December 7, 2011

December 7, 1941 — 70 years ago, today...

... 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time:
About 120 survivors will join Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, military leaders and civilians to observe a moment of silence in Pearl Harbor... the moment the attack began seven decades ago....

President Barack Obama hailed veterans of the bombing in a statement proclaiming Wednesday "National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day."

"Their tenacity helped define the Greatest Generation and their valor fortified all who served during World War II. As a nation, we look to December 7, 1941, to draw strength from the example set by these patriots and to honor all who have sacrificed for our freedoms," he said.
One survivor's story:
“As quiet a day as you’ve ever seen... Beautiful sunshine, nothing going on.”

Suddenly, not far from his seat in the dining hall: bang, bang, bang.

“Somebody says, ‘It’s the Chinese New Year,’ ” he said.

But then, a bullet broke through the glass window of the dining hall. Another flew just past [Army Private Francis ] Stueve and knocked the butter dish off the table.
The survivors who remain are now very old:
For more than half a century, members of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association gathered here every Dec. 7 to commemorate the attack by the Japanese that drew the United States into World War II. Others stayed closer to home for more intimate regional chapter ceremonies...

But no more. The 70th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack will be the last one marked by the survivors’ association....

“We had no choice,” said William H. Eckel, 89....

“We just ran out of gas, that’s what it amounted to,” [said Harry R. Kerr.]  “We felt we ran a good course for 70 years. Fought a good fight. We have no place to recruit people anymore: Dec. 7 only happened on one day in 1941.”

73 comments:

Patrick said...

I hope these men, when they meet with their maker, go confident that they have done a very important job, very well.

Firehand said...

And meanwhile, in some schools, the kids are being taught that it's all the fault of the evil US and we can't blame Imperial Japan.

Scott M said...

resident Barack Obama hailed veterans of the bombing in a statement proclaiming Wednesday "National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day."

Is this the same president that was recently rebuffed by Japan when he tried to offer apologies for nuking them?

And meanwhile, in some schools, the kids are being taught that it's all the fault of the evil US and we can't blame Imperial Japan.

Which is ironic when you consider that we had started the embargo as a protest to what Japan was doing in China. So...we started a protest, they attacked us, and it's the protesters' fault.

That's excellent information to keep handy, especially in light of the past couple of months.

E.M. Davis said...

My grandfather was at the Schofield Barracks on that day.

He never said a word about it.

He lied about his age to join the army at 17.

He died when I was 8. I miss him.

vet66 said...

The "rape of Nanking" is not taught either because it does not fit the narrative of the American haters. One of the primary reasons the U.S. gets involved in pursuing crimes against humanity is a direct result of atrocities commented on innocents abroad. Stalin, Mao, Khmer Rouge, North VietNam, Saddam, Al qaeda, various African tyrants, Putin come quickly to mind.

Apparently they all have the same objective, namely, to rally the left and progressives against the U.S. for having the temerity to protect innocents abroad from the predations of foreign sociopaths.

vet66 said...

My wife taught at Schofield Barracks during the 60's. We could never drive through Kole Kole pass without stopping and looking down on the ghosts of history flying towards a distant Pearl.

Never forget!

traditionalguy said...

There was a good reason that we hated the Japs and their sun god Emperor, who was the ultimate racist of all time.

They wanted to enslave and kill all Non-Japanese people everywhere for their nasty little sun god and would gladly die trying to please him.

Sun gods have that affect on men's minds.

So we always pragmatic Americans decided to help them die for their nasty little sun god.

To accomplish this, American taught the Japanese the concept of fire power.

cubanbob said...

An elderly gentleman friend of mine was an Army medic during WW2. He happened to be at Schofield Barracks on that December 7th and two and a half years later found himself taking a tour of France starting at a beach in Normandy. All things considered,
when compared to those days, life today is a piece of cake.

The Drill SGT said...

The destroyer USS Ward story deserves to be remembered... As I recall, the Ward was patrolling the entrance to Pearl, and there was an "exclusion zone" where all US subs had to surface before entering the harbor. Thus any submerged sub was clearly an enemy.

