The Looming Storm of December 7th

First the local news. Thanks to all that showed up to help satiate the goblins and other trick or treaters earlier this week. Once again the Auxiliary out did themselves. We will put out flags on Main Street and Highway 99 and 20 on Friday November 4th and take up on Friday November 18th as Veteran’s Day is approaching and is a major military holiday.

We are preparing for the Veterans Day Program for Friday November 11th. The catered meal will be at 11:00am at the High School building foyer (Mac’s BBQ) and move to the High School gymnasium at 12:30PM for the flag entrance ceremony. Then everyone will be seated; the students will MC the program, there will be a slide show; the band will play and the choral choir will sing songs. Then the Osage Club will present the ceremonial blankets to the three recipients and our commander will help with the presentations to this year’s recipients.

The next morning, Saturday November 12th, we will meet at the Hut about 9:30am or so and travel to Fairfax for the 14th Annual Fairfax Veterans Parade. Every year we join our veteran buddies from Post 333 Ralston for a great time. As usual we will be featuring Daisy, the confused 1973 military jeep. She is Army but thinks she is Air Force (inside joke for O’Leary). Afterward there will be a free chili and stew meal at the old American Legion building on the west side of Fairfax across from the cemetery.

It happened today in 1941. The Imperial Japanese Fleet received Top-Secret Order No. 1. It directed that in thirty-four days Pearl Harbor was to be bombed, along with Malaya, the Dutch East Indies, and the Philippines. Relations between the United States and Japan began deteriorating rapidly with Japan’s occupation of Indochina in 1940 and the tactical harassment of the Philippines (an American partner), with the occupation of the Cam Ranh naval base only eight miles from Manila.

Japan had been feeling the pressure of the French in Indo China and America in accessing natural resources like oil and rubber for the small Island Nation. They felt a divine destiny was forming their path to an Imperial expansion.

American retaliation included the seizing of all Japanese assets in the States and the closing of the Panama Canal to Japanese shipping. In September 1941, Roosevelt issued a statement, drafted by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, that threatened war between the United States and Japan should the Japanese encroach any further on territory in Southeast Asia or the South Pacific.

The Emperor leaned toward his military leader Tojo rather than the true diplomats who feared war was approaching. Although official negotiations between the U.S. secretary of state and his Japanese counterpart were ongoing, Hideki Tojo, the minister of war who would soon be prime minister, had no intention of withdrawing from captured territories. He also construed the American “threat” of war as an ultimatum and prepared to deliver the first blow in a Japanese-American confrontation: the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

And so, Tokyo delivered the order to all pertinent Fleet commanders that, not only the United States-and its protectorate the Philippines, but British and Dutch colonies in the Pacific were to be attacked. War was going to be declared on the West. Soon I will recount Hominy’s part in that battle, a story I told a few months ago but bears retelling.

Our regular meetings are the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month. (This evening 3rd and 17th of November). The Monday morning Koffee Klatch meetings for November Monday’s are still scheduled for biscuits and gravy and always a cup of Joe (coffee to the civilians).  Keep your eye on the weather in case things have to be postponed. If you are a veteran come on by. If you have a good story it may end up in print. Also keep up with us at website “americanlegion142.org”.

 

About Gary Lanham

Authors the weekly article "News from the Hut", about local American Legion Post #142 in Hominy, OK. Read his weekly articles in the "Hominy News Progress".
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