Pearl Harbor History and Information

  • 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 […]
  • Avenge USS Helena War Bond appeal 1943 Wreckage of USS Helena Located - On April 11, 2018, a research team headed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen discovered the wreckage of the USS Helena (CL-50, the team’s third World War II-era shipwreck discovery of the year. The St. Louis-class light cruiser was commissioned into the US Navy on September 18, 1939 and served until her sinking on July 6, […]
  • USS Nevada (BB-36) beached on Hospital Point Pearl Harbor Hero Chief Boatswain Edwin Hill - On the morning of December 7, 1941, an aerial striking force of the Imperial Japanese Navy launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, in the US Territory of Hawaii. In the chaos and horror that ensued, there were men who were able to keep their wits and help those around them, putting their own lives […]
  • Mitsubishi A6M Zero over China, May 1941 Pearl Harbor Scourge: Mitsubishi A6M Zero - On December 7, 1941, the Japanese A6M Zero Model 21 manufactured by Mitsubishi was one of the most iconic participants in the attack on Pearl Harbor. While the bombers inflicted the bulk of the damage, the Zero fighter planes kept the American forces at bay, strafing battleship decks and airfields to maximize the deadly efficiency […]
  • Men enlisting in response to Pearl Harbor Calvin Graham – The Youngest Recruit - The shock and trauma of Pearl Harbor wasn’t only felt by adults. As news of the December 7, 1941 surprise Japanese attack spread across the United States, kids and adults alike all waited with racing hearts to hear what had happened, what the cause was, and if they should prepare themselves for additional attacks. Among […]
  • USS Lexington (CV-2) Absent by Fate: USS Lexington and Pearl Harbor - The USS Lexington (CV-2), an iconic warship of the US Navy, wasn’t originally intended to be an aircraft carrier. When her construction was first authorized, in 1916, she was meant to be a battlecruiser. Her keel wasn’t laid down until 1921, as anti-submarine vessels and merchant ships took priority. This delay ultimately saved the Fore River […]
  • B-17s over Hickam Field, Summer 1941 Learning About the Military Airfields of Oahu - Toward the end of the First World War, the United States began to focus on strengthening its defense of the West Coast. Having had virtually no military presence in the Pacific in the lead-up to the war, the US began building a series of bases in the Territory of Hawaii. Here’s the story of some […]
  • Pacific Aviation Museum at Ford Island American Aviation History on Ford Island - Most tours of Pearl Harbor include stops at the museums and monuments on Ford Island. Located in the middle of Pearl Harbor, Ford Island is a 441-acre island that’s prominent in both Hawaiian culture and American history. While it’s best known as the location of Battleship Row, the scene of massive destruction during the Japanese […]
  • USS Juneau (CL-52) USS Juneau: Another Historic Find for RV Petrel - On March 17, 2018, an autonomous underwater vehicle operating from the Research Vessel Petrel discovered the wreckage of the American light cruiser USS Juneau (CL-52). The explorations of the Petrel are led by Paul Allen, the philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder. During her journeys in the South Pacific, Petrel has also been responsible for locating the remains of the USS […]
  • jellyfish bomb Map Balloons of War: The Japanese Fu-Go - During the course of World War II, all sides had their own secret projects intended to give them a strategic edge. The United States was working on a massive bomb that could put an immediate end to the conflict. In Japan, researchers were hard at work on Fu-Go, a unique weapon that, on the surface, […]
  • US seaplane tenders USS Curtiss (AV-4) Learning Pearl Harbor: What Were Seaplane Tenders? - The classifications of navy ships don’t require much explanation. Battleships are vessels designed specifically for battle. Aircraft carriers transport airplanes across the ocean. Destroyers, like battleships, were intended specifically for combat. So it shouldn’t be difficult to guess what purpose seaplane tenders were built for. As early as the First World War, these vessels were […]
  • Mark 14 Torpedo The Mark 14 Torpedo: Problem Child of the US Navy - In the early months of World War II, the US Navy was finding it difficult to get a leg up on their Japanese opponents. One of the thorniest issues was a piece of weaponry used by American submarines throughout 1942 and 1943. Though the United States had turned the tide of the war by the […]
