Pearl Harbor History and Information

  • Visiting Pearl Harbor from the neighbor islands Visiting Pearl Harbor from the Neighbor Islands - When planning a vacation in Hawaii, it can be tricky, if not downright impossible, to fit in everything you want to do. You may really want to see the sunrise from the summit of Haleakala on Maui, even though you’re staying on the Big Island. In those instances, you’re generally on your own when it […]
  • Hop on the Waikiki Trolley Hop Aboard the Waikiki Trolley! - There are many ways to get around on the beautiful island of Oahu, but the Waikiki Trolley is without a doubt the most scenic. The Waikiki Trolley operates several different lines, each one taking you to a different, must-see part of the island known as the Gathering Place. These scenic rides will get you to […]
  • 2018 Pearl Harbor Commemorations Around the US - Every year, we gather as a nation to take a moment and commemorate the lives lost during the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. It was a day that changed the nation forever, and the men and women who were there, survivors and casualties alike, became heroes we will never forget. Even 77 years […]
  • Ray Chavez in 2016 Oldest Pearl Harbor Survivor Has Died at 106 - Ray Chavez, the oldest Pearl Harbor survivor, passed away peacefully in his sleep on November 21, 2018. He was 106. According to his daughter Kathleen Chavez, the veteran’s health had been in decline in recent weeks. Chavez, a San Diego resident, was more than just a survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was […]
  • Blackouts reminder Wartime Blackouts: From Drills to Reality - Relations between the United States and Japan were quickly deteriorating. The rulers of Japan wanted to occupy more and more of China and Southeast Asia. The United States sought to prevent this expansion, but to do so meant taking actions that Japan would find unacceptably intrusive. It was no secret that Japan was displeased with […]
  • Aerial view of Ford Island, 7 December 1941 Aerial Photography During Wartime - If you’ve spent much time examining photography during wartime, you’ve likely happened upon images that were clearly taken from overhead. Nowadays, that’s not a big deal. Technology has led to cameras being lightweight and compact, making it easy to snap photos no matter where you are. But think back to an earlier time, before the […]
  • Solomon Islands Campaign The Solomon Islands Campaign - Today, you don’t hear much about the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. They’re a popular tourist destination, but otherwise they aren’t at the top of most people’s minds. During the early 1940s, though, the situation was very different. The Solomon Islands quickly became a focal point of the War in the Pacific after the […]
  • Kazuo Sakamaki mugshot Reading Pearl Harbor: I Attacked Pearl Harbor - Published in 1949, four years after the end of World War II, I Attacked Pearl Harbor is a first-hand account of the Japanese assault on Pearl Harbor, told from an unexpected perspective. There were more than just Japanese warplanes closing in on the unsuspecting battleships of the US Pacific Fleet. From the southwest, approaching the […]
  • Explosion of USS Shaw (DD-373) Only 15 in 1941, Gerald Langgood Passes Away - On October 29, 2018, just one day after his 92nd birthday, Gerald Langgood passed away, leaving behind a legacy that included serving during the Pearl Harbor attack when he was just 15 years old. Things were very different in the late 1930s. Boys fresh out of high school—and sometimes still attending—were eager to start a […]
  • Sailors of USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) manning the rail rendering honor to USS Arizona Memorial Naval Terminology: Manning the Rail - Every branch of the United States Military has its own traditions. For the US Navy, Manning the Rail is an old practice that has gained special meaning at Pearl Harbor. While it may not be a phrase you hear often, if at all, in everyday life, when you’re visiting Pearl Harbor, it’s possible that you […]
  • WAVES washing a North American T-6 Texan at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, circa 1944 World War II Aircraft: North American T-6 Texan - Despite the desperate need for pilots after the outbreak of World War II, American servicemen didn’t just undergo a few hours of on-the-ground training before being allowed to take control of actual warplanes. They needed time in the cockpit of an actual aircraft, one that was basic but still provided them with hands-on experience with […]
  • MacArthur signs surrender documents marking the end of World War II The Ceremony Marking the End of World War II - September 2, 1945. More than two weeks had passed since the Japanese laid down their arms and declared they would no longer fight the Allies in the Pacific. The United States and the other Allies organized a ceremony in which Japanese representatives would sign an Instrument of Surrender, formally marking the end of World War […]
