Originally posted by MondoPest:
I could'nt agree with you more, the whole area of Oahu is surprisingly void of life. The terrain for the area around Ford Island is also somewhat wrong(at least according to naval maps and charts that I used to make this mission). I think Microsoft needs to make some better terrain considering the events that occured there on that day in December.
Oahu in December 7 1941 was not as developed as you think. The Leeward side of the Island was still undeveloped. Honolulu was about the size of a small city, had alot of parks and the jungles in the interior was pretty thick. There was a couple of hiways running around the perimeter of the Island from Kaneohe to Barber's Point. Most of this road connected Ewa, MCAS, Wheeler, Hickham, Kaneohe, Waiewa, Schoolfield Barracks and Pearl.
The most populated area was in Honolulu as well as being the main port. It was WAY different then than what it is now. Today, you have to go out about 40-100 yards to see Diamond Head from Waikiki Beach. Back then there was only a few hotels like the Sheraton (Pink Elephant. There were a couple of coast Defense Batteries- Fort DeRussey, which is a museum now, along the shore. So the scenario is pretty close to the truth as far as infrastructure goes.
As a side, the hangers, barracks at Wheeler and Hickham AFB STILL have the bullet marks from the attack still in them. There are also several bunkers in the mountain tops that cna be still seen on the Windward side.
on december 7th, the Naval air Station @ Kaneohe was the first place hit by the Japanese first strike. They hit the flight line @ 07:55- 5 min before the first bomb hit Pearl. The attack wave split into two prongs- the one coming through Haleva Pass taking Hickham, Schoolfield Barracks and Pearl. The North prong hit Kaneohe and Wheeler then joined the South wing at Pearl before retiring back to the Strike Force.
The only planes that was airborne during the attack was a couple of P-40Bs that was based at the Auxilliary strip at Haleeva. No USN/USMC fighter planes made it into the sky at all during the attack- the Marine F4Fs and Buffalos were all destroyed on the ground.
A couple of F-4Fs from the Enterprise flew in after the attack and was shot down by friendly AAA.
Contrary to stories about the ARIZONA, the ship did not take a bomb down the smoke stack.
A 500lb AP bomb hit between turret #2 and the forecastle. It penetrated down to the magazine and exploded. The magazines were not flooded, as she had suffered a torpedoe strike a few minutes earlier. She was also loaded with Aviation Gas, her fuel bunkers were full and the magazines was loaded with black powder bags for her 16"ers.
The resulting explosion lifted her completely out of the water, broke her in half behind the forecastle and she settled immediately. The force of the blast was felt and heard all the way out to Honolulu. The motion pictures of her that you see on programs dealing with the Attack was the actual blast.
Even today nearly 60 years later, the oil is still seeping from her. In 1991, the Parl Service which maintains her, did a survey of the hulk and determined that it will be about 100 years before she finally falls apart from the rust and the marine life.
You can look into the ship from the memorial.
At one end is a solid marble wall with every name of each sailor and Marine who died on her. Half the casulties suffered at Peral was from her.
Battleship Row has the moorings still there and each mooring is named after the ship that was moored there. The ARIZONA's main guns were salvaged and fitted in several of the Bunkers and were later scrapped at the end of the war. Several of the old BBs like the MARYLAND and PENNSYLVANIA were present in Tokyo Bay 4 years later. OKLAHOMA and ARIZONA was deemed to badly damged to warrnt rebuilding, ARIZONA, of course remains where she sank. OKLAHOMA was raised and sold for scrap. She sank halfway back to California.
ARIZONA remained a death trap as the avaiation gas, live rounds, made removing the dead impossible. Several of the salvage divers died from explosions during this attempt, so it was decided to make her a memorial to the dead of 7 December. She is stilled carried on the roles as an active ship, the only one in the USN, as her crew is still aboard her.
There is still another ship still in the Harbor that remains forgotten- the target ship USS UTAH , a old BB that was mistaken for a carrier due to the wooden timbers placed on her decks and suffered several bombs and torpedoes expended on a useless ship. She reamins where she sank to this day forgotten and rusting away.
It is still an awesome and moving feeling to go across the harbor to Ford Island and see this memorial rising from the harbor. It is one place that is quiet in the busy base. I understand that they have built a new center on Ford Island and have the MISSOURI moored there ( very apprepro).
There is one of the midget subs that was recovered from the harbor after the strike and is on display.
One more item, several civillian casulties occured from rounds from the Harbor.
I spent 3 years there and this stands out as one of the fondest memories I have of Hawaii-along with my son's birth.