Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Crew of the USS Arizona

Crew of the USS Arizona

 

When diplomacy failed and power and greed survived – the Pacific skies went dark….

Hickam Field

Hickam Field

Aerial view during the attack

Aerial view during the attack

Battleship Row, as seen by Japanese pilot during the attack

Battleship Row, as seen by Japanese pilot during the attack

Click images to enlarge.

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From the Smithsonian ___

USS Oklahoma stamp

USS Oklahoma stamp

This relic marks the movements before the U.S. was launched into WWII….To record when a piece of mail was processed aboard ship, the Navy used wooden postmark stamps.  This one bears an ominous date: 6 December 1941 PM.  It was recovered from the battleship Oklahoma after it was hit by several torpedoes, listed to a 45-degree angle, capsized and sank in the attack on Pearl Harbor.  The ship lost 429 sailors and Marines; one-third of its crew.

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Farewell Salutes – 

George Amendola – Parksville, BC, Canada; Canadian Armed Forces 20 years

Bronze Star

Bronze Star

William Barnes – Brookston, IN ,& Lake Worth, FL; First Cavalry Division, Korea

John B. Coffey – Johnstown, PA & Miami, FL; Lt. Colonel (Ret.), US Army Air Corps, WWII ETO, 35 B-17 missions; B-52 crews in Korea

James “Harp: Gerrity – Milford, CT; US Army Staff Sgt., WWII ETO, Bronze Star & 8th Army African Star

Robert Frank Rolls – Napier, New Zealand; 4th Field Regiment, WWII Sgt.

Robert Wade – Van Nuys, CA; US Army Air Corps, WWII ETO, (Ret. 22 yrs. Major)

Otto Wilner – Chicago, IL; US Army, WWII

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on December 7, 2013, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 89 Comments.

  1. Thank you for the pictures.

    ted

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  2. The first pic is a monumental legacy to the war, fantastic.
    The stamp must also be considered a relic of that time and its history recalled, as you do so well my friend.
    Ian aka Emu

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  3. Today my fifteen year old son was talking to me about December 7th, and said that he was surprised that December 7th isn’t considered a national holiday since it was such an important day in American history.

    I told him that it seems that his generation may actually be able to honor the wars of the past in a different way than those born in my generation. I was born in the 1960’s when the anti-war movement questioned patriotism and the costs of war in ways that were important, but sometimes short sighted.

    Both of my parents lived through world war II and told me stories of the war years while I was growing up. I’ve always had a deep respect for the generation who gave everything to make the world safer.

    I appreciate reading your blog and the care you take to honor the men and women who served in the Pacific.

    Karen

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  4. GP. CJ is out of town. She told me to tell you that she expected to see something at the WORLD FINALS RODEO done in remembrance of Pearl Harbor…but it wasn’t even MENTIONED. This broke her heart. She asked me to tell you; she is still too upset for words she said. God Bless You Gp for telling your stories and honoring those people who gave so much. Hugs, Morguie the Mouse

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  5. Thank you for sharing this with us. We cannot forget.

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  6. My mother’s uncle, 19 at the time of his death, slumbers in the USS Arizona.

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  7. Thank you very much for another important history lesson. I always like your pictures as well.
    Enjoy the rest of the Sunday
    Klausbernd

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  8. It is right and proper that we should remember, and honour all who gave their lives in the service of their country.

    What world leaders should remember is – they demanded the sacrifice by taking their countries into war. Let them remember – and resolve – not to repeat their demands.

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  9. A tragic day. I see you have a New Zealander in your Farewell Salute. If I see any names in the paper would you like me to send them to you?

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  10. USS Oklahoma was set for a ship wide inspection by the Captain, so all watertight doors and port holes were open when the attack came in. In those days, watertight integrity was not a priority in a home port where the ship was felt to be safe.

    One Navy-wide change that came out of Pearl Harbor was something called material condition Yoke. Where the ship, no matter where it is always maintains a basic state of water tight integrity at all times main deck and below. In port, at sea, out of the water in a dry dock, doesn’t matter.