  • USS Arizona turret and marker Who Was Pearl Harbor’s Highest-Ranking Casualty? - Many names stand out when learning about the tragedy that unfolded at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Some are remembered for their bravery under fire, and a few were awarded the Medal of Honor for actions that day. One of these men was Rear Admiral  Isaac C. Kidd, Pearl Harbor’s highest-ranking casualty.   Early Career […]
  • Aerial view of Unit 731 The Secret Japanese Plan for Biological Warfare - As World War II started to draw to its inevitable conclusion, the Japanese became increasingly desperate. Japan, which had had been suffering crippling defeats, wasn’t about to go down without causing as much damage to their enemies as they could. That included making plans for a biological warfare attack that would have devastated the west […]
  • Wake Island William S. Pye and the Fall of Wake Island - In the days following the Pearl Harbor attack, Admiral Husband E. Kimmel was relieved of his post as Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet. Considering the nation was suddenly at war, his replacement would have little time to learn the role, as William S. Pye found out over the course of 14 days. On December 17, 1941, just […]
  • Arizona Memorial Construction Veterans Day 2018 in Hawaii - Every year on November 11, we honor the brave men and women who put their lives on the line to protect their nation. Visitors to Hawaii can take part in a number of Veterans Day events across the islands. Here are just a few ways to observe Veterans Day 2018 in Hawaii. Kauai Kapaa Veterans […]
  • Aerial view of the USS Arizona Memorial Studying the Effects of the Black Tears of USS Arizona - Since the morning of December 7, 1941, they’ve been slowly leaking from the cracked hull of USS Arizona (BB-39), rising to create pools that float on the surface of Pearl Harbor. From the USS Arizona Memorial, visitors can see the so-called Black Tears of USS Arizona and view them as symbolism for the ship’s sorrow […]
  • Native Americans in World War II - Code talkers on Bougainville, 1943 Native Americans in World War II - The relationship between the United States and the indigenous people of North America is a complicated one that dates back centuries. At one of the nation’s darkest hours, the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor, many Native Americans didn’t hesitate to join the US military and take part in the war that followed. An […]
  • Kamikaze attack on USS Columbia (CL-56), 6 January 1945 World War II Terms to Know: Kamikaze - Most of the War in the Pacific following the attack on Pearl Harbor was fought with bombs, artillery shells, and bullets. The Japanese, however, had an additional method of attacking. In circumstances when it was deemed more important to inflict damage on the enemy than return home safely, they turned to the act of self-sacrifice […]
  • There are lots of good reasons not to cancel your visit to Pearl Harbor if it rains Should I Cancel My Visit to Pearl Harbor If It Rains? - Pearl Harbor, one of the most historically significant sites in the United States, is also located in one of the most beautiful places in the world: on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. People come from all over the world to experience history first-hand and enjoy paradise at the same time. However, even in paradise, there […]
  • Joe George is the subject of the documentary Lifeline: Pearl Harbor's Unknown Hero Another Honor for Pearl Harbor Hero Joe George - On December 7, 2017, Joe George, a man best known for his heroics during the Pearl Harbor attack that saved several sailors trapped on the USS Arizona (BB-39), was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star Medal for Valor. It was an award that was a long-time coming, hindered by the fact that George had disobeyed a […]
  • Underwater Demolition Team 10 members, 1944 The Underwater Demolition Teams of the Pacific - During the First World War, the Allies suffered great losses due to catastrophic amphibious landings, notably during the Gallipoli Campaign. The US military is always eager to learn from past mistakes, and so these landings were scrutinized in the years that followed. The mid-1930s saw testing of new landing techniques. These experiments and attempts at […]
  • James Bilotta in later life Pearl Harbor Survivor James Bilotta Passes Away at 98 - Many of the men who survived the tragic events of December 7, 1941 would spend their lives recounting the trials of not just that day, but the War in the Pacific that followed. In early September, 2018, America lost one of those men with the passing of 98-year-old James Bilotta. The Derry, NH resident was […]
  • Pearl Harbor photo ops: USS Arizona Memorial with Battleship Missouri behind Don’t Miss These Pearl Harbor Photo Ops - When you go on a tour of Pearl Harbor and find yourself immersed in the history and surrounded by hundreds of other curious visitors, it’s very easy to feel overwhelmed. You want to see everything, experience it all, and walk away with every bit of knowledge about the attack. While absorbing all this information, it […]
  • Hideki Tojo Tojo’s Teeth: A Dentist’s Revenge - After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the devastating war that followed, many Americans wanted revenge, and some got in the most unexpected ways. One of the oddest might be the story of Tojo’s teeth. Jack Mallory, a US Navy dental prosthetics specialist, didn’t return home after the war ended. Rather, he was assigned […]
