Friday, December 2, 2011

"A date which will live in infamy"

December 7, 1941
7:58 am
Pearl Harbor

“[I]t was a day, they would never would be changed by what was happening in Hawaii.” [i]

December 6, 1941
9:30 pm. General Walter C. Short returning from the Schofield Barracks Officers’ Club looked down on Pearl Harbor at the Pacific Fleet ablaze with lights. “Isn’t that a beautiful sight?” signed General Short, adding thoughtfully, “and what a target they would make.” [ii]

December 7, 1941
2:00 am. Ensign Malcolm discovered he would never make the last launch to the Arizona. He spent the night at on the floor of Captain D.C. Emerson house where with three other officers they argued about Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points. [iii]

3:58 am. After following a trailing wake for sixteen minutes, Ensign R.C. McCloy on the small minesweeper Condor blinked to the destroyer Ward “sighted submerged submarine on westerly course, speed nine knots.” [iv]

6:00 am. Mrs. Blackmore dropped-off her husband, the chief engineer of the tug Keosanqua. Returning in the first gray light of day Mrs. Blackmore observed “this is the quietest place I’ve ever seen.” [v]

6:45 am. At the Army’s Opana radar station, which had just started operating around Thanksgiving and was full of bugs, the 4:00 to 7:00 shift was about to close-up, when a flicker on the radar screen noted a couple of planes about 130 miles away. [vi]

6:53 am. Skipper, Lieutenant William W. Outerbridge of the destroyer Ward, radioed the Fourteenth Naval District “attacked, fired on, depth bomb, and sunk submarine operating in defensive area.” [vii]

7:08 am. Private Lockhart, who stayed behind at Opana reported to Private Joseph McDonald at the Army information center switchboard “blips 113 miles away traveling at almost 180 mph”... “at 7:39 22 miles away.” [viii]

7:45 am. Mess Attendant Walter Simmons was setting the table in the officers’ wardroom at Kaneohe Naval Air Station, but no one had turned-up to eat. [ix]

7:53 am. Commander Mitsuo Fuchida, so sure of victory that before the first bombs fell signaled, the carriers “Tora...tora...tora....” [x] (“tiger, tiger, tiger” was code for a successful surprise attack)

7:54 am. James B. Mann, Jr. stood with his father outside their beach house at Haleiwa on the northeast coast Oahu saw more then 100 planes above. James Jr. observed “they’ve changed the color of our planes.” [xi]

7:58 am: The alarm sounded: "Air raid, Pearl Harbor. This is not drill!" [xii]

Most of the information in this post is quoted from this absorbing book. This book is still, after more than sixty years since publication, a must read for those interested in WWII, and it is available at your local public library.

[i] Walter Lord. Day of Infamy. Henry Holt and Company, NY. 1957. Foreword.
[ii] 4.
[iii] 8.
[iv] 27.
[v] 34.
[vi] 43.
[vii] 39.
[viii] 44-45.
[ix] 57.
[x] 63.
[xi] 48.
        1. 9:30pm, Dec. 6
        2. 2:00am, Dec. 7
        3. 3:58am; 6:53am
        4. 6:00am
        5. 6:45am; 7:08am
        6. 7:45am
        7. 7:54am
        8. 7:58am

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