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tv   Japanese Attack on Kaneohe Bay  CSPAN  January 17, 2016 1:15pm-2:01pm EST

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>> minutes before the attack on pearl harbor on december 7, 1941, the japanese bombed a naval air station. this story is largely forgotten. coming up next on the anniversary of the attacks, author michael wagner talks about those whose -- those who fought, survived, and died when japanese -- japanese planes passed the day on their way to pearl harbor. >> good morning, thank you for joining us as we commemorate the 74th anniversary of the pearl harbor attack. this is another on our ongoing on deck series. we are thrilled to have you all with us. today, we have mike wagner and bob chrisman, the authors of "no one avoided danger."
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mike joins us today from raleigh, north carolina. he has been conducting history research in various repositories around the world. he is the co-author of 10 books and recipient of the "author of the year" award from the u.s. naval institute. please join me in welcoming him. [applause] michael wagner: i will get my papers here. they are here on this model. as i said before, it's an extra --extraordinary honor to present the navy memorial, and for this institution, navy history means a lot to me. in particular, it means a lot to
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my co-author, who is the head of editing for the dictionary of american fighting ships. it has been my mentor over a. -- mentor over many years. he has often call me the brother he never had. we love each other deeply. her love for naval history runs as deep. -- our love for naval history runs deep. "put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground." during the centennial celebration of the american civil war, my family travel to many battlefield sites, and ultimately to gettysburg. i realize holy ground is in our
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midst, ground consecrated by the blood of americans. during my first trip to hawaii i , was captured by the allure of the islands. but i think of pearl harbor as a battlefield, just as i'm sure the beaches of normandy and gettysburg and host of other places do. liesattle site from 1941 60 miles from the attack on pearl harbor. the location is an active military base today, marine corps base hawaii. 74 years ago, americans fought
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back in a pitched battle against japanese attackers did yet, little is known publicly about the battle which took place on the shores of kaneohe bay. that struggle is the basis of this program. garish sign was a popular spot for snapshots in the 1930's. of the soldiers, sailors and marines of hawaii's strategic importance. such an outpost required long-distance aerial patrols. congestion at pearl
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harbor it was clear any expansion of patrol plane activity required additional facilities. the navy selected kaneohe bay on oahu's windward shore as a new site for a naval air station. in 1939, navy purchased 10 miles of land on the north shore, and construction began shortly thereafter. by the 1940 -- by 1941, sufficient facilities were in place to support their operations. on 15 february, harold and martin--harold m martin and medical officer lieutenant commander kellam placed the bay into commission. they raise colors as the band
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struck up the star-spangled banner, complete with a flyover of pby's from pearl harbor. all of the buildings, being brand spanking new, it was little wonder that with gleaming facilities and recreations that it was known as the "country club" of the pacific. however, as the months of 1940 -- 1941 over the beautiful -- 1941 slipped, skies darkened over the beautiful peninsula. june america preoccupied with a struggle to emerge from the great depression in the 1930's, the aggressive behavior of japan presented a disquieting and troubling prospect. from 1937 to 1941, the war between china and japan dampened ambitions in the far east,
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particularly u.s. interests in the philippines. against this backdrop, husband e kimmell and his staff devoted themselves to fleet readiness, training, and the chronic shortfalls of manpower, and installations. in 1941, the issue in the far east group critical. --grew critical. the collapse of the indochina government prompted kimmel to reinforce wake and midway islands. sensing the seriousness of the situation, on 29 november, commander martin addressed his men on the parade ground. "we are as close to war as we can be without firing.
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the especially on alert and expect anything. don't be surprised at anything that might happen." despite this startling admonition, the week that followed settled into a usual routine. by friday, the 98th coastal artillery with through antiaircraft batteries--withdrew its antiaircraft batteries. tens and this -- the tense atmosphere dissipated. although saturday and sunday were workdays, those men nonduty looked forward to a relaxing weekend. richard mojer and bowing to the bus into the day.