  • HA.19 being hauled ashore at Waimanalo, Oahu The Fate of the Captured Midget Submarine HA. 19 - In the early morning hours of December 7, 1941, before the Imperial Japanese Navy’s warplanes reached Pearl Harbor, another group of vessels was moving toward the Oahu naval base. One of these was the ill-fated HA. 19, a Type A Ko-hyoteki-class midget submarine. Piloted by a crew of two, Ensign Kazuo Sakamaki and Chief Warrant Officer […]
  • Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not the original atomic target America’s Surprising Original Atomic Target - When the use of atomic weapons first became an option during World War II, when and where to use them became the biggest questions. Though the targets eventually chosen were the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Americans had first considered other locations to be the original atomic target. A recent search of the […]
  • Righting USS Oklahoma (BB-37) Francis Flaherty: Hero of USS Oklahoma - On December 14, 1941, seven days after the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, John Flaherty received a box of Christmas presents from his brother in Hawaii. At about the same time, US Navy officials were confirming that Francis Flaherty, an officer aboard USS Oklahoma (BB-37), had been killed in the attack. This was an […]
  • Douglas C-47 Skytrain in flight World War II Aircraft: Douglas C-47 Skytrain - As the threat of war in the Pacific loomed, the Douglas Aircraft Company took a look at its DC-3 fixed-wing propeller-driven civilian craft and saw the opportunity for a military version of the plane. The DC-3 first flew in 1935, but it would be another six years before the military version, known as the Douglas […]
  • USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) Terms To Know: Naval Vessel Register - Learning about the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor and the war that followed, there are certain words and phrases that might not be familiar to everyone. When discussing the ships that were present that morning and what became of them, the words Naval Vessel Register usually come up. Whenever a US Navy vessel […]
  • USS Rigel (AR-11) Ships of Pearl Harbor: USS Rigel - Originally built as a civilian cargo ship, USS Rigel (AD-13/ARb-1/AR-11) was commissioned into the US Navy on February 24, 1922 as an Altair-class destroyer tender named for the brightest star in the Orion constellation. After refitting and shakedown, Rigel was assigned to San Diego, which would remain her home port until 1941. In April of 1941, USS Rigel […]
  • USS Oklahoma Memorial USS Oklahoma Casualty Robert Holmes Identified - During the chaos that erupted on December 7, 1941, Marine Pfc. Robert Holmes found the ship he was serving on a target of the attacking Japanese Navy’s torpedoes. The attack on Pearl Harbor lasted nearly two hours, but the battleship USS Oklahoma (BB-37) capsized and sank well before the Japanese retreated back to their carriers. […]
  • Ray Emory in 2015 Tireless Advocate for USS Oklahoma Unknowns Has Died - Ray Emory, a Pearl Harbor survivor who spent many years advocating on behalf of the men killed aboard USS Oklahoma (BB-37) whose remains were never identified, has died at the age of 97. Mr. Emory had recently moved from his long-time home in Hawaii to live with his son in Idaho. Read more about Ray Emory […]
  • Fleet Problem XIX USS Ranger (CV-4), USS Lexington (CV-2), and USS Saratoga (CV-3) off Honolulu, 8 April 1938 Pearl Harbor Terminology: What is a Fleet Problem? - Studying and understanding the attack on Pearl Harbor, the reasons behind it, and the events leading up to it can be a complicated task. It’s not simply a straightforward matter that starts on the morning of December 7, 1941 and ends two hours later. In order to fully grasp what happened that morning, it’s helpful […]
  • Harry Simoneaux was a damage control officer aboard USS Whitney (AD-4) Harry Simoneaux, Pearl Harbor, and the War in the Pacific - To be in charge of damage control during the attack on Pearl Harbor would guarantee witnessing the horrifying scene up close. Harry Simoneaux, a damage control officer aboard the destroyer tender USS Whitney (AD-4), was right in the thick of the attack that morning as he and his fellow crewmen were preparing to attend church […]
  • USS San Francisco (CA-38) Ships of Pearl Harbor: USS San Francisco - USS San Francisco (CA-38), a New Orleans-class cruiser, was laid down in September of 1931 and commissioned into the US Navy on February 10, 1934. Captain Royal E. Ingersoll served as the first commander of the new vessel, and saw her through multiple military exercises and Fleet Problems. On September 14th, 1939, soon after the outbreak […]
  • Captain Albert L. Kaiss with Margaret Truman Daniels at 1986 recommissioning Albert L. Kaiss, Last Commander of the Mighty Mo, Dies at 78 - On July 25, 2018, at the age of 78, Albert L. Kaiss passed away in his hometown of Hagerstown, MD. On March 31, 1992, in Long Beach, CA, Captain Kaiss stepped off the USS Missouri (BB-63) for the final time. He had served as the Mighty Mo’s commanding officer in two separate tours of duty, and […]
