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tv   American Artifacts  CSPAN  December 23, 2016 8:00pm-8:31pm EST

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it. the election chose the energy to go versus the constraints and unleashed the power of the free market and free speech and expressed the truth. the truth will prevail but you've get to enormous earned media and international political combines against you. you've got four years to present the facts. don't waste this golden opportunity when the going gets tough, the tough get going. thanks. [ applause ] 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.
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>> each week american artifacts takes viewers into archives, museums and historic sites around the country. on the morning of december 7th, 1941, planes from six japanese aircraft carriers attacked the island of oahu in hawaii targeting the u.s. pacific fleet at pearl harbor and the island's air defenses. almost 2400 americans were killed and 1200 wounded. 21 ships and vessels and almost 350 aircraft were destroyed or damaged. the surprise attack led to u.s. entry into world war ii. next, american history tv tours some of the attack sites and memorials at parl harbor, part of the national park service world war ii valor in the pacific national monument, including several stops within the bounds of the pearl harbor naval station and off limits to the general public. >> aloha and welcome to pearl
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harbor. my name is daniel martinez. i serve as a chief historian for the national park service at world war ii battle of the pacific monument. the home of the "uss arizona" memorial. we're here to take you on a guided tour of this resource where the attack on pearl harbor and for the most part the attack on oahu took place. the resources here are unbelievable. we're standing right now at ground zero. this is where it all began at pearl harbor. but not the attack. the attack had actually unfolded almost ten minutes earlier at wheeler and the marine base. but at 7:55, the time that everybody remembers, the attack happened here. below me is a bomb crater. this bomb crater is a 500-pound bomb that's in circular pattern with shrapnel skraps running out
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on either side. it is the most tangible bomb crater we have here at pearl harbor, and this is where lieutenant takahashi's dive bombers came in dropping from several thousand feet these dive bombers dropped 500-pound bombs on the pby ramp. what stood over my shoulder here was hangars number six. it was completely destroyed during the attack. following up would be the zero fighters. nine of them. scraping this with 20 millimeter canon and 7.7 led by lieutenant commander itaya. these nine aircraft wreaked havoc on an apron of aircraft of sea planes and assorted utility aircraft that were now being consumed by the devastation of the attack. when the bomb hit, it threw shrapnel through the air and along a path on the concrete. you can see the holes dug into this concrete. initially this was patched but
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concrete doesn't like to be repaired. for those that love history we can walk here and see shrapnel running in every direction. not only that, but the scraping that took place here is easily visible. we'll take a look at that in just a moment. to give you an idea of the kind of damage one of these zero fighters could inflict, we're standing on the concrete apron next to hangar six. this is where the hangar doors were. we're right in the center of the pby ramp. when the japanese zero fighter came down, it fired two types of weapons. 7.7 machine funs located on the wings were the 20 millimeter canon located right on the cowling of the aircraft. literally these strike patterns go right into the hangar. and here today, nearly 75 years after the event, they are as fresh into this pavement as almost the day that they struck. i'm often asked what was the pby
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ramp. we're standing right on it. this concrete slopes toward the water. and a pby was a long-range patrol plane. the navy used that to scout out around the island. the way it happened was a tractor would be coming up here towing the plane, taking it down to the water and there, once in the waurkts the sailors would get in that water and detach the gear from it. it was called beaching gear. the wheel gear that got it down that ramp. then they'd float the plane out. it would take off and upon its return, the tractor comes up with the sailors and into the water there. the sailors go out, attach that beaching gear. the tractor tows the plane up this ramp toward the hangar and thus you have an explanation of the pby ramp. we're going to head over to the "uss utah" and its memorial. there are only two ships left today from the pearl harbor attack. "uss arizona" and the "utah." the "utah" very special as well because 52 souls are still
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resting inside. behind me is the "uss utah." she was struck by two torpedoes. when they hit, they did catastrophic damage. within 12 minutes she capsized taking 58 members of its crew. those that survived were swimming out here in these waters. the ship today is in the salvage mode. in other words, this is as far as they got on the salvage. at the time of the attack, she was completely capsized. you only see the bottom of the hull. from that hull they removed the only crew member rescued from the ship. the "utah" lost 58 men. 52 of them are still inside the ship. this memorial is in that remembrance. the memorial was an aspiration for senator moss from utah. and also for the surviving crew of the "uss utah." in 1971, he came here to
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dedicate the ground in which this memorial will be built. he said these words which in, i guess in my terms, still haunt me to this day. while we honor those who here gave their last full measure of devotion, all of us hope and pray that the time will come when we no longer need to dedicate memorials to men who died in battle. that we will dedicate memorials to those who live in peace. to all nations and all men. frank moss, united states senator, utah, ground-breaking, 7 december, 1971. well, his dream and the crew of the "utah," that dream came true because a memorial was dedicateod memorial day 1972. and this memorial is that. i guess in a way that silent testimony, the forgotten ship and forgotten memorial because the public doesn't come here because they're not allowed yet to come here. this is on a military
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reservation. that's why it occurs. it's the dream of the park service we'll have transportation out here so they can visit this memorial and the next memorial that we're going to. the "uss oklahoma" memorial. like the crew of the "uss utah" they saute memorial to remember their 429 sailors, marines and officers that were lost aboard the ship. she represents the second greatest loss of life at pearl harbor. 32 men were rescued from the ship the following day, and the idea of the "uss oklahoma" ever fighting again was lost when she capsized. she was raised and placed in ordinary during the war and sold for scrap after the war but didn't make it to the scrap yard. she was -- she sunk in a storm. the "uss oklahoma" and its memorial is one of those places where you can stand among pillars of marble and see names of those that lost their lives on december 7th, 1941.
