Pearl Harbor

Franklin D Roosevelt

Definition and Summary of Pearl Harbor
Summary and Definition: Pearl Harbor is a lagoon harbor located on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. On December 7, 1941, Japanese planes and submarines launched a surprise attack on the United States Pacific fleet at the Pearl Harbor naval base in Hawaii. The bombing of Pearl Harbor is one of the most important events in US history and led directly to the US entry into World War 2. This article contains interesting facts about the infamous day in the history of the United States when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.

Pearl Harbor Facts
Franklin Roosevelt was the 32nd American President who served in office from March 4, 1933 to April 12, 1945. One of the important events during his presidency was the bombing of the US naval fleet at Pearl Harbor.


Pearl Harbor Facts for kids
The following fact sheet contains interesting facts and information on Pearl Harbor Facts for kids.

Pearl Harbor Facts for kids

Pearl Harbor Facts - 1: Pearl Harbor is located on the southern island of Oahu, Hawaii near Honolulu. It was the location of the US naval base and headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet that was bombed by the Japanese, bringing the United States into WW2

Pearl Harbor Facts - 2: Japan launched their surprise attacked on Sunday morning, December 7, 1941. The US naval fleet was not prepared for the attack and Japan and America were not at war.

Pearl Harbor Facts - 3: In June 1940 President Roosevelt ordered the US Pacific Fleet to move its main base in the Pacific from San Diego, California to Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian Islands, as a deterrent to Japanese aggression. The move was risky as it placed the US Pacific fleet within striking distance of Japan's powerful navy

Pearl Harbor Facts - 4: Admiral Husband Edward Kimmel, a four-star admiral in the United States Navy and Commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet,  was in command at Hawaii. Ten days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor he was removed from his command and reduced to the two-star rank of rear admiral.

Pearl Harbor Facts - 5: Lieutenant-General Walter C. Short was in charge of U.S. Army defenses in Hawaii when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He was also removed from command as a result of the attack.

Pearl Harbor Facts - 6: The United States was unprepared for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor at all levels and communication was sadly lacking. As a consequence the US suffered the humiliating defeat at the hands of the Japanese.

Pearl Harbor Facts - 7: The armed forces of Japan had superior equipment, were experienced in combat and their military leaders were experts in the planning of attacks due to their invasion of China and Indochina.

Pearl Harbor Facts - 8: The superiority of the Japanese in 1940 can be illustrated with the following facts:

● Japan had 10 Aircraft Carriers in the Pacific compared to the US who had three
● Japan had 145 modern destroyers and  cruisers compared to the US who had 74

Pearl Harbor Facts - 9: Planning: Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was the commander-in-chief of the Combined Japanese fleet and responsible for the audacious plan for the Pearl Harbor attack. Yamamoto expressed doubts about attacking the United States and said "I fear we will awaken a sleeping giant."

Pearl Harbor Facts - 10: The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was timed to coincide with attacks on the Philippines, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Thailand. The majority of General MacArthur's aircraft in the Philippines were destroyed by the Japanese on the same day they attacked Pearl Harbor.

Pearl Harbor Facts - 11: The Japanese assault force on Pearl Harbor was planned to attack in two waves, approximately  45 minutes apart, and consisted of six carriers with 423 planes, under the command of Admiral Nagumo. The six Japanese aircraft carriers had traveled 3,400 miles across the northern Pacific without discovery to their final location 230 miles north of Oahu, Hawaii.

Pearl Harbor Facts - 12: The first attack wave consisted of 183 warplanes was led by Comdr. Mitsuo Fuchida and included 51 dive bombers, 40 torpedo bombers, 50 high level bombers and 43 fighters. The primary targets of the first attack wave were the eight US battleships anchored at Pearl Harbor. Seven US battleships were moored on Battleship Row along the southeast shore of Ford Island and the USS Pennsylvania was in dry dock across the channel.

Pearl Harbor Facts - 13: The second wave of Japanese aircraft consisted of 35 fighters, 78 dive-bombers, and 54 high-altitude bombers whose objective was to target US aircraft, other ships and shipyard facilities.


Pearl Harbor Facts for kids

Facts about the Pearl Harbor Facts for kids
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Pearl Harbor Facts for kids

Pearl Harbor Facts - 14: All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged and the Japanese also sank or damaged 3 cruisers, 3 destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, and one minelayer. A total of 188 U.S. aircraft were also destroyed and a further 159 aircraft were damaged.

