Pearl Harbor Remembrance

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On Sunday December 7 at 10:30 am, the Branson Veterans Task Force will remember the bombing of Pearl Harbor at the Branson Landing Cruises. Attendees will gather at the ticket office before boarding the boat for the ceremony. Following a short program and remembrance ceremony, Pearl Harbor survivors will lay wreaths honoring those who died that fateful day in our history. Afterwards, coffee, hot chocolate and light refreshments will be served.

“Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan,” began President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s address to Congress on December 8, 1941.

The Japanese air attack on Pearl Harbor and on the airfields of Oahu began shortly before 8:00am on December 7, 1941 and ended shortly before 10:00am. Although the Americans fought back with antiaircraft fire, the devastation of the airfields was quick and thorough. The Japanese successfully crippled the Pacific Fleet, sinking three battleships, causing another to capsize, and severely damaging the other four.

All together the Japanese sank or damaged 18 ships, including the 8 battleships, three light cruisers, and three destroyers. On the airfields the Japanese destroyed 161 American planes and seriously damaged 102.

The Navy and Marine Corps suffered 2,896 casualties; 2,117 dead and 779 wounded. The Army (as of midnight, 10 December) lost 228 killed or died of wounds, 113 seriously wounded and 346 slightly wounded. In addition, at least 57 civilians were killed and nearly as many seriously injured.

The Japanese lost 29 planes over Oahu, one large submarine (on 10 December), and all five of the midget submarines. Their personnel losses (according to Japanese sources) were 55 airmen, nine crewmen on the midget submarines, and an unknown number on the large submarines. The Japanese carrier task force sailed away undetected and unscathed.

Thus began US involvement in World War II. On December 8, the US and Great Britain declared war on Japan. On December 11, Germany declared war on the US.

“We must never forget those who died that day and all who fought in World War II. They preserved our freedom and defined our future,” said Steve Weyher, co-chair of the event.

Branson Veterans Task Force Board Member Rob Dixon is co-chair with Steve Weyher. The Branson Veterans Task Force holds activities year-round to commemorate important events in our history and to honor our veterans. Their office is located at 138 Pointe Royale Drive in Branson. To contact the office call 417.337.8387 (417.337.VETS) or visit

Pat McGrath Avery

Branson Veterans Task Force


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