At 7:48 a.m. on Dec. 7, 1941, a two-hour surprise attack was commenced by the Japanese on U.S. troops on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Three hundred and fifty three Japanese aircraft dropped bombs and strafed with machine gun fire, 100 U.S. Navy ships and the surrounding Army Air Corps and Marine airfield at Pearl Harbor.
Twenty-one ships were severely damaged or sunk including the USS Arizona. It remains 38 feet below the water's surface, a tomb for most of the 1,177 crewmen who were on board that day.
Straddled by a memorial, the sunken battleship still emits oil, a haunting reminder to visitors of the carnage created by the unprovoked attack 72 years ago.
A total of 2,403 American troops and civilians died at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. The next day, President Roosevelt declared war on Japan. In turn, Japanese allies Germany and Italy declared war on the United States on Dec, 11, 1941. When World War II ended in 1945, 72 million people from 55 countries were dead, 418,500 of them from the United States. More than 565,860 Americans were wounded.
Japanese Emperor Hirohito finally broadcast surrender on Aug. 15, 1945, about a week after the United Sates dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nag