Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    27,208
    Post Likes

    Remember Pearl Harbor Day

    Today is December 7. Pearl Harbor Day. American flags at half-mast for those who died defending us there. And a day which indeed; lives in infamy.

    Let us Never forget but maybe this year especially as we are again confronted on many sides by enemies which will require us to soundly defeat them - no matter what it takes.
    Last edited by Poodle Head Mikey; 12-07-2015 at 09:22 AM.
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Dover, DE
    Posts
    11,770
    Post Likes
    When my grandfather was alive, I used to sit and listen to his stories about this day, and the rest of the war. Amazing generation that fought.
    To those that served, are serving or will serve, thank you.
    I havent failed. Ive just found 10,000 ways that wont work. - Thomas Edison

    Its not whether you get knocked down, its whether you get up. - Vince Lombardi

    "In this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics" - Homer Simpson

    Local 486 Instructor & Service Technician

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold, NY
    Posts
    26,182
    Post Likes
    *
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    27,208
    Post Likes
    Thread Starter
    I used to have a friend - he's been dead for some years now - his name was Dave Parker. And somehow I always feel that his words should be read on this day. Which I do myself but which I have never shared - until now.

    Dave was just a young boy living in Hawaii when it was attacked. I think that too often an event in history becomes just words, just a re-telling of facts, just a story - but without the true emotion, the pain, the horror, and so the genuine experience of what it was like to be there is lost. I re-read this every year on this day.

    Many years ago he wrote:

    Today is a special day. It WAS a special day. No one has mentioned it - so I will. It changed your life. It changed my life. I became a man this day in 1941 … . . a long story, so forget it if you wish - I never could.

