On 7 December 1941 Japanese carriers launched torpedo bombers, dive bombers, horizontal bombers and fighters to target US battleships and airfield/military installations on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. The attack lasted less than two hours and resulted in heavy destruction and US casualties: 2,403 dead (68 civilians); 1,178 military and civilian wounded; 21 ships sunk or damaged; 188 aircraft destroyed and 159 damaged. This attack led to the US formally declaring war upon Japan (8 December) and upon Germany (11 December); the US had now entered World War II. We commemorate the event as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
“Yesterday, December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan… The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves.”
— President Franklin D. Roosevelt speech, requesting US Congressional declaration of war.
Source: Photo #: 80-G-40056. Official U.S. Navy Photograph,
National Archives Collection.