Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pearl Harbor Day

National Geographic - Pearl Harbor: Legacy of AttackVisalia's annual Pearl Harbor Day ceremony has a new start time.

The ceremony in front of Visalia's World War II mural on South Mooney Boulevard today is three hours later than usual to reflect the local time that Pearl Harbor was attacked. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor began at 7:55 a.m. Hawaiian time on Dec. 7, 1941, thrusting the United States into World War II.

Visalia resident Bob McNutt was there.

Ret. U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Howard Bakeman, 92, a veteran of World War II and the Korean War, was stationed in Pearl Harbor when Japanese bombers attacked by air on Dec. 7, 1941.

I’ve got a Pearl Harbor survivor badge. “Surprise. Surprise. Surprise,” Bakeman said Monday.

“Next year,” Tunnell said, for the 70th anniversary, “we will have a full ceremony honoring the surviving Alabama members. Most of the Pearl Harbor survivors are older than 85 and not all mobile.”

The Monaghan's boilers were still warm.
Pearl Harbor [Blu-ray]
The Monaghan was one of the first ships to get out of the harbor. Luckily for him, he was topside working on refueling duties when a typhoon capsized the USS Monaghan off the coast of the Phillipines in 1944.

Of the 248 personnel onboard the USS Monaghan when it went down, only six survived. McNutt plans on attending today's local remembrance of Pearl Harbor. It was called Oak Street Laundries.

McNutt is one of two remaining Pearl Harbor survivors who live in Visalia. A Boston native and Mobile resident for 40 years, his sedan features a U.S. Army flag decal, as well as others identifying him as a war veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor. The attack on Pearl Harbor caused more than 2,300 American military deaths, according to the National Park Service. Of those, 1,177 were crewmembers on the USS Arizona.

The Sunday morning attack plunged the United States into World War II.

Bakeman said that strangers still stop him to offer appreciation for his military service:


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