The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Territory, on the morning of December 7, 1941. The date is one “which will live in infamy,” as President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously said, after Japanese forces led an attack on Pearl Harbor.
Japanese bombers, including the Japanese version of four-motored Flying Fortresses, dive bombers and torpedo-carrying planes blasted at Pearl Harbor, the enormous United States naval base, the city of Honolulu and several outlying American military bases on the island of Oahu.
Less than five months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Army Air Force launched B-25 bombers from the deck of the USS Hornet and bombed Tokyo. The raid was more an emotional victory than a strategic one, but attitude is important in winning a war. The immediate repercussion of the attacks on Pearl Harbor, where hundreds of Japanese planes and bombers destroyed and damaged 19 American ships and destroyed nearly 200 planes, resulting in the deaths of 2,403 American men, women and children, was bewilderment and shock. How could this happen, how did they get through and the broad question was why did they do this?
After that ill-fated day, though, enlistment and recruitment offices were full to the brim. In the next four years, the United States was united against the might of Japan. The next several years saw the victory over two empires and the rise of the United States as a global leader. That is just how unanimity prevails. That is how a surprise attack on a small island nearly 3,000 miles away from American Continent changed the very structure and the very principles of a country. Before that momentous day, many people on the mainland would have had trouble identifying where Pearl Harbor was. It was a place of no real importance to the everyday American across this great country. After Dec. 7, it had the complete nation marching shoulder – to – shoulder into the conflict and onto victory.
I found an interesting story in the Columbus Dispatch (Nov. 12, 2011) – concerning a couple Ohio brothers who were among those killed that fateful day. (Obtained from – The Columbus Dispatch) – MARYSVILLE, Ohio – “World War II hit home fast and furiously when it took the Miller boys. Jesse Zimmer Miller and his younger brother, George Stanley Miller, left their Union County farm and enlisted in the Navy together in 1940. They trained at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station in Chicago and were sent together to Washington and California after that. Along about April 1941, they shipped to Hawaii. And in the early morning hours of Dec. 7 that year, the brothers, both Navy seamen first class, were aboard the USS Arizona when torpedo bombs from Japanese fighter planes decimated the ship. Jesse, 28, and 21-year-old Stanley (no one called him George), were among the 1,177 crew members who died on the Arizona that day, and among 2,403 Americans killed in the attack that sent the United States careening into the war. The Millers were celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary on Dec. 7, 1941, when word reached them of the Pearl Harbor attack. They were devastated. Every Dec. 7 thereafter, Mrs. Miller took a bouquet of flowers and placed them in a small stream on their farm, hoping that her thoughts and prayers if not the flowers would reach her sons. Say a silent prayer for her sons, and all who perished that day that indeed shall live in infamy. ” No effort was made to exhume the dead from the “Arizona,” and today as on that terrible day they rest there still.
Remember that over 290 Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airman – from Scioto County – were killed during World War II and hundreds were injured.
As we prepare to celebrate Christmas, let us remember the words of General Dwight D. Eisenhower – “The only way to win the next world war is to prevent it.”
Bob Boldman is a local historian. He can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org