Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Pearl Harbour, Hawaii

The battleship USS Arizona at Pearl Harbour was attacked December 7, 1941 by the Japanese in a surprise attack.  This act of agression was what got the US involved in WWII.
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The memorial is over top the sunken battleship and oil still leaks from it-
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Names of the 1102 sailors and marines killed on the USS Arizona Are on display in the memorial-
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Japan wanted to secure oil reserves so they attacked countries in South East Asia and the South Pacific.  They thought that by wiping out the U.S. Fleet, the U.S.  would be unable to interfere with the Japanese conquest.  In order to do this, they flew 4000 miles undetected, had Oahu surrounded with submarines to prevent any escaping and midget subs were sent into the island to shoot torpedoes.  On December 7th, over 185 ships were anchored in Pearl Harbour for repairs, maintenance and refuelling.    Luckily the 3 air craft carriers were out at sea.  In retaliation, the U.S. shot down 20 Japanese planes and got a midget sub.  However, the  Japanese had wiped out over 300 American planes and 21 ships.  3500 soldiers were wounded or killed.
This encapsulated harpoon missile was used for submarine launches.  It is fired from a sub's torpedoe tube and runs up to the surface.  As it approaches the surface, the missile exits the capsule and searches for its target.  It has a range of 69 miles and travels at subsonic speed, which is less than the speed of sound-
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This anchor from the USS Arizona is gigantic-
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The USS Bowfin is 311 feet long and travelled  16.2 km per hour submerged.  It did 9 war patrols, being launched in 1942.  It could hold 10 officers-
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The dining room-
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Sleeping compartments-
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The control centre-
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The passageways were built for midgets!
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The USS Missouri is 887 feet long, 209 feet high and travels at more than 32 knots per hour.  It carried 32 Tomahawk anti surface missiles (land attack missiles) and 16 harpoon anti surface missiles.
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It is where, on September 2, 1945, the Japanese signed the papers to surrender and end World War II.
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Canada was also represented-
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Kamikaze pilots , or tokkotai, an abbreviation for "special attack unit" killed 5000 American naval personnel and sunk 36 ships during the Battle of Okinawa.  April 11, 1945, 16 tokkotai pilots took off from their base.  The USS Missouri was able to pick up some of them on it's radar and in spite of shooting this plane, it still managed to crash into the ship.  You can see the plane in the top left of the picture!
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The unknown pilot was given a traditional burial at sea , wrapped in a Japanese flag, hand sewn by the Missouri crew.  In  2001, after much research, Setsuo Ishino's family was notified of his death and humane burial, even in times of war.
Visiting Pearl Harbour was a great way to spend a day!

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