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A Date That Will Live in Infamy
I have noticed in recent years that Dec. 7th passes by with hardly a blurb on the news. I understand that most of us here weren't alive in 1941..... but that shouldn't stop us from recognizing the date when over 2,300 Americans were killed in an attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese....... It makes me wonder if a generation from now,, if September 11th will pass with hardly a blurb on the news.
On a side note.... This is my grandfathers small arms medal that he received when he was serving on the U.S.S. Arizona in 1927-28.
Thank you for the reminder Bear. Never Forget!!!
My Mom's Birthday, RIP to her, and those who died to protect us.
Actually there is a ceremony today for Joe George who saved 6 men from the USS Arizona. Very cool medal Big Bear, thanks for sharing.
A day that will not be forgotten, should never be forgotten.... tonight there will be multiple shows on the old "Military Channel" now called the American Heros Channel (AHC) 256 on Directv about the Attack.... Semper Fi.....
I had the privilege and honor of attending the ceremonies at Pearl Harbor two years ago.... the Blackened Canteen Ceremony, the National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Commemoration and the Interment Ceremony on the USS Arizona Memorial for Lt. Cmdr. Joe Langdell, a member of the Arizona crew who had survived the attack. Getting to meet and visit with his family at a reception following the ceremony is also a cherished memory.
My Father was one of the many thousands who went down to the recruitment office and joined the next day. Served in the Pacific as a scout and was wounded a couple of times until losing an eye.
Hopefully we will never forget.
FYI for you WWII buffs. Link is to an auction for a WWII Singer .45 auto that recently sold for $441,000. The gov commissioned Singer sewing machine co to make .45's. They had a followup contract to make 15,000 more but couldn't as they were also commissioned to make a 40mm Accessory which was deemed more important. Text below; This is the finest condition known example of a U.S. Model 1911A1 semi-automatic pistol that was from the 500 pistols manufactured by the Singer Manufacturing Co. under Educational Order W-ORD-396 in 1940. The contract of 500 Singer pistols were issued primarily to U.S. Army Air Corps squadrons. The pistol has the correct original and unique high gloss blue finish which is found only on U.S. Singer M1911A1 pistols.
The Keyes Fibre stocks are checkered brown plastic and lack the reinforcing rings around the screw holes and interior strengthening ribs found on later production Keyes stocks. The pistol has the correct milled trigger with checkered face, short wide spur hammer and checkered slide stop, safety lock and mainspring housing.
The left side of the slide is roll-stamped "S. MFG. CO./ELIZABETH, N.J.,U.S.A." in two lines. The right side of the frame is roll-stamped "UNITED STATES PROPERTY/M1911 A1 U.S.ARMY". The serial number "NoS800221" is stamped below the property mark. The serial numbers show the slight misalignment that is typical of Singer M1911A1 pistols. The left side of the frame is stamped with the "JKC" final inspection mark of Colonel John K. Clement Commander of the New York Ordnance District. A "P" proofmark is stamped on the left side of the frame above the magazine release, on the top of the slide between the ejection port and the front sight (the "P" faces left) and on the left side of the barrel lug.
The barrel has a full blue finish and the only marking is the "P" proofmark. The pistol is complete with three magazines with high polish full blue finish and oversize floorplate pins. This pistol is accompanied by a notarized letter dated July 7, 2010, from Stephen Clark. The letter explains how 1st Lt. Charles H. Clark was a pilot in the U.S. Air Corps during WWII. Prior to his military service, Lt. Clark was a pilot for the U.S. Navy Reserve, stationed on an aircraft carrier in Long Beach, California. He worked as a test pilot for North American Aviation in 1941 and joined the Army Air Corps in 1942, stationed at Burtonwood Air Depot in England. On May 11, 1943, he piloted a B-17F out of Bovington Field, England, to Iceland to recover bodies and papers from a B-24 which crashed on May 3, 1943. In the crash, the pilot, co-pilot, 4 crewmen and 8 passengers were killed; the only survivor was the tail gunner, who escaped with only minor injuries.
Among the recovered items by Lt. Clark was this Singer pistol which had been in his possession until October 7, 1958 when it was passed on to the son. Also with the pistol are 4 photographs of Lt. Clark, a section of the periodical "Take Off". North American Aviation Inc. of Texas, September 11, 1941, with an article about Clark, a copy of an individual flight record of 1st Lt. Clark for the month of May (year not recorded, writer assumes 1943, the month of the recovery) and a copy of an internet fact sheet with the summary of the circumstances of the crash of the on B-24 May 3, 1943 in Iceland.
Been there and on it... Pearl Harbor and the AZ. Memorial .... to stand there and think what those guys went thru that day, just trying to imagine ...
