Japan’s surprise morning attack on Pearl Harbor On December 7, 1941, pulled the United States into World War II. The Japanese coordinated attacks of fighter planes, bombers, and torpedo planes sank all eight U.S. Navy battleships and killed 2,403 Americans were and 1,178 others were wounded. All but the USS Arizona were later raised, and six were returned to service and went on to fight in the war.
The base was attacked by 353 Japanese fighter planes, bombers, and torpedo planes in two waves launched from six aircraft carriers. All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four sunk. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, and one minelayer. 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed. The remains of many of the 1,177 U.S. military personnel who died aboard the Arizona are still inside the submerged wreck. It was the greatest loss of life ever in an attack on a U.S. warship.
To those who fought in the war, to those whose lives were affected by the war, their children, grandchildren, and each succeeding generation, Pearl Harbor is a place where people from far-flung corners of the world can come together in peace to honor the memory of the fallen and to celebrate the ultimate triumph of the human spirit.
The USS Arizona Memorial
The memorial was dedicated in 1962. As of two years ago some 2,000 to 2,500 Pearl Harbor survivors were believed to be still alive, according to Eileen Martinez, chief of interpretation for the USS Arizona Memorial.