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Thread: Pearl Harbor Day, Have We Forgotten ?

  1. #1

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    Pearl Harbor Day, Have We Forgotten ?

    No mention of it in this forum. I did see one very good tv special on this morning with some scenes I hadn't seen before.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Greenwood View Post
    No mention of it in this forum. I did see one very good tv special on this morning with some scenes I hadn't seen before.
    The Commemorative Air Force airbase Arizona had a dedication today of a piece of the Arizona that will be on permanent display.

    Ray Toews

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    BusyLittleShop's Avatar
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    Thanks Bill for starting a remembrance thread...

    The only thing certain about the future is that it will surprise even
    those who see the furthest into it...

    I offer scans from my Dec 1941 Air Progress and Nov 1941 Flying
    magazines collect that takes us back in time before December 7 attack
    on Pearl Harbor... this was the mindset of our military planners
    before they faced the darkest horizons...

    Dec 1941 Air Progress
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    Nov 1941 Flying and Popular Aviation
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    Larry , that's unbelievable, especially one month before the actual attack, there it is like a blueprint. I notice most of out fighters would be a death trap against a Zero and I expect the Japanese pilots were probably superior at that stage of the war. One of the points in the show yesterday, was the "sneak attack" aspect of it. The embassy staff in Washington was supposed to deliver at letter to the U S,,I think at 7 am or so our time, but just made a slow job of translating the code and even typing the letter. I think the letter didn't say "We declare war", but rather that "no further negotiations are possible" and when Sec State Cordell Hull received it he said, "this means war".
    This program claims, first time I'd ever heard this, that pilots were told not to bomb before a certain time, and that Adm Yamamoto had relied on the message being delivered and considered attacking before that as dishonorable. Iv never read that in any famous Japanese pilot books Ive read.

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    Let's say the diplomatic message had been delivered at 7am and the attack at 7:50. Would the bases and the ships have made any real changes in getting ready for them. After all the message did not and would not say, "We are at war and attacking now. " And would the average U S person feel any less outrage about the attack if it was not in an undeclared war, even if only by an hour.? One source says the U S was expecting any attack to come in the Phillipines, not Hawaii

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    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Greenwood View Post
    Let's say the diplomatic message had been delivered at 7am and the attack at 7:50. Would the bases and the ships have made any real changes in getting ready for them. After all the message did not and would not say, "We are at war and attacking now. " And would the average U S person feel any less outrage about the attack if it was not in an undeclared war, even if only by an hour.? One source says the U S was expecting any attack to come in the Phillipines, not Hawaii
    The transition from peace to war (and reverse) is a thorny one. How much warning is "fair"? Germany declared war on the US on 11 December 1941. According to their declaration, that was three months after FDR had publicly admitted ordering the US Navy to fire on any German warship. US destroyers had been escorting British convoys; USS Reuben James had been sunk by a U-Boat in the process.

    So if the U-Boats of the Kriegsmarine had been lined up to fire torpedoes at the same moment that Germany's declaration would have been delivered to the American charge d'affaires...would it have made any difference?

    Note that the US itself often starts shooting without a formal declaration of war. China, Nicaragua, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. That's just in the 20 century! Mind you, there was usually a lot of saber-rattling prior to our opening fire, but one could argue that ANY attack without a formal declaration of war is, by definition, a sneak attack.

    Ron Wanttaja

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Greenwood View Post
    The embassy staff in Washington was supposed to deliver at letter to the U S,,I think at 7 am or so our time, but just made a slow job of translating the code and even typing the letter. I think the letter didn't say "We declare war", but rather that "no further negotiations are possible" and when Sec State Cordell Hull received it he said, "this means war".
    This program claims, first time I'd ever heard this, that pilots were told not to bomb before a certain time, and that Adm Yamamoto had relied on the message being delivered and considered attacking before that as dishonorable. Iv never read that in any famous Japanese pilot books Ive read.
    This was all accurately recreated with much detail in the 1970 movie "Tora Tora Tora".

  8. #8
    BusyLittleShop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Greenwood View Post
    I notice most of out fighters would be a death trap against a Zero and I expect the Japanese pilots were probably superior at that stage of the war.
    Mercy, imagine being assigned one of those death traps to fly and fight in???

    Oh don't give me a P39
    The one with the engine behind
    It will tumble and roll and dig a big hole
    Oh don't give me a P39

    I think you're right about the Japanese pilots being seasoned at the
    junction of the war and I'll add a bit cocky... in fact when I met
    Saburo Saki Japan's leading ace who survived over 200 dog fights and
    scored over 64 air victories he was still feeling cocky as he signed
    my book and oil painting at Yakota AFB...

    Saki san asked me "where did I get this painting?"

    I commissioned a artist while TDY in the Philippines, I shot back.

    "Philippines?" he exclaimed with glee. "we conquered the Philippines".

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    Sakai sustained serious injuries from the return fire of Avenger rear
    seat gunner. He was hit in the head by a 7.62 mm (0.3 in) bullet,
    blinding him in the right eye and paralyzing the left side of his
    body. The Zero rolled inverted and was descending toward the sea.
    Unable to see out of his uninjured eye due to blood from the head
    wound, Sakai's vision started to clear somewhat as tears cleared the
    blood from his eyes, and he was able to pull his plane out of the
    dive. He considered ramming an American warship: "If I must die, at
    least I could go out as a Samurai. Finally, the cold air blasting into
    the cockpit revived him enough to check his instruments, and he
    decided that leaning the fuel mixture he might be able to return to
    the airfield at Rabaul. Rabaul, 8 August 1942: A seriously wounded
    Sakai returns to Rabaul with his damaged Zero after a four-hour,
    47-minute flight over 560 nmi (1,040 km; 640 mi). Sakai's skull was
    penetrated by a machine-gun bullet and he was blind in one eye, but
    insisted on making his mission report before accepting medical
    treatment. Sakai was evacuated to Japan on 12 August, where he endured
    a long surgery without anesthesia. The surgery repaired some of the
    damage to his head, but was unable to restore full vision to his right
    eye.

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  9. #9
    Airmutt's Avatar
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    Talk about death traps.... read about the Marine aviators on Midway. Flying in badly outdated Vindicators and Buffalos with a handful of Wildcats it was practically a suicide mission. To lose that many with such poor results. And for the few that did make it back their aircraft were written off.
    Dave Shaw
    EAA 67180 Lifetime
    Learn to Build, Build to Fly, Fly for Fun

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    If you ever get to Pearl, not only is the Arizona memorial (and the little museum where the launch sails from) interesting, but if you go over to the Pacific Air Museum, you'll see more interesting things on the attack. There are still bullet holes in the windows of their restoration hangar from that day.

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