Dec. 7th, 1941, Pearl Harbor was one of several targets that day

December 7, 2012 by  

Here’s a story from MSN that expands on some of the history on that fateful day….

It’s strange how wars are remembered — and forgotten.

On this day, Dec. 7, let’s honor Pearl Harbor’s fallen and never forget that the awful attack was one of several costly battles that day.

Pearl Harbor deeply shook our country. The strategic loss hit especially hard — four battleships sunk, hundreds of planes and nearly 20 ships damaged or destroyed. But nothing tore at America’s heart more than the surprise attack on Americans in uniform — 1,282 American military wounded, 2,402 killed.

Still, there was more shocking news to come for a nation in mourning and under fire. The attack on Pearl Harbor was part of a coordinated plan.

At the same time men were dying on the mighty Arizona, Japan attacked Hong Kong, Malaya, Singapore, the Philippines. Within weeks, more than 220,000 Allied forces were taken prisoner, more than 31,000 wounded, more than 30,000 killed.

Joyce Roberts shakes off Dec. 7, 1941, like a bad dream. Then, sipping tea in her San Clemente home, she remembers every detail.

Roberts was 14 years old and living in Glendale with her mother and two sisters, having just fled Hong Kong.

The daughter of missionaries, Roberts was leaving church when people started asking, "Have you heard? Have you heard?"

Mom switched on the radio. Pearl Harbor was all the news. But Dad, superintendent of the Hunan Bible Institute in China, was scheduled to fly out of Hong Kong that very day.

Where was her father? Was he alive?

To understand the sweep of the attacks on that day of infamy, it helps to go back further — a decade or so.

Sponsored by Biola University, Dad’s 10-acre Bible Institute was in Changsha, the capital city of Hunan, a province in south-central China. Like other American missionary children in China, Roberts and her twin sister spoke Chinese before they spoke English.

These were years when China was opening up after being relatively closed for centuries. Refugees from Korea, Russia, Germany formed ethnic enclaves in Shanghai. And Changsha, an interior port off a branch of the Mississippi-like Yangtze River, was like a miniature Shanghai.

But Changsha’s location coupled with a railroad also meant it was a strategic military site. One day, Roberts looked up and saw a plane with a big red dot on it. Cute, she thought.

Read the rest of the article HERE


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