The Day That Will Always Live in Infamy ; Pearl Harbor Was Sept. 11 for The

By Blevins, Ernest | Charleston Gazette Mail, December 7, 2016 | Go to article overview

The Day That Will Always Live in Infamy ; Pearl Harbor Was Sept. 11 for The


Blevins, Ernest, Charleston Gazette Mail


Seventy-five years ago today, an early edition headline of The Charleston Daily Mail said Japanese Flotilla Sighted Near Siam; Roosevelt Rushes Appeal to Emperor. That evening, the Daily Mail proclaimed the news of the attack at Pearl Harbor. This was the Greatest Generations Sept. 11th. The United States was pulled into the second World War. On Dec. 8, 1941, the U.S. declared war on Japan. Japan and Germany had signed the Tripartite Pact, stating Germany would be an ally in Japans defense. Germany hesitated because Japan was the aggressor, but declared war on the United States on Dec. 11. Within a week the United States was in a two- front war. In 1941, Hawaii was only a United States territory. A byproduct of the Spanish-American war of 1898, Hawaiis location was of strategic importance for the United States. On July 4, 1898, Congress passed the Newlands Resolution and on August 12, 1898, the Stars and Stripes was raised with the consent of the Republic of Hawaii. The U.S. established the naval base at Pearl Harbor the following year. In December 1911, the USS California became the first large warship to enter Pearl Harbor. The base, including a Navy airfield and Army Air Corps Airfield, developed before World War II. Moored in Pearl Harbor at the time of the attack were several ships including the USS West Virginia (BB-48), affectionately the Wee Vee. The keel of the West Virginia was laid in 1920 and christened in 1921 and finally reported for duty on December 1, 1923. It was the last battleship built before World War II. Assigned to the Pacific Fleet, she was docked along the USS Tennessee when Japan attacked. The construction of the West Virginia with compartmentalization gave the ship flood control, which protected it some in the attack. In that bombing, three of the 106 USS West Virginia crew members lost that day were from West Virginia. From May 1942 to June 1944, the West Virginia was repaired and overhauled to the point her silhouette changed. It was initially believed that the West Virginia was hit five times before sinking into 40 feet of water. …

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