Inside the New Mission to Identify Pearl Harbor’s Fallen, 74 Years Later

7 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Lawrence J. Korb: 74 years after Pearl Harbor, important lessons for 21st century challenges.

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) — A few dozen elderly men who survived the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor 74 years ago were gathering Monday at the site to remember fellow servicemen who didn’t make it. “Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” – Franklin D.

Jack DeTour and Japanese fighter pilot Shiro Wakita met for the first time as part of the “Blackened Canteen” service, at the USS Arizona Memorial outside Honolulu, Hawaii. Kimmel, then-Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet (CINCPAC), sent the message on Dec. 7, 1941, minutes after Japanese fighter planes started dropping bombs on the U.S. base at Pearl Harbor, according to documents from the National Archives and Records Administration. On Dec. 8, that horror was documented by newspapers across the country — and around the world — announcing variations on the headline that appeared on the front page of The Washington Post: “Japan declares war against U.S.” That morning, The Post and other newspapers reported that President Franklin D. A fellow sailor said to him, “What’s the red ball in the wing, Bob?” Pearl Harbor survivors Armando Galella, left, from Sleepy Hollow, NY, Clark Simmons, center, of Brooklyn NY, and Aaron Chabin, of Bayside, Queens, NY, attend a remembrance ceremony atthe Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, in New York, in remembrance of the 74th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, Monday, Dec. 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) “It brings back some lousy memories,” said Irwin, of returning to Pearl Harbor.

Two B-29 US bombers had collided and there were casualties on both sides – the American soldiers were even buried alongside Japanese citizens killed in the bombing raid. Four other damaged battleships USS Pennsylvania (BB 38), USS Nevada (BB 36), USS Tennessee (BB 43) and USS Maryland (BB 46) were all back in action by the end of 1942. But he comes to the annual ceremony because the attack was “a big thing in my life.” Irwin served as firefighter in San Francisco after the war and retired in as a lieutenant in 1979. A commission was formed to analyze the reasons for the failure by intelligence agencies to prevent the 9/11 attacks and concluded that one reason for the failure was that the agencies were beset with bureaucratic rivalries.

Therefore, the commission recommended the creation of a national intelligence director, the DNI, to overcome these rivalries, a recommendation that was adopted a decade ago. Second, even if these bureaucratic rivalries can be overcome, there will still be intelligence failures, particularly when intelligence agencies overreact to previous mistakes it has made. Flaherty and James Richard Ward, were honored for remaining in a turret as the Oklahoma was capsizing, enabling their shipmates to escape and survive. For example, after the failure to anticipate the attacks of 9/11, the intelligence community provided mistaken information on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction about a year after the attacks of 9/11, thus leading to the needless invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Mervyn Sharp Bennion, the CO of USS West Virginia, came from Utah, where some of his ancestors had been among the Mormon pioneers who fled religious persecution in the 1840s. And because intelligence agencies were so focused on al-Qaeda — which it had ignored before 9/11 — they were caught flat-footed by the rise of ISIS and the Arab Spring. Third, while the American people will eventually want to hold individuals or institutions responsible for intelligence failures like Pearl Harbor or 9/11, our immediate reaction as a nation after a cataclysmic attack is to rally around the flag. When he was badly wounded, he refused to be evacuated from his battle station, directing Doris Miller, among others, to keep fighting back against the sneak attack that had struck his ship with no fewer than seven torpedoes and two bombs. Within 1,366 days, primarily because of the efforts of 8 million men and women who joined the armed forces in that period, we defeated Japan and its Axis allies, Germany and Italy.

Bush, and within three months, our military and intelligence personnel had driven the Taliban and al-Qaeda out of Afghanistan and created a friendly government in that country. But it would take over six decades until some of Tomich’s relatives were located in Croatia, and Tomich’s award would be presented on board USS Enterprise (CVN 65) in 2006. However, the Japanese attack focused on destroying the American battleships, which were constructed to deal with threats of a bygone era, and left the U.S. carriers and submarines intact. Scott’s last words were, “This is my station and I will stay and give them air as long as the guns are going.” USS Arizona saw three men, Rear Admiral Isaac Kidd, Captain William Van Valkenburgh, and Lieutenant Commander Samuel Fuqua, receive the nation’s highest award for valor in combat, but only Fuqua was alive to receive it. Cassin Young, the commanding officer of USS Vestal (AR 7), was awarded the Medal of Honor after he swan back to his ship after being blown overboard by the explosion that destroyed USS Arizona, and would move the Vestal away from the inferno and eventually beach it to ensure that it would be able to return to service.

Just over eleven months later, Young would posthumously earn the Navy Cross for his actions while commanding USS San Francisco (CA 38) off Guadalcanal.

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