    It wasn’t just the attack itself that doomed Oklahoma, it was her total lack of water tight integrity. She likely would have capsized even with only one torpedo hit. As she began to roll over, the Japanese dropped more torpedoes which is why she took several more hits that actually struck her main deck instead of the side of the ship. The movie “Pearl Harbor” depicts that happening to the ship. It’s the only movie I’ve seen that does so. But, it wasn’t Hollywood exaggeration, that’s actually what happened.

    Those second round of hits blew out her entire port side, gutted the insides of the ship and the armor belt, which is why the ship was never repaired and sent back to war. The link below will take you to a page on “navsource” that will take through the attack and how the ship was raised (similar to Costa Concordia being righted). You can click on each photo to view a larger image. (http://www.navsource.org/archives/01/37b.htm)

    This link (http://www.navsource.org/archives/01/37d.htm) is different views after the ship was raised, and there are pictures of when they took her into dry dock where you’ll see the massive damage to her port side. What happened to the ship, would be the same as person taking a shotgun blast in their torso at point blank range.

    If anyone has trouble with the links, please let me know. Also, the site occasionally loads slowly, but it will load.

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  11. I never realized the USS Arizona was so close to the surface of the water, I’ve never been there but it must be very moving to be able visualize and see almost perfectly something that was part of such a disaster

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    • Isn’t it eerie to view down at it like that? The picture that really puts a lot into perspective for me. Thanks for dropping by, Medic.

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    • I have been there and I highly recommend that if you get a chance to go, DO. There is no experience like it. From the time you step onto that main monument or memorial until the time you basically leave the whole complex, you feel like you are connected to the ghosts of those war days. Your mind will be thinking a lot about those men and women and all the surrounding goings-on of the time. Visit the USS Missouri, all of the war memorials, if you go. Also newer museum of the Pacific (aviator).

      Like

  12. I’ll probably stir an honets’ nest when I say this but as you’re into military research, you might be better informed.

    I read somewhere that the USA imposed an oil embargo on Japan – part of a series of quite unfriendly moves initiated by the USA short of declaring war.

    Questions: As oil is the life blood of any country and certainly that of Japan’s – would such an embargo constitute an act of war? Which leads to the next question – who triggered Pearl Harbour? Was it the case of overwhelming anger and outrage smothering the facts? Were there mysterious interests that wanted America embroiled in war that until then, most of the American public did not want?

    With time as a healer perhaps more rational delving into the causes of Pearl Harbour is opportune.

    That as it might be – many innocents lost their lives in Hawaii that Sunday morning.

    Peace,
    Eric

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    • No matter what the question – the answer is always money and/or power. There is no question in my mind that FDR, with his choke chain around Japan’s neck yanked one time too many when he froze Japan’s assets and encouraged the ABCD powers to embargo. I went over this somewhat in the post “setting the stage for war”, but will delve into it more deeply when we finish the Korean War and go back to the very beginning. I thank you for your continued interest and curiosity.

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  13. That stamp really gives an eerie feeling.

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  14. If I ever make it to Hawaii in this life, the USS Arizona Memorial is definitely on my list! Once again I reiterate my gratefulness for all our soldiers, past, present and future.

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  15. The words Pearl Harbour have a chilling significance which extends very far beyond the borders of the USA. I can remember being told about it at a very young age.

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  16. I visited this memorial in 1988 and found it to be an extremely sobering experience. I hope to be able to go again. My father served in the South Pacific in the Navy. He was on a supply ship, but his ship was also used as bait for Japanese torpedoes.

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  17. It’s also my birthday. I will never forget Pearl Harbor although I was born 4 years later. Thanks for the remembrance of that awful day in our history.

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  18. I remember one of our guys when we were in Pearl Harbor saying he’d overheard a crewman from some visiting Japanese destroyers asking for a location and getting a pithy reply—

    “Excuse please—where is USS Arizona?”

    “Right where you bastards left it!”

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    • Whoa; we have to distinguish between the generations here. I know the Arizona is a touchy subject (we lost far too many on her), but today’s generation did nothing to us. (and we have enough people who hate us already)

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  19. Thank you for sharing. Reblogged it to my site and to my FB page as well. Though it happened before many of us were born, I pray that nobody ever forgets to remember this date, the day that will live in infamy.

