December 7, 2021 marks the 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Our newest History Nerd design honors the servicemen who served in the U.S. Navy during WWII and commemorates the lives lost at Pearl Harbor.
On the front, “History Nerd” with a WWII Sailor and, on the back, the American flag that was flying on the U.S.S. St. Louis at the time of the attack, along with the date, December 7, 1941.
100% cotton Made in the USA shirt in Navy — Grown, knitted, dyed, and sewn in the USA. 4.4 oz. S – 2X
December 7, 1941, “the day that will live in infamy”
On the morning of December 7, 1941, a radio operator on Oahu saw a large group of planes headed toward the islands. Officials believed the sighting to be a group of U.S. B-17 bombers that were scheduled to arrive. At 7:55 am, the Japanese began their attack on Pearl Harbor. A total of 353 Japanese aircraft, two heavy cruisers, 35 submarines, two light cruisers, nine oilers, two battleships, and 11 destroyers were involved. The attack, which took place in two waves, lasted one hour and 15 minutes.
The United States lost 2,403 U.S. personnel and 68 civilians and 19 U.S. Navy ships were destroyed or damaged.
These were the battleships that were damaged or destroyed:
- USS Arizona (BB-39): Her hull was breached, causing her to sink and trapping 1,177 men inside. Today, the USS Arizona remains in the spot where she sank, and a memorial is located over it.
- USS Oklahoma (BB-37): Capsized after nine torpedos struck her. Four hundred twenty nine men lost their lives. The USS Oklahoma was righted and salvaged, too damaged to return to duty.
- USS West Virginia (BB-48): Hit by nine torpedos, but returned to duty and served in the Philippines, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa campaigns.
- USS California (BB-44): Moored during Pearl Harbor, moderately damage and returning to duty. She served in the Mariana, Palau Island, Philippines, and Okinawa campaigns.
- USS Nevada (BB-36): The oldest ship at Pearl Harbor and the only battleship able to get underway during the attack. The decision was made to beach her so that if she was hit, she wouldn’t sink so far recovery would have been difficult or impossible. She was hit, repaired, and returned to duty to served in both the Atlantic (Normandy and Southern France) and Pacific (Iwo Jima and Okinawa) campaigns.
- USS Maryland (BB-46): Received the least amount of damage and was active in helping sailors who jumped from the USS Oklahoma. She served in the Gilbert Islands, Marshall Islands, Marianas Islands, and Okinawa campaigns.
- USS Pennsylvania (BB-38): In dry-dock during the attacks and received minimal damage. She returned to duty and supported the Marshall Islands, Mariana, Palau Islands, Philippines campaigns.
- USS Tennessee (BB-43): Received moderate damage and returned to duty in the Gilbert, Marshall Islands, Battle of Tarawa, Philippines campaigns.
About the flag
This flag was flying on the U.S.S. St. Louis (CL-49), eighth of nine Brooklyn-class light cruisers, at the time of the attack Pearl Harbor. It was later flown on the U.S.S. Iowa in Tokyo Bay during Japanese surrender ceremony.
Here’s the description from Wikipedia of the St. Louis during the attack on Pearl Harbor:
“. . . was moored to the pier in Southeast Lock at the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. At 7:56, Japanese planes were sighted by observers on board St. Louis. Within minutes, the ship was at general quarters, and her operable anti-aircraft guns were manned and firing on the attackers. By 8:06, preparations for getting underway had begun. At about 8:20, one of the cruiser’s gun crews shot down its first Japanese plane. By 9:00, two more Japanese aircraft had joined the first. At 9:31, St. Louis moved away from the pier and headed for South Channel and the open sea. 15 minutes later, her 6 in (150 mm) guns, whose power leads had been disconnected, were in full operating order.
As the cruiser moved into the channel entrance, she became the target of a midget submarine. The Japanese torpedoes, however, exploded on striking a shoal less than 200 yd (180 m) from the ship. Destroyers then pounded the bottom with depth charges and St. Louis continued out to sea where she joined Detroit and Phoenix, both of which also left Pearl Harbor during the attack, and a few destroyers in the search for the Japanese fleet. After failing to locate the Japanese strike force, the hunters returned to Pearl Harbor on 10 December. St. Louis turned to escorting transports carrying casualties to San Francisco and troops to Hawaii.
For her success during the attack on Pearl Harbor, the ship was given the nickname ‘Lucky Lou.’”