Anyway, the Ward spotted a submerged sub at dawn on the 7th in the exclusion zone and attacked, sinking it (0637). Though that action is important it pales before the message sent to the Ops Center more than an hour before the attack and the peacetime non-response it got.

from memory so don't quibble with the exact wording:

"From Commander, USS Ward, 0645: Have sighted, attacked, shelled and sunk enemy sub operating in the exclusion zone"


The Ops center radioed back requesting confirmation and took no other action. The rest, as they say, is history. The bombers came over 60 minutes later.

Firehand said...

Let us not forget Unit 731 either:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unit_731
Japan was- that I know of still is- the only nation that actually committed biological warfare attacks.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)



You all realize that US Imperialism and Hypocrisy prompted the Japanese, DEFENSIVE REACTION….well that’s how Ward Churchill and Pat Buchanan would put it on 8 December 1941, and possibly today’s NYT Editorial Board…..

I love how people forget how unpopular US policy was PRIOR to 1941…everyone talks, TODAY, about how WWII was the “Last Good War” and they forget just how divisive the period was, on the run-up to the war….You realize that FDR and Congress scr3wed Draftees of the 1940 Class of Inductees, by “extending their service contracts, (set at 13 months) in November 1941…just think what Rand Paul and his father Ron Paul would be saying today, if POTUS Obama did anything similar.

Bottom-Line: Americans don’t really do history…they do mythology…The Last Good War was anything, BUT popular in November 1941 and became the last Good War sometime in 1946.

MadisonMan said...

My Dad was lucky. He was almost 19 on Pearl Harbor day and in College. Drafted, went to Europe on the Aquitania, came back on the Queen Mary.

There's actually a book written on the Aquitania passage, and I got it for him for Christmas a couple years back. Very interesting read.

Dad's berth had a metal porthole, so he was pretty far down in the ship. Had it been torpedoed, he'd've been a goner.

J said...

Day of Infamy, Inc.

Tragic as f*k. Then so was Cpn. Cook's journey to Hawaii.

LYNNDH said...

My Dad was on the USS Tangier, AV8. They were tied up by Ford Island, next to the Utah. My Dad saw the Arizona blow up. He passed in March, 2007, at age 89. I am sure on that day he never thought he would make it to that age. I miss him.

Scott M said...

My Dad was on the USS Tangier, AV8. They were tied up by Ford Island, next to the Utah.

Did he know Cuba Gooding Jr?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

A very good friend who we just helped move into an assisted living facility (very sad...she resisted with all of her might) is the widow of a Pearl Harbor Vet. He was in submarines and they were under water and heading away at the time. They immediately were ordered to turn back.

Until he had a stroke and died a few years ago, he had some fascinating stories to tell. His wife worked in a facility that manufactured and assembled parts for military equipment during the war.

After the war, they bought property in Costa Mesa, where they grew up in the 1920's as childhood sweethearts....now a very very pricy area. Built a business, built homes, sold the businesses and some of the property retired on a big ranch in our area. They worked hard had a family of 3 successful daughters and attended church weekly.

They are one of 1%.....the greedy bastards!!! /sarcasm

:-D Thank you both for your service!

Curious George said...

Anyone interested in the detailed account of Pearl harbor from both sides get "At dawn We Slept" by Gordon Prange. An awesome follow up is his book "Miracle at Midway" where kicked the shit out of Japan.

bagoh20 said...

It continues to amaze me at the speed with which WWII took off, grew worldwide and nearly total, and then ended so quickly. Just an amazing unparalleled period in human history compared to any other, long or short.

The whole war would have happened and be over now now if it started in 2005. Over 70 million people killed from every corner of the world.


The world was on fire for 5 years, and the climate didn't change.

LarsPorsena said...

"I love how people forget how unpopular US policy was PRIOR to 1941…everyone talks, TODAY, about how WWII was the “Last Good War” and they forget just how divisive the period was, on the run-up to the war…."

It was the last 'good war' as defined by the Left because of what happened in Europe beginning on 22 June 1941....then and only then would the American left have conceded that war was necessay and proper.

Scott M said...

It was the last 'good war' as defined by the Left because of what happened in Europe beginning on 22 June 1941....then and only then would the American left have conceded that war was necessay and proper.

