War Begins

On Dec. 7, 1941, a total of 353 Japanese fighters, bombers, and torpedo planes attacked the home base of the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. One hundred eighty-eight American aircraft were destroyed; 2,402 Americans were killed and 1,282 wounded.1

U.S.S. Shaw exploding during the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor (Photo from the National Archives)

Congress approved President Franklin D. Roosevelt's declaration of war against Japan the next day, Dec. 8. Three days later, Japan's allies Germany and Italy also declared war against the United States, and the United States entered World War II on two fronts.


1Naval History and Heritage Command. (n.d.) Fact sheet: Pearl harbor. Retrieved from http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/teach/pearl/aftermath/facts.htm