  • Paul Allen Paul Allen and the Shipwrecks of World War II - When we think about the people who are most instrumental in the preservation of history, we usually think of professional historians and, if we’re lucky, people who lived through world-changing events. When it comes to the history of the attack on Pearl Harbor and World War II, there are men and women who are still […]
  • Emperor Hirohito The Long and Eventful Reign of Hirohito - To many in the Japanese leadership in 1941, there appeared to be only one way to get the United States to back off and allow their expansion across Chinese territories: a military attack to destroy the US Pacific Fleet based at Pearl Harbor. The plan drawn up by Isoroku Yamamoto had the approval of most […]
  • RV Petrel, the vessel the located the wreckage of the USS Lexington Wreckage of the USS Lexington Found - Sunk on May 8, 1942, the aircraft carrier USS Lexington (CV-2) spent more than 75 years on the sea floor under the waters of the Pacific. Previously believed to be lost forever, an expedition led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen finally located the wreckage of the USS Lexington. Allen’s team, aboard the Research Vessel Petrel off […]
  • Battleship Missouri at Pearl Harbor Iconic Pearl Harbor Ship Gets a Face Lift - Over the course of her years as a museum ship, the Battleship Missouri has been subjected to the natural conditions of Pearl Harbor and wear and tear from her millions of visitors. To ensure she would always look her best, the Mighty Mo recently completed her largest repair and restoration effort in years, ensuring that visitors […]
  • Sinking of Japanese cruiser Mikuma, 6 June, 1942 South West Pacific Theater Key Campaigns of the South West Pacific Theater - During the 1930s, the United States found itself in a situation that would end up changing it forever. Relations between the US and Japan had been strained ever since the latter began their conquests in China and Southeast Asia. Although the Americans tried to maintain their policy of non-intervention, they eventually found themselves forced into […]
  • American Sports During World War II - For many Americans, sports are a big part of life. Take away any of the major American sports, be it baseball, football, basketball, or hockey, and you’re going to have a lot of angry people. Sports have always played a big role in American culture. In the 1940s, for example, boxing, football, baseball, and horse […]
  • USS Sotoyomo (YT-9) USS Sotoyomo: The Oldest Ship at Pearl Harbor - The attack on Pearl Harbor that unfolded on December 7, 1941 left the United States reeling. More than 2,400 lives were lost, and massive damage was inflicted on the ships in the harbor and hundreds of aircraft at bases across Oahu. It was an attack intended to completely cripple the US Pacific Fleet, but American resilience […]
  • Hangar 37 NAS Ford Island during Pearl Harbor attack The History of Hangar 37 on Ford Island - Getting to know every element of a place as rich in history as Pearl Harbor can be a daunting task. When planning a visit to this important site and the many exhibits and memorials contained within, it helps to have some background understanding of what awaits. Many people already have at least some knowledge about […]
  • Type 99 Carrier Bomber (Val) Why Was the Attack on Sunday, December 7? - It’s been described as a “quiet Sunday morning in December.” Sunday, December 7, 1941 is a day that will forever be remembered as the day Japan attacked the United States. The quiet of that Sunday morning was shattered when an aerial striking force of the Imperial Japanese Navy flew into Pearl Harbor, wreaking devastation and […]
  • USS New Orleans (CA-32) Powerless at Pearl Harbor: USS New Orleans - It was a worst-case scenario, one that couldn’t have been prepared for because it seemed so unlikely. And yet on the morning of December 7, 1941, the men of the USS New Orleans (CA-32) were forced to try and do the impossible – survive a surprise aerial attack without power. As the sun rose on […]
  • Jim Downing visits Pearl Harbor, December 2016 Pearl Harbor Survivor Jim Downing Passes Away - Jim Downing was a man who embraced his status as a survivor of the December 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor attack. It was a rare occasion when he wouldn’t take the opportunity to discuss not only the events he lived through but the impact they had on the nation and his fellow servicemembers. Downing was much […]
  • USS Arizona Memorial Tour Is Pearl Harbor Accessible for People with Disabilities? - On December 7, 1941, a fleet of Japanese fighters and bombers flew into Hawaiian airspace, with the US naval base at Pearl Harbor as its primary target. The two-hour attack was a tragedy forever ingrained in American history. Today, this world-changing event and the war that followed are explored at the World War II Valor […]
