Pearl Harbor History and Information

  • USS Oklahoma capsized, 7 December 1941 What Does it Mean When a Ship is Listing? - Understanding the events of December 7, 1941 doesn’t require you to be an expert in naval or technical terminology. The memorials, museums, and other attractions provide a historical overview of the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the things you need to know, such as the names and fates of the many ships that were there […]
  • USS Wasp (CV-7) Wreckage of USS Wasp Located - In the month of February, 2019 alone, the expedition organized by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen found the wreckage of three World War II warships at the bottom of the Pacific ocean. In 2018, they had found more than half-a-dozen, while 2017 proved fruitful with five discoveries. In mid-March, 2019, Research Vessel Petrel added yet another […]
  • Is Pearl Harbor Worth a Repeat Visit? - There are many places around the world that honestly aren’t worth putting the time, money, and effort into seeing more than one time. Then there are those that absolutely warrant a second, third, or fourth visit. If you’ve already been to Pearl Harbor, you may be asking yourself whether it’s worth visiting again. You’ve paid […]
  • USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) at sea Pearl Harbor Welcomes USS Zumwalt - More than 77 years ago, the American naval base at Pearl Harbor was the site of a devastating surprise attack that launched the United States into World War II. In the years since, parts of Pearl Harbor have been dedicated as a national memorial while the rest has remained an active naval base. Pearl Harbor […]
  • YG-17 in the 1930s The Heroism of YG-17 at Pearl Harbor - Naval ship categories often have names that sound important to wartime efforts. Destroyers, aircraft carriers, battleships, minelayers – they’re all very clearly involved in some form of naval combat. Some, however, aren’t so obvious. What, for example, are garbage lighters, and how could they render assistance during a devastating attack such as that which was […]
  • Pearl Harbor Tours from the Neighbor Islands - If you’re staying on Maui, Kauai, or the Big Island of Hawaii, you may be wondering whether you’ll be able to fit a visit to Pearl Harbor into your vacation. The answer is yes, but before you jump headfirst into booking a flight to Oahu for your Pearl Harbor tour, take a look at the […]
  • Pearl Harbor Visitor Center Pearl Harbor and Circle Island Combo Tour - Not everyone can take more than a few days off to enjoy the Hawaiian Islands. Most of us are at the mercy of jobs and other responsibilities that keep us tethered close to our home base. With available time at a premium, it can be tricky to try and fit as much as possible into […]
  • USS Oklahoma capsized, 7 December 1941 USS Oklahoma Survivor Celebrates 101st Birthday - Each passing year brings the loss of more and more survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack, so when one of these heroes celebrates a birthday, it’s cause for celebration. One of these survivors is Colorado resident Bernie Weber, who celebrated his 101st birthday on March 21, 2019. It’s impossible to overstate the importance of Weber’s […]
  • USS Cachalot (SS-170) Ships of Pearl Harbor: USS Cachalot - The submarine USS Cachalot (SS-170) was laid down at the Portsmouth Navy Yard in October of 1931, the eighth of nine so-called V-boats to be produced for the United States Navy. The vessel—which was named for the sperm whale—was launched exactly two years later. Just over a month after completion, Cachalot was commissioned into service […]
  • William Burlingame Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum Curator Passes Away - Arising from the devastation of the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, there grew a sense of community around those involved in the deadly assault. In the aftermath of World War II, that community grew even larger, to encompass many others who recognized the importance of memorializing and remembering the history of that day. […]
  • USS Arizona turret and marker Pearl Harbor Sites Get a New Name - Since 2008, many of the Pearl Harbor memorials and exhibits have been administered by the US National Park Service under the blanket of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument. Then-President George W. Bush issued an executive order, creating a new monument that encompassed multiple sites across three states. In addition to […]
  • USS Strong (DD-467) Wreckage of USS Strong Located - Paul Allen passed away in 2018, but the expedition team he once spearheaded is still going strong, carrying on his legacy of uncovering important pieces of history in the Pacific. In the first few months of 2019 alone, the ship he sponsored, R/V Petrel, uncovered the first Japanese battleship sunk by the United States in […]
  • USS Schley (DD103) Ships of Pearl Harbor: USS Schley - USS Schley (DD-103) was laid down on October 29, 1917. The new Wickes-class destroyer was equipped like other destroyers of the time: with an arsenal that would make her a formidable presence on the high seas. USS Schley was commissioned into service on September 20, 1918. As this was the tail end of World War […]
