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Montana’s connections to the Attack on Pearl Harbor



Helena, Montana – The 82nd anniversary of the attack on American forces at Pearl Harbor is Thursday, December 7, 2023.

There were 2,403 service members and civilians murdered in the attack on that day that will live in infamy, 15 of them were from Montana.

Charlie Dowd of Anaconda, Montana, the last known remaining survivor of Pearl Harbor, passed away in March of this year. Dowd was attacked while he was barely 17 years old.

A comprehensive exhibit about the Pearl Harbor attack and more about Montanans’ involvement in World War II may be found at the Montana Military Museum.

The USS Helena was among the one hundred commissioned warships and service auxiliary ships at Pearl Harbor on the day of the attack.

After suffering damage from a torpedo, the crew of the Helena managed to restart its guns and are recognized for having shot down six of the 29 Japanese planes that were brought down during the attack.

America entered World War II right away following the attack on Pearl Harbor. 57,000 Montanans, or about 10% of the state’s total population at the time, fought in the war. 1,500 would never go back home.


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