  • Library of Congress, Washington, DC Reactions to Pearl Harbor from the Man on the Street - All across the United States, reactions to Pearl Harbor varied from one individual to the next. There were those terrified by it and worried that it foreshadowed a possible attack on the mainland. Some wondered whether the United States had known about the attack before it happened, or if Germany had had a hand in […]
  • USS West Virginia (BB-48) USS West Virginia Survivor Archie Kelley Turns 100 - When Archie Kelley turned 100 years old, it was a milestone that many others wished to celebrate with him. Kelley’s 100th birthday wasn’t just any centennial celebration. This was the milestone event for a survivor of the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. More than 76 years ago, men like Kelley found themselves in the […]
  • USS Oklahoma capsized, 7 December 1941 USS Oklahoma Sailor George C. Ford Identified - The weight of the Pearl Harbor attack is still heavy for some families, such as the relatives of Fireman 2nd Class George C. Ford. Although the attack unfolded more than 76 years ago, some families were never able to have the closure that comes with burying their loved ones killed on the morning of December […]
  • USS Port Royal (CG-73) in Dry Dock 4, Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard Learning Pearl Harbor: What Is a Dry Dock? - As you explore the fascinating history of the US naval base at Pearl Harbor, specifically the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack that forced the Americans into World War II, you’re bound to come across terms that aren’t commonplace in everyday vocabulary. At least not outside of a naval setting. The exhibits and memorials at the […]
  • Gravestone of Eugene Straub USS Juneau Sailor Finally Receives Recognition - On November 13, 1942, during the Battle of Guadalcanal, USS Juneau (CL-52) was hit by several torpedoes from the Japanese submarine I-26 and sank. All but ten men died, some in the initial sinking and others while waiting for rescue, succumbing to the elements. Among those who lost their lives was Eugene Straub, a gunner’s […]
  • USS Antares (AG-10) Ships of Pearl Harbor: USS Antares - Named for the brightest star in the Scorpius constellation, USS Antares (AG-10, later re-designated AKS-3) was laid down in 1918 and commissioned into the US Navy on February 23, 1922. Once she sailed out as a member of the United States Navy, Antares joined the Fleet Train, becoming its flagship within a year. Even after […]
  • reaction to Pearl Harbor Dredging Up—and Blowing Up—Pearl Harbor’s Past - Remnants from the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor are still being uncovered, despite the passage of 77 years since it unfolded. Recently, new discoveries have been made at the heart of where the attack took place, in the waters surrounding the wrecks of the battleship USS Arizona (BB-39) and battleship-turned-target-ship USS Utah (BB-31/AG-16). […]
  • Hideki Tojo The Misplaced Confidence of Hideki Tojo - Japanese Prime Minister Gen. Hideki Tojo hadn’t even seen the results of the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor when he started to declare Japan’s ability to defeat the United States and Allied forces in the Pacific. It’s known that the Japanese leadership had great confidence in their navy, but the fact that Tojo […]
  • Cordell Hull Cordell Hull, Flawed American Statesman - Cordell Hull was born in 1871 and died in 1955. He was Franklin D. Roosevelt’s long-serving Secretary of State, and is also credited as one of the primary founders of the United Nations. Political Life of Cordell Hull Hull’s political career began when he was elected chairman of the Clay County, Tennessee Democratic Party when […]
  • USS Missouri (BB-63) during the Korean Conflict The Final Decommissioning of USS Missouri - Construction of USS Missouri (BB-63) began almost a year before the attack on Pearl Harbor, but it wasn’t until June 11, 1944, that she was commissioned into the United States Navy. She entered service at the tail end of World War II, but that was only one of several conflicts in which the “Mighty Mo” […]
  • USS Oklahoma (BB-37) Pearl Harbor Mystery: Where Is USS Oklahoma? - The early morning quiet of a routine December Sunday on Oahu was shattered when aircraft of the Imperial Japanese Navy came screaming over Pearl Harbor and launched one of the deadliest attacks on American soil in history. In the course of the devastating attack, the battleship USS Oklahoma (BB-37) took several hits and started to […]
  • Kualoa Ranch Jurassic friend Beyond Pearl Harbor: Other Oahu Activities - A trip to Oahu isn’t complete without a visit to the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument to explore the history of Pearl Harbor. The devastating surprise attack of December 7, 1941 was a defining moment for the United States, ushering in changes that can still be seen and felt today. Exploring […]
  • B-17 destroyed by strafing, Hickam Field 7 December 1941 Hickam Field Survivor William Breland Turns 100 - It’s not every day that we have the honor of welcoming a newcomer to the centenarian club, but William Breland, a Mississippi native, recently achieved that milestone. On July 9, 2018, Breland celebrated his 100th birthday, and while he’s not the only one to do so, the Army Air Corps veteran is among a dwindling group: […]
