St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - Gov. Mark Dayton ordered state and US flags be flown at half staff from sunrise until sunset today at government facilities as part of Minnesota’s commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack.
Gov. Dayton was among those who participated in a program Wednesday morning at the Minnesota History Center that featured survivors of the Japanese surprise attack that wiped out much of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet on December 7, 1941 and marked the United States entry into World War II.

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A U.S. destroyer that was largely manned by naval reservists from Minnesota is credited with firing America’s first shot of World War II in the epic battle at Pearl Harbor. According to the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs, 84 reservists from a St. Paul unit from the USS Ward when it encountered a Japanese submarine. The crew responded by firing on the sub and sinking it near the entrance to the harbor.

One of the 4 inch guns from the USS Ward is on display outside the Veteran’s Services Building in St. Paul.