SugarHouse Mama

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Pearl Harbor

We did the customary visit to Pearl Harbor. Robert really enjoyed it. This time around we also did the Bowfin tour, which was pretty cool. The audio tour informed me that submarines made up about 2% of the US Naval Fleet and were responsible for something like 80% of the attacks on enemy vessels. Pretty cool.

The audio tour - geared for families - presented the Bowfin to us as though we were new recruits. Hence all the 'recruit' references in my captions. I really got into it. Not that I'd really want to BE on a submarine for 2 years, it's just fun to visit.

There are some pictures of Adjoa doing a welcome back dance - I thought the action blurs were kind of cool - I like the way her dress looks.

We also went out to the USS Arizona Memorial. They show a video before and it's pretty sobering.

Finally, there are a couple pictures Robert took as we were headed back to the car - I looked down, and Adjoa was holding her dress up like a princess and muttering to herself. It was pretty cute. Please look at her and not my bum.

The Oahu Revealed guide book also had a little story about Pearl Harbor that we found interesting:
An Oversight Leads to a Spared Gas Station - and Victory in WWII

Say what you want about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor: Militarily, the plan was brilliantly conceived and executed. The level of surprise was only matched by the level of destruction, and Japanese losses were minimal. Although our aircraft carriers weren't there (by chance, not design), the Japanese nonetheless achieved their goals and did not make any mistakes....except for one - a mistake so giant, so glaring and so important that it possibly ended up costing Japan the war.

When Japanese warplanes were swarming around during the attack, their pilots were so single-mindedly focused on destroying ships and planes that they totally ignored row after row of conspicuous white fuel tanks above the ground. In them was the fuel that powered all of America's Pacific Fleet. If a single bomb had been dropped on just one of the tanks, it could have set them all ablaze. It would have taken a year to replace that fuel. A year that our aircraft carriers would have sat idle without any gas. A year when the Japanese navy would have had free reign. A year that could have changed the outcome of WWII.

Having dodged that potentially fatal bullet, the navy accelerated a plan that was already in the works - building giant gas tanks underground beneath Red Hill to hold the quarter billion gallons of fuel needed to power the Navy's Pacific Fleet. (Large naval ships can only travel a few fee per gallon.) To this day if you are near the H-3 and H-201 freeway intersection and look mauka (toward the mountain), you will see Red Hill, the Pacific Fleet's gas station and the Navy's response to the Japanese biggest blunder of the Pacific War.

Oh, and here's a quick little vid-gem. Robert was taking a video - his intent was to talk about the Wet Guns, but because I'm soooooo hysterical, he started laughing and stopped. That's the story I'm sticking with. It sounds better than "I totally got into the whole recruit thing from the audio tour and I'm so dorky that my husband laughs at me." In case you miss it, yes I did say rather proudly, "I'm a good recruit!" I was just passing on what my commanding officer told me, folks.

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