US ARMY 19TH INFANTRY, 24TH Division

The 24th & 25th Infantry Divisions were among the first to see combat in World War II and among the last to stop fighting. The Divisions were on Oahu, with Headquarters at Schofield Barracks, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941, and suffered minor casualties. Charged with the defense of Oahu and the Hawaiian Islands, they built an elaborate system of coastal defenses before deploying for further combat operations

December 7, 1941, Sam said “All we could do was stand there and watch as the Japanese planes flew through Kola-Kola pass and attacked Scholfield Barracks, Wheeler Field and Pearl Harbor.”

Sam Clower was in charge of a detail armed with .45-caliber pistols and shotguns assigned to guard the nearby water supply and other facilities against possible sabotage. They were positioned up the mountain where they had a commanding view of the whole area below. The ,45-caliber pistols and shotguns were adequate for that mission but no match for the enemy airplanes that flew near their position during the attack that launched the United States into World War II.

The next day President Franklin D. Roosevelt described December 7th,1941, as “A date that will live in infamy,” and Congress declared war on Japan.

Sam Cower had been scheduled to be shipped back to the mainland December 14th, but didn't make it for several more years. He was sent to Australia and then New Guinea and ultimately to the Philippines. Elements of his unit became isolated on a small island along with elements of the Japanese forces with a commander educated in the United states. Neither side had communications with their command units. They made peace with each other and shared food etc. and Sam was listed as missing in action by the US Army for 5 months & 5 days

Physical problems from injuries received during this period sent him back to the states for hospital treatment and forced him out of the infantry, so he transferred to the Army Air Corps And in the US Air Force until his retirement from the service in 1974.

Sam & Pauline Clower @ their 65th Wedding Anniverasry

 

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