Rolling Thunder TN-6 to Pay Tribute to WWII Veterans
On Sunday, December 7, 1941, a major U.S. Navy base near Honolulu was attacked by Japanese forces. In the morning, just before 8 a.m. Japanese planes made a surprise invasion from aircraft carriers on Pearl Harbor. Twenty American naval vessels, in which there were eight battleships, were either badly damaged or completely destroyed.
How Long Did the Battle of Pearl Harbor Last?
Japanese forces made a surprise attack, which made it almost completely one-sided. At 0753 hours, an order of attack (“Tora Tora Tora”) started it. The majority of US fighter planes were destroyed by 0800 hours. They had been aligned on the airfields in order to avoid damage. Most of the initial destruction to the ships at Pearl Harbor was caused by the torpedo planes. The second wave of the attack began at 0840 hours. There were no torpedo planes, but 167 aircraft were attacked in the second wave. The second wave was aimed to attack Ford Island and Kaneoche Naval Air Stations, along with Hickman Field. However, the second wave of the attack was unable to cause the level of destruction caused by the first wave. Official figures show that the death toll in the December 7, 1941, attack was 2,403. Among those who died included 2,008 personnel, 109 Marines, 218 Army service members, and 68 civilians.
On the morning of the attack, a Japanese torpedo bomber dropped an armor-piercing bomb which hit the magazine area of the Arizona, exploding and sinking the ship in nine minutes. In the attack, 1,177 sailors and Marines died on the U.S.S. Arizona. More than 900 could not be recovered and remained entombed at the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor.
The Japanese attack also hit the U.S.S. Oklahoma’s hull and the ship capsized. A total of 429 crew died, survivors jumped off the ship 50 feet into burning hot water or crawled across mooring lines that connected The Oklahoma and the Battleship Maryland.
Only 35 of the 429 sailors and Marines who died on the Oklahoma were identified in the years following the attack. The remains of 394 unidentified sailors and Marines were first interred as unknowns, but were all disinterred in 1947, in an unsuccessful attempt to identify more personnel. In 1950, all unidentified remains from the Oklahoma were buried in 61 caskets in 45 graves at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
In April 2015, the Department of Defense announced, as part of a policy change that established threshold criteria for disinterment of unknowns, that the unidentified remains of the crew members of Oklahoma would be exhumed for DNA analysis, with the goal of returning identified remains to their families.
As of June 29, 2021, the military announced that the program was coming to a close, and that the remains of 51 crew members that could not be identified have been returned to Hawaii.
August 14 is VJ Day (Victory Over Japan Day), the end of World War II. Today, there are only about 240,000 WWII veterans still alive.
On August 13, Rolling Thunder Tennessee 6 will sponsor a “You Are Not Forgotten” Ride to honor all those who died and served in WWII. Staging will begin at 1 p.m. at Virginia Weldon Park in Martin with the event to start at 2 p.m.
“Come and help us honor those who have served and all our military men and women who serve today.
To all our military men and women, may you know that Rolling Thunder will work tirelessly to make sure that ‘You Are Not Forgotten,’” event organizers noted. For more information, call David Hawks at 731-225-0892.
Editor’s note: The above information centered on the attack of Pearl Harbor was referenced from the following website: www.pearlharboroahu.com/how-long-did-the-attack-on-pearl-harbor-last/.