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World War II Veterans: Thomas Mahoney

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“Tora! Tora! Tora!” – These are the code words which were transmitted by Mitsuo Fuchida to the Japanese fleet signaling that the U.S. Pacific Fleet had been caught by surprise at Pearl Harbour. The attack, which occurred in the early morning of December 7th, 1941, resulted in the United States abandoning its policy of isolationism and entering the war. The U.S. officially declared a state of war between the Japanese Empire and the United States on December 8th, but for those who were at Pearl Harbour, like Thomas Mahoney, the war began on that morning at 8AM (Dunnahoo 5). Mahoney was born in New Jersey and enlisted at the age of 18 in 1940 to the United States Navy along with his brother, Harold. He was eventually stationed aboard the U.S.S. Curtiss at Pearl Harbour as an electrician’s mate when the surprise attack by the Japanese occurred, and went on to serve on board the U.S.S. O’Bannon, the most decorated U.S. Destroyer of World War Two, and where he would see most major actions in the Pacific Theatre including, but not limited to, the Guadalcanal Campaign, the Battle of Leyte Gulf, and the Recapture of Corregidor. To begin, the attack on Pearl Harbour was devastating to U.S. naval capabilities in the Pacific at the onset of their entry into the war. Japanese officials had grown tired of the U.S. oil embargo, which was meant to limit their territorial expansion and aggression in South-East Asia as well as China, and as negotiations weren’t reaching any conclusions they decided that the only course of action was a first strike on the aircraft carriers at Pearl Harbour to cripple U.S. naval capability in the Pacific (Rosenberg 1). The attack, which lasted about two hours, had resulted in the sinking of four battleships, among ... ... middle of paper ... ...ually see it unfold. Thomas Mahoney is a role model American who willingly enlisted and served his country to the fullest extent of his abilities. Works Cited Dunnahoo, Terry. Pearl Harbor: America Enters the War. New York: Franklin Watts, 1991. Print. Frank, Richard. Guadalcanal: The Definitive Account of the Landmark Battle. New York: Random House, Inc, 1990. Print. Hickman, Kennedy. "World War II: Battle of the Eastern Solomons." About.com. N.p.. Web. 15 Apr 2014. . Hickman, Kennedy. "World War II: Battle of Guadalcanal." About.com. N.p.. Web. 15 Apr 2014. . Rosenberg, Jennifer. "Attack on Pearl Harbor." About.com. N.p.. Web. 15 Apr 2014. .
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