Attack on Pearl Harbor
In the early hours of December 7, 1941, Japan unleashed a devastating surprise attack throughout the Pacific. The worst blow came at Hawaii, site of the giant Pearl Harbor naval base and other American military installations. In just two hours, Japanese bombers destroyed or damaged 21 American naval vessels and over 300 aircraft. The attacks killed 2403 military personnel and civilians, and shattered the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
The top image shows the wreckage-strewn Naval Air Station at Pearl Harbor following the Japanese attack.
Below is a photo of Japanese carrier planes taking off for the attack: Sailors cheer as Japanese planes take off from the deck of a carrier one-by-one under the “Z” flag for the attack on Pearl Harbor. Historian John Toland determined the time of this photograph to be 7:49 a.m. Honolulu time.
-Pearl Harbor Timeline from the FDR Library