The lost band of the Arizona

71 years ago at approximately this moment a band that had played at Pearl Harbor’s Bloch Arena the night before Pearl Harbor was attacked ceased to exist when their ship erupted in a fount of flame and smoke as a lucky hit from a Japanese bomber struck her forward magazine.

When they were playing the night before at the arena, it looked like they had nothing but life, life, and more life ahead for the members of the band of the USS Arizona.    Now they were no longer in this world but the next, thrust into it in a horrific moment that beggars the imagination.

Forget them not, 71 years after their untimely deaths.   Them and all the others who died on December 7th, 1941.

For two informative websites about the band, go to: http://www.ussarizona.org/history/uss-arizona-band and: http://www.ussarizonaslastband.com/  -T.H.

Mizuki’s message

 

Lest we forget:

At precisely this moment 71 years ago today, Lieutenant Commander Mitsuo Fuchida ordered 1st Flying Petty Officer Tokunobu Mizuki to send a message as their plane flew near Barber’s Point on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.

“Tora Tora Tora” Read the message that flashed out from Mizuki’s key.

As the words wafted over the airwaves to the mighty task force of the Imperial Japanese Navy that hovered to the north of the Hawaiian Islands, it brought a wave of relief to Admiral Chuichi Nagumo and his staff, for the United States Pacific Fleet had been caught by surprise.   A surprise that soon would lead to sights like that above.

Meanwhile, as Mizuki sent his message and the various Japanese attack groups bore in on Pearl Harbor and nearby bases such as Hickam and Wheeler Fields, and Kaneohe Naval Air Station, hundreds of Americans did not know that in a few minutes a fury they had never experienced the likes of before would engulf them.   A fury that would claim hundreds of lives and injure many more either physically, emotionally, or both.

For those destined to survive on both sides, the day that saw Mizuki’ message enter the pages of history would be one that they would not ever forget.    A day that deserves to not ever be forgotten even after the last participant of that tragic drama has left us.

Remember Pearl Harbor!