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we're going to move to our next stop and that's the chief petty officer bungalows that were part of the naval air station here at pearl harbor. we are here in the general area of the chief petty officer bungalows that were here on december 7th, 1941. this was family housing. and this housing was important not only to the men who served here but to the families that worked here, went to school here. this was a complex that was very unique to ford island and its naval air station but very important on december 7th because these homes are in proximity right behind them is battleship row. when the torpedo planes came over, torpedoed the ships, they flew over these houses. one can only imagine what their sunday morning was like. for louise kinsman, a young girl in which we took her oral history, she remembered vividly what it was like and the terror her family endured while this sunday morning at breakfast suddenly was shattered by bombs
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striking the ships and torpedo water geysers racing up into the air. these structures behind me is one that's been reconstructed. on the other side across is one of the original ones. so it is a hope of the national park service to continue to caretake for these cpo structures and return this to a 1941 neighborhood. our next stop after this will be battleship row. the main battle line of the pacific fleet. behind me is the famed battleship row. the white concrete blocks represent mooring that secured a ship. it took two of these to secure a battleship. these battleships started at the end with the "uss nevada." just ahead of the "nevada," "uss arizona" and the repair ship vestal."
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moving up here "uss tennessee" and "west virginia." right adjacent to where the "uss missouri" is would be the "maryland" and the "oklahoma." and a little further down "uss california." seven battleships that made up battleship row. also here at battleship row is the "uss missouri." the "missouri" was commissioned in 1944 and saw action in the pacific. she's often remembered, though, for one event, and that is the surrender of japan at tokyo bay. this museum ship was brought here in 1998 and is one of the key visits for people that come to pearl harbor. she now rests in the place where the "uss oklahoma" was sunk here at pearl harbor. history's remembered and history is revisited.
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we've just come from ford island. behind me is battleship row. in the distance you can see the "uss missouri" and an element of the "uss arizona" memorial. we're here at hospital point, one of the most historic sites at pearl harbor. it's here where one of the most historic events during the pearl harbor attack often most neglected. the gallant sortie of the "uss nevada." behind me is its memorial. we'll go there in a few moments. this place is where very famous chinese american photographer took pictures in the 1930s and 40s. he did the portraits of the ships as they came into port. we now know the "uss arizona" had hers taken in late 1940 just a year before she was lost here at pearl harbor. the drama of pearl harbor unfolded here. we're at the "uss nevada"
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memorial placed here in 1983 by the navy league. the "uss nevada" had witnessed the beginning of the attack on battleship row just about 7:55. the harbor was fully being struck by the japanese navy. part of that assault was a torpedo that was dropped and struck the "nevada." she would suffer during the attack six bomb hits and a torpedo hit. at a quarter to 9:00, the "uss nevada" made a decision with the crew that was frightened and yet wanted to get out of the harbor. it was decided by the crew and its officers that it would try to get under way. it was extremely fortunate that two of her boilers were already lit. normally it would take nearly 2 1/2 hours to get a ship under way of her size but she had the power. and now she had the will. led by lieutenant francis thomas, he directs the chief
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quartermaster to wheel her out and pull away. at that same moment, chief hill goes over to the mooring kwas and drops a line. up and down battleship row they now look at the "uss nevada" as her bow starts to swing out. they can also hear the cheers coming up from the ships that that ship is under way as one remembered like a football game. but the cheers and the movement is now going to be stymied by the japanese second wave attack that is now coming over diamond head and seeing that ship, that battleship, under way is now a prime target for that attack. as if it's a high, the bees of japan now descend on the "uss nevada." just as she approaches the shipyard area, she now suffers a number of attacks from dive bombers that are now sending bombs into the ship from the bow to the midships. eventually so badly crippled
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she'll now be ordered to go aground near hospital point. and there she will nose her bow in. the tradewinds will move around along with the current and she'll be side by side along hospital point. and the movement of the nevada is over. but just before that last act, where the attack takes place, the nevada is right next to the "uss shaw" that's in floating dry dock and one of the most dramatic pictures taken during the pearl harbor attack is the explosion of the "shaw" with the bow of the "nevada" in it. it's as if the drama, the explosion extinguishes the horror of what's happened on 7 december, 1941. in 1983, it was decided that a memorial would be placed here. the crew of the "nevada" wanted that to happen. and working with a local construction company and the
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navy league, this memorial was placed here. this plaque denotes the history of the attack on the "nevada" during the pearl harbor assault and listed over here are those killed in action. and the two medal of honor recipients which were chief ed whip hill, medal of honor given posthumously who was the one that removed the ropes from the mooring quay. and then he was working up forward to put out fires near the bow and a bomb came down and he literally disappeared. the other is don ross, a machinist mate who went down in the engine room, even though he passed out several times. kept reviving and making sure that the engines were under power and the ship could move forward. my only contribution to this story is that there were a number of ships that went by here. and at that time, you could