  • Arizona Memorial over the Sunken Battleship The Father and Son Killed on USS Arizona - On the morning of December 7th, 1941, USS Arizona (BB-39) became the site of horrific losses when an aerial fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy flew into Pearl Harbor and launched a devastating attack. Early in the attack, Arizona suffered direct bomb strikes, which of which caused the mighty battleship to explode and sink to […]
  • USS Tangier (AV-8) Ships of Pearl Harbor: USS Tangier - Originally laid down in 1939 as a cargo ship for the United States Maritime Commission, USS Tangier (AV-8) was converted into a seaplane tender and commissioned into the US Navy on August 25, 1941. After a shakedown cruise, she was assigned to Patrol Wing 2 in Hawaii. Just over a month before the Imperial Japanese […]
  • USS Oklahoma capsized, 7 December 1941 USS Oklahoma Sailor James Solomon Identified - It was more than 76 years ago when Navy Seaman 1st Class James Solomon was lost at Pearl Harbor. The North Texas native served in the United States Navy aboard USS Oklahoma (BB-37), which was moored along Battleship Row at Ford Island. On the morning of December 7, 1941, Solomon, like so many others, was […]
  • Zero fighter planes ready to launch from Akagi, 7 December 1941 Minoru Genda and His Role in the Pearl Harbor Attack - An assault as complex as the December 7th, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor required ideas and input from many different sources. To sail across the Pacific and launch an attack on the US naval base on Oahu without being detected en route required immense planning. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto is credited as the mastermind behind the […]
  • US Marines landing on Iwo Jima The Kohler Brothers in World War II - “Why don’t you go together and protect each other?” Mr. Kohler knew his son Charles was itching to join the war that the US suddenly found itself drawn into after the horrors that unfolded on December 7th, 1941, and it seemed logical to him that Charles and his brother Edwin enlist together. The two brothers […]
  • Hideki Tojo, ca. 1940 The Man Who Ordered Pearl Harbor: Hideki Tojo - Hideki Tojo was born on December 30th, 1884. His father was Hidenori Tojo, a well-respected officer in the Imperial Japanese Army. Tojo received a typical education for Japanese young men of the time. Meiji-era education revolved primarily around training boys to grow up to be soldiers. Students were taught to revere war and honor the Emperor, […]
  • USS Dobbin (AD-3) in 1941 Ships of Pearl Harbor: USS Dobbin - On May 5th, 1921, a new destroyer tender was launched. Commissioned into the US Navy in July of 1924, USS Dobbin (AD-3) was named for former Secretary of the Navy James Cochrane Dobbin. USS Dobbin spent much of her early years sailing between the United States, Guantanamo Bay, and eventually San Diego via the Panama Canal to […]
  • Aerial view of Ford Island, 7 December 1941 Pearl Harbor Ships on the Morning of the Attack - There were 130 vessels of the US Navy’s Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor on December 7th 1941, the day of the Japanese surprise attack. Ninety-six of the Pearl Harbor ships were warships. Eight of these were battleships, seven of which were lined up along Battleship Row, making them easy targets for the attackers. Pearl Harbor […]
  • Ships on close formation, RIMPAC RIMPAC 2018 Kicks Off at Pearl Harbor - While many people associate Pearl Harbor with the surprise Japanese attack that occurred over 76 years ago, they sometimes forget that it is still an active military base, playing a vital role in the defense of the nation today. The very active military base is home to the US Pacific Fleet, which makes it the […]
  • Boeing Stearman Model 75 N2S in flight An Unarmed Warplane: Boeing Stearman Model 75 - During a visit to the Pacific Aviation Museum at Pearl Harbor, visitors come across a plane that was pivotal during the 1930s and 1940s, in the time leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor and throughout the Second World War. Unlike the other models on display, this plane doesn’t appear to be ready for […]
  • Grave marker for Unknown remains of the USS Oklahoma USS Oklahoma Sailor Clifford Goodwin Identified - It’s a headline that’s popped up dozens of times since 2015: The remains of a sailor from USS Oklahoma (BB-37), the ill-fated battleship that capsized and sank during the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, is identified after more than seven decades and is returned home to be buried alongside his family. No […]
  • USS Detroit (CL-8), 1935 Ships of Pearl Harbor: USS Detroit - USS Detroit (CL-8), an Omaha-class light cruiser, was first laid down on November 10, 1920 and commissioned into the US Navy on July 31, 1923. Detroit’s early years were mainly spent in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. Later, she took part in maneuvers and fleet problems in the Caribbean and along the US East Coast. In […]
