|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 had been
conceived by Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. The strking force of 353 Japanese aircraft was led by Commander Mitsuo Fuchida. There had been no
formal declaration of war.
Approximately 100 ships of the U.S. Navy were present that morning,
consisting of battleships, destroyers, cruisers and various support ships.
USS Arizona (BB39) Battleship USS West Virginia (BB48) Battleship USS California (BB44) Battleship USS Oklahoma (BB37) Battleship USS Nevada (BB36) Battleship USS Pennsylvania (BB38) Battleship (in dry dock #1) USS Tennessee (BB43) Battleship USS Maryland (BB46) Battleship USS Vestal (AR4) Repair ship USS Neosho (AO23) Oiler USS Detroit (CL8) Light cruiser USS Raleigh (CL7) Light cruiser USS Utah (AG16) Target Ship USS Tangier (AV8) Seaplane TenderTwo destroyers, the USS Cassin (DD372) and the USS Downes (DD375) were in dry dock #1 (with the USS Pennsylvania) and the destroyer USS Shaw (DD373) was in floating dry dock #2, approximately two hundred yards to the west. The USS Ogala (CM-4) was moored next to the USS Helena (CL50) near the "1010" dock, Naval Ship yard. Two heavy cruisers, the USS New Orleans (CA32) and the San Francisco (CA38) were in the Navy Yard Repair Basin Over half the U.S. Pacific fleet was out to sea, including the carriers. Simultaneously, nearby Hickam Field was also the victim of the surprise attack by the Japanese.
18 Army Aircorps aircraft including bombers and fighters and attack bombers were destroyed or damaged on the ground. A few U.S. fighters struggled into the air against the invaders and gave a good account of themselves. A total of twenty-nine Japanese aircraft were shot down by ground fire and U.S pilots from various military installations on O'ahu.