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many comrades followed suit, cramming into buses for honolulu and waikiki. 6 when sun rose on-- when the sun rose on kaneohe bay that date, many imagined homegrown pleasures. thought centered on the family picnic he and his wife had planned for the afternoon. mccrimmon. relief at being transferred to-- mccrimmon felt relief at being transferred to kaneohe bay. but all was not well. after traversing the stormy northern pacific, six aircraft carriers and supporting battleships, cruisers, and submarines steamed 200 miles north of oahu, poised to deliver a blow to the pacific fleet. making landfall northeast of the
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bay, most planes turned southwest. under planes deployed similarly, except for 11 from the carriers. they turned southeast, hugging the windward coast line. following a brief encounter with civilian aircraft near a mormon temple, fighters crossed the peninsula, flying east over the station's sundrenched landscape, setting up firing passes in kaneohe bay.
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commander martin was at home, fixing hot chocolate for his son, david, when he saw an aircraft with red circles on it. he dressed hurriedly and jumped into his car for a frantic drive to his headquarters in the administration building. on his arrival, the planes burned. before aircraft board in the bay--the four aircraft in the bay sank. they were the first men to perish at kaneohe bay that morning. daniel griffin was shot while stirring to see what happened in the sky. earlier, they had traded duty with pilots william gardner, who survived war, guilt would never after for sending a friend to his death. surviving commander paul then no
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string-- paul van nostren jumped from a burning pby, dodging gunfire, swimming north for the shore. and six under -- strength to south and east of the hangar line. ignitedthese aircraft from the gasoline from the punctured fuel tanks, setting fires up and down the aprons. marines and the color guard were in a frantic debate through the wisdom of raising the colors and the flag in front of the administration bill.
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determine to voice to the colors come hell or high water. attract unwanted attention. pounds,hes and 30 pulling hard and poised to in comrade into the air along with the colors. .lowing flight colors the marines at barracks eight commenced firing through the windows at the passing aircraft. first-class private james l evans mounted a machine gun atop the building, gaining access by a hatch in the barracks roof. other leathernecks, charles h roberts among them, converged on the parade ground to the north by automobile, careening through
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the kaneohe bay northgate. sailors and marines broke out automatic rifles and sprinted to the pby's as the aircraft returned underneath them. some mounted machine guns. others held weapons in their bare hands, placing them on cubes of bricks, in footings of the new hangar, under construction. other men pushed less damaged aircraft away. most could do nothing but take cover. one later said, we could do nothing. indian listed barracks and
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enlisted married housing farther north, sailors woke to the realization something was amiss. alarmed by the commotion some , still in bed, some fixing breakfast, all went outside and saw eleven columns of smoke. -- sentiments columns of smoke -- saw immense columns of smoke. they dressed and ran helter-skelter to the hangars. one in his oldsmobile sedan. second in command of kaneohe's marine detachment had been on a
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late-night date with commander morton's niece. he dressed, ran to his car, and quickly drove to the administration building to meet major donahue. the steady storm of cars was hailed by japanese fighters, by which this time had expended much of their ammunition. smoke made it difficult to select targets so the fighters turned their attention to automobiles, setting fire to some enroute and others once they had parked near the hangars. determined to fight back, the sailors exposed themselves recklessly as on battlefields of past generations, americans fell, this time stricken by machine gun and cannon fire. the chief officer took charge of men attempting to roll 2 pby's from the first hangar.
