On Monday, December 7, 2020, we remember Pearl Harbor Day. If you are a longtime local you may know this, but Monterey experienced lasting effects after the Japanese attack. If you are new to the Monterey Peninsula or are a fan of history, this week’s blog centers around Pearl Harbor Day and what happened in the Monterey Peninsula.
The war was brought to California’s coast just eleven days after Pearl Harbor. Several areas were targeted by Japanese submarines, including Cape Mendocino, Monterey Bay, Estero Bay, and San Diego. Monterey Bay was on high alert all the way from Santa Cruz to Pacific Grove. According to the Mobile Ranger blog, submarines in these areas were an effort to scare the Americans into thinking a large attack on the mainland was coming next. The cities were chosen for their locations along commonly used shipping lanes and for the best opportunity to attack.
Here is an account of enemy subs trying to harm a tanker in Monterey Bay:
Just two days after the attack on the Samoa, another Japanese submarine, the I-23, emerged just 20 miles off Cypress Point in Monterey Bay. An explosion off the stern of an American tanker, the Agwiworld, got the captain’s attention. Soon the 6700-ton tanker was fishtailing and zigzagging along shore in an effort to outmaneuver the sub’s torpedoes.
The bay’s large swells prevented the submarine from closing in on the Agwiworld and the ship’s crew was spared. The I-23 fired eight shots, four of which came so close they splashed water up on the Agwiworld’s deck. Golfers on shore reportedly looked up from their game to see the large tanker sporadically zigzagging along the coast billowing large plumes of dark smoke. (The smoke was from the overworked engines, not from a direct hit.) Even though the American tanker was in view, the golfers couldn’t see the submarine and didn’t realize until the next day that the Agwiworld had been under attack.
Japanese submarines launched their planned attacks up and down the coast until December 24. In total, six American sea merchants were killed and two ships were sunk.
Sadly, our Japanese-American residents were sent to internment camps because there was concern they would serve as spies. This is an unfortunate turn in our local history, and we hope this sort of thing does not happen again. Fortunately, the people of the Monterey Peninsula stand together and support our military community, our visitors, hard-working immigrants, and our local melting pot of cultures and languages.
We hope you enjoyed learning a little bit of Monterey Peninsula history from CARSTAR Robert’s Collision. Yes, we are an auto body repair shop, but we are a locally-owned company that has been serving our community since 1996. We grew up on the Monterey Peninsula and we love serving our neighbors and friends with excellent-quality auto body repair and service.
When your vehicle requires auto body repair, we invite you to CARSTAR Robert’s Collision. Our body shop is located just off Highway 1 at the Del Monte Blvd. Pacific Grove exit. Our shop address is 234 Ramona Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940. We strive to be your one-stop auto shop and we work hard to provide you with an outstanding customer service experience. Our skilled technicians provide the best service in the region. Schedule your appointment today!