The attack on Pearl Harbor (called Hawaii Operation or Operation AI by the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters (Operation Z in planning) and the Battle of Pearl Harbor) was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941
Target ship Utah and the battleship Arizona were not returned to service, and their hulls remain in Pearl Harbor to this day. All of the foregoing represented one of history`s greatest salvage jobs. Seeing it to completion required that Navy and civilian divers spend about 20,000 hours under water in about 5,000 dives.
Escaping damage from the attack are the prime targets, the three U.S. Pacific Fleet aircraft carriers, Lexington, Enterprise and Saratoga, which were not in the port. Also escaping damage are the base fuel tanks.
These great Japanese successes, achieved without prior diplomatic formalities, shocked and enraged the previously divided American people into a level of purposeful unity hardly seen before or since. For the next five months, until the Battle of the Coral Sea in early May, Japan's far-reaching offensives proceeded untroubled by fruitful opposition. American and Allied morale suffered accordingly. Under normal political circumstances, an accomodation might have been considered.
However, the memory of the "sneak attack" on Pearl Harbor fueled a determination to fight on. Once the Battle of Midway in early June 1942 had eliminated much of Japan's striking power, that same memory stoked a relentless war to reverse her conquests and remove her, and her German and Italian allies, as future threats to World peace.
Within a period of less than 2 hours our military and naval forces suffered a total of 3,435 casualties in personnel and the loss of or severe damage to: 188 planes of all types, 8 battleships, 3 light cruisers, and 4 miscellaneous vessels.
The attack was well planned and skillfully executed. The Japanese raiders withdrew from the attack and were recovered by the carriers without the latter being detected, having suffered losses of less than 100 in personnel, 29 planes, and 5 midget submarines which had been dispatched from mother craft that coordinated their attack with that of the planes.
One hour after Japanese air and naval forces had struck the Territory of Hawaii the emissaries of Japan delivered to the Secretary of State a reply to a recent American note, a reply containing no suggestion of attack by Japan upon the United States. With the benefit of information now available it is known that the Japanese military had planned for many weeks the unprovoked and ambitious act of December 7.
At 7:53 a.m., the first Japanese assault wave, with 51 'Val' dive bombers, 40 'Kate' torpedo bombers, 50 high level bombers and 43 'Zero' fighters, commences the attack with flight commander, Mitsuo Fuchida, sounding the battle cry: "Tora! Tora! Tora!" (Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!).
Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy -- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
Pearl Harbor is located on the south coast of Oahu Island. At the time, the naval base was about 22,000 acres in size. The American fleet was under the command of Admiral Husband E. Kimmel and the ground troops were commanded by Lt. General Walter C. Short. Pearl Harbor was the hub of American naval power since King Kalakua gave the right to the U.S. to develop a coal station there in 1887.