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December 07, 2003


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USS Arizona - Pearl Harbor Attack
December 7, 1941
The forward superstructure and Number Two 14"/45 triple gun turret of the sunken USS Arizona (BB-39), afire after the Japanese raid, 7 December 1941. The foremast is leaning as a result of the collapse of the hull structure below its front leg, following the explosion of the ship's forward magazines. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

December 2003
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Top News Stories

Dec. 7, 1941

By June Allen

It was Sunday morning, Dec. 7, 1941. At 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time, Japanese Imperial forces launched a surprise air attack on the U.S. Navy's fleet moored at Pearl Harbor and the nearby Army installation. Nineteen ships were sunk or damaged, crippling the U.S. fleet. And in a period of only a few hours, 2,300 Americans were left dead.

One of those was Navy Ensign Irvin Thompson, 24, of Ketchikan. He was lost in the sinking of the battleship Oklahoma, Alaska's first serviceman casualty of World War II. In his honor, flags would fly at half-mast throughout Alaska Dec. 21, by proclamation of Territorial Governor Ernest Gruening.

In spite of the fact that the United States had declared neutrality in Hitler's "European war" on Sept. 5, 1939, most citizens expected that eventually the country would be drawn into the conflict. What few expected was that any nation would dare to attack the United States! The attack on Pearl Harbor came as an outrage and war was immediately declared.

In Ketchikan, in shock like the rest of the nation, there were whispered rumors of Japanese cannery workers and bookkeepers having hidden short wave radios. In fact, a more specific rumor said that a spy at Waterfall Cannery had been evacuated by an enemy submarine under cover of night. There was a rumor of enemy submarines off Prince of Wales Island - a rumor that soon after earned some credibility when remote areas in British Columbia and the Oregon coast were lobbed with incendiary bombs launched from enemy subs. - Read the rest of this story by June Allen...
Sunday - December 07, 2003 - 12:45 am

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, 2003
by the President of the United States of America, A Proclamation

More than 60 years ago, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt told Americans that December 7, 1941, was "a date which will live in infamy." On that morning, America was attacked without warning and without provocation. More than 2,400 Americans died and 1,100 were wounded. Our country was changed forever. Following that attack, our

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Ketchikan's Holiday Lights
Photo Gallery #2

Photos by Carl Thompson
Sunday - December 07, 2003
citizens responded with the strength and resolve that characterizes America in times of adversity, and that same spirit and courage carried us to victory in World War II. On National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, we honor the lives lost in that attack and salute the veterans of World War II. We also pay tribute to all those now serving America to advance freedom around the world.

The USS ARIZONA Memorial in Honolulu, Hawaii, stands as a monument to that ship's 1,177 crew members who died as a result of the attack. Since the Memorial's dedication, more than 40 million visitors have honored the heroism of these brave sailors and marines. Laura and I had the opportunity to visit the Memorial in October of this year. It is a fitting tribute to the lives lost in defense of our freedom during the greatest global conflict in history. - Read more...
Sunday - December 07, 2003 - 12:45 am



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