Sunday, December 7, 1941, began as a serene morning at the U.S. Navy Base on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. The warships of American’s Pacific Fleet rested at anchor. Many sailors were preparing for church or relaxing, and all was quiet at Pearl Harbor.
At about 7:55 a.m. a buzz from the sky broke the calm as a dive-bomber bearing the red symbol of the Rising Sun of Japan dropped out of the clouds. Seconds later, a swarm of Japanese warplanes followed. Sirens wailed as explosions sounded across the harbor and black smoke poured into sky.
American sailors scrambled to battle stations while the Japanese planes screamed in for the kill. The main targets were several huge battleships moored in the harbor. Antiaircraft guns roared to life, but the did little good. Booms and torpedoes hit after ship the Arizona, the Oklahoma, The California, the West Virginia, the Utah, The Maryland, The Pennsylvania, the Tennessee, the Nevada.
Sailors fought to save theirs ships, their comrades, and their own lives. Much of the California’s crew abandoned ship after flames engulfed its stern.. When captain Yoeman Durrell Conner determined the battleship might be saved, he hoisted the American flag from the stern. At the sight of the colors, the sailors returned to fight the fires and keep her afloat.
Despite such heroism, the attack reduced much of the fleet to smoldering wreckage. The Japanese planes disappeared into the sky leaving 2,400 dead, 1,200 wounded, and all ships and more than 300 American planes destroyed or damaged.
News of the disaster left Americans stunned, but not for long. A remark attributed to the Japanese admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, who planned the attack, sums up the result of Pearl Harbor. “I fear we have awakened a sleeping giant and instilled in him a terrible resolve.”
TODAY IN AMERICA HISTORY
1787 – Delaware becomes the first state to ratify the U. S. Constitution
1805 - During World War I, The United States declares war on Austria- Hungary
1941 – Japanese warplanes attack the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor
2009 – Three brave Navy Seals were Court Marshaled for capturing a top ranked terrorist. Once again “awakening a sleeping giant and instilling in the public a terrible resolve!” The public is now far too angry to be afraid of those who think they have power!