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Check Six: Niihau Incident

December 7, 2017

Niihau_sep_2007

Of the hundreds of articles I have written concerning heroes to my knowledge only one has been about a civilian hero. This will be my second. The number of civilians killed on December 7th 1941 during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor has never been completely documented, it was somewhere between 48 and 68.  It’s thought most of these deaths resulted from friendly fire, unexploded American anti-aircraft shells that landed in civilian areas. In doing the research for this article it seems there may have been a cover up by the authorities at the time to conceal the number of civilians killed by friendly fire.

Ni‘ihau, is the westernmost and second smallest of the Hawaiian Islands.   The Robinsons, a white kama‘āina family, have owned the island since 1864. On December 7th 1941, Ni‘ihau had 136 inhabitants, most of them were Native Hawaiians whose first language was Hawaiian.

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