Pearl Harbor by the Numbers
Sometimes it’s difficult to get a true feel for the scope of an event without concrete numbers to back up the information and make it come to life. You already know that the Japanese launched a devastating attack on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor. You also know that this was the catalyst for the United States entering World War II. But the weight of the attack can be hard to feel more than 75 years after it occurred.
That is, unless you’re looking at cold, hard numbers that drive home just how destructive the Japanese assault really was.
Here's a look at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, America’s Day of Infamy, by the numbers.
The United States
The most devastating of figures breaks down just how many people were lost during the Japanese attack. While the Navy suffered the brunt of the assault, there were other military personnel—as well as civilians—lost in the attack.
The following is a breakdown of the casualties.
In total, the US Navy suffered a loss of 2,008 sailors on the morning of the attack. Of that staggering figure, 1,177 sailors were killed during the attack on the USS Arizona and 429 were killed aboard the USS Oklahoma. 710 sailors were also wounded in the attack.
Army Air Corps
The airbases scattered around Oahu were vital targets for the attackers to guarantee no counterattack could be launched. With attacks on Hickam, Wheeler, and Bellows Fields, 218 Army Air Force members were killed. Another 364 were wounded during the attack.
With a smaller presence at Pearl Harbor, the Marines lost 109 of its men and suffered another 69 injuries.
While the number is relatively low, the 68 civilians killed and 35 injured were a heavy loss. The target of the attack was a military installation, but Honolulu and the military housing weren’t too far from Pearl Harbor and the airbases to escape damage.
A total of eight battleships were moored at Battleship Row on the morning of December 7, 1941. Of them, two would never rejoin the war: the USS Arizona, which still sits in Pearl Harbor, and the USS Oklahoma, which was lost in transit to a California scrap yard.
The Army Air Corps and the Navy suffered a combined loss of 188 aircraft, and another 159 were damaged.
The instigators of the attack, Japan suffered very few losses.
Over the course of the two-hour attack, Japan lost approximately 45 aircraft, four midget submarines, and about 131 men manning these craft.
Of course, the best way to truly understand and feel what the attack on Pearl Harbor did to the nation 75 years ago is to visit the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument. This collection of exhibit galleries, memorials, museums, and video footage lets you experience the attack first-hand. Especially moving is the sunken USS Arizona, the only American battleship not raised from the harbor's waters.