Attack of Pearl Harbor

On the morning of December 7, 1941, the United States Naval base outside Honolulu suffered a great tragedy when the Japanese bombed the base, claiming the lives of more than 1,500 brave crew members.
In response, Congress voted to declare war on Japan, thus thrusting the United States into World War II. Now, more than 81 years later, Pearl Harbor continues to have stories to tell. Read the stories here, and visit the historic site to learn more about the attack, the harbor's legacy, and the efforts to protect and preserve it.

Operation K: A Second Pearl Harbor Attack

March 06, 2020 ·  
On December 7, 1941, the United States suffered devastating losses during the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. The assault launched the War in the Pacific and put the entire nation on edge, waiting for a possible follow-up attack or full-on invasion. Though the US mainland remained virtually untouched, Oahu again became a target on March […]
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Donald Stratton, USS Arizona Survivor, Has Died

February 19, 2020 ·  
On the morning of December 7, 1941, six sailors were rescued from the burning and sinking USS Arizona (BB-39) by Joe George, a crew member of the repair ship USS Vestal (AR-4). On February 15, 2020, one of those men, Donald Stratton, passed away after spending years working to gain recognition for the hero who saved […]
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Ships of Pearl Harbor: USS Vega

February 12, 2020 ·  
Commissioned into service in the US Navy on December 21, 1921, the Sirius-class cargo ship USS Vega (AK-17) was originally launched as a Type 1022 civilian freighter named SS Lebanon. From 1921 to 1924, she was part of the Naval Transportation Service from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The cargo ship performed six round-trip voyages out of San […]
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Ships of Pearl Harbor: USS Chew

August 24, 2019 ·  
On January 2, 1918, the keel of a future Wickes-class destroyer was laid down at the Union Iron Works shipyards in San Francisco. She was one of 111 of that class of destroyers built between 1917 and 1919, at the tail end of World War I and the year after it ended. On May 26, […]
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The Civilian Pearl Harbor Hero

June 04, 2019 ·  
When George Walters reported for work on the morning of December 7, 1941, there was no way he could have been prepared for the dramatic turn his day would soon take. Walters wasn’t a trained member of the military like many of those with whom he worked. He was a civilian working a living as […]
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Ships of Pearl Harbor: USS Blue

May 31, 2019 ·  
Just over six years before the Imperial Japanese Navy launched its devastating attack on Pearl Harbor, USS Blue (DD-387), a Bagley-class destroyer, was laid down at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. She was launched in May of 1937 and was commissioned into service on August 14, 1937, becoming the first ship of the United States Navy […]
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What If Japan Hadn't Attacked Pearl Harbor?

May 23, 2019 ·  
December 7th, 1941. Just before 0800 that Sunday morning, an aerial striking force of the Imperial Japanese Navy launched a surprise assault on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor. The attack was a preemptive maneuver to cripple the US Navy’s Pacific Fleet, a major naval force in the Pacific that the Japanese feared would […]
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A Brush with the Enemy

May 10, 2019 ·  
On the morning of December 7, 1941, an attacking force of the Imperial Japanese Navy launched a surprise assault on the Oahu naval base of Pearl Harbor. Those stationed at Pearl Harbor and around Oahu had no indication that the attack was coming and never actually saw the fleet responsible for ferrying the more than […]
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Ships of Pearl Harbor: USS Tern

May 07, 2019 ·  
Launched in March 1919 and commissioned into service on May 17 of the same year, the Lapwing-class minesweeper USS Tern (AM-31) was first assigned to Train Squadron 2 of the Fleet Base Force, at the US Navy installation at Pearl Harbor. After several years operating in Hawaiian waters, the squadron was assigned to San Diego, […]
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The Brothers of USS Oklahoma

April 27, 2019 ·  
During the 1930s and early '40s, with jobs scarce and tensions rising in Europe and the Pacific, many Americans turned to military service. At the time, it wasn't uncommon for family members who had enlisted together to wind up serving in the same unit, and sometimes aboard the same ship. This sometimes led to tragedy, […]
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