(December 7, 1941)
At 6 am on December 7, 1941, six Japanese carriers launched an attack on Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawai’i. While the oncoming force was spotted by an alert operator of an Army radar station in Opana, initial reports were dismissed by officers as an approaching group of American planes set to arrive that morning. The Japanese fleet achieved total surprise, hitting American warships and military installations on Oahu shortly before 8 am. Navy air bases at Ford Island and Kaheohe Bay, as well as the Marine field at Ewa, and Army Air Corps fields at Bellows, Wheeler, and Hickam were bombed and strafed simultaneously with the attack on Pearl Harbor. While a few pilots were able to get airborne in an attempt at countering the attack, casualties were high. 3,581 military personnel and civilians were killed or injured. Twenty-one ships were sunk or damaged and 188 aircraft destroyed, and another 159 damaged. However, the Japanese assault failed to damage American aircraft carriers – which were away from the harbor – and the shore side facilities at Pearl Harbor Naval Base. All but three of the sunken and damaged ships were raised and repaired. In an immediate response, the United States declared war on Japan on December 8, 1941, officially entering World War II.
“Yesterday, December 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” FDR (www.let.rug.nl/usa/presidents/franklin-delano-roosevelt/)
Battles - Pearl Harbor