Attack on Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941 By Ashley Potoukian and Leah Vincent Timeline courtesy of National Geographic Pearl Harbor Before Attack December 7, 1941 6:10 a.m. Already in flight, Comdr. Mitsuo
Fuchida, who will lead the Japanese air attack on Pearl Harbor, sees the Japanese aircraft carriers rocking on a choppy sea. As the carriers pitch and roll, waves crash across on the flight decks. Crewmen cling to the aircraft to keep them from going over the side. CAPT. MITSUO FUCHIDA Fuchida was the airstrike leader of the
Japanese carrier force that attacked Pearl Harbor. Considered one of Japans most skillful fliers, he had gained combat experience during air operations over China in the late 1930s. December 7, 1941 6:10 a.m. The carriers turn into the wind, and the first wave of
planes183 fighters, bombers, and torpedo planes roar into the sky. Pilots reconfirm their navigation by using a Honolulu radio stations music as a guiding beam. December 7, 1941 7:02 a.m. One of two privates on duty at the new Opana Mobile Radar Station on
Oahu looks at the radar oscilloscope and cant believe his eyes. He asks his buddy to take a lookand he confirms the sighting: 50 or more aircraft on a bearing for Oahu. The privates call the Fort Shafter information center, the hub of the radar network. December 7, 1941 7:20 a.m.
Army Lieutenant Kermit Tyler gets the Opana radar station report. By now the planes are about 70 miles away. The lieutenant believes that the radar had picked up a flight of U.S. B-17 Flying Fortress bombers heading from California to Hawaii. For security reasons, he cannot tell this to the radar operators. All he says is, Well, dont worry about it.
December 7, 1941 7:33 a.m. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Gen. George C. Marshall, Army Chief of Staff, learn that Japanese negotiators in Washington have been told to break off talks. Believing this may mean war, Marshall sends a warning to Lt. Gen. Walter C. Short, commander of U.S.
Army forces in Hawaii. Gen. George C. Marshall December 7, 1941 7:33 a.m. Because atmospheric static blacks out communications with Hawaii, Marshalls message to Short goes via commercial telegraph. It will reach Shorts headquarters at 1145 hours. He will not see it until about 1500
hours. Gen. William C. Short December 7, 1941 7:40 a.m. Planes of the first wave take off from the Japanese carriers49 highaltitude bombers, 51 dive-bombers, 40 torpedo planes, 43 fighters. They fly through clouds, wondering if Pearl Harbor will be visible.
December 7, 1941 7:40 a.m. Then, as they near Oahu, the attack commander hears a Honolulu weather report: Clouds mostly over the mountains. Visibility good. The clouds break. The fliers see a long white line of coast Oahus Kakuku Point.
December 7, 1941 7:55 a.m. At the Command Center on Ford Island, Comdr. Logan C. Ramsey looks out a window to see a low-flying plane. A reckless U.S. pilot, he thinks. Then he sees something black fall out of that plane and realizes its a bomb.
December 7, 1941 7:55 a.m. Ramsey runs to a radio room and orders the telegraph operators to send out an uncoded message to every ship and base: AIR RAID ON PEARL HARBOR X THIS IS NOT DRILL
December 7, 1941 7:55 a.m. The coordinated attack begins as dive-bombers strike the Army Air Forces Wheeler Field and Hickam Field. The Japanese, wanting control of the air, hope to destroy American warplanes on the ground. Most U.S. planes have been parked wingtip-towingtip in neat rows to make it easy to guard
them against sabotage. Most are destroyed. December 7, 1941 8:10 a.m. An armor-piercing bomb, dropped by a high-altitude bomber, pierces the forward deck of the Arizona, setting off more than a million pounds (450,000 kilograms) of gunpowder, creating a huge fireball, and
killing 1,177 men. December 7, 1941 8:54 a.m. The second wave35 fighters, 78 divebombers, and 54 highaltitude bombers meets heavy antiaircraft fire. December 7, 1941 8:54 a.m.
Bombers attack the navy yard dry dock and hit the battleship Pennsylvania. Another bomber hits oil tanks between the destroyers Cassin and Downes. Onboard ammunition explodes, and the Cassin rolls off her blocks and into the Downes. December 7, 1941 8:54 a.m.
December 7, 1941 8:54 a.m. Bombs hit the light cruiser Raleigh, which had been torpedoed in the first wave. Crewmen jettison gear to keep her from capsizing. December 7, 1941
10:00 a.m. Japanese fighters rendezvous with bombers off Oahu and follow them back to the carriers. Exultant Japanese pilots urge a third strike. If the gasoline tanks at Pearl Harbor are hit, they reason, the Pacific Fleet will be out of action for weeks. But superiors, saying the attack has been successful, rule out a third strike. One reason: the
whereabouts of the U.S. carriers is still unknown. December 7, 1941 10:30 a.m. From the ships and airfields come the woundedsome horribly burned, others riddled by bullets and shrapnel. At some hospitals casualties are laid out on lawns. Medics convert barracks, dining halls, and
schools into temporary hospitals. December 7, 1941 10:30 a.m. For many severely wounded and dying men, all nurses can do is give them morphine. They then put a lipstick M on their foreheads to indicate the painkilling drug. Trucks become ambulances and hearses. The death toll
eventually reaches 2,390. December 7, 1941 1:00 p.m. The Pearl Harbor strike force turns for home. In the 44 months of war that will follow, the U.S. Navy will sink every one of the Japanese aircraft carriers, battleships, and cruisers in this strike force. And when Japan signs the surrender document
on September 2, 1945, among the U.S. warships in Tokyo Bay will be a victim of the attack, the U.S.S. West Virginia. December 7, 1941 2:30 p.m. CBS Radio interrupts its Sunday afternoon programming to announce the attack on Pearl Harbor.
December 8, 1941 12:29 p.m. The President, still on his sons arm, enters the Chamber of the House, is introduced briefly by Speaker Sam Rayburn, and receives a thunderous ovation. For the past nine years, Republicans had shown little enthusiasm toward the President when he addressed a Joint Session of Congress. This time, the
Republicans join in, signifying the nations sudden unity. December 8, 1941 12:29 p.m. Solemnly, he begins his speech requesting a declaration of war: Yesterday, December 7, 1941 a date which will live in infamythe United States of America was
suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. Losses from Pearl Harbor Personnel Killed Navy United States Japan
1998 64 Marine Corps 109 Army 233 Civilian Personnel Wounded Navy
Marine Corps Army Civilian 48 United States Japan 710 Unknown 69 364 35
Losses from Pearl Harbor Ships Sunk or beached Damaged Aircraft Destroyed Damaged United States Japan
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