Today is the 63rd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the “Day That Will Live in Infamy.” On November 23rd, Admiral Chuichi Nagumo ordered a surprise attack on enemy ships in the “Hawaiian Area”. On December 7th at 8am, 183 torpedo planes, dive bombers, fighters, and high-level bombers took off from three carriers based 220 miles north of Oahu; a second group of 170 fighters followed soon after, including the newly designed Japanese Type 00 Carrier Fighter (“Zero”). The attack was finished by 9:45am, with only 29 planes lost by the Japanese. Eight battleships, eleven other vessels, and 188 aircraft were destroyed. 2,280 military personnel were killed, along with 68 civilians.
On July 25th, 1945, General Carl Spaatz ordered the bombing of Hiroshima, Kokura, Niigata and Nagasaki. On August 6th at 8:16am, the Enola Gay dropped the atomic bomb “Little Boy” on Hiroshima; 3 days later, at 11:02am, “Fat Man” would be dropped on Nagasaki after being diverted from Kokura. In total, approximately 225,000 people were killed, with survivors suffering from radiation sickness for weeks afterwards while doctor’s attempted to figure out what the nature of the “biological weapon” that had been dropped on them. We had become the only nation in history to use atomic weapons on an enemy.
On September 11th, 2001 at between 8am and 8:20am, three flights ( Flight 11, Flight 175, and Flight 77 ) leave from Logan and Dulles International Airports, all bound for Los Angeles. The FAA notifies NORAD of the suspected hijacking of Flight 11 at 8:40am. 2 minutes later, Flight 93 departs from Newark International Airport, bound for San Francisco. 3 minutes after that (8:45am), Flight 11 hits the first World Trade Center tower; Flight 175 hits the second tower 18 minutes later. F-16 fighters are scrambled from Otis and Langley, but they are unable to stop Flight 77 from crashing into the Pentagon at 9:40am. At approximately 10:07am, Flight 93 crashes in Pennsylvania, and the September 11th attacks are over. The towers collapse a half-an-hour later. 2,749 men and women lost their lives in the WTC attack, 184 died in the attack on the pentagon, and all 40 passengers of Flight 93 were killed.
On October 7th, 2001 at approximately 5:00pm, US and British forces dropped 50 Tomahawk cruise missiles and an unknown number of cluster bombs were dropped on targets in Kabul, Kandahar, and Jalalabad. By November 12th, the Taliban had fled Kabul en masse, but the US continued to bomb targets until March 2002. Somewhere between 3,000 and 3,400 Afghani civilians were reported killed. With momentum behind him, President George W. Bush cited links between Al Qaeda terrorist forces in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and addressed the nation on March 19th, 2003, informing the populace that coalition forces had begun “striking selected targets of military importance to undermine Saddam Hussein’s ability to wage war.” Thus far, there are between 14,619 and 16,804 civilians dead in Iraq and an unknown number of Insurgents.
No point today – just delving into history. Always entertaining. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go drink this bottle of Drain-O.