Archive for the ‘commemorate’ Category

Pearl Harbor, 67 Years Ago Sunday: Heroes Remembered

December 6, 2008

Thousands of World War II veterans and other observers are expected to commemorate the 67th anniversary of the devastating 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor tomorrow.

The theme of the event, “Pacific War Memories: The Heroic Response to Pearl Harbor,” is something of a departure from the past.

In this Dec. 7, 1941 file photo, American ships burn during ... 
I this Dec. 7, 1941 photo, American ships burn during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. With an eye on the immediate aftermath of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, thousands of World War II veterans and other observers are expected on Sunday, Dec. 7, 2008 to commemorate the 67th anniversary of the devastating Japanese military raid.(AP Photo)

The commemoration usually focuses on the attack on the USS Arizona, Pearl Harbor and several other installations on Oahu.

But this year, the focus will center more on the months following the raid.

In this Dec. 7, 1941 file photo, the battleship USS Arizona ... 
In this Dec. 7, 1941 file photo, the battleship USS Arizona belches smoke as it topples over into the sea during a Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. With an eye on the immediate aftermath of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, thousands of World War II veterans and other observers are expected on Sunday, Dec. 7, 2008 to commemorate the 67th anniversary of the devastating Japanese military raid.(AP Photo)

One of the speakers will be Thomas Griffin, who answered the Pearl Harbor attack four months later with an aircraft carrier-launched bomber raid on Tokyo.

The B-25 mission inflicted little damage to Japan but boosted morale in America.

It led the embarrassed Japanese government to launch what turned out to be an ill-fated attack on Midway Island.


USS Hornet launched the B-25 attack on Japan in 1942

From the Associated Press

Japanese zero.jpg

One of the American heroes of December 7, 1941 was Doris “Dorie” Miller.  He was awarded the Navy Cross for his heroic action that day.  He fought the Japanese along side his Commanding Officer, Captain Mervyn Bennion of the USS West Virginia:

“For distinguished devotion to duty, extraordinary courage and disregard for his own personal safety during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, by Japanese forces on December 7, 1941. While at the side of his Captain on the bridge, Miller, despite enemy strafing and bombing and in the face of a serious fire, assisted in moving his Captain, who had been mortally wounded, to a place of greater safety, and later manned and operated a machine gun directed at enemy Japanese attacking aircraft until ordered to leave the bridge.”

   
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In this Dec. 7, 1941 file photo, a  small boat rescues a USS ... 
In this Dec. 7, 1941 file photo, a small boat rescues a USS West Virginia crew member from the water after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. With an eye on the immediate aftermath of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, thousands of World War II veterans and other observers are expected on Sunday, Dec. 7, 2008 to commemorate the 67th anniversary of the devastating Japanese military raid.

Captain Bennion of USS West Virginia was awarded the Medal of Honor (posthumously).

Mervyn Sharp Bennion

Captain Bennion’s citation:

For conspicuous devotion to duty, extraordinary courage, and complete disregard of his own life, above and beyond the call of duty, during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, by Japanese forces on 7 December 1941. As Commanding Officer of the USS West Virginia, after being mortally wounded, Capt. Bennion evidenced apparent concern only in fighting and saving his ship, and strongly protested against being carried from the bridge.”


USS Bennion was named for Captain Bennion in 1943.


USS Miller was named for Dorie Miller in 1973