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December 7 was designated National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day by the US Congress in 1994. Each year on that day, some of the few remaining survivors, veterans, and visitors from all over the world come together for a ceremony at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial in Hawaii. They remember and honor the 2,403 service members and civilians who were killed during the Japanese attack on the Pearl Harbor Naval Base on December 7, 1941. There were also 1,178 injuries in the attack, which permanently sank two US Navy battleships (the USS Arizona and the USS Utah) and destroyed 188 aircraft. The deadliest single attack was on the USS Arizona—1,177 men lost their lives.
The day after the assault, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked the Congress to declare war on Japan.
Eleven servicemen from Idaho died in the attack on the USS Arizona. (All but one was listed as missing-in-action or lost at sea).
- Seaman Second Class William Orville Evans, 27, of Geneva
- Petty Officer Second Class Curtis James Haynes, 22, of Boise
- Seaman Second Class Berry Stanley Jolley, 18, of Burley
- Petty Officer Third Class Kenneth Frank Kennard, 23, of Payette
- Seaman Second Class Frank Cook Loveland, 18, of Idaho Falls
- Sergeant Second Class Byron Dalley Mason, 29, of Ririe
- Private First Class Francis Clayton Mostek, 21, of Dover
- Ship’s Cook Second Class Thomas Lea Owsley, 22, of Hagerman
- Seaman Second Class Gordon Elliott Veeder, 19, of Boise
- Seaman First Class William Alfred Shannon, 20 (hometown unknown)
- Sergeant First Class William Arthur Marsh, 23, of Twin Falls (the only Idahoan’s body recovered)
Men Who Lived to Tell About It
Pocatello resident Patrick O’Connor survived the attack. He was a newly enlisted 17-year-old at the time, serving as a Navy baker. When the attack began, O’Connor was enjoying his day off by sleeping in. He woke up to see Japanese planes “scraping the deck.”
He remembered in his later years, “The planes were flying so low, we could see the pilots’ faces as they flew by!”
O’Connor spent the days after the attack helping to make meals for some 5,000 injured and displaced soldiers. (Before the attack, he and his fellow cooks would normally feed 500 men each day.)
Shortly before his death in 2002, O’Connor was awarded a commendation by President George W. Bush for his heroic efforts after the Pearl Harbor attack.
William Francis Beebe was another Pocatello resident who survived. He’d joined the Navy when he was 17, turning 18 in Hawaii in September of 1941. He was assigned to the USS Blue (DD-387) and was on the ship when the Japanese Navy attacked.
During the ensuing battle, he operated one of the ship’s 5-inch guns, firing repeatedly at enemy planes.
Beebe was later assigned to the USS Hancock and served in the Navy until shortly after V-J Day in August of 1945. Married to his wife Elaine for 68 years (they had four children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren), he died in 2015.
We remember with deep gratitude all who served. ISI