  • LVTs move toward Saipan, 15 June 1944 Closing In: The Battle of Saipan - From the moment the United States decimated the Imperial Japanese Navy at the Battle of Midway, every decision was crucial. The war had reached a turning point and one wrong move could put victory back in reach for Japan. Even in the summer of 1944, as the war entered its last year, victory wasn’t guaranteed […]
  • For many visitors, a guided tour can be the best way to get to Pearl Harbor The Best Way To Get to Pearl Harbor - Whenever you’re travelling out of town, one of the most pressing issues is how to get around your destination. For example, you’re traveling to Oahu and need to find transportation for your visit to Pearl Harbor. You’re probably wondering if some options are better than others, and with so many to choose from, it’s a […]
  • Uncle Al Rodrigues at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center Pearl Harbor Survivor “Uncle Al” Rodrigues Dies at 99 - Kauai native Alfred B. Rodrigues, Sr., known to everyone he met as “Uncle Al,” passed away on February 24, 2019. The 99-year-old World War II veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor was a husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather who was always eager to share his story, ensuring it would continue to be passed down even after […]
  • USS Ramsay (DD-124) Ships of Pearl Harbor: USS Ramsay - USS Ramsay (DD-124) was laid down as a Wickes-class destroyer at Newport News, VA in December of 1917, and launched on June 8, 1918. She was commissioned into service in the US Navy on February 15, 1919, under the command of Cmdr H. H. Norton. Early Service of USS Ramsay Laid down and launched during the […]
  • Black-lip oyster (Pinctada margaritifera) Hawaiian Oysters Return to Pearl Harbor - Scientists at the University of Hawaii–Manoa, the United States Navy, and Oahu Waterkeeper have joined forces in an effort to clean up Pearl Harbor. Not the memorials and exhibits that thousands of people visit daily, preserving the memory of December 7, 1941, but the waters ton which the naval base sits. Keeping the waters of […]
  • USS Hornet (CV-8) Wreckage of USS Hornet Located - On October 26, 1942, during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8) was lost to the Pacific. In January of 2019, just a week after confirming the discovery of the first Japanese battleship sunk in World War II, the crew of the Research Vessel Petrel announced the discovery of the […]
  • Pearl Harbor Visitor Center What’s Not Included with Pearl Harbor Tours - Tours of historic Pearl Harbor provide access to the incredible sites and locations affected by the events of December 7, 1941. Depending on your interests and the time you have available, there is a wide variety of Pearl Harbor tours, from a brief excursion that only visits the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center and the USS […]
  • Japanese Battleship Hiei Wreckage of Japanese Battleship Hiei Located - Although Paul Allen passed away in October of 2018, R/V Petrel continues its search for sunken relics of World War II. The research vessel’s most recent discovery is the wreckage of the Japanese battleship Hiei. The find is the latest of more than a dozen wrecks located by the research operation funded by the co-founder […]
  • Pearl Harbor Remembrance Circle What Is the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Circle? - There are many sites and exhibits to see when you visit Pearl Harbor. From the moment you arrive at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, you’re surrounded by information of the Japanese assault of December 7, 1941. In addition to the museums and exhibits of the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, one […]
  • Pearl Harbor Attack Aftermath Pearl Harbor Ships Returned to Service - In the wake of the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, more than 2,400 American lives were lost and the US Navy suffered a terrible blow to its Pacific Fleet. Nineteen vessels suffered damage, nearly half of which were sunk or partially sunk. While USS Arizona (BB-39), USS Oklahoma (BB-37), and USS Utah (AG-16) […]
  • History’s Not Your Thing. Visit Pearl Harbor Anyway. - Not everyone is an American history buff. Or any history, for that matter. World History may not have been your strongest subject and you’ve yet to spend more than five minutes watching a History Channel special. Does that mean you shouldn’t bother visiting the historic sites at Pearl Harbor when you’re visiting Hawaii? Not at […]
  • USS Missouri (BB-63) undergoing major overhaul, 1985 Terms To Know: Shakedown and Overhaul - Reading through military history is likely to bring up a few unfamiliar words and phrases. For instance, what does it mean when a vessel undergoes a “shakedown cruise” or an “overhaul”? Understanding terms like these helps to expand your knowledge about naval operations, which will come in handy as you read up on some of […]
