A small boat rescues a USS West Virginia crew member from the water after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941 during World War II. Two men can be seen on the superstructure, upper center. The mast of the USS Tennessee is beyond the burning West Virginia. (AP Photo)
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Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941: Rare Photographs & Video
OAHU, HAWAII – This December 7th is the 79th anniversary of the Japanese sneak attack and bombing of Pearl Harbor – the event that drew America into the Second World War.
The Pearl Harbor attack killed 2,403 Americans — about the same number who die daily now in this country 79 years later from COVID-19.
As we grapple with our own deadly test of our courage and resolve in the face of an invisible viral enemy, let’s look back with respect at the bravery with which the generation who proceeded us handled their own trial by fire. Would they be equally proud of our conduct in the face of great adversity as we are of theirs?
The attack on Pearl Harbor
The attack commenced at 7:48 a.m. The base was attacked by 353 Imperial Japanese aircraft in two waves spaced 45 minutes apart and launched from six aircraft carriers. Of the eight U.S. Navy battleships present, all were damaged, with four sunk. All but USS Arizona were later raised, and six were returned to service and went on to fight in the war.
At 9:45 a.m., just two hours after the start of the attack, it was over. The Japanese pilots returned to their carriers and sailed away in triumph. A total of 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 others were wounded.