Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Attack at Pearl Harbour, December 7, 1941......"a day that will live in infamy."


On a beautiful Sunday morning, December 7, 1941 my Father was lying in his bunk on the communications ship, The USS Shaw in a beautiful place called Pearl Harbour, Hawaii.   He was writing a letter to my Mother, probably telling her how much he missed her.  Just a few months  before his ship arrived in Pearl Harbour, he was writing her this postcard:


He said he was in Tahiti and said they were going to Pearl Harbour.
Little did he know, or anyone know, the horror that was about to happen in beautiful Hawaii.




The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour on the morning of December 7, 1941,
2,4002 were killed that day and 1,282 wounded.


The attack by the Japanese was intended as a preventive action to keep the US Pacific Fleet from influencing the war the Empire of Japan was planning to wage in SE Asia againt Britain, the Netherlands and the US.

The attack consisted of two aerial attack waves totaling 353 aircraft, launched from six Japanese aircraft carriers.
Franklin Rosevelt declared War and in his famous speech he said "a day that will live in infamy.

My Father's ship was completely destroyed and he was thrown in the water,  He later said that was what saved him, even though there was so much destruction all around, he survived and became "A Pearl Harbour Survivor."  And, he also became one of the
wounded.  Although, he would tell me, if I asked, that he was no hero and that the real heros were the ones who lost their lives that day.

He never spoke much about Pearl Harbour, but he was proud of his service to our country.  When asked about the war, he would answer questions with simple answers,
never offering more than what was asked.  I cannot, to this day, ever begin to imagine the horror and fear that he and so many lived through and witnessed.

I can't imagine how my Mother felt.  There was no way to get word back to the states on whether or not he and many others were still alive.  She waited for two weeks before she knew he was alive.  She told me that she was working at a laundry and the doors were open because it was so hot inside.  A young man from the post office ran up to her and told her that my Father was alive.  The navy had gotten word to the local post office that he was alive and well.  The news spread throughout their small town and
my Mother told me she fell to her knees and thanked God.




On Pearl Harbour Day, and everyday, my Father was a hero.  He went on to be in many other World War II battles.  As Chief Radio Officer, he was in high demand.  He was a hard working, God loving person who dedicated his life to doing work for the Lord.
He never turned anyone in need away and he gave of himself in so many ways. 

At the age of 80 he was stricken with a terrible disease that left him paralzyed from the chest down.  Even during his most difficult days, he still sang praises to the Lord and read his bible faithfully.  He was a man, that I hope all young men will be someday.

So, here's to all the WWII heros that sacrificed so much, yet remained so humble. And here's to those heros that made our country what it is today and for the soldiers who continue to serve and protect us all.

My Father will never be forgotten and I loved him so.  Writing this post about him is definitely therapy for me and at the same time it allows me to pay tribute to him and others for their service to our country.  Sadly, there are few WWII veterans still alive,
but they will always, always be remembered.    

I did want to add that the little ticket stub you see underneath the ribbon on the letters was saved by my Mother for many years.  It was the train ticket stub that brought him home for the first time after the Pearl Harbour Attack.~

22 comments:

GWENDOLYN said...

This is a very touching story. I was relieved to read that your dad survived the attack. How wonderful that he was a man who loved God. He sounds like a hero to me for sure. Blessings to you.
Gwen

Marsha (Sassy Mini Dolls) said...

Dear Sissie,

What a loving tribute. I can't imagine the fear and horror your father and countless others felt and their loved ones waiting for news.

Thank you for sharing.

Have a wonderful day!

Hugs,
Marsha

P.S. Your living room is beautiful with your lovely tree all bright and shiny!

Lisa@Pickles and Cheese said...

What a wonderful story and tribute to your father and all the men and women that fought in WWII. My father in law fought in Germany for the Army and my mother in law was a nurse in the South Pacific during WWII Incredible and humble people. An amazing generation. I enjoyed every bit of your post. Thank you!

Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

Thanks for visiting my blog and WELCOME! We have alot of fun, so don't be a stranger. I love your livingroom and this pink blog is so sweet. Now, I am off to look around a bit...

BonjourRomance said...

Bonjour Sissie! What a lovely, heartwarming post about your dear Father! A true American hero and an even bigger hero to you! Thank you for sharing his incredible story!

Leann said...

Oh Sissie

This post touched my heart. I can't see the tears are just rolling down my face. Enjoy your beautiful memories!