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he was shot, but barely missed a beat, screaming orders at his recruits using his best movie vocabulary and and mad as hell and being knocked out on the first day of the war. sailors use private vehicles, bomb trucks, and other vehicles to transport the wounded to the dispensary. there, the surgeon dispatched to station ambulances to the flight line. then cleared ambulatory patients from the world and ran to prepare the first four operating rooms for the stream of casualties that overwhelmed the duck is on duty. after expending ammunition, the japanese fighters broke off their attacks, heading west. one officer, this had been too easy. 40 years later he recalled, without any opposition, our strafing runs were like target pack this. as the japanese will to the
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east, a stillness descended. logan only by the area sound of a fires and the moans of the wounded and dying. required proved short-lived, as the men's training and initiative turned to the form. all hands turn to, and the bad part of the ramp trucks, the japanese, filled the air. south of the hangars, men from the p-12 pushed surviving aircraft north including the pv why seen here. hoping it would be less visible against the backdrop of the squadron office welding. other efforts made matters
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worse. on-ramp tractor driver stepped on the guest too hard, tearing lazy port wing section from a burning pby. eventually they launched the aircraft into the water, where they continued fighting the fires. the only thing east of hangar one, from the north end of the apron, the sailors worked their way south, saving at least two aircraft. within 20 minutes or so, the men extinguished all fires east of the hangars. but without fire-fighting equipment, the blazing wreckage was left to burn itself out. the officers and men of kaneohe rose to me to all comers that morning and mounted a gallant defense of the news, answering every demand made upon them. more demands, however, lay ahead. again, and inbound strike of japanese bombers and fighters approach from the northeast just as the sailors of kaneohe extinguish the last of the fires. lieutenant commander gave the attack order and the large formations separated. him the dive bombers and a portion of the horizontal bombers parted southwest, bound for perl harbor and hickam
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field. the balance of the strike was kaneohe a. the fighters stationed at high altitude to prevent interference, 18 attack bombers from the carrier should talk google under lieutenant -- ashton of her kindly light east of the station and turned west for a textbook downwind run on kaneohe from the southwest. however, a cloud layer formed by the trade winds pushing against the -- up scared the targeted area below. e.g. harder as order specified an attack from 6000 feet with the cloud layer at 2000 feet, it circle down the and spiral. under the clouds at an altitude of 1500 feet. little went well with this altered approach. his bomb sites would not function at such a low altitude so he determined the bomb release time by i have.
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the wind swept off the extinct volcano on the tip of the evidence, buffeting his formation. in addition, at such a low altitude, they incoming bombers ran a file of machine gunners in the coconut grove between the hangars and the runway to the west. the sailors let fly with every gun that could be brought to bear. undeterred, ichihara released his gunners. lieutenant hanson looked up and saw two clusters of grapes falling from the aircraft above hangar 2. lieutenant buckley knew exactly what had happened and on impulse, sprinted. but then came back. similarly the radioman sought protection, first at a walk but
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then at a dead run. he hit the pavement just as the first bomb detonated. the lieutenant released far too soon, with the first bomb falling into kaneohe bay. the next landed squarely on the apron and a series of thunderous explosions but short of hangar 2. it set fire to only one additional aircraft. one jolted the bull debtor behind which the startled commander buckley sought refuge. a concussion ruptured these microsystem in hangar 2, damaging little. several miles behind, the next
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group made a similar approach. however, buffeted by wind and dismayed by the tracers arching skyward, they had seen enough and boarded, opting to reset, circle for altitude, and try again. below, meanwhile, the americans were jubilant at having driven off the attack, noting the aircraft trail gasoline as they escape to the north. later they scoffed, we were not too impressed. but neither was lieutenant ichihara impressed.
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the bombing attack was still to follow. meanwhile, the reprieve on the ground was short lived. seeing no american fires from the position of her is done in a lieutenant ordered his nine fighters from the carrier to reconnoiter -- two -- the two columns of smoke coming out of the hangars coming-out south of the -- the second in command shuddered at the site of the american antiaircraft fire and the blizzard of tracers arching skyward. he and his men damaged or destroyed the remain thing pbi's. on the ground, meanwhile, the americans were blind fighting mad.
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when the japanese fighters returned, one took to the ramp assisted by the radioman peterson. the are served a machine gun laying down fire against the attacking fighters. they pounded away, sustaining numerous wounds. john finn received the medal of honor for his fighting, and anderson received the navy cross. it drew the americans attention close to the ground and a few men saw another group of nine horizontal bombers approaching from the west. they had reset, this time from 7000 feet, well above the range
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of the american gunners. the bombardier is released nine of their 250 kilogram bombs, which again, fell short into kaneohe bay. they circled and released the other nine bombs approaching from the west. the second pulled marched across the apron, resulting in three direct hits and two misses just outside the east doors. relieved, hagi war ordered his men to tap out. meanwhile, massive explosions rocked the hangar. there was only one man known to survive both attacks. radioman mosier dragged himself across the hangar floor, unaware of his serious wounds and passed out.
