7 December 1941 (1)

 
Japanese Type 00 fighters just proir to take-off. Courtesy Japanese Archives

Japanese Type 00 fighters just proir to take-off.
Courtesy Japanese Archives

1200 hours – the lights of Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii were visible from the 2-man units of Commander Nagi Iwasa’s Special Attack Force 4 midget submarines.  An hour later, they reached the booms that guarded the mile-wide mouth to the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s anchorage.
Orders for the men of the USS "Enterprise"

Orders for the men of the USS “Enterprise”

0300 hours – The crew of the Japanese aircraft, from 6 carriers, ate a celebratory breakfast, donned their “thousand-stitch” good luck belts, left family letters with clippings of hair and fingernails with their belongings and drank their sake toasts.  At their final briefing, Commander Mitsuo Fushida wrote, “the room was not large enough for all the men, some of whom had to stand in the passageway.  On the blackboard was written the positions of ships in Pearl Harbor as of 0600 hours 7 December. (Tokyo time).
0430 hours –  one midget submarine crept past Keanpapuaa Point and found the boom open to admit 2 minesweepers.  It circled Ford Island and logged in the warships through its periscope.
Japanese midget submarine

Japanese midget submarine

0530 hours –  with the Pearl Harbor Strike Force now 200 miles north of Oahu, seaplanes left the cruisers “Tone” and “Chikuma” to make predawn recon sweeps of Pearl Harbor and Lahaina while rows of attack aircraft were loaded up.  On the north Malayan coast, the enemy arrived at Kota Bharu, while the pillboxes and defenses manned by the 9th Indian Army Division were bombed.   Gen. Percival called the Governor to alert him, and Sir Shenton Thomas replied, “Well, I suppose you’ll shove the little men off.”
 
o600 hours –   the first planes to leave the Japanese Strike Force’s 6 carriers: 183 aircraft – 49 Val bombers with winged armor-piercing shells; 40 “Kates”, each with oxygen-powered Long Lance Torpedoes and an escort of 43 Zero fighters.  They joined up and went into formation for an estimated 90 minute flight.  The Imperial Navy battle ensign was broken out above Togo’s famous Z pendant signal at the “Akagi’s masthead as Fushida fastened the Hachimaki headband given to him from the crew.
0637 hours –  A midget submarine was spotted by the destroyer, USS “Ward,” as the booms opened again to allow the “Antares” into the harbor.  At 0645 hours, LtComdr. William Outerbridge ordered a gunfire and depth charge attack.  A report was transmitted, but given low priority.  See the after-action report below____
After-action report for the USS "Ward"

After-action report for the USS “Ward”

0700 hours – one of 3 US PBY flying boats, on submarine patrol, depth-charged a different attack and also signaled his report in code back to the base – the message took more than half an hour to be passed for circulation.  The 2-man crew of the Army radar post at Opana spotted unusual blips on the screen – they were told: “Don’t worry about it.”
Bachok Beach, Kota Bharu, Malaya.  Japanese landing point.

Bachok Beach, Kota Bharu, Malaya. Japanese landing point.

0730 hours (0130 hours in Singapore) – The first strike of 7 December was at Kota Bharu, northern Malaya, one hour and 20 minutes before Pearl Harbor.  In pouring rain and rough seas, the 5,000 troops of Gen. Yamashita’s 56th Infantry Regiment went ashore at Singora Beach without firing a shot.
0735 hours – Fushida’s command plane listened to a Hawaiian radio station as the aircraft flew over Kahuka Point, Oahu.
 
………..To be continued……..
 
Click on images to enlarge.
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Political cartoon of the times____

Dr. Seuss gives his opinion again….

jeez - how did that happen?

jeez – how did that happen? – check the War Warnings posts if you missed them

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Current news isn’t all bad____

001

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Farewell Salutes – 

Joseph Baker, Mesa, AZ; US Army, WWII, Bronze Star

Thomas Decker – Quincy, IL; US Navy, WWII, USS  Hull & Endicott

Doyle Engle – Grays Knob, KY; US Army, Vietnam304229_408732649208035featured_1689121699_ne

Thomas Heran – W.Palm Bch, FL; US Air Force, Korea

Elizabeth Knowles – Bangor, ME; WAVES, WWII, Phar.Mate First Class

James Lattanzio Sr. – Rockville, CT; US Army, WWII, 3rd Battery/390 Infantry Regiment

John Phillips – Des Moines, IA; USMC, Korea

Thomas Vecchio – Palo Alto, CA; US Army, Medical Corps

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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 August 4, 2014, in WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 92 Comments.

  1. Thanks for sharing that piece of history.
    Interesting to know that the Japanese did have a lead up to Pearl Harbour with the midget subs.

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  2. When I found out my assistant principal was at Pearl Harbor that day I asked him to make a little presentation in my class. He declined. He had lied about his age and was 16. He said all he did was jump under his bed and wet his pants.

