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Old 11-10-2011, 08:57 AM  
mohel
 
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American Civilians killed on December 7, 1941

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CivilianStory

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t is commonly believed that all civilians who died as a result of friendly fire on December 7, 1941, (either instantly or later from wounds received) were killed by five inch US Navy anti-aircraft shells. During the two hour Japanese attack (from approximately 7:50 am to 9:45 am) practically the only anti-aircraft guns in operation were the guns manned by sailors and marines on ships in Pearl Harbor, Honolulu Harbor and out in the ocean. However, some US Coast Guard ships in Honolulu Harbor and out in the ocean were also shooting at Japanese and American airplanes during the attack; some of their shells may have also resulted in civilian casualties. Also, anti-aircraft guns on Army and Army Air Force bases were in operation after the attack was over, at which time civilians were still being killed. Navy and Coast Guard guns were also shooting at American airplanes at this time (Japanese planes left after the attack). Civilians killed after the attack might have been killed by gunfire from all five military branches.

What is known for certain is that all 32 civilians killed in Honolulu died from friendly fire. The Japanese did not target Honolulu. Only one bomb was dropped in the city, in an industrial area where there were no casualties, and that appears to have been an accident. Outside of Honolulu, however, the subject gets a little hazy. The one civilian killed at Pearl Harbor is often listed as dying from friendly fire, although he actually died from an accident. Tai Chung Loo (Age 19), reported to duty as a civilian worker at Pearl Harbor when he heard about the attack. In the general mayhem at the main gate, he was thrown from a truck and suffered a head injury, from which he died at the Pearl Harbor Naval Hospital on December 12, 1941 his nineteenth birthday.

Of the 48 civilians killed as a result of the attack, the number killed by friendly fire varies from 33 to 37.

A group of Japanese American children were attending the Chuo Gakuin language school located at the corner of Nuuanu Avenue and Vineyard Boulevard, which is a part of Foster Botanical Garden today. Many Japanese parents in Hawaii sent their children to Japanese language school to learn the Japanese language and culture. This schooling took place on weekdays, after public school ended each day. The classes would last a few hours. Some students would attend this school on Sundays also. The Japanese American students who were Christian would go to Sunday school at the church their family belonged to. Those who were not Christian would go to Sunday school at the Japanese language school.

Before classes began, the students heard planes flying overhead. Suddenly, the sounds of explosions caught their attention, coming from the direction of Pearl Harbor. Looking out the windows they saw smoke rising from the distant ships.

The youths did not realize it was the beginning of war. Like most adults, they thought it was just another elaborate exercise by the American military. The school teachers, however, sensed that something was wrong. One of the teachers decided to take her students upstairs into the auditorium. There she began to play the piano and led the kids in singing a rabbit song, to get their minds off the loud noises they were hearing outside.

While they were singing, an improperly fused US Navy anti-aircraft shell exploded across the street. A few seconds later another shell exploded in the school yard. Metal shrapnel flew upward into the auditorium. One boy was injured seriously and needed to have his arm amputated.

One of the students in this Sunday school class was Jackie Yoneto Hirasaki (Age 8). After the explosion took place, the teacher told his students to run home. Jackie ran to the restaurant that his family operated a block away at the corner of Nuuanu Avenue and Kukui Street. When his mother heard what happened, she told her three children to stay inside the restaurant; she felt that it would be the safest place to be.

She would regret making that decision, because later that morning, another anti-aircraft shell landed on the restaurant. Jackie was killed in the explosion, along with his only brother, Robert Yo****o Hirasaki (Age 3); and his only sister, Shirley Kinue Hirasaki (Age 2), and his father, Jitsuo Hirasaki (Age 48). The mother, although wounded, survived. Their cousin, George Jay Manganelli aka George Haruyuki Okada (Age 14), a student at St. Louis College, also died. Their bodies were cremated and the ashes buried in one gravesite at Diamond Head Memorial Park Cemetery. Five members of this family died the largest loss of life for any single family, military or civilian, on December 7, 1941.

In addition to these five persons, several other patrons who just happened to be in the restaurant that morning, also lost their lives. Three of these young men killed were Christian Youth Organization (CYO) boxers: Fred Masayoshi Higa (Age 21);
Paul S. Inamine (Age 19); and James Takao Takefuji (aka Koba) (Age 20). Their bodies were cremated and their ashes sent to their families on the Big Island.

Four of the men who died in the restaurant were from the Big Island: Robert Seiko Izumi (Age 25); Masayoshi Nagamine (Age 27); Yoshio Tokusato (Age 19); and Hisao Uyeno (Age 20).
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Old 11-10-2011, 06:24 PM  
mohel
 
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December 7th, 1941

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Old 11-10-2011, 06:44 PM  
mohel
 
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December 7th, 1941

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Old 11-10-2011, 07:44 PM  
mohel
 
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December 7th, 1941

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Old 11-10-2011, 07:59 PM  
mohel
 
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December 7th, 1941

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Old 01-10-2012, 10:20 PM  
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Thanks for posting this! I LIVE in the area where the AMERICAN shells fell back to earth on that faithful day.

One landed at a matress shop a block where I live now, and in the open playground of the elementary school I had attended. They actually planted a tree in the crater of that "bomb crater"! And still another landed in the corner of King Street and McCully Stree. A Jack-in-the-Box is now there at that "bomb site".

This all happened way before I was born, but my late Brother was only six months old when the war started at Pearl Harbor. Imagine my Family had to live in the dark because there was a black out in the evining for several weeks where all night lights, street lights and ANY light sourse was turned off, and black curtains placed on windows were manidtory at that time.

It is sad that war is so cold, and mindless. A lot of the names you reasearched are Japanese AMERICANS who were killed by friendly fire. But there were incidence that the Japanese navy DID target towns and districts populated mostly by Japanese Americans! Hense my area of McCully!
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