On this day in 1941, the Japs launched 353 planes from six of their aircraft carriers for a sneak attack on our naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed December 7, 1941 a “date which will live in infamy.”
The Japs managed to sink or seriously damage our Pacific fleet battleships. Four battleships were sunk and four were damaged. Three cruisers and three destroyers were also damaged. 188 of our planes were destroyed and 159 were damaged. The sneak attack took 2,335 American lives and wounded 1,143 others.
Fortunately, our aircraft carriers were out at sea. They played a crucial role in defeating Japan which surrendered on August 15, 1945, a week after our atomic bombs destroyed the cities of Hiroshima ans Nagasaki.
The Pearl Harbor attack unleashed a bunch of conspiracy theories. Some claimed Roosevelt knew in advance that the attack was coming but kept it a secret because he wanted to get us into a war against the Nazis. Others claimed Churchill knew about the attack in advance and kept it secret so it would draw the US into the war against the Nazis
I remember exactly where I was when it was announced that Pearl Harbor had been attacked. I was in a movie theater in my hometown of Marshall, Texas. I don’t remember what movie was playing, but in the middle of the movie the screen went blank and the theater lights went on. The manager jumped on the stage and told us that the Japs had attacked Pearl Harbor and that we were now at war with Japan.
After the shock wore off, many in the theater laughed at the thought of fighting the little bucktoothed, slant eyed Japs. “We’ll beat the shit out of them in three or four month” was heard throughout the theater. I’m sure many of those in the audience were either killed or wounded in the war because in that day and time, most able bodied men in Marshal volunteered to serve in our armed forces. I up and joined the army on my 17th birthday.
I know that the term ‘Jap’ is considered racist, but I’m not about to apologize about calling those little bucktoothed, slant eyed bastards Japs.