A Date That Will Live In Infamy….

| December 7, 2020

At 07;55 Hawaii time on 7 December 1941, the Japanese sent aircraft to bomb the ships in harbor at Pearl Harbor and destroy the base itself. They also sent a few minisubs to assist in the destruction.

The attack lasted 1 hour and 15 minutes. Japan’s plan, if the USA had not declared war, was to take over as much of Asia and the Pacific as they could.

The statistics of the destruction during the attack are found in this pdf report:  https://www.census.gov/history/pdf/pearl-harbor-fact-sheet-1.pdf

The attack killed 2,403 U.S. personnel, including 68 civilians, and destroyed or damaged 19 U.S. Navy ships, including 8 battleships. The three aircraft carriers of the U.S. Pacific Fleet were out to sea on maneuvers. — Census.gov article

This is mostly Japanese footage of the muster for and the attack itself on Pearl Harbor.



This news film shows some of the damage in the aftermath of the attack.



Fair winds and following seas to all who did not survive the attack.

Category: Navy, War Stories

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mike Gunns

Had a math teacher who survived the Pearl Harbor attack. He was stationed on the USS Nevada. He was CPO Woodrow Derby.

As a class, we could sometimes derail the math lesson by asking a question about his time in the war or even get his thoughts on the Vietnam War during the height of that conflict. This was 1970ish.


When I was a kid the neighborhood dads were all WW2 vets.
My dad, a B-17 gunner togglier.
Local teacher, a P47 fighter pilot.
Next door neighbor, engineer on the Hornet for the Doolitlle raid.
Neighbor across the street, a Pearl Harbor survivior.

Those guys were my hereos and when I returned from Vietnam they
welcomed me to their VFW afternoon ritual as a peer.
They are all gone now but their memory and good times sitting
at their table lives on. Never Forget.


A friend recently bought a bar. He doesn’t have any particular military connection and the bar won’t have a service theme, but when I informed him of the concept of the “missing man” table, he vowed he would set one up.

Good guy. Surprised he’s my friend.


And our current relations with the Japanese show that we can make a culture alien to ours our friends and allies.

We are blessed, still, with men and women with the character of those of WWII – regardless of the number of spineless wusses we see today publicized by the socialist propaganda machines of MSM.

Only Army Mom

Yes, but only after their complete and absolute destruction, forcing them to make a simple choice…change and survive, don’t change and cease to exist.

I can’t help but wonder how many current enemies would find their way to a similar outcome, given the same options.


Glass Desert/Parking Lot/Stone Age Renovations/Make the rubble tiny, then make the tiny rubble *bounce*, etc.

Then we can talk.

If you can’t see it our way, you can cease to exist.

Happy Monday.
Much Love XOXOXO



“For they make a desert, and call it peace”


There is a lot to be said for a policy of “unconditional surrender”. Too bad WWI wasn’t ended that way.


Rest In Peace to those Souls lost that day, and every day thereafter, torn from us in defense of the human spirit’s urge to be free.
Never Forget, keep their sacrifices foremost in the mind so freedom’s importance never loses her appeal.

Day is done
Gone the sun
From the lakes
From the hills
From the sky All is well,
safely rest.
God is nigh.
Fading light Dims the sight
And a star Gems the sky,
Gleaning bright From afar,
Drawing nigh,
Falls the night.
Thanks and praise,
For our days,
Neath the sun,
Neath the stars,
Neath the sky,
As we go,
This we know,
God is nigh.


One story of heroism that day:

“Chief Boatswain Edwin Joseph Hill (World War II). Edwin Joseph Hill was born 1895 in Philadelphia, and he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1912. Chief Boatswain Hill was serving on the U.S.S. Nevada at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941. The Nevada was the only battleship to escape the harbor that day, and Hill led the effort to release the ship from her moorings. He dove off the ship to cast off the lines and swam back to assume his duties on board, but he was killed when a bomb struck the bow. Hill received the Medal of Honor posthumously for actions during the attack, and he is buried in Section A, Site 895.” —National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, website


Almost all of those Warriors are gone now. Saw a blurb on a news feed, that I can’t find now, speaking of 1 of the only 2 Arizona Survivors is suffering with the Chinese Communist Originated Virus Infecting Disease of 2019. Kept him from traveling for the Memorial Service. We lost 6 PH Survivors in January 2020, and probably more since then. A personal Hero of mine, and the Principal of our High School was one of those. We lost Retired Commander Fred Johnson on 31 January 2020. I provide another linky below on his experiences on that day. Interesting read. Papa was ETO, Patton’s Army, his baby brother, our Uncle Jake was in the Pacific Theater, Army. Neither ever talked about what they did or saw. Mr. Fred didn’t speak of his War Service until well after he retired. “…Lest We Forget…”

Thanks for the Post Ex.



