Pearl Harbor

"Remember December 7th" poster designed by Allen Sandburg, issued by the Office of War Information, Washington, D.C., in 1942

On December 7, 1941, the United States was drawn into the conflict that was igniting the rest of the world.  The United States Navy was nearly destroyed in a surprise Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Territory.  The Japanese carrier fleet sent wave after wave of fighters, bombers, and torpedo bombers to prey upon the shocked and unprepared American servicemen stationed aboard Navy vessels and Army Air fields.  In one day, twelve United States ships were sunk or were beached, nine other vessels were damaged and more than 160 United States aircraft were destroyed with an additional 150 damaged.  When the smoke had cleared, more than 2,300 Americans had been killed in this surprise attack.[1]

The next day, President Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on the Empire of Japan and within three days of this declaration, Congress declared war on Germany as well.


[1] “Today in History – December 7,” The Library of Congress – American Memory. February 12, 2011).