Scientists work to identify Pearl Harbor victims 74 years later

7 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

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

Seventy-four years ago today, the Imperial Japanese Navy launched a surprise attack on the U.S. naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, killing more than 2,000 service members and ultimately accelerating America’s involvement in World War II. “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. 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. Not just getting a trip to Pearl Harbor or being at the ceremony, but the opportunity to spend time with someone like John Herbert, someone from that generation. 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.

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. 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.

For example, President Franklin Roosevelt’s Day of Infamy speech in the immediate aftermath of Pearl Harbor, in which he declared war on Japan, rallied the country to the war against all the Axis powers. 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.

The attack was intended to destroy the most important units of the American naval fleet, to buy time for Japan to consolidate its position in the Pacific and naval strength, and deliver such a serious blow to American morale that it would discourage the American people from committing to a war. 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. 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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