I always thought it was because we killed a healthy number of white people.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
It was the last 'good war' as defined by the Left because of what happened in Europe beginning on 22 June 1941....then and only then would the American left have conceded that war was necessay and proper

Agreed. The US has been “Blessed” in its opponents. Bin-Laden, Tojo, Mussolini, Hitler…had they been smarter they might have prospered. I mean really, had Hitler waited to attack the USSR until 1942-a good way to win his war-there’d have been major disagreements in the US post-December 1941…as it was both Bill Ayers AND Pat Buchanan (as it were) were united in their determination to fight and win the war. Thank Yhwh for our enemies!

edutcher said...

We saw them coming in and thought they were B-17s from CA.

And there are people who want us to be that unprepared again.

Witness 9/11. I guess we have to keep learning the same lessons over and over.

Firehand said...

And meanwhile, in some schools, the kids are being taught that it's all the fault of the evil US and we can't blame Imperial Japan.

That's because people like Barack Hussein Obama, mmm, mmm, mmm and his evil mentor, that "distinguished educator", William Ayers, get all wee-wee over the thought of Douglas MacArthur taking the surrender of Japan on the fantail of the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

vet66 said...

My wife taught at Schofield Barracks during the 60's. We could never drive through Kole Kole pass without stopping and looking down on the ghosts of history flying towards a distant Pearl.

Never forget!


The Blonde and I had the same feeling at the Punchbowl in the Military Cemetery of the Pacific.

E.M. Davis said...

The whole war would have happened and be over now now if it started in 2005.

Rules of Engagement.

bagoh20 said...

Look what this nation can do when it wants to. We were totally unprepared for war in 1941. The amount of organizing, planning, building, deploying, and executing worldwide is just mind boggling. That's what happens when the internal arguing stops for a moment, and we all push in the same direction.

The Drill SGT said...

Curious George said...
Anyone interested in the detailed account of Pearl harbor from both sides get "At dawn We Slept" by Gordon Prange


Sits on my shelf, I've read it twice along with the earlier, less well researched, but more popular, "Day of Infamy" by Walter Lord.

Richard Dolan said...

It's curious how many here have a family connection to Pearl Harbor.

My father was on one of the ships (which one I don't know) as a chief petty officer. He was a dental technician on board; that was medical enough for him to become a medic with the 3d Marine Division as its slogged through lots of island hopping later in the Pacific war -- Guadalcanal, all of that. Like EM Davis's grandfather, he never talked about his service during the war; when WW2 war moves came on TV, he would leave the room. When he got out of the Navy (1957) after 22 years in the service, he went to college and eventually taught special ed (not what they called it then; the terminology wasn't quite so santized as today).

Another oddity was that, in one of his history classes in college, the professor asked him to give the presentation on the Pacific war -- the guy-who-was-there view. I remember seeing an article in the local paper talking about it. That must have been common in those days.
a few weeks ago, I read an article in the LA Review of Books (I know, weird but get over it, and they didn't charge for access) about a young prof teaching English in a CA community college, where many students were vets of the Iraqi war. Many of the students talked about their war experiences in the classroom setting -- she used Tim O'Brien's the Things They Carried to get it going -- in ways they never would elsewhere. Strange. I think most of those guys (probably including my father) wouldn't have much patience with the "greatest generation" stuff -- they just did what they had to do, thank you very much.

My father died in 1965. I'd have liked to have been able to talk with him about all of this. My loss in more ways than I'll ever know.

SO it goes. RIP, Dad.

The Drill SGT said...

bagoh20 said...
Look what this nation can do when it wants to.


The ability of our Great Grand-fathers (the Colonels and Captains) of WWII to organize a war without computers, just ruled pads of paper and maps with push pins is amazing.

Imagine the Organization required to marshall 5,000 vessels to land 150,000 men across a beach swept by fire on a single day, D-day and keep 400,000 sustained across a beach for 60 days till ports could be captured and rebuilt.

planned on paper, with out email :)

boggles this military mind...

bagoh20 said...

I can imagine in 1945 at the end of the war that the entirety of the human races was saying: "WTF!" It had to have been bewildering to have lived through that. We are truly lucky to be Americans, and we always have been. Well, except that 1860's shit. I'd rather have been in Japan for that.

Tibore said...

My own family's perspective is a little different. I have relatives (very, very old ones!) who recall the invasion and occupation of the Philippines. My mother tells me that her side of the family doesn't have pictures of some of the adult and teen men of the time because they burned them to protect both themselves and those men who were in the resistence from being identified by the Japanese.

