Pearl Harbor Attack: Top 14 Facts

I would be willing to wager that the majority of people who read this post had not been born when what I am writing about today happened.

I know some would say that I am an old man. For your information, I wasn’t born but I heard ample from my Grandparents about this attack.

The attack on Pearl Harbor caused widespread panic and fear throughout the United States.

It is an attack against the United States we should never be allowed to forget. So today, I am going to give you the top 14 facts about the attack on Pearl Harbor.

These facts are in no particular order. Some you may know while others may surprise you. So read them all and do share these facts so everyone is reminded of that dreadful day in military history.

#1: The Day It Happened

Everyone should know this but, on December 7th, 1941, the Japanese Imperial Military made a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in the territory of Hawaii that lasted approximately 110 minutes.

#2: 2 Waves

The Japanese sent 2 waves of planes on the attack. They were spread about 45 minutes apart.

#3: American Military Equipment Damaged Or Destroyed

To get an idea of the damage, the Japanese either damaged or destroyed 19 naval vessels; 8 of which were battleships. They also did damage or destroyed well over 300 aircraft.

#4: Option For Final Rest

All the veterans who survived Pearl Harbor (very few are still alive) have the option of being laid to rest at Pearl Harbor when they pass on. Any on the USS Arizona can have their ashes deposited below one of the gun turrets, while other survivors can have their ashes scattered where their ship was located.

#5: Americans Drew First Blood

On that day at about 6:30 AM, the Condor minesweeper spotted a periscope and alerted the destroyer, the USS Ward who fired shots sinking the Japanese midget submarine. It was the first shots fired by Americans in the War in the Pacific.

#6: Many Japanese Naval Officers Were Against The Attack

While the Pearl Harbor attack was inspired by Admiral Yamamoto, several of his superior officers were critical of this “crazy” idea. After all, he wanted to risk the entire carrier force so far from Japan at a time when Japan planned attacks thousands of miles away against Malaya and the Philippines.

The only reason it happened is because Yamamoto threatened resignation and that gave him the win in this decision.

#7: # Of Casualties

2,335 servicemen and 68 civilians were killed while approximately 1170 were injured.

#8: Out Of 477, Only 1 Said No

When President Franklin Roosevelt asked Congress to declare War against Japan, all 82 Senators said yes and 388 out of 389 Representatives said yes. The 1 who said no was a devout pacifist… Jeanette Rankin from Montana.

#9: Medals Awarded

The attack on Pearl Harbor brought the best out of many of the United States Service Members. Awards were given as follows:

  • 15 Medals of Honor,
  • 51 Navy Crosses,
  • 53 Silver Stars,
  • 4 Navy and Marine Corps Medals,
  • 1 Distinguished Flying Cross,
  • 4 Distinguished Service Crosses,
  • 1 Distinguished Service Medal,
  • and 3 Bronze Star Medals

Also, at a later date, the Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal was given to all who faced this attack.

#10: Aircraft Carriers

The first targets the Japanese were to go after were U.S. aircraft carriers. But all the aircraft carriers were at sea.

#11: The Arizona Still Bleeds

A major reason the U.S.S. Arizona was so damaged was the damage to fuel reservoirs. They caused more flames and fury taking the ship down. You see, just before the attack, the ship had taken on a full load of fuel which amounted to approximately 1,500,000 gallons.

It has been shown that the ship still continues to leak fuel even now. Up to 9 quarts per day. Many say the Arizona still bleeds.

#12: 5 Pilots Made It Into The Air

Amazingly, 5 Army Air Corps pilots were able to get airborne and shoot enemy planes down. 2 of those pilots were credited with bringing down at least 7 of the Japanese planes. One of those pilots, George Welch, was recommended for the Medal of Honor but was denied because his commander said he took off without orders.

#13: Tora, Tora, Tora

Yes, a Japanese pilot, Commander Mitsuo Fuchida did actually say these words into his radio. It meant that American forces were completely unprepared.

The radar showed a large force coming, but Lieutenant Kermit Tyler assumed it was the 6 B-17’s scheduled for service. And no radar operators told him the blips were much larger than 6 B-17 bombers.

#14: Japan Has Respectful Citizens

While the attack on Pearl Harbor was terrible, I hope no one bows low enough to hold it against the Japanese people today. Just as I feel it is wrong for any people to hold future generations at fault for something their ancestors did.

Do you know that the biggest amount of tourists to the Memorials at Pearl Harbor are from Japan?

When young, I lived in Japan and it is a nation of very respectable citizens. They are sorry this happened too and Japan is a prized ally to the United States.

Final Thoughts

I do believe our armed forces and we as a nation learned many lessons fro the Attack on Pearl Harbor. I also believed the Japanese people all learned a lot.

It is sad this ever happened. It is sad that Hiroshima and Nagasaki ever happened. We hope and pray that nothing like either happens again.

But we shall not forget Pearl Harbor because as Franklin Roosevelt said…

“Yesterday, December 7th, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”

Thank you for visiting and please let no one forget… Please share.

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  5. The Top 19 Desmond Doss Facts: The Hero Of Hacksaw Ridge
chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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