7 Facts About Pearl Harbor: The Worst Day in U.S. Military History

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Image: U.S. Navy

USS West Virginia (BB- 48) during or shortly after the Japanese air raid on Pearl Harbor

To say the attack on Pearl Harbor was an unfortunate day in U.S. history would be a massive understatement. On December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy launched a surprise attack on the Hawaiian U.S. naval base that would change the course of history.

Here are some facts about the attack, which took place 69 years ago and which led the United States to enter World War II. It is a tribute to all those who lost their lives in this insensate act.


Image: USN

U.S. Navy battleship USS Arizona (BB-39) explode shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor

#1 The attack was planned by Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, who commanded the Japanese aircraft carriers during the raid on U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor. Sources say the main motive behind the attack was to conquer most of the Pacific and South East Asia and to neutralize the U.S. Pacific Fleet before they could rise to fight against the Japanese.

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Image: USN

Aerial view of the U.S. Naval Operating Base, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii (USA), looking southwest on 30 October 1941

#2 The attack consisted of two waves of bombing aircraft, with a total of 353 planes used. It all began at around 7:55 am early on the morning of Sunday December 7 and lasted for 110 minutes. Husband E. Kimmel was the commander of U.S. Naval operations at Pearl Harbor on that fateful day.

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