Mom also has a personal, albeit very dim, recollection (she would've been the equivalent of a preschooler at the time, but the event still imprinted on even that young a mind): A Japanese soldier, when they came to her home town, would often spend time just watching her and her brother play. And he'd cry. Her father (my grandfather, obviously) could write in Chinese script, which that soldier could understand, and the soldier then showed him a picture of his own little kids. Apparently, they were close to the same age.

The family would have to step lightly around him. That one soldier seemed to be nice, but my family had harsh words for others. Eventually, when the opportunity presented itself, they fled to the hills to escape the Japanese.

Mom never knew that soldier's name. She's said before that she'd love to know who he was, but that identification would be next to impossible. From what she understands, he was almost certainly killed when the Americans came back and bombed the ship his units were attempting to flee on.

I also had an uncle on dad's side of the family - yes, uncle. while I'm not that old (40's), dad married late - who died at Bataan. I actually got to read the US Army writeup of it; apparently, he took a grenade hit and was carried back to the aid "caves" and carefully cared for by a pair of US soldiers. They tried their best, but he eventually succumbed.

I grew up in the US, so of course my personal perspective matches anyone elses here: I hear about Pearl Harbor. But my family reminds me that the invasion of the Philippines happened at nearly the same time (the events were only separated by hours), and that it, too, was a traumatic and course-changing event for the country. Much went on in the Pacific in December 1941. But even for the Filipinos, Pearl Harbor had an impact: It paved the way for the invasion of the Phillipines to be rectified.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
We were totally unprepared for war in 1941. The amount of organizing, planning, building, deploying, and executing worldwide is just mind boggling

• Not Strictly true, aviation was building up from British, French and US orders 1939-41…
• the Two Ocean Navy Act was passed in 1940, laying the foundation for the US Navy that emerged in 1943 (The war speeded up delivery, the first Essex Class were to be delivered in 1944, but came on-line in ‘43)-had we waited for Pearl Harbor the fleet of 1943 wouldn’t have been available until 1944/45…
• The Manhattan Project began in 1940.
• The Army was growing in size and equipment:
o first with the Selective Service Act, and
o then the “Federalization” of the National Guard….
o The M-3 was in production, the M-4 was in design, the M-1 Garand was in production, the new 105mm howitzer, the new 155mm howitzer, the new 155mm gun “Long Tom” were all in production, the 90mm AAA was in late-stage design,
• the US had access to British radar plans and specifications and was ramping up electronics….
• also, the various War Plan Rainbows were in effect, plans for GLOBAL War,
• and IIRC, Wedermeyer’s “Victory Plan” the Blue Print for US strategic production and victory was underway well before Pearl harbor.

Really the US was much better prepared for war, than “history” suggests and much better prepared than its Armed Forces had planned…they believed “M-Day (Mobilization Day) would coincide with “D-Day” (War Outbreak). Instead, M-Day preceded D-Day by about 18 months.

bagoh20 said...

Do you think WWII will ever be repeated or exceeded by a war in the future? What can be done today to prevent that? What can we as individuals do?

The Drill SGT said...

But my family reminds me that the invasion of the Philippines happened at nearly the same time (the events were only separated by hours),

However, with 9 hours of warning, they still allowed themselves to be caught flat footed by the Japanese attack when it came....

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
Imagine the Organization required to marshall 5,000 vessels to land 150,000 men across a beach swept by fire on a single day, D-day and keep 400,000 sustained across a beach for 60 days till ports could be captured and rebuilt

My father was a CWO in an Rear Echelon Support Unit..and the thing that he said stunned him the most was, that in the invasion of Leyte that 150 Ton Barge Crane was towed from the Gulf of Mexico, at 5 knots, and arrived in the Pacific, at the right time for its use, in the Philippines! As he said, “Someone had to issue orders MONTHS in advance to make sure that that crane was in the right place and time!” As someone said, all without e-mail or a PC.

bagoh20 said...

Granted Joe, but still that all started around 1940. That means if we started today we would get that all well under way and go to war around the world before next Christmas. Then accomplish all we did and win by 2016.

Today, I can't imagine the U.S. government designing the next generation of Easy-Bake Oven by then.

Scott M said...

As someone said, all without e-mail or a PC.

Shudder to think that it might be BECAUSE we didn't have e-mail or PC's.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
My father died in 1965

Your father served in some of the harshest terrain and weather of the war, at Torokina and the Solomon Islands and then onto the crucible of Iwo Jima…he was a very good man, no doubt…I’m sorry you didn’t get to hear from him what his fellows went thru….

