Pearl Harbor 1941, the day that lived in infamy
Today is December 7th, the day that we remember the Japanese attack on our naval base located in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941. This is the 73rd anniversary of that fateful day when our naval base was attacked in the early morning hours. The Navy personnel acted in a calm and purposeful manner on that morning, despite being attacked in such early hours. Seeing that it has been 73 years, there are not many survivors left and the ones that are still living make their way to honor their dead shipmates. As the picture shows, the Navy Honor Guard saluting the survivors of Pearl Harbor on December 2 as they came to pay tribute. The following quote is from one of the commanding officers in his report that he filed for December 7 on the Arizona:
Lieutenant Commander S. G. Fuqua wrote as follows:
I was in the ward room eating breakfast about 0755 when a short signal on the ship’s air raid alarm was made. I immediately went to the phone and called the Officer-of-the-Deck to sound general quarters and then shortly thereafter ran up to the starboard side of the quarter deck to see if he had received word. On coming out of the ward room hatch on the port side, I saw a Japanese plane go by, the machine guns firing, at an altitude of about 100 feet. As I was running forward on the starboard side of the quarter deck, approximately by the starboard gangway, I was apparently knocked out by the blast of a bomb which I learned later had struck the face plate of #4 turret on the starboard side and had glanced off and gone through the deck just forward of the captain’s hatch, penetrating the decks and exploding on the third deck. When I came to and got up off the deck, the ship was a mass of flames amidships on the boat deck and the deck aft was awash to about frame 90. The anti-aircraft battery and machine guns apparently were still firing at this time. Some of the Arizona boats had pulled clear of the oil and were lying off the stern.
At this time I attempted, with the assistance of the crews of #2 and #4 turrets to put out the fire which was coming from the boat deck and which had extended to the quarter deck. There was no water on the fire mains. However, about 14 C02s were obtained that were stowed on the port side and held the flames back from the quarter deck enabling us to pick up wounded who were running down the boat deck out of the flames. I placed about 70 wounded and injured in the boats which had been picked up off the deck aft and landed them at the Ford Island landing. This was completed about 0900 or 0930. Not knowing whether the Captain or the Admiral had ever reached the bridge, I had the Captain’s hatch opened up, immediately after I came to, and sent officers Ensign G. B. Lennig, USNR. and Ensign J. D. Miller, USN down to search the Captain’s and Admirals cabins to see if they were there. By this time the Captain’s cabin and Admiral’s cabin were about waist deep in water. A search of the two cabins revealed that the Admiral and Captain were not there. Knowing that they were on board I assume that they had proceeded to the bridge. All personnel but 3 or 4 men, turrets #3 and #4, were saved.
About 0900, seeing that all guns of the anti-aircraft and secondary battery were out of action and that the ship could not possibly be saved, I ordered all hands to abandon ship (Navy History).
It is up to our current generations to teach our children about the history of the United States of America. This is how the memories of those that gave their all and those that survived that terrible attack can be remembered and honored as we pay them tribute on this day. Many places have been flying their American flags at half-mast in remembrance of this day. This is a good way to show that we remember Pearl Harbor and all that it means. We need to restore the patriotism that was a part of the people of the United States of America. It is highly recommended by this writer that if you get the chance to visit Pearl Harbor, to teach your children or your grandchildren our history of the incredible bravery of the men and women who rose to the call of battle. The Naval Chaplaincy members were also awarded Medals of Honor for their heroic actions on this day as well.