Never forgotten.

Jeff LPH 3, 63-66

Got this from Firefighters Close Calls this morning. All, For those younger readers of The Secret List, today, “Pearl Harbor Day” remembers the attack on Pearl Harbor, which was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States at our naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on the morning of December 7, 1941. 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed, 2,402 personnel were killed and 1,282 were wounded. We remember them all from “The Greatest Generation” who served along with all those who continue to serve today including the Honolulu FD and Hawaii’s Federal FD Firefighters. REMEMBERING THE FIREFIGHTERS KILLED & INJURED IN THE LINE OF DUTY AT PEARL HARBOR: As the Hickam Field firefighting apparatus was knocked out, Honolulu Fire companies responded to assist with the fires. At 0826 a Japanese aerial bomb was dropped on crews from HFD Engine Co.1, 4, and 6. 3 Firefighters, Captain John Carreira, Captain Thomas S. Macy, and Hoseman Harry T.L. Pang were killed in the Line of Duty. An additional 6 were wounded from shrapnel. They were Honolulu Fire Lieutenant Fred Kealoha, Hoseman Moses Kalilikane, Hoseman John A. Gilman, Hoseman Solomon H. Naauao, Hoseman Patrick J. McCabe, and Hoseman George Correa. In 1944 they all were awarded the Order of the Purple Heart. They are the only civilian Firefighters to have ever received this award. MORE on Pearl Harbor as we remember all those lost on December 7, 1941: VIDEO: Original Pearl Harbor News Footage https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2kSnlS4xX8&t=20s VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6cz9gtMTeI&t=22s Take… Read more »

Mild Bill

When I was hired in the fire department, my first CPT was a Pearl Harbor survivor, he was a young firefighter stationed at Ford Field, a real hard charger and smoke eater. I learned his rule of fire tactics: Rule 1 get in and put the F**king fire out. Rule 2: see rule 1. Thank God I am now retired, the rules are a impediment to a quick attack on the seat of the fire. He was one of the only retirees who died of old age and not heart problems or cancer.

The Other Whitey

Being not only a 3rd-gen firefighter but also coming up in the same department as my Dad, it goes without saying that he had some involvement in my training. Any time I ever complained about things like the heat of an interior attack or having to drag hose up a mountain with three more sticks in my pack, he would tell me something his first captain had told him when he was brand-new: “Yeah, that’s why pussies don’t do this.”

Now here I am two decades later with captain’s bugles on my collar dropping the same line on new kids.

The Other Whitey

I have a pretty good book on my shelf at home about firefighting efforts during WWII. It has chapters on Pearl Harbor, the Blitz, the SS Fort Stikine explosion and resulting fire, the SS Normandie fire, German responses to RAF firebombing raids, and the Japanese response to LeMay’s firebombing raids. The latter two are downright depressing from a firefighter’s perspective, not just because of the incendiaries falling out the sky, but because of how technically and operationally backwards German and Japanese firefighters were, even by contemporary standards. You can respect their professional dedication, but the Japs especially were sent out to die for no achievable objective—lot of that going around Japan at the time, of course.

A bit of trivia: the last Pearl Harbor Survivor vessel to be retired was the fleet tug USS Hoga YT-146. Hoga was decommissioned in 1948 and served as Oakland Fire Department’s fireboat in San Francisco Bay until 1994. She is now under restoration at the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum.

Jeff LPH 3, 63-66

Talking about firefighting, the now saying is these ain’t your grand fathers fires with the light weight construction going up and using it in renovations in older than me buildings plus the work being done by UL and NIST on fire flow in structures with a lot of European studies on indirect attacks bouncing a stream from the outside into the inside tops of a ceiling depending of course if their are victims in the inside area. This isn’t the same as the Lloyd Layman theory of extinguishment which some get confused when they hear the name. Fires are more hotter today than in the past with the advent of plastics and faster flashover with the large volume of heat these products put out plus the cancer factor their is now from these products. Stay safe Brothers. I put in 30 years as a Volly along side FDNY guys whom were also Vollies in my 2 Dept’s.