    I was outside, folding my papers for my route, ( it was ten minutes before 0800) which included Makalapa officer’s housing, the submarine base, and some other points in Pearl Harbor. Hearing some loud explosions from over around Hickam Field, I went inside and told my father, who said it was blasting for the new hospital at Aiea. I went back to my work and was totally surprised by a Japanese Kate torpedo bomber flying over the house at maybe fifty feet. (it looked more like 15 at the time) I distinctly recall the rear seat gunner taking his hands off his shiny drum-fed Lewis gun and smiling and waving at me. I recall also that the arming propeller on his torpedo was already gone. He apparently did the same for some Marines at the sub base gate, maybe a hundred yards away, who started firing their old Springfield .03 rifles at the torpedo planes, as some reported later. I've always wondered why he didn't kill me. I was a sure kill. My father took off for the base in our 1939 Plymouth, but came back in few minutes saying that the fire was too intense for driving in. He walked back and we didn't see him for three or four days. (I leaded in the holes in the old Plymouth years later.) I rummaged in the closet and found my old single barreled shot gun and a box of shells, which I fired at whatever had a meatball on it till my supply was gone. This was the first five minutes of WWII. The flack by now had started up in earnest, and a lot of fragments were falling in our area, so I went inside our quarters and watched the battle evolve, from the doorway, frustrated because I was helpless to aid in any positive way. Battleship row simply went up in smoke and I remember that the ground beneath me simply dropped away and then slammed me like a giant fist when the Arizona went up. I could swear I saw daylight under her keel. I watched the Nevada slowly gain way, knowing that my cousin Harold was aboard, and hoping they didn't sink them in the channel. They wisely beached her. Oklahoma capsized, Maryland and I think California were strongly ablaze, though I couldn't really identify them because of the smoke and fire. Once the torpedo planes had gone there was a deathly silence. now you could hear the air raid sirens ( an hour after the raid started?) a dog howled. My ears rang. I went out and gathered up a bunch of flack and bomb frags to keep as souvenirs. As the second wave approached.. I could see the "VEE" formations of higher altitude bombers, also Kates, and some smaller "Vics" of Val dive bombers. The Vals tried first, picking ships and the airport at Ford Island, as well as Hickam and the repair docks.. The Helena, just 150 yards away was now in full action against the dive bombers. The pall of smoke from the Arizona lay across part of the harbor and every gunnery crew was zeroed on that pall. Each Val that plummeted through the smoke was met with a barrage that looked for all the world like soup cans being thrown at them. Most of them simply vanished, a puff of yellow flame and black smoke, the aviator's door to eternity. The horizontal bombers scared me. They just flew along in their formations, and I didn't know if they had released their bombs or not. We lived beside an oil tank farm, and I knew, from my constant reading of everything about aviation since I was able to read, that oil tanks would be a prime target. Apparently the Japanese didn't share my thinking for we had only one hit on the tanks, and I watched that one bounce off and land in the revetment, a dud. I watched a lonely B-17 coming down the valley on long final for Hickam field maybe five miles out, or ten. Flying along, straight and level like he was on a bombing run. Suddenly two A6M5? (Zero) fighters showed up from six O'clock low, and performed one of the most spectacular attacks I have ever witnessed. They performed opposing barrel rolls (Point rolls?) along the length of that B-17, their noses inclined inward, firing all along the length of the bomber, hitting him from both sides at the same time. I was amazed. We had been told, by our aviation press, that the Japs had some good airplanes on line, and these were no Nakajima copies of P-26’s - these Zero types were Good! I've tried this maneuver in various aircraft, and usually get a high speed stall before the second revolution starts. Maybe in a Pitts? The bomber continued, unperturbed and landed safely at Hickam. They were ferry jobs and were unarmed. A zero went in about two hundred yards down the line and I hustled out to see the wreck. The Marines beat me there, and the pilot was already dead either from flack or Marine pistols, who knows. I noticed that he carried a sword ( wakizashi?) I think a Katana would be too large to fit in a zero cockpit. He had a head band with a Japanese "hinomaru". He was bandaged from chest to waist with what looked like a plain cotton bandage, which was full of little rice paper strips, beautifully decorated with fine calligraphy and fine line drawings of trees, flowers, etc. My Japanese cohorts at school told me later that these were prayers given to the pilots by their families and friends. I had many of these for years, but family, friends, and time have taken them all. I don't know what the Marines did with what remained of the body, but I have my speculations. As things settled down, say 1130 hrs, the marines told me to go home, so I did. As I started through the door I hard a loud bang. I looked around, hoping it wasn't the big one and found a hole, about five inches in diameter in the walkway. Later I dug it up, and it was a five or ten pound hunk of the fuse for a naval shell, probably fired at high altitude bombers, and winding up in my lawn. A second later getting home? Life is a matter of seconds and inches in wartime. Later an old "gunny" told me: If ye hear it, it didn't get ye" advice still good 'til this day. A truck came by in the evening and took us "dependents" to Diamond head to avoid any further strikes on the base. We picked up a wild eyed fighter pilot who had been shot down, but he said that he had got a couple of them. His tattered flight suit said "Welch". I believe it was "Wheaties" Welch, later killed test flying for Douglas Aircraft Company. Monday we returned and began filling sand bags for bomb shelters, blacking out our houses, the usual. I tried to get my paper route back on track but the Honolulu Advertiser was unsure of their truck schedules, since the National guard had developed a habit of shooting at early morning moving things - I only had one complaint about the missing Sunday paper delivery. You guessed it! Admiral Husband Kimmel, or to be fair, one of his staff. Memories. The only tunes on the Honolulu Radio - ”Ya got ta ac cent uate th' positive", and "Elmer's tune" played over and over, alternately along with such tidbits as " Jap paratroopers have been spotted in the Nu'uanu valley, Or" The main Island is being invaded by Imperial marines.."

    I remember how quiet a battle is. The noise was so all encompassing that all I could pick out was the chugging of the fifty caliber guns and the noise of a five hundred pounder going off now and then. The major explosions were more like huge pressure waves, more like earthquakes. I remember the awful smell of death, bloody water, decaying bodies that permeated the area for weeks. They actually bulldozed a trench and buried a whole Jap mini-sub because there were two bodies inside, but they couldn't remove them, because the sub had been run down and smashed flat. When the wind was right the smell was awful! Lastly I remember the tapping of the crew on the Oklahoma who had turned turtle - each night as the noise died down from the daily repair efforts, from my quarters a half mile away I could hear the Morse code tapping of sailors trying to guide rescue crews to their locations. After two weeks I didn't hear any more... I still feel tears running down my face as I remember those futile messages. I made a solemn promise to all those men who didn't make it that I would do all the things they would never get to do, and I have done my best to do so, ever since. it's been quite a ride . . . cheers.