President Trump just signed a proclamation making today National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day..... Kudos to the President !!
Let's see if I can load up a photo of the U.S.S. Arizona in her prime.... circa 1927.... My grandfather is in the picture...
Thanks for the thread Big Bear. As a Navy veteran and American this is always a day of sadness and pride.
Yessir.... Here's my grandfather.... He passed away before I was born....
You have reason to be proud. I'm struck by his youth but I guess it's usually been our young people that have come to our defense.
Bear, thank you for the thread and for posting the personal family history.
I actually had a 10 year old student who know what today was and a couple more that had some idea, but didn't know any details. Three out of four that I asked wasn't too bad.
BTW, WWII is farther away for these kids than the Spanish-American War was for some of us when we were that age. How much did we know about it?
Henry..... That's true for sure but we didn't have the information of the internet and cable TV when we were kids..... I think we are way too protective in sheltering our kids from horrific attacks like 9-11. I want my kids to know the truth about the evil in the world.... and the sacrifices made to make America the great nation that we are.
Not disagreeing, BB. Just pointing out that a lot has passed since WWII.
Posted on the Warbirds website....
"This is the last "unofficial known" photo of the USS Arizona before she was sunk on Dec 7, 1941. She leaving Puget Sound WA early 1941 after having upgrades completed.""
That's awesome..... too bad the photography isn't what it is today..... I'd love to see good pictures of her in her glory close up and see her teak wood decks !!
Good stuff Tony .... I have never been there but my dad and mom went there to see the remains of the ship his dad served on in the 20's..... Very somber grave site.
I have been there. More impressive and sobering than I had imagined.
Big Bear, I knew who you were but your posts validates my convictions. Great thread and posts of your grandfather. My family and our neighborhood always reminded us of the significance of Dec. 7th 1941 along with the anger displayed by the young men who joined immediately to serve. I will always remember.
Allow me to clear this up. This was passed down from my father, the reverence, and his stories of his underage buddies joining the service with forged documents. My uncle himself a promising boxer, was 15 and was turned down in S. PHILLY. He then hopped a trolley car and went to the Frankford section of Philly and was accepted. Therein lay so much of the anger and patriotism for this country that scoffed him as a Dago and a WOP. The country came first and foremost. He could fight the rest and he did. RIP uncle Pete.
My Pops came in at the end of (or right after?) the war. He was underage also.....born in 1929. He never spoke much about his time over there the many times I asked him. He always kept silent or changed the subject. He did mention parachuting out of cargo planes before. I know his unit was island hopping doing clean ups of Japanese hold outs. He was a Para-Marine and some type of sharp shooter. After he got early Alzheimer's I asked him again about his time over there. I knew he got wounded and a PH but he never would talk about it. We had only his DD-215 and it said where he was wounded (Okinawa/Mariana's Campaign I think it was) but no other details. He said a Japanese mortar landed near him and exploded. He was hit with the shrapnel. I asked him if he ever killed anyone over there and he said yes. I asked how did ya know? He said he watched them fall over! In my 51 years at that time I never heard him talk about that so I was a little shocked by the revelation. Knowing he likely seen a lot of not too pleasant things over there at such a young age, I can understand why he would never speak of it when he was in his normal mind. Looking back I'm pretty sure some of his experiences over there bothered him and he took them to his grave.
After he passed I ordered a copy of his service record from the archives in St Louis a couple of years back. Any family member can do that of a deceased relative. Some of his DD-215 info did not match some of the info in his service record. My brother said when the archives in St Louis burned a lot of the service records had to be rebuilt. A copy of his DD-215 was not in his records. Luckily we had the original or a good copy of it so we knew where he fought. I think his DD-215 gave his time over there as 1945 but his service record dates had 1946. I'd have to look at it again. Not sure if the difference had something to do with his underage being discovered after the fact, a typo or ?? Anywho....I might research his USMC unit history one day and learn more about what was going on.
His parents died when he was young. His service record had a document showing who his legal guardian was at the time. I had to research that some. Turns out his aunt and her husband became his legal guardians. Earlier this summer I tracked down the son of the aunt and her husband. The son is an elderly gent now. He doesn't remember my dad but I sent him some of my dad's stuff mentioning his dad and mother. He would be my 2nd or 3rd cousin.
His final assignment was at the Marine Corp Barracks on "8th and I" in Wash DC in 1947/48. I retired a couple-three blocks from there 63 or 64 years later. The irony....
Irony indeed JL. Interesting story and account.
Dad was playing golf that morning in Miami. Three months later he entered Pearl Harbor aboard a Sub_Tender and saw the AZ. Made five sub runs during the war, he personally gave the last sighting report on Yamamoto's flight for the P-38's to intercept and shoot down the plane.