Today Is The 71st Anniversary Of The Attack On Pearl Harbor

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(Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)

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At 06:05 on December 7, 1941, the six Japanese carriers launched the first wave of 183 aircraft composed mainly of dive bombers, horizontal bombers and fighters.The Japanese hit American ships and military installations at 07:51. The first wave attacked military airfields of Ford Island.

At 08:30, a second wave of 170 Japanese aircraft, mostly torpedo bombers, attacked the fleet anchored in Pearl Harbor. The battleship Arizona was hit with an armor-piercing bomb which penetrated the forward ammunition compartment, blowing the ship apart and sinking it within seconds. It was one of eight US battleships at the dock, five of which were sunk and the remaining three were badly damaged. Overall, 9 ships of the U.S. fleet were sunk and 21 ships were severely damaged. 3 of the 21 would be irreparable. The overall death toll reached 2,402 and 1,282 wounded, including 68 civilians.

Of the military personnel lost at Pearl Harbor, 1,177 were from the Arizona. The first shots fired were from the destroyer Ward on a midget submarine that surfaced outside of Pearl Harbor; Ward sank the midget sub at approximately 06:55, about an hour before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Japan would lose 29 out of the 350 aircraft they attacked with.

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