Early in the morning on December 7, 1941, near the north shore of Oahu Island, Privates Joseph Lockhart and George Elliot were manning a temporary radar station on a hill, known as Opana Ridge. They were scheduled to go off duty at 7:00 a.m., but Private Elliot had been monitoring two very large blips on the oscilloscope. Lockhart wondered if they were a result of a malfunctioning of the radar equipment. After checking out the radar, Private Lockhart knew that he was looking at an accurate detection of a large squadron of planes coming in from the northeast.
According to one account, Private Lockhart, radioed in a report that a large number of planes had been detected about 130 miles out at sea. In reality, they were the first wave of Japanese planes approaching the island for their infamous surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, but it was not really a “total” surprise, because two of our privates detected it, observed it, and reported it to an informations officer. The officer on duty at about 7:10 that morning was Lieutenant Kermit Tyler of the U.S. Army Air Corps. He knew that the arrival of a group of B-17 bombers was anticipated from the continental United States. He dismissed this report as being that squadron of our own large bombers. The lieutenant told Joseph, “Don’t worry about it.” These would be words that would haunt him for the rest of his long life. Tyler died in 2010, at 96 years of age.
If only Tyler had believed Joe’s report. If only they had given warning to Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Wheeler Field and many other places on Oahu, how different the events of “Pearl Harbor Day” might have been?
I have interviewed Woody Ball, U.S.M.C. who was dodging bombs on the shore that day at Pearl. Another Woody was a sailor below decks in his destroyer. His ship was torpedoed. Fortunately the detonator did not go off and that Woody’s life was also spared. My friend Fay Hannah, his brother Bernard, and a friend Don Cunningham all lived near me in West Virginia. I have interviewed all three of them. They each survived the sinking of our beloved U.S.S. West Virginia. Today (February 13th) in the Arizona state senate, Senator Ward is reading a suggested creed for the state of Arizona which, in part, gives honor to over 1000 men who died when the magazine of the battleship Arizona exploded. All these events may have been prevented if only Lieutenant Tyler had believed Joseph’s report that “the Japanese were coming!” Joseph later received a medal for what he did on December 7th.
God put Ezekiel as a watchman on the wall to warn Israel of the advancing army of sin. It was up to each Jew to head the warning that there was destruction to come and there is a God who would forgive them of their sin if they would only believe His report.
In our generation, as Christians, we are each the Private Joseph Lockhart of the day. We are each the Ezekiel who is to warn others. We are the watchmen on the wall who must be vigilant for our fellow men and sound the warning trumpet. It is the responsibility of others to head the warning, turn from their sin, and turn to God for the forgiveness of sin.
God Made Me A Watchman
by Evangelist Dan Manka
1. Ezekiel had a watchman who was posted on the wall.
He watched out for an army who could cause that wall to fall.
He’d faithfully blow his trumpet with a warning bugle call.
The sound of the watchman’s trumpet was heard by one and all!
Chorus: God made me a watchman to watch out for lost souls.
I will be a watchman, the first of all my goals.
I’ll tell my friends of Jesus, of his love and of his grace.
I’ll win lost souls for Jesus, ’til I see him face to face.
2. God made me a watchman. I am posted on the wall.
I’ll watch out for lost sinners. On Jesus they must call.
I’ll faithfully give the gospel. I’ll sound the bugle call.
The message of my warning will be heard by one and all. (chorus)
3. If I’m a faithful watchman and they do not heed the call.
They will die without the Saviour with their blood upon them all,
But if I fail to warn them and they never hear the call
Blood will be upon my hands as I stand upon the wall. (chorus) 4-15-12