Tibore said...

"However, with 9 hours of warning, they still allowed themselves to be caught flat footed by the Japanese attack when it came...."

Pretty much no one in the "Higher Command" structure of the US appears to have covered themselved in glory on that day. The lower ranks who were forced to respond immediately, performed beyond themselves, of course. But given my own study of the history (admittedly not complete, but not superficial either), I get the impression that anyone who had stars in their rank insignia didn't have a whole lot to brag about on that day.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Few have any idea how horrific the PTO was. Looking at the casualty figures from island hopping its quite understandable why the a bomb was used.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... , I get the impression that anyone who had stars in their rank insignia didn't have a whole lot to brag about on that day..."

Surprise attacks tend to paralyze decision makers. The Soviets took even longer to fully accept that the Germans actually invaded.

Not so much an excuse but a reality. Like 9/11, the warning signs were flashing but few paid attention.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
Today, I can't imagine the U.S. government designing the next generation of Easy-Bake Oven by then

Don’t despair…the Army’s Rapid Fielding Initiative and the imperatives of combat show that we “can do it” if we have to. The Army and Marines fleet of battalion/brigade UAV’s was non-existent prior to 9/11…we were “thinking and planning”, but once the shooting started we started buying, instead…and a whole new military industry has emerged…the makers of the RQ-11 Raven were NOT Pentagon suppliers until after 9/11….

Ahhhhh, Scottm can you imagine the joys of planning Operation Overlord, IF we had today’s video-conferencing and e-mail? How much fun it would be to plan, having to explain to Valerie Jarrett exactly why the Rangers needed to storm Point du Hoc, and then how you’d have to make sure that not too many Illinois residents were endangered, and all the political folderol that would ensue?

bagoh20 said...

I know a lot of people are against spending money on weapons, but think how many lives could have been saved if we had a single squadron of F15s in 1941.

Scott M said...

I know a lot of people are against spending money on weapons, but think how many lives could have been saved if we had a single squadron of F15s in 1941.

That movie has already been made. Okay, F-14's and 18's, but still...

edutcher said...

Joe said...
(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

We were totally unprepared for war in 1941. The amount of organizing, planning, building, deploying, and executing worldwide is just mind boggling

...

• and IIRC, Wedermeyer’s “Victory Plan” the Blue Print for US strategic production and victory was underway well before Pearl harbor.

Really the US was much better prepared for war, than “history” suggests and much better prepared than its Armed Forces had planned…they believed “M-Day (Mobilization Day) would coincide with “D-Day” (War Outbreak). Instead, M-Day preceded D-Day by about 18 months.


Very true. Al Wedemeyer (once called the smartest man to ever wear the uniform of the US Army) was working on the Victory Program in 1940 and it was the basis for not only what we could do if war came, but was used throughout the war to measure how much we could put on the front line and how much had to go on the production line.

We were extremely fortunate, however, to have men the likes of George Marshall and Douglas MacArthur (who pushed for mechanization as early as the 30s) who saw that far ahead and were willing to put their careers on the line to make sure it all was there when needed.

The Drill SGT said...

having to explain to Valerie Jarrett exactly why the Rangers needed to storm Point du Hoc, and then how you’d have to make sure that not too many Illinois residents were endangered, and all the political folderol that would ensue?

LOL,

Think about having to explain about "The Boys from Bedford"

June 6, 1944: Nineteen boys from Bedford, Virginia--population just 3,000 in 1944--died in the first bloody minutes of D-Day. They were part of Company A of the 116th Regiment of the 29th Division, and the first wave of American soldiers to hit the beaches in Normandy.

A/1/116th Inf, VA NG was the only company to hit its assigned beach in the first wave of D-Day on Omaha. The rest drifted left and A company all alone near the cliffs of Point Du Hoc.

They are the troops portrayed as hung up on the beach in "Saving Private Ryan", as the Ranger reinforcements come in on the 4th wave. The 29th, Blue-Gray Division

Psychedelic George said...

There's a new analysis of Pearl Harbor by Alan Zimm, a former Navy surface officer.

