On December 7th, 1941, Pearl Harbor suffered a sneak attack by the Japanese. Pearl Harbor was home of the US Pacific fleet and the largest concentration of U.S. forces in the Pacific.
The day after the attack, President Roosevelt declared war describing the attack as “a date which will live in infamy.”
America’s entrance into the war was welcomed by the embattled European nations.
A total of 2,403 died as a result of the attack and almost two-thirds died within 15 minutes of the bombing of the battleships Oklahoma, Utah and Arizona: US Navy – 2,008, USMC – 109, US Army – 218, Civilians – 68
We could have lost our entire fleet, but the U.S. carriers were not at Pearl Harbor. On 28 November, Admiral Kimmel sent USS Enterprise to deliver Marine Corps fighter planes to Wake Island. On December 7 the task force was on its way back to Pearl Harbor. On 5 December, Admiral Kimmel sent the USS Lexington to deliver 25 scout bombers to Midway Island. The last Pacific carrier, USS Saratoga, had left Pearl Harbor for upkeep and repairs on the West Coast.
The USS Arizona battle ship took a direct hit from a Japanese torpedo dropped from a plane, which caused the ship to explode in a massive inferno which killed many of her crew in just a few seconds.
The USS Arizona sits at the bottom of Pearl Harbor with the 1,177 souls who died seventy years ago.
The ship is the site of a memorial. When you visit the memorial, you are asked to remain respectful and silent, which is something that no one needs to be told once in this solemn environment.
To this day, bubbles continually appear on the water surface above the Arizona, providing visitors with a haunting, moving image that brings history into the present day.
The bond formed among these men on the ship was so strong that many survivors have chosen to be cremated all these years later, having their ashes scattered at the site. Still others have their ashes placed in an urn and taken down to the ship by Navy divers.
Pearl Harbor, Rare Color Film