Eighty years ago, the empire of Japan struck U.S. military bases on Hawaii, shocking the nation and propelling the United States into nearly four years of a world war.

The attack killed more than 2,400 people. More than half were stationed aboard the battleships Arizona and Oklahoma.

More than 20 Rockland area residents served in the military on that Pacific island when the attacked occurred. Several people had their families living there as well.

The front page of the Dec. 9, 1941, edition of The Courier-Gazette devoted nearly the entire front page to the attack. The paper listed the names of local soldiers who were stationed on Hawaii.

A Coast Guard ship was stationed in Rockland Harbor off Snow’s Shipyard on Mechanic Street. Any company dealing with defense-related production were ordered to put on additional watchmen to ensure the protection of the businesses.

Rockland police notified military personnel who were on leave to return to their bases.

“Throughout the city yesterday, many men who served in the Navy and Army were lamenting the fact that they were beyond the acceptable age limit for the services. One man, an officer in the Navy in the last war, found that he was two years over the age limit, but, said the instant the limit was lifted, as it is expected to be, he would enter the service as he has already made application for duty,” the newspaper stated.

The names listed on the front page of local residents who were stationed in Hawaii were: George Libby, Steward Pollard, Charles Baird, Donald Bergren, Arthur Calderwood, Curtis Brown, Gilbert Richards, Earl Dodge, Bernard Delano, Albert Barlow, James Power, William Browne, Charles Simpson, Preston Howard, John Rich, Charles Thompson, Al Roy, Parker George, Richard Jones, George Kittredge, and brothers, Louis and Harry Mathieson.

The Mathieson brothers were on board the battleship USS Oklahoma that was attacked and sunk. The brothers managed to survive the sinking.

The last surviving local Pearl Harbor survivor was Bergren. Bergren died in October 2020 at age 98.

Donald Bergren in 2016 at his Owls Head home. He was the last surviving Pearl Harbor veteran from the local area. He died in October 2020 at the age of 98.