Page Created by Erik Anderson
Timeline of events leading up to and during the attack.
December 6, 1941
December 7, 1941
Near Oahu (Hawaii) - The Japanese fleet commanded by Admiral Nagumo, which consists of six carriers with 423 planes, is about to attack. At about 6 a.m. the first wave of Japanese planes takes off from the carriers located 230 miles north of Oahu. The Japanese planes (183) heads toward Pearl Harbor.
Pearl Harbor - At precisely 7:02 a.m. two army radar operators detects a large number of planes coming in. They contact a Junior Officer. Since they are expecting B-17 planes from the western continental U.S. they are told to ignore it and the Junior Officer disregards the report.
Near Oahu - At about 7:15 the second attack wave of 167 planes takes off from the carriers. They also head for Pearl Harbor.
Pearl Harbor - At 7:53 a.m. the first Japanese wave arrives. It consists of 40 Kate torpedo bombers, 51 Val dive bombers, 43 Zero fighters, and 50 high level bombers. They start the attack, the United States is completely unprepared, the Anti-Aircraft guns are unmanned, and the torpedo nets are not deployed. The Japanese lose only 27 planes and five midget submarines. Eight American battleships are damaged, five are sunk. Luckily, the main targets, the U.S. aircraft carriers are not in port. Many are killed and wounded, 2,335 servicemen and 68 civilians are killed. There are 1,178 wounded. Almost half of the casualties came from the USS Arizona which had 1,104 killed when a air bomb that weighs about 1,760 pounds penetrates the ship and causes massive explosions.
Washington D.C. - Delays cause Japanese diplomats to present their declaration of war to the United States after reports start coming in about the attack. The news of the attack removes almost all opposition in the U.S. to get into WWII. The next day the U.S. and Great Britain declare war.