His conclusion is that the Japanese planning was poor, decisions by its admirals were poor, tactics were poor, and that their seeming victory, striking onl 31 percent of their targets, served to only make them overconfident.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)


National Guard units, until they had been “blooded” were, politically problematic…many senior officers were politically connected and “one bad day” meant that the geographically-based Guard units piled up casualties in specific constituencies…Draftee Divisions spread their losses over a wider geographic area…Alpha Company’s saga, today would be subject to a withering “60 Minutes” expose.

Tibore said...

"Not so much an excuse but a reality. Like 9/11, the warning signs were flashing but few paid attention."

I need to study more pre-Pearl Harbor history, but I have looked at 9/11 a bit. For that event, it's correct to say that the warning signs were flashing, but we also have to say that they were doing so in a way that did as much to confuse as it did to inform. Attacks on national monuments and government buildings were noted, but those were quite obviously presumed by law enforcement officials to be truck-type attacks like the first WTC bombing attempt. And also like the Murrah building in Oklahoma. Potential flight hijackings were discerned, but for overseas flights, and not with Kamakaze tactics in mind (the mindset was that hijackings in 2001 would be like those in the 70's: High visibility ones to fly the plane to the Middle East and make demands). With reflection, as well as cooperation between local and federal law enforcement, as well as US intelligence, it might have been possible to realize "Oh, wait, they're going to fly jetliners into buildings!" But it would've taken reflection, plus a realization that the then future events were not going to take the same form as earlier terrorist incidents.

So sure, the lights were flashing. But at least my "check engine" light gives some specificity, and doesn't send me off on wild goose chase tangents. While some sort of attack was indeed predictable, the timing and specifics of the 9/11 hijackings and building impacts were not. Not back then.

Sorry for the tangent; I don't know enough about pre-Pearl Harbor history to see if there are any parallels there or not.

Tibore said...

Whoops, I need to correct:

"Potential flight hijackings were discerned, but for overseas flights, and not with Kamakaze tactics in mind..."

I meant that hijackings of US aircraft to make overseas flights were discerned. Or rather, the potential for hijackings of US flights were, but the fatal mistake was the presumption that they would be flights to overseas destinations in order to make demands.

Sorry. I really mangled that point on the first draft.

The Drill SGT said...

Joe said...Draftee Divisions spread their losses over a wider geographic area…

absolutely agree. The strength and weakness of the NG is the local connection.

After I left the army, I had the extreme privilege of working with General DePuy (retired 4 star).

As a young Captain, he landed on Utah beach as a Bn S-3, late on D-day with the "Nasty 90th" a NG Division. So named because of the failed leadership of successive Rgt and Div commanders. It promoted DePuy to Bn Cdr rapidly as the unit shook out.

That experience with bad leaders was a profound experience for DePuy. Later in Vietnam, when he commanded the 1st Division, he developed a well deserved reputation for having little tolerance for destroying the careers of Bn Cdrs, who were rotating in from the states to punch their tickets.

His approach was that American troops deserved the best leaders possible and that combat wasnt a training ground for somebody not up to the job on day 1.

what a Mensch!

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
absolutely agree. The strength and weakness of the NG is the local connection

It can make for good cohesion, but one bad day…in my home state, one little town contributed almost all of its young men, when a NG tank unit was wiped out…one day technically, and one little town’s lost its youngest for a generation….

DePuy once said he thought the 90th’s real mission was to kill its young men, via poor leadership IIRC.

Deborah said...

My father, Glenn Miller (1921-1977) was stationed at Schofield Barracks that day. His brother was in the Navy. Both survived. It was about the only WWII experience he ever spoke of.

lewsar said...

my father was 16 when pearl harbor went down. he ended up as a B-25 tail gunner in the 38th bomb group, and flew against the famed japanese bastion of truk in the south west pacific. the 38th did a lot of skip bombing, which my father would allow could get a little exciting. at the end of the war, the 38th was flying out of ie shima, and island near okinawa.

my father is one of those lucky souls who was drafted twice. he was drafted off the farm for the second world war (for which he has always been grateful). after ww2, he graduated from the university of wyoming, married my mother, and was a high school teacher in gillette, wy, when he was drafted again for the korean war (he never voted for another democrat again).

with a pregnant wife to feed, my father decided that if he had to go, he might as well get more money for it, so he applied for pilot training and went in as an officer.

he flew a full tour in korea flying the f86 sabre, and ended up with a 30 year military career.

today, at 86, if you ask him how he's doing, he'll say "pretty well for an older fella". he doesn't see or hear all that well anymore, but he's as sharp as he ever was. pop is quite a guy, even if you don't know he's one of the quiet heros of the 20th century.

