We can never forget Pearl Harbor

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Marianne Lane
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
On Dec. 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese, which led the United States to become involved in World War II. The Japanese's main goal was to neutralize the Pacific Fleet in order to protect their advance into the Dutch East Indies which held natural resources of oil and rubber. The final death and injury totals were more than 2,300 Americans killed and more than 1,300 more wounded. The Japanese lost 29 aircraft, 74 were damaged, five submarines sank, and 65 men were killed or wounded. 

They launched 405 planes in the first wave, which was the primary attack; it hit Pearl Harbor just before 8:00 that morning. The Japanese focused on taking out the U.S. Navy's battleship force and aircraft carriers. Five of eight battleships sank, leaving three remaining which had considerable damage to them. One hundred and eighty- eight combat planes were destroyed, and 159 damaged in the attack also. America was unprepared for this attack, but still managed to maintain a defensive position. The attack lasted only 90 minutes. There were 14 Officers and Sailors awarded the Medal of Honor, later the Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal was authorized for all veterans of the attack. 

There is a War Memorial Park and Museum of the USS BATFISH (SS310) which is located in Muskogee, Okla. This park remembers the Marines, Sailors and Civilians that lost their lives, that horrible day. This particular Submarine earned nine Battle Stars, one Navy Cross, four Silver Stars, 10 Bronze Stars and one Presidential Unit Citation. The park contains items such as flags, photos, models and artifacts. Many private organizations, state agencies, groups and individuals are going to fly our United States flag at half staff to honor the Servicemen who died at Pearl Harbor, and in honor of those who were injured or killed in World War II.