What Happened On Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941?
A major U.S. Navy base near Honolulu was attacked by Japanese forces. In the morning, just before 8 a.m, Japanese planes made a surprise invasion from aircraft carriers on Pearl Harbor. 20 American naval vessels, in which there were eight battleships, were either badly damaged or completely destroyed. Over 2,400 Americans died and no less than 1,000 including civilians were wounded in the attack.
How Long Did The Battle Of Pearl Harbor Last?
Japanese forces made a surprise attack which made it almost completely one-sided. At 0753 hrs, an order of attack (“Tora Tora Tora”) started it. The majority of US fighter planes were destroyed by 0800 hrs. They had been aligned on the airfields in order to avoid damage. Most of the initial destruction to the ships at Pearl Harbor was caused by the torpedo planes. The torpedo attack which lasted for about 11 minutes was followed by bombers. In the first wave of the attack, a bomber hit the USS Arizona’s magazine resulting in a devastating explosion.
The second wave of the attack began at 0840 hrs. There were no torpedo planes but 167 aircraft attacked in the second wave. The second wave was aimed to attack Ford Island and Kaneohe Naval Air Stations, along with Hickam Field. However, the second wave of the attack was unable to cause the level of destruction caused by the first wave.
The first wave of the strike force was reaching back at their carriers by 0950 hr. At the same time, the second wave was finishing their attack and departing Oahu. President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously stated that “December 7, 1941 – a date, which will live in infamy.”
Why Was It A Pivotal Moment In U.S. History?
The attack is important because it propelled the United States into World War II. A conflict began on Sept. 1, 1939, after Germany invaded Poland but the United States was reluctant to join it initially. The U.S. helped the United Kingdom a lot in those about 2 1/2 years. The United Kingdom was practically the only source of resistance to the Nazis in Europe, but an overall attitude of isolationism made Roosevelt and Congress be careful of interference.
How Does The Pearl Harbor Attack Compare With 9/11?
Official figures show that the death toll in the Dec. 7, 1941 attack was 2,403. Among those who died were including 2,008 Navy personnel, 109 Marines, 218 Army service members, and 68 civilians. 1,177 among the dead belonged to the USS Arizona. Now the remains of the USS Arizona form USS Arizona memorial which serves as the main memorial to the incident. Here you can find a complete list of those who died. Pertinently, 55 Japanese were also killed.
If it is compared to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, there were to 2,997 deaths. Among those who died, 19 were terrorists, 125 were at the Pentagon and 246 on the four planes involved (not including the terrorists). The dust at the World Trade Center also caused the death of some who were counted among those who died in the attack, which means the total death count could rise further.
Where Remembrance Ceremonies Take Place?
The main ceremony is conducted at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument situated in Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor is managed by the National Park Service. The observance usually starts in the early morning and a moment of silence occurs at the time the attack began. A flyover by the U.S. Air Force and the Hawaii Air National Guard follows. Pearl Harbor survivors, World War II veterans, family members and dignitaries attend the ceremonies. Now the ceremonies are also live-streamed on the YouTube and Facebook accounts of the monuments.