Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on December 7, 2011
The years have flown by, but for many, Pearl Harbor Day has not been forgotten.
Seventy years ago today, on December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor, located on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, was attacked by the Japanese. In total, 2,350 US military troops and civilians were killed as a result of that bloody surprise attack on the US naval base — 200 aircraft were shot down and destroyed and five battleships were sunk or damaged beyond repair.
It was a “Day of Infamy,” a day of unimaginable terror and disbelief and death… so much death. Seven decades have passed, but that day of horror still lives on for many.
Reported by LancasterOnline, From boy to man in one infernal day: Pearl Harbor survivor looks back on attack 70 years ago:
James Moores said he was “an 18-year-old snot-nosed kid” 70 years ago today aboard the destroyer tender USS Dobbin anchored at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
“I was an 18-year-old man by the end of that day,” he said.
Moores, 88, of East Drumore Township, had enlisted in the Navy in 1941 after graduation from high school in his native Deer Park, Ohio. The Great Depression lingered, and, he said, “there weren’t any jobs.”
In downtown Cincinnati he spotted a sign picturing Uncle Sam that read “I want you for the Navy.”
“It was $21 a month and free food,” he said.
After basic training, Moores was sent to San Francisco, where he boarded the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was in dry-dock. There, he and his shipmates had to scrape old paint off the 583-foot-long hull of the aging dreadnought.
“That was the first dirty, stinking job I had in the navy,” he said.
Moores was aboard the Oklahoma for three weeks, including when she pulled into Pearl Harbor, dropping anchor beside the USS Maryland on Battleship Row.
“I was a seaman second class, a deck hand,” Moores said. “We were peons, green guys with no rank or anything. So it was ‘you do this’ or ‘you do that’ and you didn’t argue much.”
Moores then was transferred to the Dobbin, anchored a short distance away. There, he joined his older brother Arthur.
Two weeks later, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.
Moores was dressed in his “whites,” ready for shore leave and a date “with a cute little gal.”
“She was Oriental, and after the attack they were interned, and I never saw her again,” he said.
Moores saw the first bomb fall and explode on Ford Island, but he thought it was just a drill.
“Then the plane swung around us, and I saw that red meatball on the side,” he said, referring to the airplane’s red Rising Sun emblem. “I said to my brother, ‘oh s***; look at that.’ Then all hell broke loose.”
Click here for the rest of the interview. Below is Moores’ video interview.
From boy to man in one infernal day: Pearl Harbor survivor
Pearl Harbor – A Day That Shook the World
Reported by The Christian Science Monitor, Pearl Harbor Day: A survivor recalls the Day of Infamy:
Seventy years ago today, Navy veteran Lou Gore was startled by the muffled thuds of explosions and a burst of commotion while cleaning up from breakfast below deck on the USS Phoenix, a cruiser docked at Pearl Harbor.
Hurrying topside, the 18-year-old seaman second-class was confronted by pandemonium he was unable to immediately comprehend — flames shooting skyward, roiling clouds of dark, acrid smoke, swarms of fighter-bombers buzzing low overhead.
Within moments that Sunday morning, it became clear that the U.S. Pacific fleet was under attack. As reflexes from training took over, Gore and others aboard the Phoenix jumped into action and began firing back with anti-aircraft guns.
“We didn’t know (at first) those were Japanese planes,” Gore, now 88 and visiting the islands with nine members of his family, recalled in a recent interview. “We didn’t know what was happening. I just did my job.”
Gore is one of 100 Pearl Harbor Survivors who will attend ceremonies on Wednesday on Oahu marking the 70th anniversary of the Japanese air and naval assault that claimed 2,390 American lives and drew the United States into World War II.
Nearly half of those who perished were sailors aboard the battleship USS Arizona, which Japanese torpedo bombers sank early in the attack, sending 1,177 of its 1,400-member crew to their deaths.
The USS Arizona Memorial, built over the remains of the ship, now forms a centerpiece of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, an historic site administered by the National Park Service.