  • USS Phoenix (CL-46) Ships of Pearl Harbor: USS Phoenix - Named in honor of Arizona’s capital city, the light cruiser USS Phoenix (CL-46) was launched in March of 1938 and commissioned into the US Navy on October 3. Her initial shakedown included calls at Port of Spain, Trinidad and continued to Santos, Brazil, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Montevideo, Uruguay, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. In March […]
  • Pearl Harbor survivor Milton Mapou meets country singer Garth Brooks at a gala for the survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Hawaii, Dec. 6, 2016. Pearl Harbor Survivor Milton Mapou Dies at 97 - You may not know the name Milton Mapou, but the Central Ohio native was an American hero and a treasure to those who knew him. Mapou was present at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese launched their deadly attack. Since then, he’s been a link to the tragic events of that fateful […]
  • Battleship Row with smoke on USS Tennessee Why Don’t We Call It the “Battle of Pearl Harbor”? - Reading the history books about World War II and the War in the Pacific, you’ll find chapters on the Battle of Iwo Jima, the Battle of Okinawa, the Battle of Guadalcanal. What you won’t find, however, is a “Battle of Pearl Harbor.” It’s true that the events of December 7, 1941 launched the war that […]
  • Private Tour Bus Why Take a Guided Pearl Harbor Tour? - We get it. You’re the independent type. You enjoy exploring new things on your own, and the idea of sharing a new experience with strangers doesn’t appeal to you. You’re not the only one. There are many activities where you’re better left to your own devices, but when it comes to gaining a better understanding […]
  • All the Gallant Men, by Donald Stratton Read Before You Go: All the Gallant Men - Every Pearl Harbor survivor has a fascinating story to tell. On the morning of December 7, 1941, an aerial striking force of the Imperial Japanese Navy launched a surprise attack that left more than 2,400 Americans dead. Those who survived experienced what must have been the most grueling day of their lives. Men like Donald […]
  • Capsizing USS Utah at Pearl Harbor Jack Vaessen and USS Utah - The morning of December 7, 1941 on the island of Oahu was chaos. While it’s likely that most of the sailors and Marines there knew exactly what was going on, that wasn’t the case for John “Jack” Vaessen, a ship’s electrician serving aboard the former battleship USS Utah (BB-31/AG-16). Though Utah had long since been […]
  • In Memoriam: Pearl Harbor Survivors We Lost in 2018 - Each year, the number of living survivors of the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor grows smaller and smaller, making it more important than ever to hear and share their stories. The United States bid farewell to the following servicemen in 2018: Firman J. Balza October 10, 2018 Firman Balza, another Wisconsin native, served […]
  • Visitors Center Early Bird Organizing Your Visit to Pearl Harbor - You’re coming to Hawaii, and near the top of your list of things to do while you’re here is a visit to Pearl Harbor. There’s a lot to see at the historic naval base, so it’s a good idea to plan out the day so you get the most out of your time there. Where […]
  • West Virginia Smoke The First American Casualty of Pearl Harbor - The first casualties of the attack on Pearl Harbor happened a couple of hours before the Imperial Japanese Navy launched their surprise assault. The US Navy destroyer USS Ward (DD-139) fired on a Japanese midget submarine, killing the two sailors inside. The First American Casualty of Pearl Harbor On the American side, the first loss […]
  • USS Widgeon (AM-22) Ships of Pearl Harbor: USS Widgeon - USS Widgeon (AM-22/ASR-1) was laid down in October of 1917 and commissioned into service on July 27, 1918, just four months before the end of World War I. The new minesweeper was thrust into the First World War almost immediately after commissioning. Widgeon served in the Atlantic Fleet’s Minesweeping Group 2 during the final months of […]
  • Ships of Pearl Harbor: USS Hoga - USS Hoga (YT-146) isn’t particularly well-known among the ships that were based at Pearl Harbor at the time of the attack on December 7, 1941. The much-larger battleships, with their thousands of crewmen, were the primary targets for the Imperial Japanese Navy. But Hoga was there, and she sprang into action in the midst of […]
  • The Deadly Double Ad December 1941: The Tide of War Turns - On September 1, 1939, Hitler invaded Poland, launching the Second World War in Europe. Across the Atlantic, the United States showed no appetite for getting involved in the European conflict. For two years, the United States maintained its policy of non-intervention, although they did provide material assistance to the Allied forces facing Hitler’s armies. Then […]
  • 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 […]
  • 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 […]
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