View Point

By Jack G. Henkels

Saturday, December 7, 1996


Civilians died on Dec. 7, too

FIFTY-FIVE years ago, on Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese planes attacked Pearl Harbor and other military bases on Oahu. In addition to the American servicemen who died, 48 civilians also lost their lives.

Most of the civilians were killed instantly, but some were wounded and died later.

The last person to die as a result of the attack was a civilian, Yaeko Lillian Oda; she died on Feb. 25, 1942. The oldest and youngest persons to die as a result of the attack were also civilians - Chip Soon Kim, 66, and Janet Yumiko Ohta, who was only 3 months old.

Some of the civilians died at or near the military bases which were under attack, many from exploding Japanese bombs or strafing by Japanese planes. But most of the civilians died in Honolulu, all of whom died from "friendly fire" - improperly fused U.S. Navy anti-aircraft shells that exploded on contact with the ground instead of in the air next to the attacking Japanese planes.

The largest loss of life for any family on Dec. 7 was a civilian family, the Hirasakis. Jitsuo died with all three of his children, Jackie, Robert and Shirley, and his nephew, George Jay Manganelli.

The 48 civilian casualties are listed on the Remembrance Exhibit on the back lawn of the USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center. The USS Arizona Memorial is dedicated to all who were killed or mortally wounded as a result of the attack, but the marble wall at the Memorial only lists the names of the USS Arizona crew members who perished.

The Remembrance Exhibit lists the names of everybody else who died on this island. This structure was dedicated on Dec. 3, 1991, four days before the 50th anniversary of the attack.

Last spring the National Park Service revised the Remembrance Exhibit. I combined my research with that of Nanette Napoleon Purnell to suggest that we make two changes in the names of the civilian casualties.

I suggested that we include the middle names of the civilian casualties on the wall to reflect the ethnic background of the people of Hawaii.

Second, I suggested that we add the ages of the civilian casualties behind their names to reflect that children as well as adults can die in war. Superintendent Kathy Billings agreed, provided we could get the changes verified by the state Board of Health, which we did.

Now we feel we have the most accurate list of civilian casualties which has ever been assembled in one place. The Remembrance Exhibit, with these revisions, was rededicated on July 4, 1996.

The places of death, and the names and ages of these casualties of Dec. 7, 1941, were:


Ewa

Yaeko Lillian Oda, 6

Francisco Tacderan, 34

Honolulu

John Kalauwae Adams, 18

Joseph Kanehoa Adams, 50

Nancy Masako Arakaki, 8

Patrick Kahamokupuni Chong, 30

Matilda Kaliko Faufata, 12

Emma Gonsalves, 34

Ai Harada, 54

Kisa Hatate, 41

Fred Masayoshi Higa, 21

Jackie Yoneto Hirasaki, 8

Jitsuo Hirasaki, 48

Robert Yoshito Hirasaki, 3

Shirley Kinue Hirasaki, 2

Paul S. Inamine, 19

Robert Seiko Izumi, 25

David Kahookele, 23

Edward Koichi Kondo, 19

Peter Souza Lopes, 33

George Jay Manganelli, 14

Joseph McCabe Sr., 43

Masayoshi Nagamine, 27

Frank Ohashi, 29

Hayako Ohta, 19

Janet Yumiko Ohta, 3 months

Kiyoko Ohta, 21

Barbara June Ornellas, 8

Gertrude Ornellas, 16

James Takao Takefuji aka Koba, 20

Yoshio Tokusato, 19

Hisao Uyeno, 20

Alice White, 42

Eunice Wilson, 7 months

John Rodgers Airport

Robert H. Tyce, 38

Kaneohe Bay Naval Air Station

Kamiko Hookano, 35

Isaac William Lee, 21

Pearl City

Rowena Kamohaulani Foster, 3

Wahiawa

Chip Soon Kim, 66

Richard Masaru Soma, 22

Waipahu

Tomoso Kimura, 19

Honolulu Fire Department
Hickam Field

John Carreira, 51

Thomas Samuel Macy, 59

Harry Tuck Lee Pang, 30

Federal Government Employees
Hickam Field

August Akina, 37

Philip Ward Eldred, 36

Pearl Harbor

Tai Chung Loo, 19

Red Hill

Daniel La Verne, 25



Jack G. Henkels is a park ranger at the USS Arizona Memorial.




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