71st Anniversary: Pearl Harbor Attack – The "Day of Infamy"


Today, December 7th, 2012 is the 71stanniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor that commenced the participation of the United States into the Second World War. On that morning, just before 8am, 353 Japanese fighters, bombers, and torpedo planes in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers, attacked the US Pacific Fleet. There were eight US Navy battleships harbored, all damaged and four ships sunk. Later, two of the ships were raised and four repaired, totaling six battleships that returned to service in the war. The Japanese air force also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, and one minelayer. 188 US aircraft were destroyed, 2,402 Americans were killed, and 1,282 were wounded. The Japanese lost 29 aircraft and 5 midget submarines, and 65 casualties. One Japanese sailor was captured.
It certainly spoiled the Christmas season of 1941.

The following day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt stood before Congress to give a speech that is known as the Day of Infamy speech at 12:30pm. It was an official declaration of war against Japan. President Roosevelt was correct when he stated in the speech that December 7th would remain a date, which will live in infamy.

To Americans across the country, it marked the beginning of a period when civilians lined up to join the US armed forces and those that did not go volunteered for Red Cross or Civil Defense duties. People were unsure whether there would be further attacks upon the United States with bombers flying overhead, as England had already experienced in its war with Germany. Factories were outfitted to produce crucial war supplies, like ordnance, aircraft, and tanks. Those that did not qualify to serve worked at these factories, the major workforce being women. An icon of the time was Rosie the Riveter. Family automobiles was parked in garages for most of the way because tires and gasoline was rationed to ensure that war planes flew, ships were supplied, tanks were fueled, and wheeled military vehicles had tires. Tires and metal were recycled, citizens bringing them to the local center for the war effort. 
Families grew what came to be known as Victory Gardens, to supply families with vegetables because foods were rationed to ensure the fighting armed forces were fed. Red Cross volunteers put together packages of bandages and other supplies, as well as CARE packages to be sent for American POWs in camps in Europe and the Pacific Theater. Volunteers donated much needed blood for the wounded troops. Women knitted socks for the troops and many other programs that helped in the war effort.
W.F. Lehman, Petty Officer

My father, William F. Lehman, Jr., was one of the many young men who joined to serve; joining the US Navy in October of 1942, after graduating high school. He completed Aviation Ordnance School at Norman, Oklahoma, initially assigned in Norfolk, Virginia, and later assigned to the newly built Essex-classaircraft carrier, USS Antietam. He was a Second Class Petty Officer at the time. The carrier went to the Philippine Islands, Guam, Saipan, Okinawa, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Yokohama, and Tokyo by 1945 at war’s end.  
Three of my mother’s brothers, George Peek (US Army), John Peek (US Coast Guard), and Charlie Peek (US Army serving General Patton),  served in World War II, and amazingly they all returned home.

Elizabeth P. McIntosh

Elizabeth P. McIntosh, 97, who submitted a story she wrote on the Day of Infamy, but never published, wrote a special article for the Washington Post to remember the day WWII started for Americans. She was a reported for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Seventy-one years later, her story is published revealing her description of the mayhem and destruction and her thoughts and experiences on December 7th, 1941.

Ray Emory, as reported by Audrey McAvoy spent many years ensuring that grave markers for Pearl Harbor dead were properly identified and searched for the names of unknowns buried in a volcanic crater. Today, Mr. Emory will be honored at the Navy and National Park Service for his determination in ensuring that those that fell at Pearl Harbor would be remembered and identified.

Tim Skillern, posted personal stories of people who were there on December 7th, 1941 at the LookOut.

History Channel has a website with photos and video interviews that provides much information about Pearl Harbor.
Pearl-Harbor.com is also a good reference site. It has stories about the USS Arizona Battleship Memorial, USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, USS Missouri Battleship Memorial, and other information for those planning to visit there.
Other references:
Pearl Harbor Attack Frozen in time for 91-year-old Navy veteranReuters
Local Veterans Recall Pearl Harbor AttackNBC News

Remembering Pearl Harbor AttackTwilights Last Gleaming blog

Pearl Harbor AnniversaryThe State
Pearl Harbor RememberedFox News
The Raid on Pearl Harbor: 71st AnniversaryMilitary Spot
71stAnniversary Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration SchedulePearl Harbor Events
Pearl Harbor 71stAnniversary TV ProgrammingChannel Guide Magazine
There are few who are alive to remember December 7th, 1941 and soon there will be no veterans left who served during World War II. Like September 11th, 2001, it should never be forgotten.

I like the Pearl Harbor survivor, 95-years old, (Harold Estes) who wrote a letter to President Obama. The letter went viral on the Internet last year, one particular site examined what Mr. Estes wrote and backed up the accuracy. Harold passed away in May of 2011.

Since purchasing the Pearl Harborfilm (2001) on DVD, here at Lighthouse Journal it has become a tradition to watch the excellent film that realistically depicts events that occurred on that Day of Infamy. Directed by Michael Bay, the film features an excellent cast of characters with great performances including:
Ben Affleck (pilot),
Josh Hartnett(pilot),
Alec Baldwin (as Major Jimmy Doolittle),
Jon Voight
(as FDR),
Kate Beckinsale (Evelyn, nurse-love interest),

Cuba Gooding, Jr. (as Dorie Miller, a cook who heroically grabs an anti-aircraft gun to defend his ship, and saves fellow seamen, the first African American awarded the Navy Cross),
Mako as Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto
Dan Aykroyd as Captain Thurman, intelligence officer

The following film is dedicated to over 79,000 US aircrew of the Army/Navy/Marine Air Force as well as allied forces that lost their lives in the European and Pacific Theaters of World War II in the fight against Nazism and Imperial tyranny …