World War 2
Pearl Harbor
War and Military History

What happened during the Pearl Harbor attack?

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2013-11-19 01:03:47
2013-11-19 01:03:47

At 6:30 a.m. a small Japanese submarine was spotted within Pearl Harbor. The Ward shot at and sunk it - the captain sent word that a sub had been seen but did not mention the sinking in his telegram. The telegram was not taken seriously. At 7:55 a.m. Japanese airplanes started dropping bombs on Battleship Row. The first ship hit was the USS Oklahoma - it rolled over and started sinking. Next hit was the USS Utah - it sank within 8 minutes. By 8:10 the third ship was hit - the USS Arizona took approximately 8 hits - 1 bomb crashed through decks landing in 1,075 pounds of gunpowder. When the bomb blew it ignited the gunpowder and blew through the 8 inch steel wall separating our bombs from the gunpowder - the blew as well - 1,177 men died in that boat - in the 1st 15 minutes of battle approximately 1800 men died. Meanwhile 2 major airstrips were being bombed taking out most of our aircrafts as well. The planes had been positioned into groups for better protection which actually made for easier targets. Lt Welch and Lt Taylor were able to get to their aircrafts and get into the fight. Other pilots got airborne but Welch and Taylor were the only pilots with reports of successful downing of Japanese planes. During the night a group of bombers were being flown in from the mainland. The radio station ran all night long as a homing beacon for these planes - which made it easier for Japanese planes to zero in on the harbor too. These planes traveled without ammunition as they were only being relocated. Those who were on the ships were in harbor for R&R for the most part so many of the men were asleep or off the ships. During the previous week there had been an inspection - which at that time meant most of the ammunition was locked up. By the time the second wave of Japanese aircraft started their bombing ammhnition had started to be found and the men were able to fight back. Some used rocks for lack of something to defend themselves with and the Japanese planes were flying low enough for the pilots to be seen. 110 minutes of battle and it was over. The Japanese only sent 2 rather than all 3 waves of planes in the attack. We lost 2,403 people - 68 of them civilians that day.
Pearl Harbor was histories first successful coordinated attack by MODERN fighter, torpedo, and dive bomber airplanes against a MODERN (U.S.) Battleship Fleet, anchored in the harbor.

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