  • Smith's Union Bar Smith’s Union Bar – USS Arizona’s Watering Hole - When most people think of Hawaii, they think of sun-drenched beaches, breathtaking waterfalls, water sports, and swaying palm trees. But Hawaii is also home to a lot of history, including one of the most devastating events to ever occur on American soil. When the forces of Imperial Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, destroying mighty ships and […]
  • Doris Miller receiving Navy Cross from Admiral Chester Nimitz Black History Month: Doris Miller, American Hero - During the attack on Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7, 1941, many heroes stepped forward, putting their lives at risk in order to assist their fellow serviceman. Among them was a Cook Third Class named Doris Miller, an African-American sailor who had started his day serving breakfast to the crewmen aboard the USS […]
  • Crew of the USS Missouri (SSN-780) manning the rails to honor USS Missouri BB-63) Pearl Harbor’s New USS Missouri - Just off the southeastern coast of Ford Island, overlooking the wreckage of the USS Arizona and the memorial that stands above, sits a mighty battleship of the US Navy. The USS Missouri (BB-63) was commissioned into service in June of 1944, meaning she served just over a year in World War II, and yet she […]
  • Word War 2 Submarine Learning Pearl Harbor: What Is a Submarine? - Submarine history begins long before the 20th century, but it was during World War I that they became a true staple of naval warfare. In both World War I and World War II, their presence was heavily felt in the Atlantic with German U-Boats causing significant losses to Allied vessels, and though the December 7, […]
  • The US Coast Guard Cutter Tiger - In the early morning hours of December 7, 1941, a quiet Sunday in Hawaii, the United States Coast Guard Cutter Tiger was patrolling the waters just outside the naval base at Pearl Harbor. Expecting nothing but peace and calm throughout the day, the Tiger’s crew went about their business as the sun began to break […]
  • Pacific Aviation Museum at Sunset Pacific Aviation Museum’s Hangar 37 - During the course of American aviation history, the aerial fleet of the US military has undergone vast changes to keep up with the changing demands of warfare. Aircraft that were once simple flying machines have evolved into complex and powerful planes capable of delivering deadly payloads that could level cities. The Pacific Aviation Museum at […]
  • Learning Pearl Harbor: Naval Terms and Words To Know - Reading through accounts of the Pearl Harbor attack can sometimes feel like you’re reading a different language. Naval terms like “aft,” “stern,” and “moored” pop up often, but since they aren’t used in everyday conversation, it’s understandable to not know exactly what they mean. Words like these—and many others—help enrich the picture of the Pearl […]
  • Options for Eating at Pearl Harbor - You may be concerned that, because you’re visiting a place so full of historical importance, you won’t have many options for eating at Pearl Harbor. While visiting Pearl Harbor may not be an all-day affair for some, most visitors choose to spend a lot of time here, whether by purchasing the Passport to Pearl Harbor […]
  • USS Bowfin A Visit to Pearl Harbor Even the Kids Will Enjoy - Visiting Pearl Harbor includes dealing with some heavy themes that some parents may worry are too much for their kids. From the losses suffered that day to the war that followed, it can difficult for younger minds to fully comprehend, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get the most out of a visit to Pearl […]
  • Learning Pearl Harbor: What Is an Aircraft Carrier? - USS Enterprise (CV-6), USS Lexington (CV-2), USS Saratoga (CV-3). Looking through the list of ships that were moored at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941—and it’s a long list of battleships, cruisers, destroyers, repair ships, and others—you’ll find that these three vessels were elsewhere that morning. These three US Navy vessels were powerful aircraft carriers, […]
  • USS West Virginia (BB-48) The Mighty Wee Vee – USS West Virginia - Next in our ongoing look at the ships of Pearl Harbor, here’s a look at the USS West Virginia (BB-48): USS West Virginia Specs: Overall Length: 624’ Maximum Displacement: 32,100 tons (33,060 tons w/ a full load) Speed: 21 knots Armament: Before reconstruction: 8 x 16” .45 caliber guns; 12 x 5” .51 caliber guns; […]
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