The Drill SGT said...

Joe said...DePuy once said he thought the 90th’s real mission was to kill its young men, via poor leadership IIRC.

when did you run into DePuy?

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
when did you run into DePuy

Never, it’s a “quote” I remember reading from him…

The Drill SGT said...

Joe, I found it:

SELECTED
PAPERS
OF
GENERAL
WILLIAM E. DEPUY

The defining period of General DePuy's professional life was the time he spent in World War
II as an infantry officer in the 90th Division. The 90th Division had a bad reputation in the
Normandy campaign. Indeed, Omar Bradley considered disbanding the division in light of its
poor performance. "In Normandy," DePuy wrote later, "the 90th Division was a killing machine-of our own troops!

Rising from staff positions to command the 1st Battalion, 357th Infantry, in the 90th, DePuy
was wounded twice and decorated for valor four times, receiving the Distinguished Service Cross
and three Silver Stars. He ended the war as a twenty-five-year-old infantry battalion commander.
Soon after V-E Day, he was appointed division G3. His determination that the U.S. Army not
repeat the experience of the 90th Division marked the rest of General DePuy's long and influential
career. His interests were many, but he continued to think and write about war at the cutting edge
and how he could make the tactical Army more effective.



http://www.cgsc.edu/carl/download/csipubs/swain3/swain3_pt1.pdf

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)


That’s the one….

The Drill SGT said...

After 60 days, losses in the Rifle Battalions exceeded 100%

how you ask?

throughput.

some slots were filled, had a casualty and refilled more than once.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)


The US Army, well all armies had a severe time keeping its combat units anywhere close to strength…the US was hampered with its “Individual Replacement” System.

The Drill SGT said...

LOL,

The Big Red One, the 1st Infantry Division used to joke about being the first guys everywhere for the tough jobs.

"The Army consists of the 1st ID and 5 million replacements"

Michael Haz said...

Seventy years ago today my father walked out of his senior year of high school and into the military recuitment office. He enlisted in the Navy, as did both of his brothers and his best friend (and many, many others)that day.

My father and his brothers all saw combat in the South Pacific; my father fought on Guadalcanal.

Al three came home. One became a farmer, one bacame a construction contractor and one a psychiatrist. In all my life I never once heard any of them complain about it, not one time, even after a few beers.

Strong stuff, they had. I tear up thinking about it now.

Beth said...

It's my brothet's 70th birthday. I often think about my 18-year-old mother giving birth to her second child on that day, with her young husband in uniform. Their next child, my oldest sister, would not meet Dad until she was nearly four years old and he returned from battle.

Cedarford said...

Vet66 - ". One of the primary reasons the U.S. gets involved in pursuing crimes against humanity is a direct result of atrocities commented on innocents abroad. Stalin, Mao, Khmer Rouge, North VietNam, Saddam, Al qaeda, various African tyrants, Putin come quickly to mind.

Apparently they all have the same objective, namely, to rally the left and progressives against the U.S. for having the temerity to protect innocents abroad from the predations of foreign sociopaths."

Maybe you learned the wrong lesson. We went to war in WWII because we were attacked. After that, we became, growingly, a sort of global 9/11 service that started with the idea of protecting some innocents from foreign tyrants - which then morphed into Imperial Overstretch.

Our bankruptcy, figurative and literal, was in no small way facilitated by our present notions that elective wars to "save noble foreign peoples from themselves and their tyrants" - is something that must be done only by volunteers and not by common sacrifice of the American people. And taxes must never be raised. The idea is now wars are won by shopping hard at shopping malls, and by people that don't know a single person in uniform claiming they worship the Hero Troops.

Beth said...

" In all my life I never once heard any of them complain about it, not one time, even after a few beers."

True enough, Michael. No complaints from my dad and his brothers, either. But he did start having terrible nightmares when my brother returned from Vietnam, and again when he watched PBS "the World at War" in the late 70s or early 80s. He didn't talk about it, but I heard him up crying in the late night hours.

Cedarford said...

bagoh20 said...
I know a lot of people are against spending money on weapons, but think how many lives could have been saved if we had a single squadron of F15s in 1941.

