Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Today 63 years ago: pearl harbor

On November 26, 1941 a fleet including six aircraft carriers commanded by Japanese Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo left Hitokappu Bay headed for Pearl Harbor under strict radio silence.

On the morning of December 7, 1941, that fleet's planes bombed all the US military air bases on the island (the biggest was the US Army air base at Hickam Field), and many of the ships anchored at Pearl, including "Battleship Row". Nearly every plane on the ground was destroyed; only a few fighters got airborne and offered any opposition.

Twelve battleships and other ships either were sunk or damaged, 188 aircrafts were destroyed, 155 were damaged and 2,403 Americans lost their lives. The battleship USS Arizona exploded and sank with a loss of over 1,100 men, nearly half of the Americans dead. Its hull became, and remains, a memorial to those lost that day.