have their ration books with coupons for flour and sugar still there. My mom remembers everyone in the neighborhood pooling their sugar rations to make a birthday cake when it was someone's birthday. Would we do that today? I don't even know half my neighbors. My dad joined the Navy at 17, when he had never been out of his hometown of 1,200 people. He still remembers the sights and smells of San Francisco as he shipped out, as it made such an impression on him. He also remembers the Sunday dinner at a stranger's house before he left....the invitation extended to him based on his uniform alone, and the fact that he had worshipped in their church that morning. Would someone feed him in their home like that today?

There is a reason they are called The Greatest Generation. If only we could learn from them and emulate them in the similarly perilous days we find ourselves in now.

Argghh! and other bloggers report on Pearl Harbor.


Chicken Mom said...

I asked my children if any of their teachers mentioned the historical significance of today. Not one teacher said anything about Pearl Harbor, etc. I think that's really sad that this day is one of the most important days in our country's history, and not one of my 3 children's Friendswood ISD teachers said a word. My grandfather had a major role in WWII when he stormed Normandy. I made sure that my children knew. I wish our district felt as passionate as I do. Not only did we discuss the bombings, we discussed Hitler, Saddam, Osama, and many other issues. It makes me wonder what is important in the district's eyes.

texasbug said...

Now that is just sad. How can they not teach such a significant day in our nation's history? Of course, I shouldn't be surprised I guess, since there's at least one school district banning the Declaration of Independence....but still. Not in Texas, and certainly not in Friendswood. No wonder people choose to homeschool! And FISD just won the most prestigious award possible from the state.....