==================
Miracle high tech only goes so far.
As Fallujah and Vietnam attest, our hero high tech soldiers can be readily butchered by low tech enemy willing to die.
And each Pacific Island would have been a giant Fallujah, even if we had "High Tech" and present ROE in each battle against the Japs.

ndspinelli said...

Pearl Harbor is @ the top of the list of places we want to visit. I feel sorry for the folks who can't fly because that's the only practical way to get there.

ndspinelli said...

Michael Haz, Thanks for the emotion. My old man and 6 uncles fought in WW2, Pacific and Europe. only one remains..my mother's fraternal twin. He fought in the Pacific and after a lot of turmoil, bought his first "Jap" car a few years ago. His wife drives it. He drives a Ford pickup.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
even if we had "High Tech" and present ROE in each battle against the Japs

That’s debatable, too…Multi-Spectral Imagery (Pre-Invasion), combined with JDAMS would have decimated Japanese Defenses, TOW, Javelin, JDAMS, Excalibur rounds (155mm guided), plus M-1 tanks, and Interceptor Body Armour, would have limited US casualties, and increased US lethality….so, NO the Hi-Tech Grunt of today could probably do well against the low-tech, but Wily “Jap.”

lewsar said...

" In all my life I never once heard any of them complain about it, not one time, even after a few beers."

my father, two of his three brothers, and my father-in-law all fought in the second world war. i also never heard anybody complain, not even once.

my father has maybe said 100 words on the subject of his two wars. my uncles, both of whom were in the navy, both laughed about how bored they were. boredom was ever present no doubt, but since all three of them were in and around okinawa during the kamikazi raids i doubt that boredom is the thing they remember the most.

my father-in-law, in his late 80s and going senile, has recently been having nightmares about his ship being struck by a kamikazi in the closing stages of the war. it's the first time my wife has ever heard about it.

Deborah said...

" In all my life I never once heard any of them complain about it, not one time, even after a few beers."

Dad went from the Pacific to Europe. He mentioned very little about his experiences, nothing in detail. He never, ever complained or blamed except to say that Army chow "ruined his teeth." :-) he was a very humble man. He died way too young, and I was too young to appreciate what he'd been through. I would love to have known more about his experiences, if he'd been willing to talk. My father in law was in Burma. He didn't discuss the war, either.

E.M. Davis said...

His conclusion is that the Japanese planning was poor, decisions by its admirals were poor, tactics were poor, and that their seeming victory, striking onl 31 percent of their targets, served to only make them overconfident.

The same books will ultimately be written about 9/11.

Remember, the jihadists thought the buildings would topple over, and cause deaths potentially in the tens of thousands.

Jose_K said...

They had no chance to win and gambled. After Midway they have already lost but continued fighting making the Bomb unavoidable.
Nanking .. and Bataan.
The japanese interned were educated and trained as part of the japanese army. they wer fith columnist that deserved internmnent. ( All the laws but one, Renhquist)
Why they were not judged? their crimes were worse than the nazi´s
Said that i dont see any problem with japanese meal served today as critiziced at instapundit.Why that is unsensitive and not movies like The birth of a nation or John Wayne´s movies( I like then a lot) It happened 70 years ago.Today Japan is an ally.If is valid to hate japan , then afroamericans have right to hate the slave holders great grandchildren or natives to hate the people that forced then to live in Dakota.

Kirk Parker said...

lewsar,

My dad was just a year younger. In his case, he quit school and lied about his age to get a job in the shipyards, then enlisted in the Navy (*perhaps* lying about his age again at that point, the accounts differ on that one.)

He served in the Pacific on heavy cruisers USS San Francisco and USS Wichita (but of course missed all of the early action like Guadalcanal.) He was still in the reserves in 1950, and got reactivated for a tour in Korea.

SGT Ted said...

Actually most of the military tech used by grunts up through about 1990 was not that far removed from what was available in WW2. When I joined in 1983, computers were only used at echelons above reality. Our typewriters were still manual, the radios we had were anologue and huge. All planning was pen and paper with maps and grease pencil overlays.

He'll, when we first were running ops in Iraq in 2003, we were pretty much doing it that way. Email was at bn level and our radios were digitally encrypted but we ran ops the same way we used to back in the 80s.