At 7:55 A.M. on Sunday morning, Dec. 7, 1941, a Japanese force of 183 airplanes attacked U.S. military and naval facilities on Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands without warning. For 30 minutes, dive bombers, and torpedo planes struck airfields and naval vessels.
After a 15-minute lull, a second wave of 170 planes launched another attack at 8:40 that lasted 1 hour.
Casualities to U.S. service personnel were 2,343 killed, 960 missing, and 1,272 wounded; 151 U.S. planes destroyed on the ground and all eight U.S. battleships at anchor in Pearl Harbor were either sunk or damaged. At a cost of only 28 airplanes shot down, the Japanese had dealt the U.S. a staggering blow.
On Dec. 8th, the U.S. declared war on Japan. Germany and Italy, bound by treaty with Japan, declared war on the U.S. on Dec. 11. The U.S. then declared war on these two Axis partners of Japan.
**story & photos from the National Museum of the United States Air Force.
63rd Anniversary of D-Day