PEARL HARBOR On December 7, 1941 while the Secretary of State was meeting with two Japanese diplomats in Washington, DC, a surprise attack was being launchedon the United States by Japanese military forces at Pearl Harbor.
This wasthe beginning of WW II.The attack killed 2388 people and wounded approximately 2000.Twenty one American ships and more than 300 planeswere damaged or destroyed.
Only 29 aircraft out the 353 that were used in theattack by the Japanese were lost. On December 8 President Roosevelt addressed the Congress and calledDecember 7 “a date which will live in infamy”.Congress then declared war onJapan. The following is a time line of events which took place on that memorableDay, the beginning of WW II: 3:42 am-Personnel of the minesweeper Condor spot a periscope in the water while patrolling off the entrance to Pearl Harbor.They send a messageto the destroyer Ward by blinking light.
6:10 am-The first wave of Japanese planes leave their aircraft carrier. 6:45 am-The destroyer Ward fires first shot at the sub, misses, fires secondshot and hits.The submarine appears to be slowly sinking so the captain of thedestroyer orders depth charges to be dropped.This was the first shot of WW II. 6:53 am-Message sent from destroyer Ward to Pearl Harbor Naval Station, “We have attacked, fired upon and dropped depth charges upon a submarineoperating in a defensive sea area.
” 7:02 am-Oahu radar station operator sights 50 or more aircraft bearing down on Oahu. 7:20 am-An Army lieutenant who is in training at Fort Schafer gets the Opana radar station report which reads “the biggest sightings” the radar operator had ever seen.He believes that the radar has picked up a flightof U.S.
bombers flying from California to Hawaii.Because of security reasonsHe could not tell this to the radio operators so he just tells them not to worry about it.The planes now are only 70 miles away.
7:33 am-President Roosevelt and General Marshall learn from a decoded Japanese message that the two negotiators have been told to break off thetalks.Believing this may mean war, they notify the commander of the U.S.Army forces in Hawaii. 7:49 am-The attack begins.
Japanese destroy 27 of the 33 U.S. bombers.A 55 pound bomb is dropped on barracks killing 35 men while they are eatingbreakfast.
Another bomb completely wiped out the base chapel.They destroyed 42 Warhawk pursuit planes.The U.
S.S. Oklahoma is sunk.The U.S.S. West Virginia, hit by several torpedoes, settles on the harbor bottom,her decks above water but in flames.
Torpedoes hit the U.S.S. Arizona while in dry dock.
The U.S.S. Nevada is hit by a torpedo and bombed but still manages to shoot down the Japanese torpedo plane.The U.S.
S. Utah is mistaken for a carrier and is struck by two torpedoes, cap sizes and kills.