Clarifications on Pearl Harbor

My thanks to the Glendale News-Press for its Pearl Harbor attack article as it provides a valuable history lesson for our students and those Americans who were born after the Dec. 7, 1941, bombing by Japan, which triggered our entry into World War II ("Nearly seven decades later, Pearl Harbor attack still a vivid memory, Dec. 4).

I would like to point out a couple of errors in the article, however.

The island of Okinawa was the territory of Japan at the start of the war and any damaged U.S. vessel would have had to be repaired elsewhere. The U.S. invaded Okinawa and captured it near the end of the war, proving to be an important military and air base for us.

The identity of the U.S. aircraft carrier as the USS Wake Island was erroneous. At the time of the Japanese attack, we had only three larger Saratoga- and Essex-class carriers in the Pacific Fleet and fortunately they were not at Pearl Harbor.

The Japanese had hoped to have caught our entire carrier force in the harbor and make the attack even more disastrous, leaving the U.S. Navy with few if any capital ships.

As to the name of the Wake Island vessel, it had to be on a different type of warship.

Incidentally, the Navy began building smaller escort-class aircraft carriers once the war started and they were named after islands and bays.

A bit of U.S. Naval history at time of war.

Don Mazen


Chapjian served the community well

Usually I don't get too motivated when one of the city directors bids "bon voyage." However, this one is a very rare occasion due to the extraordinary executive management skills that George Chapjian has provided this great city during his seven years as director of Parks, Recreation and Community Services ("Parks director heads south," Dec. 15).

He is a unique and talented director that I have come to know and respect for his decision making, being detail and bottom-line oriented, easy to get along with, an attentive listener, and when asked a question, a person who doesn't refer the answer to staff or hem and haw.

Chapjian is very team oriented and highly respected by his peers and by the employees serving under his supervision. It has been a rare privilege myself to serve on the Community Development Block Grant Advisory Committee in which he is always in attendance to provide input, direction and analytical detail in problem solving as well in moving programs for all of us to enjoy, from AYSO to senior services.

Yes, George, you will be sorely missed by all of us, and especially the ones that have had the pleasure in working with you on a team basis. We wish you smooth sailing as you take up your new challenges for Long Beach.

I hope that your next lateral move will be that of a city manager.

Gary Cornell


Editor's note: Cornell is a member of the Community Development Block Grant Advisory Committee.

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