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Tama County to remember attack on Pearl Harbor

November 11, 2016
Traer Star-Clipper

Two events in connection with the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack (Sunday, December 7, 1941) at Pearl Harbor, Hawaiian Islands have been planned for Tama County.

On Wednesday, December 7, 2016, the Tama County Museum located at 200 North Broadway Street in Toledo will be open extended hours. Artifacts from a Tama sailor assigned to the U.S.S. Oklahoma will be a focal point of the tour and presentation. These personal items were recovered in 1943 when the Navy salvaged the battleship that capsized within minutes after it was hit by Japanese torpedoes and struck by bombs. The story of another Tama County sailor aboard the U.S.S. Oklahoma will be featured as will that of a third Iowan from this battleship whose remains were identified via D.N.A. testing and returned to Iowa just weeks ago.

The American Legion, Post 73 located at 1105 East 5th Street in Tama will feature a Hawaiian themed dinner on Tuesday evening, December 6, beginning at 5:00 p.m. Video clips from the public domain plus displays and a short presentation by the Sons of the American Legion historian will emphasize the idyllic life at Pearl Harbor that was shattered by the chaos of the Japanese sneak attack.

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This sailor from Tama, Iowa was assigned to the U.S.S. Oklahoma. He survived the initial sneak attack by the Japanese but tragically died on January 9, 1942. Please call the museum in Toledo at (641) 484-6767 for more info about plans to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.

Originally it was thought there were four sailors from Tama County at Pearl Harbor in 1941. However, future research has shown that at least 16 individuals connected to Tama County, including civilians, were in the Pacific theater when Japan attacked multiple American locations.

Organizers of these events are seeking additional updates of these 16 individuals (listed alphabetically) from their family and friends. If you know of other area residents who were in Hawaii on December 7, 1941, we would like to hear from you. Here are the 16 people we currently know:

Mrs. Marion Bales (daughter of Mrs. Mattie Viet)

Marvin Barlow

Joseph Crabtree

William Harrison Croskrey (son of William R. and Alice (Mihulka) Croskey)

Howard Dupre

Burlen Johnson (son of Mrs. John Abbe of Toledo)

Harold Johnson (son of Mrs. John Abbe of Toledo)

William Kvidera (son of James and Helen (Kunc) Kvidera)

Lyle Mercer (brother of Bernard Mercer)

Milo Macek (son of Mrs. Agnes Macek)

John Henry Mohler (son of Mr. and Mrs. Alpha Mohler of north Tama)

Alfred Norris

Paul James Novak (son of Mr. and Mrs. James Novak of Elberon)

William Gerald Parks (son of Mr. and Mrs. Ray Parks of Tama)

Warren Sturtz

Charles Wood (brother of Mrs. Mark Carpenter of Tama)

Please contact the museum in Toledo at 641-484-6767 for more information during regular hours (Tuesday Saturday 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.). Your recollections of this watershed event are welcome too.

Let us remember the words of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt: " December 7th, 1941 a date which will live in infamy..."



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