When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, a number of ships and planes suffered serious blows in the attack. The battleships of the U.S. Pacific Fleet—eight in all—sat docked in the harbor, and all of them suffered major damage. Adding to the devastation, 350 planes were either destroyed or severely damaged during the attack.
If you’re planning a trip to Pearl Harbor and want to learn about the ships and planes damaged in the attack, here is a list, including what happened to them after the attack.
USS Arizona: Sustained heavy damages during the attack and ultimately sank. The ship still remains at the bottom of the harbor. Today, visitors can see her from the USS Arizona Memorial.
USS Nevada: Managed to get underway during the attack, but quickly suffered damage and was grounded. Afterwards, she was repaired and rejoined the Navy a year later.
USS Maryland: Took some damage during the attack, though it wasn’t as serious as that sustained by some of the other ships. Maryland rejoined the Navy in February 1942.
USS California: After the attack, the ship was considered to be sunk, but engineers were able to raise her. After extensive repairs, the ship rejoined the Navy in 1944.
USS Oklahoma: Capsized during the attack, Oklahoma was a complete loss. She was eventually righted and sold for scrap.
USS Tennessee: Tennessee sustained reparable damage. She was repaired and rejoined the fleet in March 1942.
USS West Virginia: Though the ship sank during the attack, engineers were able to repair and raise her. After extensive repairs, the ship rejoined the Navy in July 1944.
USS Pennsylvania: In dry dock at the time of the attack, the damage was less severe than that sustained by the ships in “Battleship Row.” Pennsylvania rejoined the fleet in August 1942.
USS Shaw: Sustained serious damage during the attack while in dry dock. She was later repaired and returned to service for the remainder of the war.
USS Cassin and USS Downes: Both were in dry dock and badly damaged in the attack. Each was repaired, and the ships were able to rejoin the Navy in 1944 and 1943 respectively.
USS Helm: Lightly damaged while underway out of the harbor, Helm was able to down at least one Japanese plane. Repairs were quickly made, and the ship rejoined the fleet in January 1942.
USS Honolulu: Sustained very light damage that was quickly repaired. Returned to service in January 1942.
USS Raleigh: Downed five attacking planes, despite being hit by a torpedo. Repairs were made, and Raleigh rejoined the Navy in July 1942.
USS Helena: Sustained massive damage. After undergoing prolonged repairs, Helena returned to serve in the Pacific in June 1942.
When the Japanese flew over Pearl Harbor, they first chose to strike the airfields and hangers where all the planes were kept. On the morning of December 7, most of the planes sat outside the hangers, positioned wingtip to wingtip. When the attack began, pilots were unable to get the planes to safety, and very few were able to take off to return Japanese fire.
92 U.S. Navy planes and 77 U.S. Army planes were destroyed that day. In addition to those lost, another 31 Navy planes and 128 Army planes sustained heavy damages.