– “Today, we pay solemn tribute to America’s sons and daughters who made the ultimate sacrifice at Oahu. As we do, let us also reaffirm that their legacy will always burn bright — whether in the memory of those who knew them, the spirit of service that guides our men and women in uniform today, or the heart of the country they kept strong and free,” President Barak Obama said in his proclamation issued today declaring Dec. 7 as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
The new Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) Historic Sites app for iPhone and iPad was recently released in time for the 71st anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7. The JBPHH Historic Sites app allows users to pull up information about various points of interest around the base, including vintage photographs, historical data and more. Joint Base commander Capt. Jeff James puts the app in context.
Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Michael Tolbert, left, and Information Systems Technician 2nd Class An-Marie Ledesma upload geographical data onto tactical Apple iPads for combat operations in the Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 operations room aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christopher K. Hwang/Released)
By Capt. Jeff James, Commander, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam
The Navy’s history is one of innovation, from sails to steam to nuclear power and from battleships to aircraft carriers. Since its inception in 1947, the Air Force has been dedicated to state-of-the-art technology and innovation as well. From Morse code to cyber communication, cannonballs to cruise missiles, the military has found new and powerful ways to get the message out. Whether in energy, warfighting or communication – including communicating history – we are committed to being on the cutting edge of science and technology. The Joint Base, itself, represents a commitment to achieving greater efficiencies and new ways of doing business.
Another way that we are thinking outside the box and leading the way in innovation is with our new Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam history app. Imagine having your own personal tour guide to describe the historic sitesaround base. This app, which anyone can download for free from iTunes, takes the visitor throughout various locations around JBPHH and uses text and nearly a hundred historic photographs to introduce them to the many aspects of the base’s history.
As Rear Adm. Frank Ponds, commander, Navy Region Hawaii, has said, “Here in Hawaii, we embrace innovation while preserving history and maintaining force readiness.” This app is a good example of how we’re moving forward in preserving and sharing history through
innovation and new technologies.
We are helping to preserve our history through the creative use of technology, and we plan to expand it even further through the use of audio and video. Imagine standing at Battleship Row and hearing survivors themselves tell the story of what happened on December 7, 1941. Hawaii and JBPHH are the DoD’s gateway to the Asia Pacific region, and serve as the ideal launch point for our Naval and Air Forces to support this re-balancing. I encourage everyone who can to learn more about the rich history of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam – and this new app is the ideal tool to do so with. I invite you to give it a try.
Capt. James is a former commanding officer of USS Hopper (DDG 70), namesake of Rear Adm. “Amazing” Grace Hopper, one of the Navy’s greatest all-time innovators. The app was developed by a team led by Commander Navy Region Hawaii historian Jim Neuman with the CNRH Public Affairs Office.
Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) render honors as the ship passes by the battleship USS Arizona Memorial. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joseph M. Buliavac/Released)
While many Americans know Dec. 7, 2012, as the 71st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, few are familiar with the role Gen. George Patton played in foreshadowing it.
The Japanese Empire had been on the move in the Orient since its defeat of Russia in 1904 at Port Arthur, Manchuria. Next came the conquest of Korea, to be followed in World War I by the annexation of most of the German colonies in the Pacific; the Carolines, Gilberts, Marianas island groups, plus the German colony on the Chinese coast at Tsaingtao.
Maj. Gen. George S. Patton Jr. (center) studies a map during World War II with General Lesley J. McNair (left), chief of staff of General Headquarters and later commanding general of U.S. Army Ground Forces.
The Japaneses urge to expand their empire throughout the Orient has been written about by such Americans as Homer Lea and Jack London prior to World War I and, most notably, by Gen. Billy Mitchell in the mid 1920s.
Then in 1931, Japan openly invaded Manchuria to claim its rich natural resources. This was followed in July of 1937 by the infamous Marco Polo Bridge Incident which instigated the Second Sino-Japanese War.
This was followed by attacks on Shanghai and Nanking and finally the air attack on the American gunboat, USS Panay. This latter act of aggression was filmed by cameramen onboard the Panay and on the river bank, both openly showing Japanese aircraft attacking the Panay with the American flag flying.
It was at this latter time period that Patton was the intelligence officer of the Hawaiian Division, as it was then known. In his 1937 report dated, June 3, he concluded Japan was willing and possibly able to attack Hawaii. His report detailed the following:
1. This study is based on the inescapable assumption that complete surprise offers the greatest opportunity for the successful capture of these islands.
2. Some of the Mandate Islands [noted above as the Carolines, Gilberts and Marianas], about which absolutely nothing is known, are only 2,500 miles distant, seven days’ steaming over the loneliest sea lanes in the world. Who can say that an expeditionary force is not in these islands now.
3. Since becoming modernized, Japan has never declared war.
4. To facilitate the capture and occupation of an advance base, the air and submarine forces on Oahu must be destroyed or neutralized.
5. A consideration of the foregoing impels the thought that when and if circumstances impel Japan to attempt the capture of these islands, the following method of procedure on her part is fraught with the gravest danger to us.
a. The unheralded arrival during a period of profound peace of a Japanese expeditionary force within 200 miles of Oahu during darkness. This force to be proceeded by submarines [that] will be in the immediate vicinity of Pearl Harbor.
6. The vital necessity to Japan of a short war and of the possession at its termination of land areas for bargaining purposes may impel her to take drastic measures. It is the duty of the military forces to prepare against the worst possible eventualities.
As Patton would write so often during his illustrious career: ”To be a successful Soldier, you must know history.”
The proclamation reads:
“On December 7, 1941, our Nation suffered one of the most devastating attacks ever to befall the American people. In less than 2 hours, the bombs that rained on Pearl Harbor robbed thousands of men, women, and children of their lives; in little more than a day, our country was thrust into the greatest conflict the world had ever known. We mark this anniversary by honoring the patriots who perished more than seven decades ago, extending our thoughts and prayers to the loved ones they left behind, and showing our gratitude to a generation of service members who carried our Nation through some of the 20th century’s darkest moments.
“In his address to the Congress, President Franklin D. Roosevelt affirmed that “with confidence in our Armed Forces — with the unbounding determination of our people — we will gain the inevitable triumph.” Millions stood up and shipped out to meet that call to service, fighting heroically on Europe’s distant shores and pressing island by island across the Pacific. Millions more carried out the fight in factories and shipyards here at home, building the arsenal of democracy that propelled America to the victory President Roosevelt foresaw. On every front, we faced down impossible odds — and out of the ashes of conflict, America rose more prepared than ever to meet the challenges of the day, sure that there was no trial we could not overcome.
“Today, we pay solemn tribute to America’s sons and daughters who made the ultimate sacrifice at Oahu. As we do, let us also reaffirm that their legacy will always burn bright — whether in the memory of those who knew them, the spirit of service that guides our men and women in uniform today, or the heart of the country they kept strong and free.
“The Congress, by Public Law 103-308, as amended, has designated December 7 of each year as “National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
“NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim December 7, 2012, as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. I encourage all Americans to observe this solemn day of remembrance and to honor our military, past and present, with appropriate ceremonies and activities. I urge all Federal agencies and interested organizations, groups, and individuals to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff this December 7 in honor of those American patriots who died as a result of their service at Pearl Harbor.”
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