Attack On Pearl Harbor

December 8, 1941

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A True Story

My name is Caleb Johnson. I am a Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. navy. I was lucky enough to escape yesterday when the Pearl Harbor Naval Base on the island of Oahu, Hawaii was attacked by the Japanese military. The bombers came without warning and caught us completely by surprise. So far I've been told that their intentions were to neutralize the U.S. Pacific Fleet. They want the U.S. out of the way so they can march into the Dutch East Indies and take their oil.
The attack lasted an hour and fifty minutes. The first wave came at 7:55 in the morning when I was down in the mess hall getting my usual breakfast. Most of my crew were still sleeping at the time. They finally stopped around 8:40. We were so relived when the bombs finally stopped. The few of us that had survived started to help the wounded out of the rubble when the second wave came. We never saw it coming. The bombs came again and again until about 9:45. We didn't move until we were absolutely sure that the bombs had stopped.

When it was all over 2,335 service men had been killed, and 1,141 were wounded. Along with the 68 civilians killed and 35 civilians wounded. In all my years of service I've never seen this many losses in a single day. 65 Japanese soldiers died during the attack and we captured one of them. He is being questioned about the attack and will be put on death row for his crimes. Most of us are unsure of what will follow, but I promise, the Japanese will pay for this. I believe that there will be war.

In all this chaos, there are some things we can take away from this. We now know that the U.S. is not invincible. There are always people out there that want to take away the quality of living and freedoms that we have here in America. We also learn that we need to appreciate what we have. One minute you can be having a routine morning eating breakfast and in one second it can turn into a disaster.

-Caleb Johnson
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