Attack of Pearl Harbor


On December 7, 1941, the residents of Honolulu, Hawaii, awoke to the sound gun fire. At 8 a.m. that morning, Japanese planes flew over Pearl Harbor - the U.S. Naval base located just outside the Honolulu - and dropped bombs on the harbor and the surrounding airfields. More than 1,500 crewmen died and two ships sank to the bottom of the harbor.

The day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Congress voted and declared war on Japan, thus entering World War II. President Franklin D. Roosevelt described the day of the attack as a "date that will live in infamy."

Though it’s been more than 70 years since the attack, Pearl Harbor still has many stories to share. Read more about the history of the harbor, the attack and the harbor’s preservation.

Operation K: A Second Pearl Harbor Attack

By: Mark Loproto

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... Read More

Donald Stratton, USS Arizona Survivor, Has Died

By: Mark Loproto

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... Read More

Ships of Pearl Harbor: USS Vega

By: Mark Loproto

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... Read More

Ships of Pearl Harbor: USS Chew

By: Mark Loproto

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... Read More

The Civilian Pearl Harbor Hero

By: Mark Loproto

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... Read More

Ships of Pearl Harbor: USS Blue

By: Mark Loproto

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.... Read More

What If Japan Hadn’t Attacked Pearl Harbor?

By: Mark Loproto

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.... Read More

A Brush with the Enemy

By: Mark Loproto

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... Read More

Ships of Pearl Harbor: USS Tern

By: Mark Loproto

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... Read More

The Brothers of USS Oklahoma

By: Mark Loproto

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... Read More

What Does it Mean When a Ship is Listing?

By: Mark Loproto

Understanding the events of December 7, 1941 doesn’t require you to be an expert in naval or technical terminology. The memorials, museums, and other attractions provide a historical overview of... Read More

The Heroism of YG-17 at Pearl Harbor

By: Mark Loproto

Naval ship categories often have names that sound important to wartime efforts. Destroyers, aircraft carriers, battleships, minelayers – they’re all very clearly involved in some form of naval combat. Some,... Read More

USS Oklahoma Survivor Celebrates 101st Birthday

By: Mark Loproto

Each passing year brings the loss of more and more survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack, so when one of these heroes celebrates a birthday, it’s cause for celebration. One... Read More

Ships of Pearl Harbor: USS Schley

By: Mark Loproto

USS Schley (DD-103) was laid down on October 29, 1917. The new Wickes-class destroyer was equipped like other destroyers of the time: with an arsenal that would make her a... Read More

Ships of Pearl Harbor: USS Ramsay

By: Mark Loproto

USS Ramsay (DD-124) was laid down as a Wickes-class destroyer at Newport News, VA in December of 1917, and launched on June 8, 1918. She was commissioned into service in the... Read More

Pearl Harbor Heroes: Herbert C. Jones

By: Mark Loproto

As we’ve learned over time, heroes come in all ages, genders, and ethnicities. The attack on Pearl Harbor illustrates this point with the innumerable people who stepped up to help... Read More

Pearl Harbor Ships Returned to Service

By: Mark Loproto

In the wake of the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, more than 2,400 American lives were lost and the US Navy suffered a terrible blow to its Pacific... Read More

Ships of Pearl Harbor: USS Phoenix

By: Mark Loproto

Named in honor of Arizona’s capital city, the light cruiser USS Phoenix (CL-46) was launched in March of 1938 and commissioned into the US Navy on October 3. Her initial... Read More

Why Don’t We Call It the “Battle of Pearl Harbor”?

By: Mark Loproto

Reading the history books about World War II and the War in the Pacific, you’ll find chapters on the Battle of Iwo Jima, the Battle of Okinawa, the Battle of... Read More

Jack Vaessen and USS Utah

By: Mark Loproto

The morning of December 7, 1941 on the island of Oahu was chaos. While it’s likely that most of the sailors and Marines there knew exactly what was going on,... Read More

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