Pearl Harbor Facts - 15: The attack on Pearl Harbor resulted in the loss of 2,403 Americans including 68 civilians. The number of Americans injured totaled 1,178 including 35 civilians.

Pearl Harbor Facts - 16: The Japanese attack force lost 29 planes and 5 midget submarines. 74 Japanese aircraft were damaged from anti-aircraft fire from the ground. A rough sea caused about 50 Japanese planes to smash on carrier landings. The number of Japanese deaths totaled 64.

Pearl Harbor Facts - 17: The Japanese specifically chose to attack early on a Sunday morning knowing the military would be relaxed and still eating breakfast at the time the bombing commenced

Pearl Harbor Facts - 18: The Japanese attacked the US airfields at Hickam Field, Wheeler Field, Ewa Field, Bellows Field, Schoefield Barracks, and Kaneohe Naval Air Station.

Pearl Harbor Facts - 19: The US airplanes were closely lined up along the airstrips wingtip to wingtip in order to avoid sabotage but this made them easy targets for the Japanese bombers. The position of the US airplanes made it impossible to quickly launch aircraft and made the aircraft easier to destroy.

Pearl Harbor Facts - 20: Commander Mitsuo Fuchida issued the first wave Japanese attack order by exclaiming the codeword "Tora! Tora! Tora!", literally meaning "Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!" as a message to the entire Japanese navy indicating that they had surprised the Americans with the lightning attack.

Pearl Harbor Facts - 21: The three U.S. Pacific Fleet aircraft carriers, the Lexington, Enterprise and Saratoga, were not in the Pearl Harbor port at the time of the attack and so escaped any damage.

Pearl Harbor Facts - 22: An 1,760-pound air bomb penetrated into the forward magazine of the USS Arizona battleship causing catastrophic explosions leading to the deaths of 1,104 men and 1,178 wounded accounting for approximately half of the losses during the Pearl Harbor attack.

Pearl Harbor Facts - 23: A series of mistakes by the US military and communication blunders were made at Pearl Harbor.

Pearl Harbor Facts - 24: On December 2, 1941 the U.S. received a warning that Admiral Yamamoto was planning a Pacific attack, but not when or where it would occur - explicit war warnings were sent to all Pacific commands but they focused on the Far East - Pearl Harbor was not mentioned

Pearl Harbor Facts - 25: At 06.45am the USS Ward sunk a Japanese midget submarine outside the entrance of Pearl Harbor and sent a message to Naval Headquarters stating "We have attacked, fired upon, and dropped depth charges upon submarine operating in defensive sea area." Admiral Kimmel decides to "wait for verification of the report" because there had been so many recent "false reports of submarines"

Pearl Harbor Facts - 26: At 07.02am the Opama Radar Station on Oahu picked up a flight of unidentified planes bearing in 132 miles north of Oahu new radar equipment. The information center at Fort Shafter assumes that the flight is a group of 12 expected American B 17 Flying Fortresses traveling from California to the Philippines via Hawaii and responds with "Don't worry about it."

Pearl Harbor Facts - 27: The Japanese made a crucial error that day when Admiral Nagumo canceled the third wave of its air assault which was part of the original plan. The Japanese left the naval base's oil tanks undamaged and the extensive repair and support facilities intact which allowed the US Navy to re-float and repair most of the ships damaged that day and allowed Pearl Harbor to continue to operate as a fully functional naval base.

Pearl Harbor Facts - 28: A famous hero who served with distinction in the attack on Pearl Harbor was African-American Doris "Dorie" Miller who was a Messman Third Class on the USS West Virginia. "Dorie" Miller went above and beyond the call of duty during the attack on Pearl Harbor when he took control of an unattended machine gun and used it in defense of the base. "Dorie" Miller was subsequently awarded the Navy Cross.

Pearl Harbor Facts - 29: News of the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor reached the American people via radio broadcasts on Sunday afternoon leaving the nation angry and in shock.

Pearl Harbor Facts - 30: The devastating results and the shock of the "sneak attack" on Pearl Harbor without the expected "fair play" of a declaration of war galvanized American's determination to avenge the attack. The United States declared war on Japan on December 8, 1941 and America began its fight in WW2 and the US Mobilization for WW2

Pearl Harbor Facts for kids

Facts about Pearl Harbor for kids:
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Pearl Harbor Facts for kids - President Franklin Roosevelt Video
The article on the Pearl Harbor Facts provides detailed facts and a summary of one of the important events during his presidential term in office. The following Franklin Roosevelt video will give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 32nd American President whose presidency spanned from March 4, 1933 to April 12, 1945.

Pearl Harbor Facts

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