Today is the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
There are still 2000 to 3500 Pearl Harbor veterans still alive today. The number has become difficult to arrive at because many veterans have never registered with the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association. Most major cities in the U.S. have a chapter of the PHSA, but sadly, because of their advancing ages and other health issues, many chapters have had to close their doors.
Likewise, there are still many chapters across the country that are very active, such as Carnation Chapter 3 in San Diego, CA and Silver State Chapter 2 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Odd But True Facts About Pearl Harbor
- When filming in Hawaii, Elvis Presley was shown the wreck of the U.S.S. Arizona. Presley was so moved that he gave a charity concert that kick started the fund drive that built the current memorial.
- The wreckage of the upper decks of the U.S.S. Arizona are still stored and guarded at an undisclosed location in Hawaii.
- All five Japanese midget submarines have been found. The last under an underwater trash heap in the harbor. It has been proven that at least one made a successful attack on the U.S.S. Oklahoma.
- Every Battleship sunk, with the exception of U.S.S. Arizona, U.S.S. Oklahoma , and U.S.S. Utah were raised and fought in the war.
- Three NFL football games were playing when the attack happened. The Eagles vs. the the Redskins. The Bears vs. the Chicago Cardinals and the Giants vs. the (yes) Brooklyn Dodgers. Soldiers and sailors were ordered to report to their units after the games.
- The USS Arizona is not in commission. She was placed “in ordinary” at Pearl Harbor on December 29,1941, and was stricken on December 1, 1942.
- Two ship’s bells were recovered from the U.S.S. Arizona. One is on display at the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor….the other is on the campus of the University of Arizona in Tucson. Once a month, the bell in Tucson is rung seven times at 12:07. Bill Bowers, at the age of 99, was given the honor of ringing the bell for the first time in its new belfry on September 11, 2002.
- The U.S.S. Nevada was the only battleship that got underway during the attack. Her bell and ship’s wheel is on display in the State Museum in Carson City, Nevada.
- On August 29, 2002, Titanic discoverer Robert Ballard found the midget submarine proving that the destroyer U.S.S. Ward did in fact fire the first shot of the Pearl Harbor attack and hit their target.