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Welcome to Paradise.......

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Home Port Of the U.S. Navy's Pacific Fleet!

As the United States slowly recovered from the great depression of the 1930s, there were few more exciting opportunities for a young man than a career in the Navy. It offered a stable income, warm meals, a semi-comfortable bed, and the chance to SEE THE WORLD. Exotic ports of call awaited those who chose to spend a few years of their youth at sea, and the Navy beckoned America's young men like a seductress.

Pearl Harbor in the territory of Hawaii was the homeport of the Pacific Fleet, a wonderful "home away from home" for the men who preserved America's interests abroad. Though the European continent found itself embroiled in a bitter world war in the latter days of the 1930s, in the Pacific there was no hint of trouble. American ships made routine patrols, practiced drills that most men thought would never be needed, and then returned to Pearl Harbor for periods of rest, relaxation, and recreation.

The weekend of December 6 and 7, 1941, promised to be a great time for the sailors who had returned to Pearl. There wasn't the slightest hint of trouble; even the weather seemed to be smiling on the tropical port. When the sun rose on Sunday morning young sailors from around the United States had little opportunity to be homesick; there was too much to see and do. 

On a pier near the harbor sailors and Marines prepared for a softball game. On the nearby battleship USS Nevada, others were getting ready for a tennis tournament. Many of the sailors had spent the night ashore, others had returned to their berths late after a night on the town. There was limited duty on this beautiful Sunday morning, affording ample opportunity for the men to enjoy their brief stay in Paradise.

As the hour neared the 8 o'clock muster and the raising of the colors, all was peaceful and relaxed. A large number of sailors gathered on the beach for an outdoor morning chapel service. On the USS Nevada the band was beginning the first strains of the National Anthem for the hoisting of the flag.

Throughout the harbor men were at ease, finishing breakfast, writing letters home, planning for their afternoon on the island's sandy beaches, or just sleeping in. Aboard the USS Nevada, Warrant Machinist Donald Ross was shaving and thinking about his girlfriend Helen at home. Tomorrow would be Donald's birthday. On board the USS Oklahoma Ensign Francis Flaherty was counting the days until he could return home to Michigan and go back to school. He had joined the Navy to earn money to get into medical school.

At Kaneohe Bay, John Finn cuddled next to his wife Alice as they tried to decide which of them would get up and start the coffee.
It was 7:53 A.M. and events were about to unfold that would propel the United States into a World War that would ultimately cost more than a quarter-million American men and women their lives. On this day alone more than 2,400 men, women and children would die in Paradise. 

The day was....


December 7, 1941

 A Day That Will Live In Infamy! 


Welcome to Paradise - Home Page

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Paradise Lost - The First Attack


Tora, Tora, Tora


When the Seas Burned


The Struggle for Survival


Doing the Impossible


Rising Up From the Ashes


Medal of Honor Tribute

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The 8 pages in this special series of stories has been
prepared in a special .pdf format that can be downloaded and printed
in an attractive 36-page book (with cover).  Click on the icon above to print your own
copy of DAY OF INFAMY.  Print a second copy as a gift for a friend or local school.


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For a printable (8/12" x 11") copy of the Pearl Harbor Poster used for our background, click on the button at left.  SET your printer margins to the minimum (preferably .25" and your paper orientation to LANDSCAPE).  You may also need to set your print options to remove headers and footers.

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     2115 West 13th Street - Pueblo, CO 81003


Unless otherwise noted, all materials by C. Douglas Sterner

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