1941 Attack On Pearl Harbor Told Through Pictures

In the sparkling blue waters off the coast of Oahu, the massive hulk of the USS Arizona sits frozen, a snapshot of tragedy from more than seventy years ago. A watery tomb for many of the ship’s crew, the sunken remnant represents the first American casualties of a war destined to consume the entire world.

To this day, the Arizona mourns her fallen crew. Seven decades later, tiny droplets of oil continue to leak from the sunken battleship, collecting on the surface where visitors can observe these “Tears of the Arizona.” And the sense of mourning is mutual. Occasionally, when one of the ill-fated ship’s survivors dies, they elect to rejoin the fallen crew of the Arizona as their final resting place, a solemn act that reunites the comrades in death.

During the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, 2,403 Americans were killed as Japanese pilots bombed the eight battleships stationed there. Another 1,178 were wounded during the attack. Four of the eight battleships were sunk and hundreds of planes were destroyed. It was an act of unprovoked terror that shocked the nation and the world, which would lead us to join the Allies in World War II.

Photo: U.S. Navy/National Archives Collection -- Sailors stand amid wrecked planes at the Ford Island seaplane base, watching as USS Shaw explodes in the center background, 7 December 1941. USS Nevada (BB-36) is also visible in the middle background, with her bow headed toward the left. Planes present include PBY, OS2U and SOC types. Wrecked wing in the foreground is from a PBY.

Photo: U.S. Navy/National Archives Collection — Sailors stand amid wrecked planes at the Ford Island seaplane base, watching as USS Shaw explodes in the center background, 7 December 1941. USS Nevada (BB-36) is also visible in the middle background, with her bow headed toward the left. Planes present include PBY, OS2U and SOC types. Wrecked wing in the foreground is from a PBY.

Despite the intensity and chaos of the attack, a few photographs of the devastation exist, snapped during and in the immediate aftermath of the surprise attack. They tell a story of a wounded nation, filled with terrible resolve. Indeed, the sleeping giant was now wide awake and ready to avenge the losses at Pearl Harbor.

Photo: U.S. Navy/PH3 Jayme Pastoric -- An aerial view of the USS Arizona Memorial with a US Navy (USN) Tour Boat, USS Arizona Memorial Detachment, moored at the pier as visitor disembark to visit and pay their respects to the Sailors and Marines who lost their lives during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Photo: U.S. Navy/PH3 Jayme Pastoric — An aerial view of the USS Arizona Memorial with a US Navy (USN) Tour Boat, USS Arizona Memorial Detachment, moored at the pier as visitor disembark to visit and pay their respects to the Sailors and Marines who lost their lives during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

In addition to the crippled battleships littering the harbor, Japanese aircraft strafed the nearby airfields. The burning and bullet-riddled frames of the U.S. fighters capture the true extent of the surprise, destroyed before they could even leave the ground.

Photo: U.S. Navy/National Archives Collection -- The battleship USS ARIZONA sinking after being hit by Japanese air attack on Dec. 7, 1941.

Photo: U.S. Navy/National Archives Collection — The battleship USS ARIZONA sinking after being hit by Japanese air attack on Dec. 7, 1941.

Keep reading on the next page!

The Veterans Site is a place where people can come together to support our veterans. In addition to sharing inspiring stories, shopping for the cause, and signing petitions, visitors can take just a moment each day to click on the blue button to provide free meals for homeless veterans in need. Visit The Veterans Site and click today - it's free!
Proper greatergood_ctg_belowcontent
store ecomm