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    • The poor fella was terrified and rightly so – it’s not everyday a few tons of TNT are dropped on you!! I don’t suppose anyone knew how they would react to such an experience. Thanks for dropping in and sharing, Carl.

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  3. Thank you for sharing your experiences. You articulate the ravages of war with well earned knowledge and experience. I used to be a history teacher; therefore, I find first-hand accounts very interesting. While my heart aches for all who have to endure any facet of war/conflict, I am deeply grateful for the men and women who have served this country with perseverance and fortitude. Thank you sir for your service and your well written blog.

    Tina

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    • I greatly appreciate your comment, but am very sorry we met under such circumstance as the passing of our friend and fellow blogger, Ajaytoa, [as everyone knew him]. But finding your site was one good result from that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think Ajay would be very happy to know that he is bringing so many of his friends together. His love and compassion transcends his death as I am meeting some of the most wonderful people with beautiful hearts and souls. I am grateful to Ajay for so many things and am delighted that his legacy is to create more friendships among wonderful people. It is my honor to meet your sir.

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        • I know Ajay had many, many followers and that is why I had wanted to confirm the sad report before I put it on my post. Ajay and I shared many of the same friends and I am happy to now know you.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. While your reporting is always excellent, want you to know I also enjoy the little pieces of fluff you include at the end. Great job!

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  5. This feels very close to home. My father and his men were madly stringing up signals lines all over Malaya, probably in Jahore by that point. Much cheered by the epilogue.

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    • May I ask what unit was in, perhaps I have data that could be added with a link to your site?

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      • He was Captain of 27 Line Section, Royal Corps of Signals. They went out with Malaya Command Signals, but were a rather independent little outfit of roughly 70 men, and got shifted around, at the Fall of Singapore they were attached to the 8th Australian Army.

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        • Thank you, Hillary. I’ll see what I can locate so we can have it included. I appreciate you sharing your father’s info with us – you must be very proud of him!!

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          • Anything you turn up would be wonderful, but I don’t think you’ll find 27 Line Section anywhere except in my father’s memoirs. They were created in May (?) 1941 and informally disbanded mid 1943. 41 of the men survived, but even the Royal Signals Museum has nothing on them. I will, in the next year or so, publish their story.

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            • If I were you, I’d be rather annoyed that the Royal Signal corps didn’t know about them, especially with only 41 left out of the unit. But, I’ll see what I can find.

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  6. This is wrenching to read. Both sides–so committed. So passionate. For love of country. We just disagreed on the delivery.

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  7. Yes, your chronicle of events is revealing angles of which I certainly had never heard. Although so much evidence was there, I still wonder what they (the US fleet) could actually have done to alter things: it would have taken a very substantial volume of intelligence to justify putting so many ships to sea – not something to be achieved on short notice.

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    • No, the answer was in many years before – not 7 December, which is why I chose to go so far back as I did when I restarted this story. I could have ruined the idol of many, Teddy Roosevelt and how he almost lost his Nobel Peace Prize when the Committee discovered the president’s true actions during the Russo-Japanese War.(Humiliation of making a mistake and causing a scene stopped them.) With all that transpired, especially the previous 100 years – Pearl Harbor was inevitable.

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  8. ” …. shove the little men off? ” — hooo boy, what leadership, huh ?

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  9. It was wonderful of that HS graduating class to include Don Miyada in the ceremonies.

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  10. One frightening offensive.

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  11. Stories of Pearl Harbour make me go cold. It was one event which, from reports and fiction and conversation, made a lasting impression on me from earlest boyhood.

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    • It gives many us chills and others sorrow. Too bad the citizens of the US and the Pacific nations didn’t really know what was going on, perhaps something could have been done – but that is all supposition, isn’t it…..

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  12. I was unaware of the recon planes dispatched from the Japanese cruisers! Talk about the chance of being spotted!

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    • I’m sure they must have been spotted, but people were too used to hearing and seeing planes overhead. The Rising Star was not noticed until the attack was already underway.

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  13. Veterans who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor who live in Nebraska can get special license plates noting they are PH survivors. I suspect there aren’t many of these plates still out there.

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    • I wouldn’t think so, Doug. Do you think the DMV would tell you?

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      • The DMV doesn’t share much information, for privacy reasons, but they might tell if they still offer the plate or if there are x number of sets still in use. I’ll take a look.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Let me know what you hear back, OK?

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          • The Nebraska DMV offers a handful of specialty plates related to service in the military:

            The Pearl Harbor Survivor plate
            The Disabled American Veteran plate
            The Ex-Prisoner of War plate
            The Purple Heart plate

            They also offer military honor plates, though I don’t recall seeing anything specific about those.

