Sent: Tuesday, April 22, 2008 9:48 PM

I know there are many of you older than I am, but ask your grandchildren what the words, "Battle of Pearl Harbor, December 7th, 1941" mean to them. I think most of you will not be surprised by the answers you get. It was not so much of a "Battle" as it was a "Beating." But history shows we not only "recovered" from it, but went on amazingly to defeat all enemies, at great cost to our nation.

I was 11 years old when this happened and living in NYC. That same month we were told that our Mother had died (which years later we learned was not true), and seven of us siblings (six brothers and one sister) were placed under the care of Catholic Charities in New York City. A month after this "sneak attack" bombing by the Japanese, all seven of us were in Catholic Convents in Rockland County, NY where the youngest of us, then four years old, remained for almost 15 years. Our oldest brother George ran away at 16 and joined the Navy at 17 (as I would also do four years later to join the Marines). George was killed at age 19 when a Japanese submarine sunk his LST-577 off the coast of Leyte in the Philippines. The 1941 song, "White Cliffs of Dover," became a symbol of the hope for peace that was expressed in that song, and somehow stuck in my memory that year and has persisted since; every time I hear it, I think of George, whose nickname was "Sonny" to us. Many years later I would stand on those same cliffs, quietly hummed that song, and I felt his presence standing beside me.

So these amazing pictures "stored in an old Brownie Camera" from a Sailor who was on the USS Quapaw ATF-10 bring back many memories The photos are fantastic, and should be remembered as what bad people can do to good countries. Read the brief history below, and share it with those grandchildren.

Jerry Merna

December 7th, 1941 the Japanese launched a surprise attack against the U.S. Forces stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. By planning this attack on a Sunday, the Japanese commander Admiral Chuichi Nagumo, hoped to catch the entire fleet in port. As luck would have it, the Aircraft Carriers and one of the Battleships were not in port. (The USS Enterprise was returning from Wake Island, where it had just delivered some aircraft. The USS Lexington was ferrying aircraft to Midway, and the USS Saratoga and USS Colorado were undergoing repairs in the United States).

In spite of the latest intelligence reports about the missing aircraft carriers (his most important targets), Admiral Nagumo decided to continue the attack with his force of six carriers and 423 aircraft. At a range of 230 miles north of Oahu, he launched the first wave of a two-wave attack. Beginning at 0600 hours his first wave consisted of 183 fighters and torpedo bombers which struck at the fleet in Pearl Harbor and the airfields in Hickam, Kaneohe and Ewa. The second strike, launched at 0715 hours, consisted of 167 aircraft, which again struck at the same targets.

At 0753 hours the first wave consisting of 40 Nakajima B5N2 'Kate' torpedo bombers, 51 Aichi D3A1 'Val' dive bombers, 50 high altitude bombers and 43 Zeros struck airfields and Pearl Harbor. Within the next hour, the second wave arrived and continued the attack. When it was over, the U.S. losses were:


USA: 218 KIA, 364 WIA.
USN: 2,008 KIA, 710 WIA.
USMC: 109 KIA, 69 WIA.
Civilians: 68 KIA, 35 WIA.
TOTAL: 2,403 KIA, 1,178 WIA.

USS Arizona (BB-39) - total loss when a bomb hit her magazine.
USS Oklahoma (BB-37) - Total loss when she capsized and sank in the harbor.
USS California (BB-44) - Sunk at her berth. Later raised and repaired.
USS West Virginia (BB-48) - Sunk at her berth. Later raised and repaired.
USS Nevada - (BB-36) Beached to prevent sinking. Later repaired.
USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) - Light damage.
USS Maryland (BB-46) - Light damage.
USS Tennessee (BB-43) Light damage.
USS Utah (AG-16) - (former battleship used as a target) - Sunk.

USS New Orleans (CA-32) - Light Damage.
USS San Francisco (CA38) - Light Damage.
USS Detroit (CL-8) - Light Damage.
USS Raleigh (CL-7) - Heavily damaged but repaired.
USS Helena (CL-50) - Light Damage.
USS Honolulu (CL-48) - Light Damage.

USS Downes (DD-375) - Destroyed. Parts salvaged.
USS Cassin - (DD-37 2) Destroyed. Parts salvaged.
USS Shaw (DD-373) - Very heavy damage.
USS Helm (DD-388) - Light Damage.

USS Ogala (CM-4) - Sunk but later raised and repaired.

Seaplane Tender
USS Curtiss (AV-4) - Severely damaged but later repaired.

Repair Ship
USS Vestal (AR-4) - Severely damaged but later repaired.

Harbor Tug
USS Sotoyomo (YT-9) - Sunk but later raised and repaired.

188 Aircraft destroyed (92 USN and 92 U.S. Army Air Corps).