Bombing of Pearl Harbor

A tribute video on the attack of Pearl Harbor

Japanese-American Experiences

"December 7th, 1941, a date which will live in infamy," was the statement from President Roosevelt after the attack on Pearl Harbor.This date has become one of the most important dates in United States History.
The attack on Pearl Harbor not only affected the American's in America, but also the Japanese- Americans. Leading up to the attacks American's attitudes towards the Japanese were growing with malice. This led to the concentration of Japanese in concentration camps along the west coast. On many accounts families were seperated and never united. After the war broke out every Japanese male was imprisoned in detention centers. One account of this was the experience of Yuri Kochiyama. When he was just a teenager the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, changing his and many other asian americans' lives forever. At the time he was living near Terminal Island, on California's coast. This was one of the places with a large majority of Japanese people. When the bombing occured Yuri and his family along with many others were faced to move to places farther inland such as Utah, Nevada, Arizona and Arkansas because of the publics supposed threat to them. The day before the war broke out Yuri's father had just gotten out of the hospital because of an ulser. The day after the war broke out the F.B.I came to his house and took his father. Disregarding his condition, Yuri's father died shortly after have being taken to the detention center.
To transport all of these Japanese people inland, trains were used. The Japanese would be put on the train not being told where they were going or when they would get there. The curtains of the train would be shut the entire time to prevent the people inside the train from seeing out, and the people outside the train from seeing in. One time, Yuri's train came to a station where there were American soldiers on the train next to them. The people on each train opened their windows and traded addresses. They would write each other and tell each other of their experiences with the war. After the war was over, it was very difficult for the Japanes- Americans to obtain jobs for more than one or two days. This was difficult becuase people who would see these Japanese at these locations would ask the owner, or the worker " Is that a Jap?, Are you a Jap." Shortly after, the Japanse- American would be relieved of their duties.

Attack on the Harbor

The Japanese government intended on declaring war one hour before the attack. Because of delays in messaging, the declaration arrived 30 minutes after the attack had began. The Japanese sent one of the largest attack fleets in their history. It consisted of 352 aircrafts taking off from 3 aircraft carriers. Under the command of Chuichi Nagamo, the Japanese attacked the shore installations at Pearl Harbor. After only two hours, there was a large amount of devastation. The air raid had destroyed 18 American vessels, 193 aircrafts were either damaged or destroyed, and the death toll was at 2,403 while 1,178 soldiers were wounded. The Japanese suffered only a fraction of this destruction. The Japanese had lost only 29
The attacks at Hickam Airfield
The attacks at Hickam Airfield
planes, one large submarine, and five midget submarines. The one tactical error the Japanese did make though, was that they had failed to destroy two American carriers off-shore. Also, they left the machine shops and oil storage tanks untouched. These entities were vital for the rebuilding of the Navy. Because of the nature of the Japanese attack, the American forces had no prior warning to the attack, or ability to have an organized counter strike. This led to the major losses of the American forces.

One intersting note on the attacks on Hickam Airfield, was that the planes had been clumped together in lines on the tarmac the night prior to the bombing. This made it a very simple task to take out all of the airplanes at the airfield. As well as having all of the planes destroyed, this attack made the American troops unable to put planes in the air to counter the Japanese strike.
The "Arizona"
The "Arizona"

To the right is a photo of the "USS Arizona", one of the main battleships in port at Pearl Harbor. This ship held many casualitiies during the bombing, and is remembered today with a memorial where you can visit the very touching site of the "Arizona" submerged in water.

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