On December 7, 1941 at 7:48 AM Hawaiian time,
the Imperial Japanese Navy launched a surprise
attack against the United States naval forces at
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The attack was intended to
prevent the U.S. fleet from interfering with planned
Japanese military actions against U.S., British and
Dutch territories in Southeast Asia.
Many Americans had resisted entering World War
II before the attack. After it, however, isolationist
sentiment quickly disappeared.
One day later, on December 8th, 1941, the
U.S. declared war on Japan. Three days later,
Germany and Italy – Japanese allies – declared
war on the U.S. The U.S. declared war on them
the same day.
Within a matter of days, the U.S. had been thrust
into a war few wanted.
Japanese Americans, vilified and imprisoned
without trials at the outset of the war simply
because of their race, would soon become some
of America’s greatest heroes. This is their story.
- Killed 2,402 Americans
- Injured another 1,282
- Sank or damaged 18 ships
including eight battleships
and three destroyers
- Destroyed 188 U.S. aircraft
- Damaged another 159