  • Ray Emory Bids Farewell to Pearl Harbor - More than 76 years ago, the nation was stunned when a fleet of Japanese bombers and fighters launched a surprise attack on the Pearl Harbor naval base in Oahu, HI. The assault killed more than 2,400 and left others, like Ray Emory, with terrible memories of the tragic attack. Emory was among the thousands who […]
  • Aerial view of Ford Island, 7 December 1941 Four Iconic Pearl Harbor Moments - Visiting Pearl Harbor is the best way of remembering those who gave their lives during the tragic events of December 7th, 1941. Spending time at the USS Arizona and Oklahoma Memorials, the Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, Battleship Missouri, and the Pacific Aviation Museum provides an educational journey back in time. There is much to […]
  • Grave marker for Unknown remains of the USS Oklahoma The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency - In 2015, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) began work on a program that aims to return home hundreds of soldiers and sailors killed during battle whose remains were unable to be identified when they died. One of the biggest challenges being targeted by the agency was the sinking of the USS Oklahoma (BB-37) during […]
  • USS California (BB-44) crew abandoning ship Lou Radil, Pearl Harbor Survivor, Passes Away at 98 - Ludwig “Lou” Radil served for six years as a yeoman in the United States Navy. During his time as a sailor, he was present for the tragic events of December 7th, 1941 and, after Japan surrendered and the war ended, he also witnessed the first post-World War II nuclear tests that were carried out in […]
  • USS Worden (DD-352) Ships of Pearl Harbor: USS Worden - Laid down at the Puget Sound Navy Yard in December of 1932, USS Worden (DD-352) was commissioned into the US Navy on January 15, 1935. Worden spent most of her early years operating out of San Diego, until late in 1939, when, in response to the outbreak of war in Europe, the Navy ordered a […]
  • USS West Virginia in flames, December 7, 1941 Lewis LaGesse: Pearl Harbor Ghost - “They thought I was a ghost.” Not many people can make that statement with a straight face. World War II veteran Lewis  LaGesse was one man who definitely could, after being reported dead in the bombing of Pearl Harbor. On December 7th, 1941, Lewis LaGesse, then 19 years old, was serving aboard the USS West […]
  • USS Comfort (AH-6) Hospital Ships of the Pacific Theater - When armed conflict takes place on land, medics can rush to a wounded soldier’s aid, and transport him to a field hospital if necessary. When the fighting is primarily on the open ocean, providing medical treatment to the injured can be far more complicated. That’s where hospital ships become lifesavers. The Hospital Ships of World […]
  • USS Solace (AH-5) The Heroic Nurses of Pearl Harbor - Amid the devastation at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the lives of countless men were saved by the brave actions of women. At the time, women weren’t allowed to serve in combat roles, but their presence was vital nonetheless. These were the nurses of Pearl Harbor. During the course of the attack and its […]
  • Grave marker for William Hellstern USS Oklahoma Sailor William Hellstern Identified - It started with a DNA sample. Ted Hummell never knew his uncle William Hellstern, but he had heard about him all his life from his mother, Jeanne. William Francis Hellstern was one of over 2,400 Americans who lost their lives on December 7th, 1941 when the Imperial Japanese Navy launched an aerial attack on the […]
  • USS Downes (DD-375) The Ships of Pearl Harbor: USS Downes - Unlike many United States Navy ships that served during World War II, USS Downes (DD-375) had a relatively short life. Launched on April 22, 1936, the Mahan-class destroyer—named for US Naval officer John Downes—was commissioned on January 15, 1937. Once commissioned, she sailed for San Diego from her shipyard in Norfolk and participated in multiple exercises […]
  • Hawaii overprint note The History of the Hawaii Overprint Note - The worst case scenario wasn’t an impossible one: in the wake of the Pearl Harbor attack, Japan would invade Hawaii, overrun it, and use it as a launching point for an attack on the US mainland. As much as the United States was preparing itself to repel such an invasion, it also had contingencies in […]
  • Nakajima B5N "Kate" carrying 550lb bomb Enemy Aircraft: Nakajima B5N “Kate” - The innocent-sounding “Kate” of World War II was anything but sweet. It was a warplane designed to lay waste to its targets through the bombs it dropped from higher altitudes. Officially known as the Nakajima B5N bomber, the “Kate” (the Allies’ name for the aircraft) was a fearsome tool of the Imperial Japanese Navy’s Air […]
  • Hickam Field barracks during Pearl Harbor attack cropped Pearl Harbor’s Youngest: 16-Year-Old Robert Olsen - You may have heard the story of Calvin Graham, the youngest American to fight in World War II, who was only 12 years old when he enlisted in the Navy after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Before Graham joined up, however, there were young men like Robert Olsen, a 16-year-old medic from Pocatello, ID. Olsen […]
