Pearl Harbor

December 7, 1941

What is the Pearl Harbor By. Daron Buie

The Pearl Harbor is is the harbor near Honolulu, in Hawaii. When the Japanese fighter planes attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor. The attack lasted up to two hours and the Japanese manage to destroy 20 American navel vessels, 8 battle ships, 200 airplanes, and more than 2,000 American soldiers and sailors were killed and another 1,000 wounded. (Pearl Harbor History.com).

The day after the attack President Franklin D. Roosevelt had declared war upon Japan, and the Congress approved his declaration with one dissenting vote. Then three days later the Japanese allies Germany, and Italy has also declared war upon the United States of America and the Congress reciprocated. Then more than two years into the conflict, America had finally joined in the World War 2 (Pearl Harbor History.com).

Dorie Miller (1919-1943) By. Daron Buie

Doris Miller, known as "Dorie," was in Waco, Texas in 1919. He worked on his fathers farm with three other brothers after high school until 1938. When he enrolled into the Navy as a mess attendant (kitchen worker) to earn money for his family. At the time the Navy was segregated so combat positions were not allowed to African-Americans (Dorie Miller America Comes Alive).


On December 7, 1941, Dorie waken up at 6 a.m. to begin work when the Japanese attacked, he immediately reported to his assigned battle station to carry the injured to safer quarters, and this included the mortally wounded ship's captain. He was a former football player, and the Navy boxing champ (Dorie Miller America Comes Alive).


Miller then returned to the deck and saw the Japanese planes dropping bombs on the U.S. Naval Fleet. He picked up a 50-caliber Browning antiaircraft machine gun to shoot down three or four of enemy aircrafts. He kept firing until he ran out of ammo by then they were ordered to abandoned the ship "The west Virginia" that was severely damages and was slowly sinking to the harbor bottom. About 1541 men were on board of the attack, and 130 were killed and 52 wounded (Dorie Miller America Comes Alive).


News papers were publish stating how an African-American defend the ship and crew from the attack of the Japanese of Pittsburgh Courier, one of the country's most widely circulated black newspapers, which lead to a reporter sent to identify Miller and about the attack (Dorie Miller America Comes Alive).


On April 1, 1942 Miller was commended by the Secretary of the Navy, Frank Knox, and on May 27, 1942 he received the Navy Cross for his extraordinary courage in battle. His rank was raised to Mess Attendant First Class on June 1, 1942 (Dorie Miller America Comes Alive).


As happened with other war heroes, Dorie Miller was then sent on a tour in the States to raise money for war bonds, but Miller he was soon called back (spring ’43) to serve on the new escort carrier the USS Liscome Bay. The ship was operating in the Pacific near the Gilbert Islands. At 5:10 a.m. on November 24, the ship was hit by a single torpedo fired from a Japanese submarine. The torpedo detonated the bomb magazine on the carrier; the bombs exploded, and the ship sank within minutes. Miller was initially listed as missing; by November 1944 he status was changed to “presumed dead.” Only 272 men survived the attack (Dorie Miller America Comes Alive).


Today there is a Dorie Miller park in Hawaii and a good number of schools and buildings throughout the U.S. are named in his honor (Dorie Miller America Comes Alive).

Finn, John William (1909-2010) By. Daron Buie

John W. Finn, was one of the last survivors of the 15 Navy men who received thMedal of Honor for heroism during the Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor. On the morning of Sunday December 7,1941 when the Japanese attacked the American battleships in Hawaii, plunging the nation into World War 2 (The New York Times U.S. John Finn Medal of Honor).


John William the chief petty officer in charge of munitions at the naval station and a veteran of 15 years in the Navy, was in bed in a nearby apartment with his wife, Alice. He heard the sound of aircraft, saw one plane flash past his window, then another, and he heard machine guns. John got dressed and drove to the Naval Station. When Chief Finn arrived at the hangers, many of the planes had already been hit. He recalled that he grabbed a .30-caliber machine gun on a makeshift tripod, and carried it to an exposed area near of the runway and opened fired for the next two and a half hours (The New York Times U.S. John Finn Medal of Honor).


John William was shot in the left arm and shot in the left foot, broke the bone. I had shrapnel blows in my chest and belly and right elbow and right thumb. Some were just scratches. But people around him thought he wouldn't make it. He was shot 28 to 29 times from where he was bleeding to death (The New York Times U.S. John Finn Medal of Honor).


Chief claimed he had at least shot down one plane of the enemies aircrafts. When the attack ended he received first aid, and then returned to await further attacks after he was hospitalized the following afternoon (The New York Times U.S. John Finn Medal of Honor).


On Sept. 15, 1942, Chief Finn received the Medal of Honor from Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet, in a ceremony aboard the carrier Enterprise at Pearl Harbor. Admiral Nimitz cited Chief Finn for his “magnificent courage in the face of almost certain death,” (The New York Times U.S. John Finn Medal of Honor).


John William Finn was born on July 23, 1909, in Los Angeles County, the son of a plumber. He dropped out of school to join the Navy at age 17 (The New York Times U.S. John Finn Medal of Honor).


He served stateside after he recovered from his Pearl Harbor wounds, became a lieutenant in 1944 and remained in military service after the war. He had been living on a cattle ranch in Pine Valley, Calif., about 45 miles east of San Diego, before entering the nursing home where he died (The New York Times U.S. John Finn Medal of Honor).


In 1999, Mr. Finn was among Pearl Harbor veterans invited to Hawaii for the premiere of the Hollywood movie “Pearl Harbor.” “It was a damned good movie,” he told The Boston Herald in 2001. “It’s helped educate people who didn’t know about Pearl Harbor and what happened there,” (The New York Times U.S. John Finn Medal of Honor).



“I liked it especially,” he said, “because I got to kiss all those pretty little movie actresses,” (The New York Times U.S. John Finn Medal of Honor).

Lee Soucy (1919-2010) By. Nickole Vernon

Lee Soucy died at the age of 90. He is a survivor of the Pearl Harbor. Lee Soucy says “ It was a very rough time during the Pearl Harbor”. This man is very caring and respectful and he has been through some rough times.

Work Cited

"Pearl Harbor." History.com. A&E Television Networks. Web. 12 Mar. 2015.

Goldstein, Richard. "John Finn, Medal of Honor Winner, Dies at 100." The New York Times. The New York Times, 27 May 2010. Web. 12 Mar. 2015.

"Dorie Miller (1919-1943), Hero of World War II - America Comes Alive." America Comes Alive. 20 Feb. 2012. Web. 13 Mar. 2015.

"Oral History Interview with Lee B. Soucy, 1994 April 25." (Book, 1994) [WorldCat.org]. Web. 13 Mar. 2015.