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there, he was lifted into a cadillac convertible and transported to the dispensary. sailors plunged into the burning hangar to remove the remaining airplanes. one moved his best friend for transport to the dispensary. the young sailor found yet another close friend, john buckley, in agony from multiple the wounds and asked him to stay with him until the end. before the explosions, ensign charles and bob wouters followed and said joseph smart up the stairs to the squadron commander's offices in the south
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mezzanine, where lieutenant commander leone johnson had given orders for his pilots to assemble. the stairs, the bombs detonated, knocking off the ensign's flat. shaken, to arose but they're good friend and classmate, joe smart, lay dead from flying splinters. deeply moved at the sight of his descent's friends and using his own saliva, he gave his friend joseph smart last before moving
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on to assist the wounded. another leading chief was wounded, he stood up, cradling the contents of his abdomen and his arms. assisted him outside to obey transport to the dispensary. one tough old sailor, byron, survived his wounds in the war. the last of the bombs detonated across the street from the northeast corner of hangar one. and no men had just parked his 1940 occurred kobani bomb explosion not him flat. knowing he had lost his left arm, he stood, stumbled toward the cover of a nearby shack, read another sailor applied a tourniquet. nash was left-handed. one assembled for the return flight when he noticed a plume venting at half. he decided to die attacking the american.
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while tears tracked down the faces of his comrades, he commenced a series of strafing runs against the armory. the japanese aircraft descended slowly. the aircraft engines skittered into the front yard of a major. lieutenant jg john steele, the station's personnel officer, who had just finished a three-year study of the japanese language, appeared on the scene and is a flowchart. clever, misinterpretation of the flight chart took the americans on a search in the wrong direction. just into the attack, flying west to the rendezvous, the
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japanese left a grim scene of mayhem and destruction. of kaneohe's 36 aircraft, only those three still out on the patrols were operational. hangar one was a blazing wreck and continue to burn into the night. shortly before the bomb explosions destroyed the vehicle and killed one of the engines cool, seaman first class stanley dawson. the approaching darkness offered no solace to the survivors, who endured a cold, damp night filled with terror and rumors of the invasion. the station direst remarked the day had closed with none of the peace and quiet with which it had done.
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the specter of 18 dead and 65 wounded comments along with the approaching cloud-cover of darkness fell up kaneohe like a pall. and the suffering was not over. there was a last farewell and burial for the pollen in the sand and's north to the base with an honor guard hastily drawn from the marine detachment. there is a notification of next of kin, including three of the lives who lived at kaneohe. amongst these was ralph watson, and the officer who never met a stranger and was everybody's friend. watson left behind a beautiful wife and two children. grace watson wept uncontrollably for an entire day after learning of his death.
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she entered two young sons never recovered from the loss. i never go to hawaii, but what i did not think about these men. i might be walking down hotel street in chinatown and got a place like the union bar which was their 1941. bob and i looked in the door but we could not summon the courage to go in to this place. it was a place when the soldiers, sailors, and marines, tipped up their liquid refreshments. i might be walking in the back streets of of waikiki, where some art deco bar has escaped the wrecking ball. but wherever i go, i know these men were there and when i think of them, i believe these words. god bless you boys for like you did for me, for what you gave to this country, may god wish you and great you rest. [applause] >> my question is, who made the
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decision to pull the aircraft battery? thanks the army -- the question was, who made the decision to recall the anti-aircraft battery. i forget the designation but it was in the 98th coastal artillery. they were pulled back to i think to -- the reason they were back was because there was a general letdown after the big alerts of october and november. nothing happened. the commanders said, well, maybe we need to have -- but need to draw the men down into give them a chance to rest because something is going to happen and we would need to have them pick up.
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in the week of that decision, many of these anti-aircraft utility aircraft's warp back. i think they want to forge after if i'm not mistaking. yes? >> four or five years ago, the airspace museum publicized and acquisition of a twin-engine sikorsky aircraft which was said to have been in pearl harbor as a survivor. i wonder if you know anything about that in particular. wasn't that kenny out of the way? -- blessed at kaneohe bay? >> it is indeed a pearl harbor survivors are -- survivor. in fact, it was taken up by a first and second pilot, and they flew a search under north of oahu. the plane was unarmed.