  • Nakajima B5N “Kate” bomber Shigekazu Shimazaki: Leading the Second Wave - In September of 1941, 33-year-old Lt. Cmdr. Shigekazu Shimazaki was assigned to be the equipping officer of the aircraft carrier Zuikaku, which had been commissioned into the Imperial Japanese Navy just days prior. It was in this capacity that he and his ship, together with the rest of Japan’s First Air Fleet, set sail towards […]
  • Explosion of USS Shaw (DD-373) Ships of Pearl Harbor: USS Shaw - In the history books, chapters about the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor are often accompanied by an iconic image: the explosion of a ship taken from a distance. The ship in the image is the destroyer USS Shaw (DD-373). The snapshot was taken just as fires ignited when she was hit by three […]
  • Bowfin Long Touring the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park - One of the most popular sites at Pearl Harbor is located right next to the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. In addition to an impressive vessel, it features are both indoor and outdoor exhibits, as well as a waterfront memorial to the 52 submarines and over 3500 men who perished during World War II. Read on […]
  • Ray Chavez, Pearl Harbor 2016 Ray Chavez: Still On Duty at 106 - One might expect that, at 106 years old, Pearl Harbor survivor Ray Chavez would be ready to retire from being a public figure. But for the oldest known Pearl Harbor survivor, that duty to the public never ends. Recently, a flight the veteran was on made a stopover in Wichita, KS. There, Chavez was met […]
  • Aerial view of Ford Island, 7 December 1941 Was the Attack on Pearl Harbor Illegal? - Causing the deaths of 2,403 individuals would in most cases be considered illegal without question. In times of war, however, the rules can be a bit murkier. In the Pacific Theater, over 100,000 Americans died in battle, but these deaths weren’t war crimes. They were the tragic but expected product of a conflict that was […]
  • USS Tennessee (BB43), 1943 Ships of Pearl Harbor: USS Tennessee - On April 30, 1919, a new battleship class was launched. Named for its lead ship, the Tennessee-class offered more robust protection from enemy torpedoes as well as fire-control systems for both primary and secondary gun batteries. USS Tennessee (BB-43) and her sister ship, USS California (BB-44), were the first to be designed to shoot over […]
  • B-17 destroyed by strafing, Hickam Field 7 December 1941 Beyond Torpedoes and Bombs: What is Strafing? - When learning about the details of the morning of December 7, 1941, when the Imperial Japanese Navy launched a surprise attack on the United States Naval Base in Oahu, the focus is usually on the devastation caused by the bombs and torpedoes dropped by the attackers on the ships of Pearl Harbor. But there was […]
  • Grave marker for Unknown remains of the USS Oklahoma USS Oklahoma Sailor Edward Slapikas Identified - On December 7, 1941, US Navy Seaman 1st Class Edward Slapikas was serving aboard the battleship USS Oklahoma (BB-37) when the Imperial Japanese Navy launched an aerial strike against Pearl Harbor. As one of the main targets of the attack, Oklahoma sustained extensive damage and finally capsized. In the process, she lost 429 men, Edward […]
  • HMS Dreadnought Learning Pearl Harbor: What were Dreadnoughts? - When learning about the attack on Pearl Harbor, it’s usually the battleships that get most of the attention, and a term that often comes up when describing these ships is “dreadnought,” and even “super-dreadnought.” So what exactly were the dreadnoughts? The Origin of the Dreadnought Though dreadnoughts played a major role in early 20th-century American […]
  • Aerial view of Ford Island, 7 December 1941 The Congressional Pearl Harbor Investigation - Almost from the moment the Japanese planes returned to their ships after their devastating attack on Pearl Harbor, there were all kinds of conspiracy theories about how they could have pulled off such a large operation that took the United States by complete surprise.  Some of these put President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the spotlight, […]
  • Opana Radar Site Screen The History of the Opana Radar Site - Nearly an hour before the attack on Pearl Harbor unfolded, there was activity brewing at a small radar site located on the North Shore of Oahu. The Opana Radar Site plays a role in the story of the attack, even though it didn’t quite get to operate as it was intended to. It’s one of […]
  • USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) in 1934 Ships of Pearl Harbor: USS Pennsylvania - Unlike the others seven US Navy battleships present at Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7, 1941, the USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) wasn’t lined up on Battleship Row along the southeast coast of Ford Island, and therefore avoided the major damage those ships sustained in the Japanese attack. USS Pennsylvania Before Pearl Harbor Following her […]
  • USS Oklahoma capsized, 7 December 1941 Descent into Darkness: The Divers of Pearl Harbor - To get a true sense of the amount of damage done when Japan attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, it’s best to rely on the recollections of those who lived through it. They may have been caught up in the chaos of the events as they unfolded, but many of their accounts are […]
