Good Folks, it is the first Friday in December 2018. Only 17 shopping days until Christmas. Christmas Eve falls on a Monday this year. We are planning three services: 6PM, 8PM & 10PM. Childcare will be available at the 6PM & 8PM services respectfully.
Today is also a time in our country’s history when Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japan. Some interesting facts:
- The attack commenced at 7:55 A.M. on Sunday, December 7, 1941
- The attack lasted 110 minutes, from 7:55 a.m. until 9:45 a.m.
- When Japanese Commander Mitsuo Fuchida called out, “Tora! Tora! Tora!” (“Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!”) upon flying over Pearl Harbor, it was a message to the entire Japanese navy telling them they had caught the Americans totally by surprise
- The Japanese attack force stationed itself approximately 230 miles north of the Hawaiian island of Oahu
- Plans for a surprise attack against the United States were begun as early as January of 1941
- The Japanese fleet consisted of 353 planes
- The Japanese specifically chose to attack on a Sunday because they believed Americans would be more relaxed and thus less alert on a weekend
- The Japanese only attacked the ships at Pearl Harbor Naval base and airplanes at Hickman Airfield, leaving surrounding areas such as repair facilities, the submarine base and fuel oil storage areas unharmed
- The United States aircraft carriers, the primary target of the attack, were not at the base at the time
- Because of this, the Japanese cancelled a planned second attack
- There were eight battleships at Pearl Harbor that day, which included all the battleships of the U.S. Pacific fleet except for one (the Colorado)
- All eight U.S. battleships were either sunk or damaged during the attack. Amazingly, all but two (the Arizona and the Oklahoma) were eventually able to return to active duty
- The Arizona exploded when a bomb breached its forward magazine (i.e. the ammunition room). Approximately 1,100 U.S. servicemen died on board
- To aid their airplanes, the Japanese sent in five midget subs to help target the battleships. The Americans sunk four of the midget subs and captured the fifth
- 11 other [U.S.]ships were sunk and 188 planes destroyed
- 2,343 men were killed, 1,272 were wounded and 960 left missing
- A total of 2,335 U.S. servicemen were killed and 1,143 were wounded. Sixty-eight  civilians were also killed and 35 were wounded
- The Japanese lost 65 men, with an additional soldier being captured
- Only 28 Japanese planes were shot down and [five] 5 midget submarines sunk
- The dropping of atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki helped bring an end to World War II in 1945
- The United States declared war on Japan on December 8, 1941, the day following the attack on Pearl Harbor
- “Remember Pearl Harbor!” became a rallying cry for the U.S. during World War II
Edited for space: https://pearlharborwarbirds.
When I was in high school and was part of the NJROTC (Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp) program, Navy Commander Whilden (Ret.) and Chief King (Ret.), our instructors, shared that it was the failure of the Japanese to follow up on their second attack that gave the opportunity for the U.S. to rebuild its naval forces. Because the carriers were not at Pearl Harbor at the time, this was an important element in our ability to begin to have a naval presence in the Pacific.
Today we pause and remember the many lives lost, families affected, a country that rallied and a moment in history that will not be forgotten.
Dear friends, freedom is not free.
Blessings from Duncanville,