With assignments memorized by constant training, the first wave of planes attacked at 7:55 a.m. At about the same time, fighters and dive bombers hit the airfields at Kaneohe, Hickam, Ewa, Bellows and Wheeler. "Air Raid Pearl Harbor, this is no drill!" Six carriers turned into the wind and launched the first wave -- 183 planes. The Japanese focus on ships and planes spared our fuel tank farms, naval yard repair facilities, and the submarine base, all of which proved vital for the tactical operations that originated at Pearl Harbor in the ensuing months and played a key role in the Allied victory. After checking and rechecking equipment, they notified the watch officer at Fort Shafter.
Two Pearl Harbor Medals for Valor Awarded in 2017. Even then, the thought was not new. The attack failed to damage any American aircraft carriers, which had been providentially absent from the harbor. Those without weapons to fight took great risk to save wounded comrades and to save their ships. The main objective of the attack -- demobilizing the Pacific Fleet -- had been accomplished. Excerpt from the Submerged Cultural Resources Study: USS Arizona and Pearl Harbor National Historic Landmark. The First Air Fleet had held maneuvers for almost a year, and the results were promising. Among the Sailors recognized with our nation's highest award for valor were Chief Water Tender Peter Tomich onboard the ex-battleship Utah, who sacrificed his life to prevent the boilers from exploding, enabling boiler room crews to escape before the ship capsized. As Fuchida looked toward Pearl Harbor and the surrounding airfields, he was relieved to see that the attack was a surprise, and the earlier report of Kido Butai's scout plane "Enemy fleet in port!" Another was Chief Boatswain Edwin J. Hill, who cast off the lines as the battleship Nevada got underway, swam through the burning oil to get back on board his ship, where he was killed by Japanese strafing after being credited with saving the lives of many junior Sailors. Pearl Harbor attack, (December 7, 1941), surprise aerial attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor on Oahu Island, Hawaii, by the Japanese that precipitated the entry of the United States into World War II.
As before, the first lift-offs were the Nakajima B5 N2 "Kates," which served as torpedo bombers on the first wave, and as horizontal bombers on the first and second waves. Japanese losses amounted to fewer than 100 men and 29 planes. In 15 minutes the main battle line of the Pacific fleet was neutralized.
The attack directly led to the United States’ entrance into World War Two.
(Agawa 1979:291). As the second wave withdrew, Fuchida circled Pearl Harbor and assessed the damage. Pilots took off to engage Japanese aircraft despite the overwhelming odds. It was his contention that the mission was accomplished. Admiral Nagumo had feared the operation would not be successful, yet he had achieved successful results with minimal casualties. Changing their plan, the torpedo planes concentrated on the battleships lined up along Battleship Row and the east side of Ford Island. When negotiations with the United States were deemed unsatisfactory to the Japanese government of Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, official blessing was sought for the "Hawaii Operation." Onboard the battleship California, Chief Radioman Thomas J. Reeves, Machinist's Mate First Class Robert R. Scott and Ensign Herbert C. Jones stayed at their posts at the cost of their lives to keep power and ammunition flowing to the antiaircraft guns as long as possible. That more Japanese aircraft were not shot down had nothing to do with the skill, training, or bravery of our Sailors and other servicemembers. Nitaka." At the time of the attack, Hawaii was an American territory, and the military base at Pearl Harbor was home to the U.S. Navy's Pacific Fleet. It was given on September 6, 1941, at an Imperial Conference. World War II came to the United States of America on Sunday morning, 7 December 1941, with a massive surprise attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy. In the spring of 1940 Japan's air fleet had conducted aerial torpedo exercises under the watchful eyes of Yamamoto and Rear Admiral Shigeru Fukudome, head of the first division of the naval general staff. In January 1941 he wrote to Ryoichi Sasakawa, who was the president of Japan's rightist nationalistic organization Kokusai Domei and one of Yamamoto's staunch supporters: ... if there should be a war between Japan and America, then our aim, of course, ought not to be Guam or the Philippines, nor Hawaii or Hong Kong, but a capitulation at the White House, in Washington itself.
The enemy sank five battleships and damaged three; and sank a gunnery training ship and three destroyers, damaged a heavy cruiser, three light cruisers, two destroyers, two seaplane tenders, two repair ships and a destroyer tender. At 7:05 the carriers again swung eastward into the wind and began launching 167 aircraft. There was a momentary lull before the second wave of Japanese planes arrived at 8:50 a.m. No torpedo planes came with the second group of dive and high-altitude bombers. No action was taken because the officer believed the planes to be a flight of B-17s flying in from California. Secretly assembling on Tankan Bay in Northern Japan, the force was placed under the direct command of Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo. Flying through thick cloud cover, Commander Fuchida thought for a moment he had overflown Oahu, but a sudden parting of the clouds revealed the island's north shore. Only one dive bomber from the HIRYU developed engine trouble and failed to make the trip, leaving 350 planes in the air. At 6:00 a.m. on November 26, 1941, the Japanese fleet weighed anchor and slipped out to sea for Hawaii. Resources for Pearl Harbor remembrance events may be found in our Pearl Harbor Remembrance section. (Prange 1981:14). "Like a thunderclap from a clear sky," Japanese carrier attack planes (in both torpedo and high-level bombing roles) and bombers, supported by fighters, numbering 353 aircraft from six aircraft carriers, attacked the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor in two waves, as … Most importantly, the shock and anger that Americans felt in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor united the nation and was translated into a collective commitment to victory in World War II. To Fuchida's disappointment, the prime targets of the attack -- the aircraft carriers -- … The actual plan of operation, formulated by a young tactical genius in aerial warfare, Commander Minoru Genda, was agreed to after months of internal dissension among the ranks of command in the Japanese navy. Why Pearl Harbor? The Special Attack Unit of midget submarines had lost 10 crewmen and all five boats, one boat and one prisoner were captured by Americans the following day on the beaches near Bellows Airfield. The plan had been mentioned before. Satisfied, he took a last look and signaled his pilots to return to the carrier.
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