On a quiet December Sunday morning in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1941, the Imperial Japanese Naval Service attacked the U.S. Navy Station at Pearl Harbor “without warning and without declaration of war.” Today, a day of sorrow and rememberance, marks the 75th anniversary of the attack.
When the smoke cleared, 2,403 servicemen and civilians had lost their lives with more than 1,100 injured. The Japanese sunk eighteen ships, and of the 402 U.S. airplanes, they destroyed 188 and damaged another 159 during the series of two attacks. An interesting video posted today by National Geographic shows the remnants of one of the battleships that was sunk on that day.
Japanese naval leaders intended a third attack that would wipe out Pearl Harbor’s fuel storage tanks, torpedos, and dry dock facilities but ultimately decided against it as they believed that they had already knocked out the majority of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Then Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, Admiral Chester Nimitz, (a native of Fredericksburg, Texas) believed that had the Japanese moved forward with the third set of attacks, they would have crippled the Pacific fleet operations for at least and year and even prolonged the war.
The attack on Pearl Harbor resulted in President Franklin D. Roosevelt marking December 7 as “a date that would live in infamy” and declaring war on Japan on December 8 and thus entering the United States into World War II. “Remember Pearl Harbor” became a battle cry for U.S. soldiers during the war.
In this video, explore the remnants of the U.S.S. Arizona which settled under the sea three-quarters of a century ago.