BLAST FROM THE PAST - We will triumph 'So help us God'

Dec. 8, 1941 The top stories in the Norwalk Reflector-Herald on this date 66 years ago:
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 25, 2010

Dec. 8, 1941

The top stories in the Norwalk Reflector-Herald on this date 66 years ago:

U.S. declares war

on Japanese

WASHINGTON, (UPI) — Congress today proclaimed existence of a state of war between the United States and the Japanese empire 33 minutes after the dramatic moment when President Roosevelt stood before a joint session to pledge that we will triumph — “So help us, God.”

The president made his request to a joint session of congress, giving it a brief but detailed account of Japan’s attack on American territory yesterday — a date which said “will live in infamy.”

“The facts of yesterday speak for themselves,” he said. “The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.”

British declare war, too

LONDON, (UPI) — Prime Minister Winston Churchill told Commons today that Britain had declared war against Japan and that “insane ambition, which is the root of evil, must be extirpated although the task will probably be long and hard.”

Great Britain today made formal declaration of war against Japan.

The announcement was made to an emergency session of parliament by Churchill.

The session convened at 3 p.m. (9 a.m. EST) and Churchill immediately announced Britain’s action, fulfilling his pledge of just a month ago that Britain would stand beside the United States if war came to the Pacific.

U.S. lists damage in raids

NEW YORK, (UPI) — The Japanese radio claimed today that Japanese Naval forces have sunk two American battleships and an aircraft carrier and damaged four other U.S. battleships, four U.S. heavy cruisers and inflicted other widespread losses on American forces.

The broadcast heard by the United Press listening post claimed that the chief blows to the American fleet were inflicted in the air attack on Hawaii.

Attributing its information to imperial naval headquarters, the Tokyo radio said that Japanese losses were slight.

A large number of American planes it was claimed were destroyed on the ground at their Hawaii bases.

Nazis say relations with U.S.

no longer important,  may aid Japanese against U.S.

BERLIN, (UPI) — An authorized spokesman said today that German relations with the United States were “no longer of any importance” and the press hinted that Germany might aid Japan under the axis alliance.

Authorized sources said close contact had been maintained between Berlin and Tokyo for the past few days.

These sources refused any comment whether Germany would intervene under the Tripartite Pact, but said a more explicit statement of German-U.S. relations possibly would be available later today.

Co. G. leaves Camp Shelby

The 37th division including the 145th infantry, of which Norwalk’s Company G is a member, left Camp Shelby, Miss., at 6:15 a.m. today for duty at an undisclosed destination.

Major General Robert S. Beightier, commanding the 37th Division, declined to state the reason behind the sudden departure of the regiment. It was assumed the Pacific war outbreak prompted the movement.

Beightier received orders late yesterday to place the regiment on the alert. The detachment packed kitchen trucks and other equipment. The men ate breakfast at 3 a.m. today. The 145th, comprised mostly of Northeastern Ohio men, is commanded by Col. Luke P. Wikfford of Cleveland.

U.S. rounding up thousands

of Japanese nationals

on entire West Coast

WASHINGTON, (UPI) — Attorney General Francis Biddle announced today that the Federal Bureau of Investigation agents had seized 736 Japanese nationals in the United States and in the Hawaiian Islands last night.

Squads of federal and local agents continued their raids today on populace West Coast Japanese colonies, rounding up and jailing enemy aliens, possible sources of sabotage and espionage.

FBI agents, U.S. immigration officers and local police last night spread their dragnet and reportedly detained hundreds of Japanese nationals for questioning.

The arrested were those considered by the government as the most dangerous of almost 30,000 Japanese aliens on the Pacific Coast. Whether all eventually will be jailed had not been announced.

United for Victory

Reflector-Herald Editorial

Many, many months ago the writer ventured the prediction that the United States would get into World War II and that the step would result from trouble with Japan. That guess has now come true.

Japan, in a fashion typical of low Japanese cunning, has attacked and declared war upon the United States. There is only one answer and it means total war against the other Axis powers as well as Japan.

A few short hours ago there seemed to be peace and security on the American continent as the Christmas of 1941 drew near. Now there is a war that involves our national existence. Now the whole world is aflame with the struggle upon which not only our own future depends, but likewise the whole future of civilization.

This is no time for half-way measures, no time for dollar-sign-patriotism, no time for exploitation of the production upon which the life of our nation will survive or fall, no time for any diluted forms of Americanism.

The outcome of the struggle will not be decided on the high seas or the fields of battle alone, It will be decided in 40 million American homes and particularly along the production lines of every American factory, mill and shop. We must be our own arsenal now, as well as the arsenal of those who fight by our side. Any and all exploitation of the needs of complete and unified defense now becomes treason.

The nations must unite to the last CITIZEN worthy of that name which denotes our privileges and obligations — in defense of our county — in the protection of our homes and institutions — for the preservation of our freedom — for the victory which must and will be won from the ruthless, war-mad racketeers — Hitler, Mussolini, and Hirohito.

Three Huron County soldiers

 in Hawaiian service

At least three Huron County soldiers are members of the U.S. Army forces in Hawaii, where a Japanese air force inflicted heavy damages on the American Navy yesterday. They are Gerald Funk of North Fairfield, James Lutts of Norwalk, and Norbert Schaffer of Peru, a former employee of the Maple City Ice Co. here. Private Funk recently wrote an interesting letter to the Reflector-Herald on the subject of the Pearl Harbor situation. He is located at Schofield Barracks.

Former Wakeman doctor,

family on island of Oahu

Concern was expressed in Norwalk and Huron County today for the safety of Major C.J. Cranston and family, former Wakeman residents, who are now located at the U.S. Army post on the island of Oahu. Major Cranston, widely known Huron County physician, practiced at Wakeman.

Holding the rank of major in the U.S. Army Reserve, Dr. Cranston reported for service last spring and with his wife and two children, Earl John and Neal, went to the Hawaiian base on the U.S. troop transport U.S.S. George Washington.

Friends and relatives of Dr. Cranston and family have had frequent letters from them since their arrival at Oahu.

Dr. Cranston’s mother, Mrs. Nicla Cranston, lives at New London. A sister, Miss Maybell Cranston, is a member of the faculty at Bowling Green State University.

— Compiled by Andy Prutsok