    Dave
    ———

    He was quite a guy.
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Coastal South Carolina
    Posts
    314
    Post Likes
    Thanks for posting that Mikey, a very interesting read. Those men were truly the greatest generation.
    I once had the pleasure of knowing a gentleman who was at Pearl when the attack came, he took great pride in showing my grand daughter and I his scrap book and telling us about his experience, he too was a hero. He passed a few years ago and now I wish I had spent more time with him.
    Keep the memory alive.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    1,286
    Post Likes
    When I was in the Navy, I had the pleasure of commissioning the USS Pearl Harbor, in '97. We took that ship all over, every single time we would go out to see, the Pearl Harbor survivors would be on the pier, every time we would pull into port, there they were. They would tell the craziest of stories, just like PHM's, those guys were just as proud of our ship as we were. It took fifty some odd years to commemorate with a ship bearing the name. No matter where we would pull in to from San Diego, to Pearl Harbor, to Panama, Alaska, all over the world, the survivors were always there. I recently talked to a few guys stationed aboard the ole Pearl, and reminiscing about the survivors always being there, they had no idea that it was like that when we first commissioned her, more and more disappearing each year. I for sure will never forget.
    There are two ways to do things, Right and Again.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    27,208
    Post Likes
    Thread Starter
    And here we are again:

    December 7 - Always Pearl Harbor Day to me
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southeastern Pa
    Posts
    32,125
    Post Likes
    My mom was riding in a car with her father. He was an engineer, for mining, and they were pretty well off. Because of this, his car had a radio, and it was afternoon here on the east coast when the newsman broke in about the attack on Pearl. They knew the world had changed at that moment.
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

    RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist
    Member, IAEI

    AOP Forum Rules:







  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Vero Beach, Florida
    Posts
    512
    Post Likes
    I was stationed on Kaneohe Bay. Had the chance to go and see the USS Arizona. Very breath taking.

    Dec 7 is also my birthday. I was born 47years 11 hours and 25 minutes after the first bomb dropped.

    As long As I can remember I have always been fascinated with WW2. My pawpaw was in the navy from 43 to 63 and I always loved to hear stories from his time in the navy. He was in the pacific during WW2. From his stories of watching for kamikaze pilots to officers running planes off the deck of the aircraft carriers.

    Sadly he passed in 2011.

    He wasnt to thrilled when I told him I joined the Marine Corps

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    6,398
    Post Likes
    My father was drafted and seen combat before the USA entered the war as the war in Europe started in 1939. He was a Italian citizen and Italy aligned with Germany, Japan and several other countries to form the Axis Nations. When the Council passed a motion in 1943 of no confidence in Mussolini the King dismissed him and placed him in custody. The King agreed to the armistice with the Allies, soon after my father along with many others where captured by the German military.

    The Germans considered the Italians as traitors and not prisoners of war ( POW ) and they where classified as Italian military internees, ( IMI ) amount other names so as to not recognize the rights granted prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention and Red Cross assistance.

    My father served under forced labor camps in Germany supporting the war machine until the end of the war. The Italians where inadequately fed and clothed for the German winters. I’m sure my father suffered from PTSD from seeing combat and being in labor camps way before that name became commonplace, and the understanding we have of it now. The doctors probably told him to deal with it as best you can or said to him it will eventually pass. He died a few years later after the war ended.

    I had two uncles on my mothers side ( both born in the USA along with my mother ) the other three siblings on my mother side where born in Italy. Time frame was from 1910 onwards, with my mother being the oldest. Not sure if my uncles where drafted or volunteered but both seen duty in Europe. One of my uncles among other duties he had was to help guard POW. My other uncle, among his other duties he had, was being one of Dwight D. Eisenhower personal driver.

    Eisenhower rose in rank quickly and became a five star general and served as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe.

    I was told at a young age that one of his duties was being one of Eisenhower personal drivers, I was a little sceptic, as my thinking was that we are just ordinary folks. Once he passed, I read on his obituary page that my cousins had that part entered in along with his military service. I don’t think that’s something you would lie about on someone’s obituaries.

    My mother went to Italy to visit her ailing father, one of his last wishes was to see her married and settled down with children. My mother knew my father through friends and acquaintance and spoke Italian. They married in Italy and my mother had to head home due to her job. Eventually my father came over to the USA. My mother was the bread winner of the family, not my father. She never remarried after the death of my father and was a single mom way before that name became commonplace. She raised my brother and myself as best as she could. She worked at a large ball bearing factory for many years as a laborer at Fafnir Bearings Company which was started in 1911. That company helped support the war effort. My mother filled in for the men who where drafted and sent to war.

    Anyway,..that’s my story about how the 2nd World War affected my family.....
    Last edited by Bazooka Joey; 12-08-2019 at 11:38 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •