Saturday marks is the 72nd anniversary of the attack by Japan on Pearl Harbor that launched the United States into World War II.
Until the final days of 1941, Americans were secure in the idea that their shores were safe from outside attack.
At 7:48 a.m., the Imperial Japanese Navy sent fighter aircraft and torpedo planes to Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, where the U.S. Pacific Fleet berthed. Two waves of attacks ensued, intended to prevent the U.S. from interfering in Japan's march into Southeast Asia.
Eight U.S. battleships were attacked as enlisted men slept or were arising to greet the day: The U.S.S. Arizona. The U.S.S. Nevada. The U.S.S. West Virginia. The U.S.S. California. The U.S.S. Oklahoma. The U.S.S. Maryland. The U.S.S. Tennessee.The U.S.S. Pennsylvania. Four sunk. More than 2,400 lives lost, including civilians. Several more ships, destroyers, aircraft and submarines were lost.
It shook the nation and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt went to the airwaves calling it "a date which will live in infamy."
And for decades, that was true. But as time passes, fewer and fewer World War II veterans, and their contemporaries are with us.
There were 17 Connecticut men killed in the attack that day.
- Henry Carlson, Norwich, Navy, USS Arizona
- Vincent M. Horan, Stamford, Army, Wheeler Army Airfield
- Edward W. Gosselin Ensign Naval Reserve
- John Luntta, Canton, Navy, USS Nevada
- Henry Lanquette, Wallingford, Navy, USS Arizona
- W.T. O'Neill Jr., Stamford, Navy, USS Arizona
- Stanislaus Orzech, Meriden, Navy, USS Arizona
- Richard Patterson, Berlin, Navy, USS Arizona
- George Povesco, Bridgeport, Navy, USS Arizona
- Mike Quarto, Norwich, Navy, USS Arizona
- Thomas Reeves, Thomaston, Navy, USS California
- William Seeley, New London, Navy, USS Arizona
- Gordon H. Sterling Jr., West Hartford, Army Air Forces
- Felix Wegrzyn, Bridgeport, Army Air Forces, Hickam Field
- Ulmont Whitehead, Hartford, Navy, USS Arizona
- Eric Allen, Darien, Navy, Hickam Field
- George J. Smith, New Haven, Army Air Forces, Hickam Field