Leann

Ginger said...

Sissie, first I want to thank you for the sweet comments on my blog, my daughter and I love to go there.

What a beautiful tribute to your Dad. It touched me so. My dad is a WWII vetern also. He is 83 and like your Dad wouldn't talk much about the war. About 3 years ago I decided to make a scrapbook about his time in Europe during the war and asked my Dad a few questions and then he started to open up and wrote me a letter of what he remembered. I will cherish that letter forever. I am so glad your Dad survived Pearl Harbour, it must have been so awful. Thank you for your lovely post in tribute to our Dads.

Ginger

Jane said...

Sissie,
This was a beautiful post. My husband and I were just talking about the anniversary of Pearl Harbor today. Thank you for sharing the story of your Dad on that horrible day. He was a true hero.
Jane

Marsha's Mpressions said...

What a beautiful post. I'm so blessed to have read it this morning. Espcially interesting to me since my sil is soon to serve in Iraq and I posted our send off and a letter he wrote just yesterday. I'm so thankful for those like your father who have served to keep us free! Also love your blog and will be back!

Denise said...

Thank you for reminding us. What a wonderful tribute to your father.

Linda said...

Sissie,
What a wonderful tribute to your father...you are one lucky girl to have a father like him. A strong christian father is such a blessing. My father served in WWII but not at Pearl Harbor. Thanks so much for sharing this awesome story and I hope you have a great week!

Blessings,
Linda

Linda @ Craftaholics Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this touching story. Good job for recording it. Your father was definitely a hero.

Thanks for saying hi! Your blog is really cute. I will for sure check back... often!
best wishes,
Linda

Rhonda said...

Thank you so much for such an inspirational post about your dad. I have goose bumps up and down my arms. He truly was a hero. And, the fact that he loved his Heavenly Father makes the story even sweeter.
Rhonda

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Your father and your mother are both heros. They sacrificed so much for all of us. What a blessing to have had such a Godly father and such a special person to guide you. Thank you for such a precious and special post. God Bless. Hugs, Marty

LV said...

What a great story about your father and a nice tribute to him as well. Thank for you sharing. I am sure it was not an easy thing for you. Pleased you left me a nice comment.

Shabbyfufu said...

Hi Sissie, a lovely and thoughtful post. My dad was a WWII veteran as well...so especially interesting for me to read. Happy holidays to you~xo~Janet

LemonyRenee' said...

I don't know how to thank you for sharing your father with us through this writing. So enchanting and inspiring. Your love for him is clear with every word.

That shabby Pink Girl said...

Hi Sissie
I'm so happy to have read this wonderful Tribute to your Dad and the other brave service Men and Women who served~~my Husband and I toured the Memorial that is situated over the Arizona on our Anniversry In Janusry on our trip to Hawaii~~I cried the whole time~~It goes right to your soul when you think what those brave men and Women had to go through~~we looked down and saw the Arizona, and were told that over 1100 service men are still trapped in that ship, they told us that oil is still coming to the surface after all this time, and we could see it~~very sad and eerie~~I will never forget it~~thanks for sharing your story with us!

Marry Christmas to you and yours~~
marian elizabeth

Miss Mustard Seed said...

What an amazing story. Thank you for sharing a part of your family history with us. I also love the picture in your banner...is that your house? Gorgeous.

Mary said...

Wow, what a story, Sissie. Words fail to express the gratefulness I feel towards your dad and all the men and women who served and are still serving our Country in such a sacrificial way. Your poor mama must have suffered so much during that time especially....not knowing, argh! I don't know how the families stood it. God bless them. I'm so glad your dear dad made it home safe and sound.
I know my dad was missing in action for a while during WWII. My mom must have suffered, too. But my older sister (who was 3 or 4 at the time) said "Daddy's coming home soon" and my mom just placated her. But, sure enough, Daddy did come home to them within the month. So many miracles, so many tragedies. Thank you for remembering all of them in your post ♥

C @Favourite Vintage Finds said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderful tribute to your dear Father.

Dianne said...

Hi Sissie, I found you over at Ginger's blog and so glad I did. Your blog is beautiful.

My father also was a WWII veteran so I was really interested in your Pearl Harbor post.

What a tribute to an outstanding man. "Never quit singing praises to the Lord or reading his Bible<" --what a testimony.

Thank you,
Dianne

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