Pearl Harbor. December 7th 1941
The U.S.S West Virginia sinks after being attacked by The Japanese Imperial Navy.
My future father in law, who had been stationed in the Philippines in early 1941, was en-route to Hawaii that morning for his impending wedding to my wife's mother. With the stunning realization that America had been attacked and would soon be at war with Japan, all military leaves were cancelled. My wife's father's ship changed course and headed back to the south Pacific. The intended bride's wedding would be postponed for four long years. Four other women would wear her wedding dress before she did. My father-in-law returned from the pacific in 1945, classified disabled by Japanese machine gun fire on New Guinea. He was eventually able to walk and even play golf again. One of his four sons served in operation desert storm and helped design the Patriot anti-missile system. The battleship U.S.S. West Virginia was re-floated, re-built, and returned to combat operations against the Imperial Japanese Navy in 1944
Mitsubishi A6M5 Zero (Zeke) on display at the National Air and Space Museum Washington D.C.
Fighters of this type, taking off from a naval task force including six aircraft carriers, participated in the surprise attack on American installations on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. As the war continued, desperate Japanese aviators would use aircraft such as these for suicidal "Kamikaze" attacks against the American Navy.
Admiral Isoroku Yamamato, who had planned the attack against the United States, was quoted as saying shortly thereafter
"I fear all that we have accomplished is to have awakened a sleeping giant, and filled him with a terrible resolve."
In 1943, long range army fighters intercepted the admiral's command aircraft and shot it down, killing him. It had been less than two years since the attack on Pearl Harbor.
" December 7th 1941. A date which will live in infamy"
Franklin Delano Roosevelt-Dec 8th 1941