On an otherwise calm Sunday morning on December 7, 1941, the Japanese shocked the world by bombing the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
This ‘dastardly attack’ was the turning point for America and for the War.
On December 8, the nation was gathered around its radios to hear President Roosevelt deliver his “Day of Infamy” speech. That same day, Congress declared war on Japan. On December 11, Congress declared war on Germany.
The slogan ‘Remember Pearl Harbor’ mobilized a nation and helped awaken the mighty war machine and economic engine that was America.
**Seventy-five Years ago today~ just before 8 a.m. on December 7, 1941, a Japanese dive bomber bearing the red symbol of the Rising Sun of Japan on its wings appears out of the clouds above the island of Oahu. A swarm of 360 Japanese warplanes followed, descending on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in a ferocious assault. The barrage lasted just two hours, but it was devastating: The Japanese managed to destroy nearly 20 American naval vessels, including eight enormous battleships, and almost 200 airplanes. More than 2,000 Americans soldiers and sailors died in the attack, and another 1,000 were wounded.
The surprise attack struck a critical blow against the U.S. Pacific fleet and drew the United States irrevocably into World War II. The day after the assault, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan; Congress approved his declaration with just one dissenting vote. Three days later, Japanese allies Germany and Italy also declared war on the United States, and again Congress reciprocated. More than two years into the conflict, America had finally joined World War II.
With diplomatic negotiations with Japan breaking down, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his advisers knew that an eminent Japanese attack was probable, but nothing had been done to increase security at the important naval base at Pearl Harbor. It was Sunday morning, and many military personnel had been given passes to attend religious services off base. At 7:02 a.m., two radar operators spotted large groups of aircraft in flight toward the island from the north, but, with a flight of B-17s expected from the United States at the time, they were told to sound no alarm. Thus, the Japanese air assault came as a devastating surprise to the naval base.
Much of the Pacific fleet was rendered useless: Five of eight battleships, three destroyers, and seven other ships were sunk or severely damaged, and more than 200 aircraft were destroyed. A total of 2,400 Americans were killed and 1,200 were wounded, many while valiantly attempting to repulse the attack. Japan’s losses were some 30 planes, five midget submarines, and fewer than 100 men. Fortunately for the United States, all three Pacific fleet carriers were out at sea on training maneuvers. These giant aircraft carriers would have their revenge against Japan six months later at the Battle of Midway, reversing the tide against the previously invincible Japanese navy in a spectacular victory.
The day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, President Roosevelt appeared before a joint session of Congress and declared, “Yesterday, December 7, 1941–a date which will live in infamy–the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” After a brief and forceful speech, he asked Congress to approve a resolution recognizing the state of war between the United States and Japan. The Senate voted for war against Japan by 82 to 0, and the House of Representatives approved the resolution by a vote of 388 to 1. The sole dissenter was Representative Jeannette Rankin of Montana, a devout pacifist who had also cast a dissenting vote against the U.S. entrance into World War I. Three days later, Germany and Italy declared war against the United States, and the U.S. government responded in kind.
The American contribution to the successful Allied war effort spanned four long years and cost more than 400,000 American lives.
Seventy Five Years ago, our parents & perhaps our grandparents learned of the atrocity perpetrated by the Japanese that was Pearl Harbor. Today our country is faced with a similar invasion with the incursion of our country by Illegal Aliens, Drug Smugglers, Criminals and significantly: Jihadi Terrorists. Some are even referred to as “home-grown” yet they are nonetheless invaders of our homeland, America! ALL Terrorists whether foreign-born or natural-born Americans are evil in my opinion and a threat to American Lives & Liberty. Call it whatever you like but today, the growing threat to America is Islamic Terrorism most believed to be instigated by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant also referred to as ISIS. So, my brother & sister Americans & Patriots~ during this holiday season, remember to say your prayers, kiss your loved ones, be vigilant & arm yourselves because America is once again under attack by Radical Ideology, Illegal Aliens & Islamic Jihadists! (Beware: The Barbarians are at the Gates.) Meanwhile, I wish you all a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! ~ JGT 12/7/2016
(Pictured L to R) My Father, WWII Army Air Corps (Circa 1942) & My Father-in-Law, US Army Ranger (Circa 1943)
Thank you, Daddy & Pop~ for your devotion & service to our country. You set great examples for your children, all US Navy & Marine Corps Veterans. We miss and love you both! ~ dfh