Pearl Harbor

The attack on Pearl Harbor and other U.S. military installations on the island of Oahu, territory of Hawaii, Sunday, December 7, 1941, plunged the United States into World War II. The Pearl Harbor anchorage of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet was attacked by two waves of Japanese planes flying from aircraft carriers more than 200 miles north of Hawaii. Eight battleships of the Pacific Fleet, as well as numerous other ships, were sunk or damaged, and 2,403 American lives were lost. Pearl Harbor has become an enduring symbol of American resolve in the wake of the surprise air raid. President Franklin Roosevelt called the date of the Pearl Harbor attack one that would “live in infamy.”

Pearl Harbor

Japanese Attack on the Philippines: The “Other” Pearl Harbor

By Sam McGowan

While the surprise Japanese attacks against U.S. military bases in the Hawaiian Islands on December 7, 1941, are certainly the best-known aspect of the opening of hostilities between the two aLess well known today were the Japanese attacks on Clark Field and Iba Field on the opening day of hostilities in the Philippines. Read more

Pearl Harbor

Helldiver Lieutenant Klenk

By Robert F. Dorr

Lieutenant William A. “Bill” Klenk, piloting a Curtiss SB2C-3 Helldiver, bristled at the “clawing, miserable weather,” with inverted pyramids of cloud hanging from a low ceiling and gray murk everywhere. Read more

Pearl Harbor

Oahu’s Museums and Memorials

By Flint Whitlock

There are few places on earth that have as many World War II museums, memorials, and monuments located in such a small area as the island of Oahu. Read more

Pearl Harbor

4 Unsolved Mysteries of the Jimmy Doolittle Raid on Tokyo

By Susan Zimmerman

April 18, 1942, will forever live in American military glory as the date of the Jimmy Doolittle Raid on Tokyo––a gutsy, never-before-attempted combat mission to fly North American B-25 Mitchell bombers off the deck of an aircraft carrier and attack an enemy capital. Read more

Pearl Harbor

Voices of the Axis: The Radio Personalities of Fascist Propaganda

By Chuck Lyons

Mildred “Midge” Gillars was born in Portland, Maine, took drama lessons in New York City, appeared in vaudeville, worked as an artist’s model in Paris and a dressmaker’s assistant in Algiers, and taught English at the Berlitz School in Berlin before—motivated by love and fear—she became the notorious “Axis Sally,” one of the Nazis’ leading radio propagandists. Read more

Pearl Harbor

Japanese American National Museum

By Mason B. Webb

Shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, many Japanese Americans, especially those living on the West Coast, were suspected of being possible spies, saboteurs, and disloyal Americans. Read more

Pearl Harbor

Target: America’s West Coast

By Steven D. Lutz

It seemed like just another ordinary day at sea. Early on December 7, 1941, a U.S. Army-chartered cargo vessel, the 250-foot SS Cynthia Olson, under the command of a civilian skipper, Berthel Carlsen, was plying the Pacific waters about 1,200 miles northeast of Diamond Head, Oahu, Hawaii, and over 1,000 miles west of the Tacoma, Washington, port from which she had sailed on December 1. Read more

Pearl Harbor

A P-38 Pilot Describes the Attack on Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto

By Robert F. Dorr

When American air ace Major John Mitchell led 16 Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighters on the longest combat mission yet flown (420 miles) on April 18, 1943, Mitchell’s target was Isoroku Yamamoto, the Japanese admiral considered the architect of the Pearl Harbor attack. Read more

Pearl Harbor

The Winds Message Controversy: The Intelligence That Predicted Pearl Harbor?

By Peter Kross

The Japanese strike on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941—a “Day of Infamy,” as President Franklin D. Roosevelt described it—left the American Pacific Fleet in almost total ruin, plunged the United States into World War II, and set off a controversy regarding the events that led up to the attack that is still being hotly debated. Read more