*Telegraph from Patrol Wing Two Headquarters warning of the attack on Pearl Harbor

Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives:

Yesterday, December 7th, 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.

The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.

Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.

Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island.

And this morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As commander in chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us.

No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph — so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.

Ford Island today

Original strafing damage in tarmac

Ford Island today

Posted by SteelJaw in History, Navy

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  • Chaps

    Today’s version:
    “With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable exit strategy — so help us United Nations.”

  • Byron

    Sad but true, Chap. We used to have big ones…now we have the UN.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Ahh yes. Collective security. Just ask Czechoslovakia.

    “And the burned fool’s bandaged finger goes wandering back to the fire.”

  • Jay

    Using the anniversary of Pearl Harbor to air political sour grapes?

    Pls gents, “Not in My Navy”. Give it a rest for a day.

  • UltimaRatioReg


    You appear to lump every last thing you don’t agree with into “political sour grapes”.

    That might be a good thing to give a rest to.

    The abysmal track record of the UN has a predecessor in the equally abysmal track record of the League of Nations.

    The German tanks crashing across the Polish border in 1939 and the Japanese bombs and torpedoes smashing American ships on this day in 1941 are directly attributable to the latter. And there is plenty since attributable to the former.

  • Jay

    No, I just think that for today, you would see clear just to honor the dead at Pearl Harbor, and leave it at that.

  • Shaman (formerly chaps)


    One of the best ways we can honor the dead of Pearl Harbor is to encourage politicians to give more of a damn about the country’s security than their political agendas.

  • Jay

    Shaman — yeahhhhhhh….no.

    But, now that it is 08 Dec, feel free…

  • You might be interested in my account of Pearl Harbor day as I saw it at the age of seven. Go to:


    Fritz Owens
    Professional pianist, composer, photographer, teacher and keyboard recording artist for over 40 years in New Orleans – until Katrina.

    347 Royalwood Dr.
    Zirconia, NC 28790

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