Full version Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor

This print version free essay Pearl Harbor.

Category: Book Reports

Autor: reviewessays 29 December 2010

Words: 981 | Pages: 4


On December 7, 1941 while the Secretary of State was meeting with two

Japanese diplomats in Washington, DC, a surprise attack was being launched

on the United States by Japanese military forces at Pearl Harbor. This was

the beginning of WW II. The attack killed 2388 people and wounded

approximately 2000. Twenty one American ships and more than 300 planes

were damaged or destroyed. Only 29 aircraft out the 353 that were used in the

attack by the Japanese were lost.

On December 8 President Roosevelt addressed the Congress and called

December 7 “a date which will live in infamy”. Congress then declared war on


The following is a time line of events which took place on that memorable

Day, the beginning of WW II:

3:42 am - Personnel of the minesweeper Condor spot a periscope in the

water while patrolling off the entrance to Pearl Harbor. They send a message

to the destroyer Ward by blinking light.

6:10 am - The first wave of Japanese planes leave their aircraft carrier.

6:45 am - The destroyer Ward fires first shot at the sub, misses, fires second

shot and hits. The submarine appears to be slowly sinking so the captain of the

destroyer orders depth charges to be dropped. This was the first shot of WW II.

6:53 am - Message sent from destroyer Ward to Pearl Harbor Naval Station,

“We have attacked, fired upon and dropped depth charges upon a submarine

operating in a defensive sea area.”

7:02 am - Oahu radar station operator sights 50 or more aircraft bearing down

on Oahu.

7:20 am - An Army lieutenant who is in training at Fort Schafer gets the

Opana radar station report which reads “the biggest sightings” the radar

operator had ever seen. He believes that the radar has picked up a flight

of U.S. bombers flying from California to Hawaii. Because of security reasons

He could not tell this to the radio operators so he just tells them not to worry

about it. The planes now are only 70 miles away.

7:33 am - President Roosevelt and General Marshall learn from a decoded

Japanese message that the two negotiators have been told to break off the

talks. Believing this may mean war, they notify the commander of the U.S.

Army forces in Hawaii.

7:49 am - The attack begins. Japanese destroy 27 of the 33 U.S. bombers.

A 55 pound bomb is dropped on barracks killing 35 men while they are eating

breakfast. Another bomb completely wiped out the base chapel. They

destroyed 42 Warhawk pursuit planes. The U.S.S. Oklahoma is sunk. The

U.S.S. West Virginia, hit by several torpedoes, settles on the harbor bottom,

her decks above water but in flames. Torpedoes hit the U.S.S. Arizona while

in dry dock. The U.S.S. Nevada is hit by a torpedo and bombed but still

manages to shoot down the Japanese torpedo plane. The U.S.S. Utah is

mistaken for a carrier and is struck by two torpedoes, cap sizes and kills 54 men.

8:10 am - A bomb is dropped on the U.S.S Arizona setting off more than a

million pounds of gunpowder, killing 1177 men.

8:17 am - The destroyer Helm speeding out to the open sea sights a

Japanese sub snagged on a reef. One crewman on the sub drowns while trying

to escape, the other becomes the United States first WW II prisoner of war.

8:39 am - The destroyer Monaghan heads for the open seas, a nearby U.S.

ship signals that it has spotted a submarine. The Monaghan heads for the sub

hitting it with gunfire, rams it and drops depth charges. The midget manages to

fire a torpedo but misses.

8:50 am - The U.S.S. Nevada heads for open sea but is bombed by the

second wave of Japanese planes, so she grounds herself to keep from being


8:54 am - The second wave of Japanese planes attack the navy yard dry

dock and hits another battleship and two destroyers.

9:30 am - A bomb blows off the bow of the destroyer Shaw and pieces of the

ship rain for a half mile away. A photo of this explosion became one of the best

known pictures of December 7, 1941

10:00 am - Japanese fighter planes meet with the Japanese bombers and

return to their aircraft carriers.

10:30 am - The wounded from the ships and airfields come to the hospital,

some of the wounded are laid out on the grass. Barracks, dining halls and

schools are turned into temporary hospitals for the wounded. The only thing that

could be done for some of the wounded was to give them morphine for pain

The nurses marked these with a lipstick letter M on their foreheads

1:00 pm - The Pearl Harbor Strike force returns home.

During the following 44 months of the war, The U.S. Navy sank all of

the Japanese aircraft carriers, battleships, and cruisers that were used in the

strike force. The U.S.S. West Virginia, one of the ships damaged during the

attack, was in the Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945 when Japan signed the

surrender document.

Pearl Harbor is now the site of the Pearl Harbor Naval Complex which covers

about 12600 acres on Oahu Island. Headquarters of five major fleet

commanders are at this base.