December 17, 1941 – Day Of Infamy Plus Ten – Black Outs – Drills – Civil Defense – Censorship

Air Raid Wardens - Hawaii - 1941
Civil Defense Air Raid Wardens in Hawaii – the War pressed everyone into service.

December 17, 1941 – NBC News Reports, Bulletins – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

December 17, 1941 – as the war entered its 10th day, America was swinging into action. Cities across the country were undergoing black-out drills and air-raid preparedness. As Hawaii was still considered under attack or under threat of attack, the entire population was pressed into one form of service or another. Blacking out homes and entire neighborhoods as well as business districts was a nightly ritual. Air Raid wardens sprung up on every block, enforcing strict precautions, even down to banning the lighting of cigarettes. The war was busy at home. Sweeping changes were taking place within the military, with a complete overhaul of the Navy command after the Pearl Harbor surprise attack. Replacing Rear Admiral Husband E. Kimmel was Chester Nimitz, who would assume command of the Pacific fleet and the United States fleet. The overhaul also extended to the Army, particularly those based in Hawaii.

Meanwhile, the war was continuing and reports of Japanese invasions of Timor were circulating. The news was met with particular concern as Timor was a strategic island, some 400 miles northwest of Australia. Reports that Germany was sending planes to aid Japanese forces in Malaya. Messerschmitt fighter-bombers based in Thailand were being used in Japanese attacks on Penang with reports that Japanese forces were within 10 miles of the Penang Naval base. London also reported at Japanese troops were advancing on Singapore and made landings in Borneo.

Some upbeat news from Hong Kong that Chinese troops were advancing on Japanese positions, successfully thwarting an advance on that colony. Reports that the Japanese had taken Macao were denied by Lisbon, Portugal. They stressed that life was going on “normally” in the Portuguese colony.

And it was reported America planes successfully attacked and sank a Japanese submarine located near Spokane Washington. Although no other specifics were given, the sighting and response was reported to have taken place “sometime during the past week”.

And that’s just a small slice of the news that went on, this December 17, 1941 from NBC Radio’s around-the-clock coverage of the War.

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