Thursday, December 8, 2011

The USS Dale at Pearl Harbor

This entry was intended for yesterday, but it was delayed by real life issues.
Zenith Press has a great portfolio of military-themed books. Yesterday, the company's blog featured an excerpt from an excellent book about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Pilots aboard Nagumo’s six carriers awoke very early from what surely must have been a nervous sleep. Yet, despite all of the anxiety, Flight Commander Fuchida found Lieutenant Commander Shigeharu Murata, leader of the torpedo bombers who would soon strike Pearl Harbor’s battleship row, hungrily wolfing down a hearty breakfast. Murata called out, “Good morning, Commander Fuchida. Honolulu sleeps!”

“How do you know?” Fuchida asked.
“The Honolulu radio plays soft music,” Murata responded. “Everything is fine!”    
At 0600, Nagumo’s six carriers began launching the first wave of airplanes. At 0630, Commander Fuchida turned south in command of forty Kate torpedo bombers, fifty-one dive-bombers, forty-three fighters, and forty-nine Kate high-level bombers. Months of training were about to culminate in an operation that would commit Japan to a war with the industrial might of the United States.
Though most of Honolulu slept, a few were being made aware that something was up. In the early morning darkness, the destroyer USS Ward (DD-139) spotted the periscope of an unidentified submarine near the entrance to Pearl Harbor. TheWard attacked the submarine, sank it, and then reported the incident up the chain of command. Then, at approximately 0700, an alert army radar operator saw the approaching first wave of Japanese airplanes on his scope and called in a report to his superior. Both reports, however, fell on deaf ears and nothing was done to increase Pearl Harbor’s readiness for what was about to come from the sky.

There is more at the Zenith Press blog. Please take a look.


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