On the morning of December 7th, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy launched an powerful and brutal attack against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
The attack was intended to thwart the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with Japanese military operations in the Pacific. Over the course of seven hours, some 353 Japanese fighter planes, torpedo planes, and bombers unleashed a relentless bombing raid that destroyed 188 U.S. aircraft, sunk four U.S. Navy battleships, and killed 2,403 Americans with an additional 1,178 injured. The following day, the United States of America declared war on Japan.
The front page of the December 8th, 1941, edition of New York World Telegram reads, ‘1500 dead in Hawaii’, and describes the U.S. decision to declare war on Japan.
At the scene of the attack, a small boat rescues a USS West Virginia crew member from the water after the Japanese bombing raid.
This aerial photograph taken by a Japanese pilot shows the perspective of the attackers. In the lower right hand corner, a Japanese bomber sweeps in for a strafing run.
Sailors stand among wrecked airplanes at Ford Island Naval Air Station as they watch the explosion of the USS Shaw in the background.
A Navy photographer snapped this photograph just as the USS Shaw exploded.
A Japanese plane goes into its last dive as it heads toward the ground in flames after being hit by Naval anti-aircraft fire.
The wing of a Japanese bomber is left in ruins after being shot down on the grounds of the Naval Hospital at Honolulu.
Officers’ wives head to their quarters after hearing explosions and seeing smoke in distance. Mary Naiden, the woman who took this picture, is said to have exclaimed, “There are red circles on those planes overhead. They are Japanese!”
This photograph, from a Japanese film later captured by American forces, is taken aboard the Japanese aircraft carrier Zuikaku, just as a Nakajima B-5N bomber is launching off deck for the second wave of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
An aerial view of “Battleship Row” at Pearl Harbor, photographed from a Japanese aircraft during the the bombing.
Smoke rises from the battleship USS Arizona as it sinks during the attack.
A sailor killed by the Japanese air attack washes ashore at Naval Air Station, Kanoehe Bay.
Troops man a machine gun nest at Wheeler Field against the incoming bombers.
The USS California burns after it was attacked with torpedoes.
Eight miles from Pearl Harbor, shrapnel from a Japanese bomb riddled this car and killed three civilians in the attack. The Navy reported there was no nearby military target.
Wreckage of the first Japanese plane shot down during the attack.
Rescue workers help evacuate the Lunalilo High School in Honolulu after the roof of the main building was hit by a bomb.
Wreckage identified by the U.S. Navy as a Japanese torpedo plane is shown being salvaged from the bottom of Pearl Harbor.
Two servicemen sit on the wreckage of a bomber, surrounded by dirt and sandbags in preparation for another wave of attackers. One looks through binoculars and the other smokes a cigarette.
This is the scene in New York’s Times Square early in the evening on December 7th, 1941, as crowds gather to read the news bulletins flashed on the electric bulletin board of the New York Times building.
In the streets, people buy newspapers reporting the Japanese attack on U.S. bases in the Pacific Ocean.
U.S. soldiers in San Francisco gather around the bed of one of their comrades to read the news of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
On December 8th, President Franklin Roosevelt speaks to a joint session of Congress in Washington and signs the declaration of war against Japan. The Senate responded with a unanimous vote in support of the war; only one Representative dissented in the House.
The next day, young Japanese-Americans, including several Army selectees, gather around a reporter’s car in the Japanese section of San Francisco. Over 30,000 second generation Japanese Americans volunteered or were drafted into the U.S Army during World War II.
Gathering on a fence are some of the first Japanese to be removed from American society and sent to the Tanforan internment camp in Tanforan, California. The group was among the 3,112 Japanese to be removed from restricted areas in the San Francisco Bay area.
An American beach-goer doesn’t want to be mistaken for Japanese when she sunbathes on her days off, so she brings along a Chinese flag.
A woman on horseback examines a Japanese cherry tree that was cut down with the words “To hell with those Japanese,” carved into it.
The body of a Japanese Lieutenant who crashed during the attack on Pearl Harbor is buried with full military honors by U.S. troops.
This oil stained, battle torn American flag was flying proudly from a ship in Pearl Harbor when the Japanese struck. Missiles tore it from its staff and tossed into the bay, where it was salvaged by Lt. Comdr. Fred Welden.
Uniformed American sailors place leis over the graves of their brothers in arms, in Spring 1942.
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