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    • I am honored that you feel my post good enough for your readers and friends. Thank you very much, Elaine. We not only need to remember the date, but the lessons learned from it.

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  20. At a time it seems Washington is broken and America suffers leadership at many levels in many institutions, this date sticks out as one that shows how we can become great when greatness is needed, we can triumph in the end.

    It was the men and women who experienced that war, that world, and survived who build Interstate highways, created unprecedented prosperity, became the most educated generation ever, who put men on the moon, and showed that people banded together can accomplish anything they set their minds to.

    In that sense, I see 7 December 1941 as the start of an American revival, a phoenix-like rising from the flames and ashes of war. In that sense, too, we should never forget their sacrifices.

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    • How wonderful you phrased what so many others of us feel. Fantastic job Weggie. I certainly hope everyone reads this comment and gets the same sensation from it as I just did. They were an amazing generation of people.

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  21. Reblogged this on Elaine's Random Thoughts and commented:
    “A day that will live in infamy.”

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  22. We must realize that the depth of December 7th is fading amongst nearly all Americans of the newest generation. Like the Civil War… Textbooks now dwell significantly on politically correct “subjects” that don’t need to be mentioned here.

    …and indeed, those who were at an age when they can remember the impact of that day on their lives are leaving us…like Marge Johnson who left us three weeks ago.

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  23. Sharing on my Facebook wall . . . .

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  24. I found out some years back that my assistant principal was at Pearl when it got hit. As we were on WW2 I asked him to give a talk to my classes. He declined saying “Carl I was 16, lied to get in Navy and when things hit I dove under my bed and wet my pants. ” So funny indeed.

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    • At least he could laugh about it later, but it must have been horrifying at the time. Thanks for adding in.

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    • If I may, Carl, and gpcox… What your assistant principal described was very, very true. Peeing in your dungarees was commonplace and was the “best way” as vomiting and defecating from being so scared would “leave a stinkin’ mess” as my own WWII combat veteran and neighbor said. It is a brave man who can talk about what really happened. Just my opinion, anyways.

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  25. My dad was there. Thank you for your post; it is so important we never forget.

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  26. In our prayers tonight we should all include in our prayers those who have had the guts to fight for the people of our country. Without them we would all be speaking Russian or Chinese now and there would be no freedom anywhere in the world, only dictatorial military rule.

    ted

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  27. Excellent post gpcox. Highly informative indeed, reminding us of great American History and tremendous American will-power to set the things right, just, and fair. Thanks.

    Like

  28. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Pictures to remember!

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  29. Couldn’t have been done any better. TY for post. Reblogging

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  30. Reblogged this on Moonlit Prairie and commented:
    as a kid i grew up in hawaii and saw the arizona memorial many times. my grand dad fought throughout the pacific with Carlson’s Raiders in the USMC. they say a couple thousand WWII veterans pass away daily. if you ever see this and are a veteran thank you for your courage to do what you felt was the right thing in a difficult time.

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  31. Thank you for always remembering them to us, and educating us. Always a sad day.

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  32. One of my former bosses was wounded at Pearl Harbor. He lost one of his eyes during the attack. He used to gross out new hires by showing off his glass eye. I understand he was a prankster when he was a kid, before the war, too. “Hod” reflected a philosophical attitude about Pearl Harbor and the war. He was not bitter.

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  33. Everette – My post from my LATOBSD book today just happens to be about the run-up to Pearl Harbor. I came upon the true story of Robert Ford and The Pacific Clipper in a Chicago Tribune article in the late ’90s and inserted into my story.

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    • Fantastic idea. When I return to WWII, I am not relishing the thought of writing about this day; especially since it was not only Hawaii that was hit. You should have added the address for that post so that my readers could find your site and read.

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  34. When I was in 7th grade I lived in Hawaii and went to the USS Arizona Memorial on a field trip. It was beautiful, solemn, peaceful and hopeful all at the same time. We tossed handfuls of flowers into the open area above the sunken deck. It didn’t feel like a “history” lesson. It felt personal. I’m glad I got a chance to see it. I will never forget.

    Like

  35. USS Oklahoma stamp…

    Time had stopped for so many people on December 7th, 1941

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  1. Pingback: From those that were there…(1) | pacificparatrooper

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