  • USS Missouri (BB-63) fires her guns during the Korean Conflict Learning Pearl Harbor: What are Battleship Classes? - On the morning of December 7, 1941, there were seven battleships moored along Battleship Row with an eighth nearby in dry dock. The USS Nevada (BB-36), USS Oklahoma (BB-37), USS Pennsylvania (BB-38), USS Arizona (BB-39), USS Tennessee (BB-43), USS California (BB-44), USS Maryland (BB-46), and USS West Virginia (BB-48) were all battleships of the US Navy, but there were distinctions between them. Every naval vessel belongs to a class, named […]
  • USS Raleigh (CL-7), 1942 Ships of Pearl Harbor: USS Raleigh - The USS Utah (AG-16), originally commissioned as a battleship designated (BB-31), had long been demilitarized and used as a target ship. Unarmed, she posed no threat, a fact the leaders of the attack on Pearl Harbor were aware of. Unfortunately, two attacking pilots misjudged and fired on the vessel, sinking her and putting in harm’s […]
  • USS Oklahoma capsized, 7 December 1941 Glenn Tipton, USS Oklahoma Sailor, Identified - The mission of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) to exhume and identify unknown remains from the sinking of the USS Oklahoma (BB-37) continues to reunite families with their long-lost relatives. During the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the United States suffered the loss of 2,403 lives. Many ships and aircraft were […]
  • Japanese destroyer Isokaze Wreckage of Japanese Destroyer Isokaze Located - The Japanese 1st Air Fleet, or kido butai, that attacked Pearl Harbor was made up of six aircraft carriers escorted by a full complement of battleships, cruisers, tankers, and destroyers. In the long and bloody war that followed, most of those ships were lost. Among them was the destroyer Isokaze, whose wreckage was recently located. In 2016, […]
  • USS Avocet (AVP-4) Ships of Pearl Harbor: USS Avocet - On September 17, 1918, the USS Avocet was commissioned as a Lapwing-class minesweeper with the hull designation (AM-19). For seven years, she maintained this designation, sailing under the command of Lieutenant Christian Crone. In that seven-year span, Avocet took part in multiple tests and exercises, but never saw any combat. It wasn’t until years after […]
  • Elmer Luckett served aboard the USS Chew (DD-106) Pearl Harbor Survivor Elmer Luckett Dies at 97 - “We noticed a lot of black smoke coming off of Ford Island, and just about that time, the Japanese started attacking Battleship Row,” Elmer Luckett recalled during a 2017 interview with radio station KMOX in St. Louis, MO. Realizing that Pearl Harbor was under attack was a memory he would never forget. Serving aboard the […]
  • Pearl Harbor News December 7th Childhood Memories of Pearl Harbor - Their combined age at the time was barely old enough to enlist. Still, Pat Campbell and Jimmy Lee had front row seats for one of the most devastating events in American history. Here are some of their memories of Pearl Harbor and the attack that changed the course of history. The best way to remember […]
  • USS Bagley (DD386) in 1937 Ships of Pearl Harbor: USS Bagley - To have a US Navy ship named in one’s honor is a great achievement. One American naval officer had four. Ensign Worth Bagley was killed during the Spanish-American War, in 1898, and the third ship named for him, the destroyer USS Bagley (DD-386), was present at Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7, 1941. Ensign […]
  • Japanese march into Hong Kong The Morning of Pearl Harbor – Battle of Hong Kong - On the morning of December 7, 1941, the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor fell victim to a surprise Japanese attack. The assault would go down in history as one of the worst foreign attacks ever launched against the United States. Though this attack stunned an unprepared United States, it wasn’t Japan’s only target […]
  • USS Sea Dog (SS-401) Operation Barney: Revenge for a Lost Submarine - Today, the Bowfin submarine is a museum ship and memorial park, one of the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites. Launched one year to the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, she spent the next two and a half years living up to her nickname, the Pearl Harbor Avenger. Her ninth—and final—World War II patrol was as […]
  • Sign announcing construction of the Arizona Memorial How Was the USS Arizona Memorial Paid For? - Have you ever wondered where the money comes from to finance the memorials commemorating events like the attack on Pearl Harbor? The USS Arizona Memorial has been the centerpiece of Pearl Harbor tours for more than 50 years, having been dedicated on May 30, 1962. A primary target during the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack […]
  • Rationing in the US: ration stamps World War II and Rationing in the US - A great deal changed the moment Japan dropped the first bombs on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The United States, a nation that for years had followed to a policy of isolationism, found itself forced into a war it had long sought to avoid. In order to succeed, the nation would have to adapt […]
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