Hornet Museum Remember Pearl Harbor
The USS Hornet Sea, Air and Space Museum, in honor and remembrance of Pearl Harbor, hosted a special panel discussion with four-time Purple Heart recipient Lawson Sakai. Sakai, a member of the historical 442nd Regimental Combat Team, reflected upon his memories of Dec. 7, 1941. The event occured on the USS Hornet on Dec. 7.
Formed in 1943, the 442nd was a segregated unit made up mostly of Nisei (second generation Japanese American) soldiers. With its “Go for Broke” motto — and despite lingering prejudice against Japanese Americans, especially in combat roles — the 442nd became one of the most formidable and well-respected fighting units in the U.S. Army.
By the war’s end, the 442nd had become the most-decorated unit for its size and length of service in Army history. The 442nd was awarded nearly 9,500 Purple Hearts, eight Presidential Unit Citations (including five in one month); 21 members were awarded the Medal of Honor.
As part of the festivities, Wahine U’i, an Alameda-based dance company, will dance the traditional hula, and the museum will unveil a new exhibit titled Infamy: December 7, 1941. Produced by The National World War II Museum, the exhibit will explore the events that followed Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, which ultimately led to America’s entry into World War II. Following the attack, communities across the country united behind the war effort, performing diverse tasks, no matter how large or how small, to help the Allies.
The Sunday morning attack at Pearl Harbor marked one of the darkest days in U.S. history. President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared that Dec. 7, 1941, was “a date which will live in infamy.” Taking off from a fleet of Japanese aircraft carriers, waves of bombers unleashed a surprise attack on the U.S. Naval fleet in Oahu, Hawaii, killing more than 2,300 Americans. A day later, the nation declared war on Japan.
The special exhibit recounts the strike on Hawaii, as well as the lesser-known but nearly simultaneous attacks on American territories in the Pacific, including Wake Island, Guam and Philippines. Exhibit displays — featuring powerful images and personal stories taken from oral histories of witnesses — convey the losses, disrupted lives and reactions of military service members and ordinary Americans as they realized they were now at war.
Infamy: December 7, 1941 will be on display through Jan. 16, 2019.
The USS Hornet Museum is open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is permanently berthed at 707 W. Hornet Ave., Pier 3.
For more information, call 775-2859 or visit www.usshornet.org.