            I found this link to an article in the Grand Island (Nebraska) Independent newspaper for a meeting on 28 April of 2011 of members of the Nebraska Pearl Harbor survivors :

            http://www.theindependent.com/news/local/pearl-harbor-survivors-meet/article_d066f99a-cf9d-50bc-bee2-468b0bc932e5.html?mode=story

            Pearl Harbor survivors meet by Denton Cushing

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            • Interesting – and you got me curious about Florida. On our list I found 24 for Environmental; 9 for Sports; 37 Universities and 53 Misc. – 10 of which were in some way Military. But I’m going to have to look into this closer because I did NOT see the POW, Purple Heart or Diabled Vet on the list yet I HAVE seen them on the road. Thanks for sharing what you found, Doug.

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          • I didn’t look far enough on the Nebraska DMV website. This is what else will be offered for veterans or people currently in service.

            MILITARY HONOR LICENSE PLATES

            Beginning January 2, 2016, Military Honor license plates will be available, in lieu of regular county plates, to persons who have served or are serving in the:

            United States Army
            United States Navy
            United States Marine Corps
            United States Coast Guard
            United States Air Force, or
            National Guard

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  14. Glad to hear about Mr. Myada. Sorry it took so long to give him his due. As always, a great post.

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  15. Thank you for this post. It hits home with me, as my parents were married in NYC, December 6, 1941. The events of December 7th altered the course of their newly wed life together, forever.

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  16. I never forget this date. I was born Dec. 7th 4 years later.

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  17. I’ve often wondered what happened to the guy who told the Opana radar post not to worry about the unusual blips on their screen. I’ve also wondered what happened to those who dawdled with regard to the delivery of messages. I am aware that Kimmel et al. were dismissed in disgrace, etc., but happened to those under them who failed to do what any good soldier or sailor should have done?

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    • What happened with the messages was chalked up to the nonchalance of a peace-time military. Kimmel has since been cleared of the original charges that destroyed his career after persistent claims of his children that the purple intel notes were never sent to Hawaii – and they were proved correct.

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  18. On Friday December 5, 1941 my father gave a speech in his high school English class were his boldly stated the reasons why, “The Japanese will never attack America.” He received an A for the speech and paper.

    On December 8, no one ever mentioned that speech again. My father was nearly 50 before he told me that.

    He was drafted the next December and in 1942 was sent to the Alaska department as a radar maintenance man for the Army.

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    • Thank you for sharing your father’s story, Andrew. Do you happen to know your father’s unit, there will be posts including the action in Alaska. And – between you and me 😉 I think the Japanese never attacking speech is a typical example of how ironic life can be!

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  19. gp, This was “chilling.” WELL DONE! Phil

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  20. The current news is great. 🙂

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  21. I read this and the tension continues to build (I know how it ends) but you have been dropping unknown nuggets into these posts. I knew there was a midget sub in the area, but I didn’t know it was doing recon. That makes sense. Little by little they were picking us apart. Great post.

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    • Thank you very much, Dan. I know everyone is aware of the ending, but to almost feel it arise bit by bit certainly got to me. Mustang Koji was the one who reminded me about the success of the USS “Ward,” a lot of resources sort of glide over that fact and prefer to dwell on the horror of the sinking ships.

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  22. Paul H. Lemmen

    Reblogged this on Dead Citizen's Rights Society.

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    • Thank you very much, Paul. 7 December was quite a day to try and put together. Even with editing, re-editing and condensing, it is still covering 2 posts.

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  23. It is interesting to read the timelines. One of my grandfathers had enlisted in the Army earlier that year and was on a ship bound for Pearl Harbor on December 7th. The ship sailed on and he spent the next four years in the South Pacific.

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    • Whoa! Do you happen to know which ship, Chris? I’d love to hear more and I’m certain the other readers would also.

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      • Hi – Thank you for your interest. Sorry for the delayed reply but I wanted to look at his service record. Once again, I stand corrected…He was still in the US on 7 Dec 1941 but was told he would be going to Pearl Harbor. He left the West Coast on 18 Feb 1942 and spent time in Papua, East Indies, New Guinea, the Bismark Archipelago and the Southern Philippines.

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        • Wow, what a time to be sent over. Okay, so your grandfather was in the Army at the very start – unit number available, Chris? When I get to that point, I can put in a link to your site as a descendant of one of the first responders.

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  24. That morning changed my father’s life.

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  25. Pierre Lagacé

    Very interesting reading here about that invasion by little men…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_invasion_of_Malaya

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  26. Thank you very much for the re-blog. There are so many sites dedicated to 7 December, that I knew I could not improve on any of them and simply chose to try and put the events in order. At least 5 sources were used to compile this list and I still know I’ve missed many incidents of that day. I’m hoping the readers will supply more data and/or stories related.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Pierre Lagacé

    Reblogged this on Lest We Forget and commented:
    December 7 “a date which will live in infamy.”

    Like

  28. Pierre Lagacé

    Just this comment… before I “enjoy” this post.

    December 7 “a date which will live in infamy.” FDR…

    People can read between the lines

    Like

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