Great stories in the comments above. I had the chance to go to Pearl Harbor several times during my times in Okinawa. Here are a bunch of pictures I took.

Arizona and Utah Memorials

Ford Island and Hickam Field Historical buildings

Punchbowl military cemetery

Pearl Harbor memorials and the USS Missouri

New USS Missouri shots

Green Thumb

Never forget.


And now appropriately, the names Arizona, Oklahoma, and Utah are now going to be bestowed upon three new submarines in the Virginia-class. One is already under construction and the other two are on order.

Wilted Willy

God bless them all and never forget!!!
Thanks Ex!


Some years ago I had the privilege of meeting and talking with a gentleman at a family event who was an ensign on the West Virginia on 7 Dec 1941. When he found that I was Navy we spent the afternoon swapping stories, of course being the history nerd I am he was probably one of the coolest people I’ve gotten to sit and get to know. Definitely one of the best family parties ever (easily top 7).

The Other Whitey

Drachinifel over on the Tube of You has recently released a couple of excellent videos on the salvage efforts at Pearl Harbor following the attack. He covers everything from the major strategic concerns affecting which ships could be sent to Pearls drydocks down to the nuts & bolts details of the rescue, salvage, and body recovery operations (I didn’t know that several men were fatally asphyxiated while cleaning out belowdecks spaces aboard USS Nevada, for example) and everything in between. For instance, how many here knew that USS California was essentially sinking in quicksand?

It’s not as exciting as his play-by-play of the Battle Off Samar or the Bismarck Hunt, but no less interesting. He also chased down some hard-to-find footage of the operations he covers. Definitely worth an hour and forty!



“several men were fatally asphyxiated while cleaning out belowdecks spaces ”

Sadly, the dangers of working in confined spaces are still not fully appreciated (Or safety procedures in general, for that matter). My wife used to be a plant safety manager, and had a few interesting but depressing tales.


Oh BTW, a happy accident, 37 years ago I enlisted officially, on this day, in the DEP.
I actually did it in October but it didn’t count until the paperwork cleared and I got anally probed at MEPS. Good times, good times.


My father’s uncle was part of the Marine Detachment on USS Enterprise on December 7th they pulled into Pearl two days after the attack.

He later made landings at Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester and Peleliu before returning to the States. He passed 23 years ago.

E4 Mafia '83-'87

The whole story about the Japanese wanting an official declaration of war before the attack is nothing but hooey in my opinion. They did the same thing to the Russians at Port Arthur in 1904. Considering that was Japan’s first major victory against a non-Asian nation I can’t see why they wouldn’t think that formula would work again. The luck of our carriers being at sea and their mistake of not attacking the sub base of the drydock facilities was blunder on their part.


They actually sent the “proper” warning, but intentionally late. Hirohito insisted on a warning as he knew the result of not doing so. However, his senior government swamp-types wanted their little surprise. Thus they “carefully” obeyed. It was a twelve-part and very long message as sent to their ambassador to relay. The directed protocol was “ambassador only” which meant a poor typist would decrypt and type it all up. It was sent in chunks, and the last chunk with the “warning” was sent with just enough time for the embassy’s highly skilled cryptographer and expert typist to get it done so the ambassador could deliver it just before the first bombs fell. You know, the expert that was prohibited by the other flunky. “So sorry.” Thus, Infamy, and an outraged USA out for blood. Their overall strategy was one grand decisive battle. The Pearl Harbor raid wasn’t that. Oops. Had they instead delivered the warning, just in time, and hit Midway and elsewhere with tokens to draw us out of harbor, and met us in a fleet battle just off Hawaii, they would likely have sunk most of our battleships and carriers, and in water too deep for salvage. (A key defect of the raid. Salvage.) We didn’t quite have our shit together, and our torpedoes didn’t work due to a fiasco of epic swamp proportions. Six IJN carriers and their battleship fleet were more than a match for the US forces at Hawaii in December of 1941. Their pilots… Read more »