Pearl Harbor Remembered
The air portion of the attack on Pearl Harbor began at 7:48 a.m. Hawaiian
(3:18 a.m. December 8 Japanese Standard Time, as kept by ships of the Kido
Butai), with the attack on Kaneohe. A total of 353 Japanese planes in two
waves reached Oahu. Slow, vulnerable torpedo bombers led the first wave,
exploiting the first moments of surprise to attack the most important ships
present (the battleships), while dive bombers attacked U.S. air bases across
Oahu, starting with Hickam Field, the largest, and Wheeler Field, the main
U.S. Army Air Force fighter base. The 171 planes in the second wave attacked
the Air Corps' Bellows Field near Kaneohe on the windward side of the
island, and Ford Island.
Four U.S. Navy battleships were sunk (two of which were raised and returned
to service later in the war) and all of the four other battleships present
were damaged. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three
destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship and one minelayer. 188 U.S.
aircraft were destroyed.
Ninety minutes after it began, the attack was over. 2,386 Americans died (55
were civilians, most killed by unexploded American anti-aircraft shells
landing in civilian areas), a further 1,139 wounded. Eighteen ships were
sunk or run aground, including five battleships.
Of the American fatalities, nearly half of the total were due to the
explosion of Arizona's forward magazine after it was hit by a modified 40 cm
(16 in.) shell.
My hat is off and I offer a moment of silence for all our veterans especially those involved in Pearl Harbor.
Always pray for peace!