Pearl Harbor: Day of Infamy
"We had grown to rely on the impregnability of Pearl Harbor and nobody had anticipated that the Japs could make an attack by air as thoroughly as they did. Crete and Greece had taught us the vulnerability of a fleet in narrow seas against attacks by shore-based aircraft. It was the Japs who carried out this lesson of attacks upon a fleet from carriers in the high seas. I doubt if anybody in the Navy or the Army believed that they could successfully do it or would try it. Certainly nobody in the responsible positions. And it was only through such a disaster that we could all in the nation learn what modern air power can do even in the high seas."
-- Henry Stimson, U.S. Secretary of War, January 1942
December 7, 1941: It was a fateful day, the start of World War II for the United States, and a turning point in our nation's history.
Pearl Harbor, on the Island of O'ahu, Hawaii, (then a territory of the United States) was attacked by the Japanese Imperial Navy, at approximately 8:00 a.m., Sunday morning, December 7, 1941. The surprise attack was conceived by Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, with a strking force of 353 Japanese aircraft led by Commander Mitsuo Fuchida. The attack was launched from six heavy aircraft carriers accompanied by 24 supporting vessels. A separate group of submarines was to sink any American warships which escaped the Japanese carrier force. The goal: Cripple U.S. naval might in the Pacific, allowing Japan to seize control of the area.
In tribute to the service members who lost their lives that day, and to honor those who survived the attack and had the chance to tell their stories, Military.com has created this page commemorating Pearl Harbor. Read more below about the historical events, watch videos and stories from survivors, and find other features.
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