A date which will live in infamy

attack_on_pearl_harbor_japanese_planes_view Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

President Franklin D. Roosevelt said “Yesterday, December 7, 1941–a date which will live in infamy”. Today in 1941 was the day that the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked the American Naval base in Oahu at 7:55 am, Hawaii Time. The Japanese appeared on the radar but the Americans were expecting a flight of B-17s that morning from the mainland which is why the alarm wasn’t sounded. When 360 Japanese war planes started to dive bomb the base, it caught us unaware. Many of the military personnel at the naval base were given passes to attend religious services that morning.

The attack was devastating to the Pacific fleet: 5 of 8 battleships, 3 destroyers, and 7 other ships were sunk or severely damaged, and more than 200 aircraft were destroyed. As many as 1,200 people were wounded and a total of 2,400 people lost their lives. The Japanese lost around 30 planes, 5 midget submarines and less than 100 men. Thankfully for the U.S., 3 carriers were out on training exercises and were spared any damage. Those same carriers would get revenge against the Japanese at the Battle of Midway only 6 months later.

If you’d like to learn more about World War II, come check out our selection of books. Ask us where they are at our Information desk.


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