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Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor


Japanese forces attack Pearl Harbor
“Enemy fleet annihilated in the vicinity of Ford Island”
December 7, 1941
Silver gelatin photograph

This photograph of Battleship Row was taken by a Japanese aerial photographer early in the attack.  The center explosion is a torpedo strike on the USS West Virginia.  Another torpedo can be seen just before impact, near the left center of the photo.  Japanese aircraft carriers launched more than 350 fighter pilots, bombers, and torpedo planes, which attacked the unsuspecting harbor at
7:48 a.m. on Sunday, December 7, 1941.  During the two hours of the attack, 2,400 were killed and 1,200 injured.  More than 180 US aircraft were destroyed, twelve naval vessels sunk, and nine more damaged.  The USS Arizona sank in less than nine minutes, taking with her more than 1,100 men.

Pearl Harbor was the pivotal moment in the twentieth century. As the United States struggled to remain out of the conflict in Europe and Asia, the war arrived on American soil. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt asked Congress on December 8 to declare war on Japan and its allies, including Nazi Germany.

Gift of the Roger Kienzle Jr. family, in memory of Roger W. Kienzle Sr., who served in the United States Navy, Pacific Theatre, during the Second World War.

Collection of the Massillon Museum (2016)

Robert Scott
c. 1940
Photograph reproduction

Massillonian Robert Scott enlisted in the Navy in 1938.  He was assigned to the USS California as Machinist’s Mate First Class.  During the attack on Pearl Harbor, his ship was hit by a torpedo.  Gunners continued to fire, despite the ship rapidly sinking. Scott operated the air compressor, keeping the guns going.  He refused to leave his post as the ship sank, telling his fellow sailors that he would stay at his station as long as the guns were firing.

He posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his heroism, staying at his post in the face of certain death.  A dorm at Ohio State University, where Scott was a student, bears his name.  In 1943, the USS Scott, a destroyer escort, was named in his honor.  Scott is included in the Massillon Veterans Memorial Park Medal of Honor display near City Hall at the corner of First Street Southeast and Tremont Avenue East.

Collection Massillon Museum

Remember December 7th!
Photograph reproduction of original poster
Collection Massillon Museum



Learn more about Pearl Harbor:

Independent news article December 7, 2016

USAA Pearl Harbor 75th

Library of Congress "After the Day of Infamy" man-on-the-street interviews and oral histories

Learn more about World War II:

MassMu oral history interviews


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