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actually have tourist ships that came by. but those that were in the navy would see this monument and not know what it was. and i mentioned to them if they could simply get a monumentmaker and have the name of the ship embossed here in black, which has its name and the title of that ship bb 36, then everybody would notice what it is. and they did that. and now this monument and memorial with this flag behind me and the pearl harbor entrance just right here as well is one that is now one of the destination points for those that seek out the history of the pearl harbor attack and what happened here on 7 december 1941. leaving here from the "uss nevada" memorial, we're going back over to ford island. and we're going to the "uss arizona" memorial overlook. one of the secret places that very few visitors get to see, but we're taking you there.
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we're just above battleship row. and this is the first memorial built to honor those that died on december 7th. it was brought here on 7 december 1955 by the navy club of the united states of america. you can see in the inencryption above, in recognition of the divine guidance and to the eternal memory of those who gave their last full measure of devotion to their country. this monument is dedicated humbly to the sacrifice in defending our freedom. if you look at the artistic impression there, you'll see the ship held by columbia in the background, a battleship and a palm and the many faces of those that died that day. this rock is very special. you would not find it here on ford island. it was brought here. this hawaiian rock which is flat
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by some of the hawaiian priests that have visited here said this is a very special rock. whoever picked it made sure that it had all the relevance that -- to the hawaiian culture, springing sacredness and remembrance. here we find this rock, unlike any on the island, brought here to remember the first december 7th monument. we're going to move ourselves over to the "uss arizona" memorial that was dedicated in 1962 and tell that story and take a personal walking tour to one of the first and most revered world war ii memorials in the united states. we have just come from the "uss arizona" overlook and battleship row. we're on the "uss arizona" memorial. this memorial was a dream for
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many, many years to build something substantial in the memory of those who fell here. 1,177 officers, sailors and marines were lost in that fatal moment. perhaps as many as 900 still serve this ship. the "uss arizona" memorial started to come into an idea and also a design in the late 1950s. the initial planner for this was admiral radford. he had started with a platform being placed on the "arizona" in 1950. he had hoped that there would be something more formal later. and the pacific war commission went forward with the design and with funding to build the "uss arizona" memorial in the late 1950s. the designer of this memorial was an interesting fellow. his name was alfred preis. alfred was a refugee from
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austria and had come here before the war to flee the nazis that had now occupied his country. when the war breaks out, he is an enemy alien because he's of german/austrian ancestry. he's arrested and held for nearly six months. they find out that he is not an enemy of the state but rather a willing immigrant ready to help the navy with design of buildings during world war ii. after the war is over, he will create his own firm, alfred preis and associates and he'll be one of the architects asked to submit a design for the new "uss arizona" memorial. his design was the winning submission. and so it called for a memorial to span the wreck of the arizona but not touch it. the design was simple and yet extremely effective because it was designed as a suspension bridge. 36 piers on either side of this
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ship suspend the memorial above it. the design is basically one that soars and dips and reflects what happened at pearl harbor. initially the only purposeful design in the memorial were these openings here on either side. the tree of life. we found out in our research many years later that this design represents peace and harmony. so not only is the memorial a war grave and a final resting place for those that perished that day and a war memorial, but it's also a peace memorial with this added touch. behind me are the names of the crew of the "uss arizona." not only the officers and the sailors but the marine detachment as well. they represent that great loss of life. there's really nothing like this in america. even today, as you can see from these cheeks on either side, those that survived, over 300,
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many of them had asked that their ashes be brought back to the ship and placed in the hull of it. but it does remind me of a story and the purpose of the memorial. over here is a marine named d.w. fincher. recently i looked at his record at the national archives and found that his father had wondered and asked if there would be ever a memorial built to honor those that fell here. but in particular, that his son would be remembered. it was written in 1943. the "uss arizona" memorial is visited by nearly 1.6 million visitors per year. nearly 2 million come to the visitors center. it is the most visited site on the island of oahu and the hawaiian islands. here the memory is kept alive for americans that remember that day and for our foreign guests that come here to understand
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pearl harbor. in particular, the japanese. we do not at this point look back at the war with anger but rather we look back at the war for those that served and gave their lives and for those that survived. we now celebrate nearly 70 years of peace between the united states and japan. so this memorial for the japanese is a remembrance of the war that they were once involved in and for the friendship that they now have between countries that were formally their enemies. alfred preis achieved that goal by building a memorial that represents peace and harmony. behind me is the barbet for tourit number three. the gun tourette sat on top of that. it's the most visible portion of the ship that comes out of the water.
