On Sunday, December 7th, 1941 the Japanese launched
a surprise attack against the U.S. Forces stationed
at Pearl Harbor , Hawaii . By planning his attack on
a Sunday, the Japanese commander Admiral Nagumo,
hoped to catch the entire fleet in port. As luck
would have it, the Aircraft Carriers and one of the
Battleships were not in port. (The USS Enterprise
was returning from Wake Island, where it had just
delivered some aircraft. The USS Lexington was
ferrying aircraft to Midway, and the USS Saratoga
and USS Colorado were undergoing repairs in the
In spite of the latest intelligence reports about
the missing aircraft carriers (his most important
targets), Admiral Nagumo decided to continue the
attack with his force of six carriers and 423
aircraft. At a range of 230 miles north of Oahu, he
launched the first wave of a two-wave attack.
Beginning at 0600 hours his first wave consisted of
183 fighters and torpedo bombers which struck at the
fleet in Pearl Harbor and the airfields in Hickam,
Kaneohe and Ewa. The second strike, launched at 0715
hours, consisted of 167 aircraft, which again struck
at the same targets.
At 0753 hours the first wave consisting of 40
Nakajima B5N2 “Kate” torpedo bombers, 51 Aichi D3A1
“Val” dive bombers, 50 high altitude bombers and 43
Zeros struck airfields and Pearl Harbor Within the
next hour, the second wave arrived and continued the
When it was over, the U.S. losses were:
USA : 218 KIA, 364 WIA.
USN: 2,008 KIA, 710 WIA.
USMC: 109 KIA, 69 WIA.
Civilians: 68 KIA, 35 WIA.
TOTAL: 2,403 KIA, 1,178 WIA.
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