Friday, December 7, 2012

From Camden to Pearl Harbor and Beyond

December 7, 1941 was the date Franklin Delano Roosevelt deemed would "live in infamy." Seventy-one years later we live in a much changed world, yet we certainly do not forget the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that fateful day. Today the museum joins with people throughout the nation in commemorating the tragic event that so shockingly took the lives of thousands and led the United States directly into World War II. Of course, many of those lost were crew members of two battleships built here in Camden: the Utah and the Oklahoma. Both ships and their crew members who perished are memorialized at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument's site in Hawaii. More information about the national monument can be found by clicking here.
The Utah as she left Camden in December of 1909. Photo from
The Phoenix at Pearl Harbor. Photo from 

Another Camden-built ship moored at Pearl Harbor fared much better than the ill-fated Utah and Oklahoma. That ship was the light cruiser named the Phoenix

You can see the fortunate Phoenix steaming past the battleships unharmed in a YouTube video by clicking here.

While she escaped harm in Pearl Harbor, she seemed somehow destined for destruction in battle. After being sold to Argentina and renamed the General Belgrano, she was sunk by a British submarine's torpedo in 1982 during the Falkland's War. To learn more about the Phoenix, visit the Naval Historical Center's webpage here.

We honor all of those affected by the attack on Pearl Harbor seventy-one years ago today. Although it was certainly a tragic day, it is also a reminder of Camden's proud shipbuilding heritage and its place of importance in our nation's history.

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