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depending on the tide, portions of the ship will be exposed but this particular piece of wreckage is the largest. this plaque before me is the first plaque ever placed on the "uss arizona." and when they built the memorial, they made sure that admiral radford's plaque came here. it says, dedicated to the eternal memory of our gallant shipmates in the "uss arizona" who gave their lives in action 7 december 1941. this wayside exhibit shows the "uss arizona" as she was on the morning of december 7th. it gives you the entire length and her height. this shows you what the ship looked like from above. her main gun turets one, two three and four n over here the barbet we just showed you a few moments ago where gun turit number three was. this is the ship today. the red portion you see here are
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what is above water. you can see how the memorial stretches across the midships of the arizona. up forward you can see the deterioration of the ship from the explosion and you see this turet almost intact but not quite because she's dropped 23 feet from her mountings down three decks. when the ship exploded it hit here and blew out this way. all of this smoothness is not smooth as you think it might be. it's sand that's filled in the crevasvic crevices. it went into the forward magazines and lifted the ship nearly feet feet out of the water fracturing her completely around in this manner. around the hull. she then settled down and sank within nine minutes. she now rests in 40 feet of water and 23 feet of mud. this ship, "uss arizona" was so
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badly damaged that she never served her country again. but in many ways, she still does serve her country in the symbolism she evokes with the ship itself here and its memorial. this portion of the "uss arizona" memorial is commonly referred to as the dedication well. it is at this very spot america's first president to visit the memorial stood. john f. kennedy. he'd come here in 1963 in the summer to be the first one to come aboard the memorial. he stood here right next to senator dan inouye and as common practice at that time, was to drop leis or flowers or wreaths into the water for the defend pearl harbor and the crew of the "uss arizona." this tradition continues even to this day. but it's also a place where people stop and contemplate as they look down on this ghostly remains of the ship. looking down at the quarter deck
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and watching the oil flow by along the tomb of the "uss arizona." it's interesting also to point out that this not only a tomb but it's a shipwreck. and it's a reef. three kind of stratais formed here in the understanding of the "uss arizona." because new life comes from the reef. the tomb of those that have passed and those that are interned and a shipwreck that we still study today to understand how dethe "arizona" was lost and retain the artifacts still on the ship. one of the questions that's often asked of the park rangers out here is, what is that floating on the water? well, it's oil from the ship. it's been leaking since december 7th. and that site and that smell goes back nearly 75 years. we're often asked how long will it continue? well, we don't know.
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a ship of this size took on over a million gallons of fuel. half of that burn and exploded in the forward part of the ship but in the aft section, it remains intact. environmentally, it dissipates quite rapidly. you can see it as a sheen of multicolor. in fact, one of local photographers has done a study of it of just all the difference shapes and colors from the oil patterns has been this study. but for those of us, we keep a sharp eye, along with the people who we're partnered with, the united states navy to make sure if there is any expansion of this oil that we can corral it and keep the environment clean. but it is a message to many who visit here, to the "uss arizona" survivors, many of them thought it was a message to remember pearl harbor and to keep america alert. some a message that those that are entombed still weep for what
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happened here. to a japanese pilot named senji abe when asked what it might mean to him, he said perhaps it's a warning to all who come here to never repeat the mistakes of world war ii. i suspect the visitors who come here on a daily basis take their own message. but here the oil still weeps and the ship in many ways still lives. >> you can watch this and other american artifacts programs at any time by visiting our website, c-span.org/history. yesterday, december 7th, 1941, a date which will live in

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