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Pearl Harbor

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor of 7 December 1941 stunned the USA. The bold raid caught the military by surprise. 353 aircraft took off from the 6 Japanese aircraft carriers that had sailed to within 260 miles of Oahu, and bombed American warships anchored in Pearl Harbor and Hickham airfield. After only 90 minutes, 2,403 Americans were dead and 1,178 injured; 8 battleships, 3 cruisers and 3 destroyers had been damaged or destroyed; 188 aircraft were destroyed and 159 damaged. President Roosevelt declared war on Japan the next day. On 11 December, Hitler declared war on The United States. World War II had become a truly global war. Fears of a Japanese attack and invasion of the West Coast were used to justify the arrest and internment of Americans of Japanese, German and Italian descent. ‘Remember Pearl Harbor’ became the emotive rallying cry for garnering support for the war effort from the American people.