Many Americans were sadden over the death of Ray Chavez, the oldest U.S. military survivor of the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, who died Wednesday, November 21, at the age of 106.

Ask anyone old enough to remember the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and most likely they will be able to recall where they were and what they were doing when they first heard the tragic news.

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, also referred to as Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day or Pearl Harbor Day, is observed annually in the United States, to remember and honor American citizens who were killed in the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

On Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service attacked Naval Station Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii Territory, without warning and without a declaration of war, killing 2,335 U.S. military personnel and 68 civilians, and injuring 1,178 others.

The attack sank four U.S. Navy battleships and damaged four others. It also damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, and one minelayer. Aircraft losses were 188 destroyed and 159 damaged.

Additionally, more than 60 Japanese servicemen were killed, injured or captured during the attack. The Japanese Navy also lost five midget submarines and 29 aircraft.

When several Weakley County citizens were asked about their recollections and reactions to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, as well as the response of their family members and others, they had some very interesting and informative answers.

Their remarks speak volumes concerning the patriotic attitudes of the day and how Americans stood in line to enlist in the U.S. military, eager to serve their country.


(See complete story in the December 5th issue of the Dresden Enterprise.)

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