Sunday, December 14, 2008

“Friendly Fire” in Hawaii

One of the aspects of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 that is rarely publicized or discussed are the incidents of “friendly fire” (casualties caused by American forces) to the civilian population on the island of Oahu. Because no attack was obviously expected, much of the ammunition and artillery was not prepared for battle. While returning fire against the attacking Japanese planes, the anti-aircraft shells were not set for the proper detonation, and as a result didn’t explode until the shells came down in the midst of the residential and business districts outside of the naval and air bases.

In today’s photo, the bodies of dead men, killed by the anti-aircraft fire we described above, are slumped inside a shrapnel-riddled car in Honolulu.

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