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they had a couple rifleman and they actually made contact with the japanese. they bumped into two fighter pilots and the back on the control, and went straight up into the clouds and lost them. we're fortunate that that aircraft survived. i interviewed the pilot of that and he lived in charlotte for a time before his death. >> it is ironic that the planes that ended up flying a lot of these missions were not really designed for flying combat because i was all that was left. >> [indiscernible] >> they flew them out at long-distance. cross-country and then from the west coast to hawaii and down to the south pacific.
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others that they would take would go and be as cargo. the majority of them were flown. >> this question about how to get a pby out from the west coast. quite a lot of preparation had to be in place. they had navigational stations along the way, usually about four of them are in place so you could make sure the navigators kept it all together it is about a 24 hour flight. maybe 17 or 18 hours. a long flight. dangerous. not only did they have to fly the airplane's back, they had to ferry the old aircraft back to san diego and they were usually sent to jacksonville to be used
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as trainers. >> [inaudible -- indiscernible] >> bill is quite a bit of inter-services cooperation going on between the army and navy and an american airways. they would supply weather information. the army used the same technique to deliver b-17's from hamilton field i think it was out to hawaii. >> is there any record of anybody firing from radar hill? [indiscernible] there was somebody from canada's -- kansas up there who got killed in the process so that he came kt -- [indiscernible] >> the question had to do with the big hill in kaneohe. like you said, it is called kansas hill.
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i have seen a record of the incomplete control tower being strafed up there by the incoming fighters during the first wave but this is the first time i heard of men firing from that position. >> probably just more legend. >> well, when you are writing it sometimes it is difficult to sift up the legends because you want to include everything that is a you have to weigh the evidence. a question about the japanese aviator that was but down. survivor accounts say i was a
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dead look like there was nobody flying the aircraft. it slowly and verdant. the torque on the engine, if you are not applying pressure on the -- it will slowly invert the aircraft, so they think he just inverted and just went into the ground on the west side of the hill somewhere. anything else? >> all right. gentlemen, thank you for a masterful presentation. this is really amazing how many new things that 74 years on her
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starving being added to the record. -- 74 years on, things are still being added to the historical record. on behalf of all of us are of the navy memorial i would like to thank you. >> thank you very much. [applause] >> mondays martin luther king jr. day. we have featured programs all three of c-span's networks. coverage of the british house of commons debate on whether to ban donald trump from their country. that debate is expected to last three hours. on book tv at 6:30, university of wisconsin professor william p jones and his book the march on washington, jobs, freedom, and forgotten history of civil rights. >> he called off this march back
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in 1941. to getdy said he needs his support. he went to martin luther king and martin luther king says, i will support you but let us expand this. not just about winning equal access and fighting employment discrimination, it is also about winning the right to vote. hisnd john lewis recalls involvement in the civil rights movement. on american history tv, at 2 p.m. eastern, international history professor at the london school of economics iran's cold war partnership. you don't have to look to a third power to preserve independence and sovereignty against the imperial ambitions of russia. ton had moved to germany play that role. after the second world war a
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whole generation of iranians look to the united states as a country who has no imperial ambition and no history of colonialism in the region. withe 1963 interview reverend dr. martin luther king jr. on his nonviolent approach to civil rights and how mahatma gandhi -- mahatma gandhi influenced his work. >> we have college aged kids covered here in alabama. it is really kids in elementary school that are suffering. poor education, horrible buildings. >> documentary filmmaker talks , abouter latest film
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julius rosenwald and partnership with booker t. washington and the african-american communities in the south to build schools and education to children in rural america. why don't we just use the kit houses? the best thing booker t. washington ever said was, i want the communities to build them. from that it morphed into 5000 schools all over the south. >> monday night on the communicators, republican fcc commissioner discusses key topics considered by the fcc, including the speed of broadband deployment across the u.s..
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broadband employment really is one of the key drivers of job creation and economic growth. the 21st century there has been a democratization of entrepreneurship. people building businesses that in a previous era that would have had to migrate to the coast or would have withered on the vine. because of the connection they are able to innovate. that is powerful in rural america. the communicators, monday night at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span two. welcomed heart for, connecticut. on american history tv. is one ofcapital america's earliest cities, founded in 1637 by puritan istlers in today it nicknamed the insurance capital of the world. with the hof


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