Never Forget – Please

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My mother told a story about how, as a child, she would go with her parents, to the harbor at West Palm Beach, to watch the ships being loaded with cargo. Japan was purchasing as much scrap metal as they could get. My grandfather would tell she and her older sister, Donna, to watch them load that scrap. “Before much longer, they are going to turn it into planes, warships, and guns, and start a war with us. She was about five at the time. That would have been 1935. My grandfather Froehlich was a very wise man.

“…The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service against the United Statesnaval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Territory, on the morning of December 7, 1941. The attack, also known as the Battle of Pearl Harbor,led to the United States’ entry into World War II. The Japanese military leadership referred to the attack as the Hawaii Operation and Operation AI, and as Operation Z during its planning.

Japan intended the attack as a preventive action to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with its planned military actions in Southeast Asia against overseas territories of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the United States. Over the course of seven hours there were coordinated Japanese attacks on the U.S.-held Philippines, Guam and Wake Island and on the British Empire in Malaya, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

The attack commenced at 7:48 a.m. Hawaiian Time (18:18 GMT). The base was attacked by 353 Imperial Japanese aircraft (including fighters, level and dive bombers, and torpedo bombers) in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers. All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four sunk. All but the USS Arizona were later raised, and six were returned to service and went on to fight in the war. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, and one minelayer. One hundred eighty-eight U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 others were wounded.Important base installations such as the power station, dry dock, shipyard, maintenance, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building (also home of the intelligence section), were not attacked. Japanese losses were light: 29 aircraft and five midget submarines lost, and 64 servicemen killed. One Japanese sailor, Kazuo Sakamaki, was captured….”

My father was part of that generation.  He was too young to enlist in 1941.  He enlisted, later.  I can remember hearing him sing this.

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