Attack on Pearl Harbor

USS Arizona ablaze and sinking after the attack on Pearl Harbor
USS Arizona ablaze and sinking after the attack on Pearl Harbor

Historical Context

'A date which will live in infamy,' was how then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt described Japan's sudden and undeclared attack on the US naval station at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7, 1941.

Japan sought to prevent the US Pacific Fleet from interfering with its military adventures in Asia. On the same day as the attack, Japan invaded Malaya, Singapore, Hong Kong and attack the Philippines, Guam and Wake Island.

The air assault killed 2,403 Americans and destroyed a number of battleships and other vessels, as well as important facilities on Pearl Harbor. It shocked the American public and directly led them to declare war on Japan the following day. Adolf Hitler responded by declaring war on the US on 11 December, firmly bringing America into both fronts of the war.

Photo Info

Date taken: December 7, 1941
Location taken: Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, USA

Source: Franklin D. Roosevelt Library

Related Events

  • 1941-01-16 US vice admiral Bellinger warns of an assault on Pearl Harbor
  • 1941-01-27 Peruvian ambassador Ricardo Rivera-Schreiber warns American Ambassador of Japanese assault on Pearl Harbor
  • 1941-11-01 Japanese naval staff offiicers Suzuki & Maejima arrive at Pearl Harbor
  • 1941-11-03 Hirohito's accord on Yamamoto's attack plan on Pearl Harbor fails
  • 1941-11-05 Japanese naval staff officers Suzuki and Maejima leave Pearl Harbor
  • 1941-11-26 Japanese naval carrier force left its base & moves east toward Pearl Harbor
  • 1941-12-02 Japanese Marshal Admiral Yamamoto sends his fleet to Pearl Harbor
  • 1941-12-05 US aircraft carrier Lexington and 5 heavy cruisers leave Pearl Harbor
  • 1941-12-07 Imperial Japanese Navy with 353 planes attack the US fleet at Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hawaii, killing 2,403 people
  • 1941-12-24 First ships of admiral Nagumo's Pearl Harbor fleet return to Japan
  • 1942-09-14 US Navy Admiral Chester Nimitz presents the 1st Medal of Honor of WWII, for courage and valor beyond the call of duty during the attack on Pearl Harbor, to sailor John William Finn; ceremony took place in Pearl Harbor aboard USS Enterprise
  • 1943-04-18 Operation Vengeance: US Army Air Force P-38G fighter aircraft from Kukum Field on Guadalcanal ambush and shoot down the transport bomber aircraft of Isoroku Yamamoto, commander-in-chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy and mastermind behind the Pearl Harbor attack

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