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Tuesday, December 04, 2012

1935: A SNEAK ATTACK ON PEARL HARBOR

This coming Friday evening I will be journeying over to Ewing Township's Municipal building, where I will be the guest speaker at the Ewing Township Patriotic Committee, as they commemorate the 71st anniversary of the "dastardly attack" on Pearl Harbor. One of the most fascinating specimens in my WWII folder is this INCREDIBLE article from 6 years prior to the attack, when the U.S. Navy went on maneuvers to replicate an air raid on the Hawaiian Islands! Obviously, this will be one of the numerous subject on which I will speak, but my subject will center on Eastern Aircraft and the legendary Grumman TBM "Avenger.".

8 comments:

Bob Chianese said...

Tom: My uncle was first flight pilot and my father first flight mechanic on the Avengers as they came off the line at Eastern Aircraft /GM.

Also, you may know about the shells lobbed by a Japanese submarine at the Goleta oil refinery here on the west coast above Santa Barbara before the Pearl Harbor attack. Apparently the Japanese captain had traveled the Santa Barbara Channel before as a commercial boat captain and was angry at the oil installation for not selling him some fuel. The shelling put the west coast on alert, though the sub headed right back to Japan.

Bob Chianese

Tom Glover said...

VERY INTERESTING STORY, BOB. I DO RECALL WRITING ABOUT THE LOBBING OF SHELLS INTO WEST COAST REFINERIES. ALSO HOW THE JAPS SENT BALLOONS OVER THE OCEAN WITH INCENDIARIES ABOARD AND STARTED SOME FIRES IN OREGON. HERE ON THE EAST COAST WE WERE TROUBLED BY NAZI SUBS APPROACHING OUR SHORES. STORIES ABOUND ABOUT SUBS DROPPING OFF RUBBER RAFTS AND SPIES LANDING OVER ON LONG ISLAND.

TOM

Anonymous said...

Tom:
As a kid in South Trenton in the late 30's, I do remember many truck loads of scrap iron, metal, aluminum etc, being hauled down Lamberton St. to the Marine Terminal where it was loaded onto Ships flying the Japanese flag.
Many old timers remarked about selling our scrap to the "Japs" which felt would be sent back to us in the form of planes, ships, and bombs.
Guess the old Timers knew what they were talking about.
Much like today, when no one wants to hear any warnings. It's not politically correct to be concerned and talk about it.
Mike Kuzma

Anonymous said...

Tom, I got it from a local doctor who had a place on LBI back during WWII in Beach Haven. He said there was a U-Boat skipper who became very friendly with the locals and they even came ashore to see movies at the Colony Theater. They also bought smuggled diesel fuel and cedar water from boats that went out the south inlet where there were no Coast Guard checks. The German Captain was said to have "retired" at the north end of the Island at the end of the war. One family, prominent in real estate was said to have, at great risk, made quite a fortune on this "enterprise".

Ed Millerick

Anonymous said...

Tom, one of my mentors and a person well known in Chambersburg, Tony Menutti, was a gunner on the Avenger. Like your brother, also a Navy vet, they were indeed representative of the finest generation.

Ed Millerick

SJBill said...

This Navy exercise was part of the 21 large scale Fleet Problems of 1920s through the 1940s. The Pearl Harbor simulation was Fleet Problem XIII.

There's a great article published by the US Naval Institute here: http://blog.usni.org/2011/07/20/guest-post-the-u-s-navy%e2%80%99s-fleet-problems-of-the-thirties-a-dive-bomber-pilot%e2%80%99s-perspective

More is published here in Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fleet_problem


Anonymous said...

Tom, there was a little girl killed by one of the balloon attacks by the Japs. Her family took her on a typical Sunday afternoon picnic on the west coast and when the baloon landed she and the Mother approached the strange looking craft, it killed her when it exploded.

She was the only civilian casualty on US soil during WWII. The only others being military troops stationed and defending the Aleutian islands like Adak

Anonymous said...

Tom, sorry for the error, it was a woman and five children for a total of 6 killed that day at Gearhart Mountain Oregon.

Ed Millerick