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Today in World War II History—December 7, 1941

Battleship USS Arizona burning at Pearl Harbor, 7 Dec 1941 (US National Archives: ARC 1956173)

Battleship USS Arizona burning at Pearl Harbor, 7 Dec 1941 (US National Archives: ARC 1956173)

80 Years Ago—Dec. 7, 1941: Japanese attack Pearl Harbor at 0755, killing 2335 military personnel and 68 civilians.

Aerial view of Ford Island in Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack, 7 Dec 1941; photo taken from a Japanese aircraft (US Naval History & Heritage Command: NH 50930)

Aerial view of Ford Island in Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack, 7 Dec 1941; photo taken from a Japanese aircraft (US Naval History & Heritage Command: NH 50930)

Japanese aircraft sink US battleships Arizona, Oklahoma, West Virginia, California, and Utah (which had been converted to an auxiliary), and damage battleship USS Nevada.

At Pearl Harbor, destroyer USS Ward fires the first shot, sinking a Japanese midget sub at 0645.

Lt. Karl T. Barthelmess’s B-17E at Hickam Air Field, after landing safely during the Japanese air raid, 7 Dec 1941; note smoke rising from Pearl Harbor (US National Archives: SC 127002)

Lt. Karl T. Barthelmess’s B-17E at Hickam Air Field, after landing safely during the Japanese air raid, 7 Dec 1941; note smoke rising from Pearl Harbor (US National Archives: SC 127002)