The infamous Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor - Stories, photos and controversies.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: War Flags, Battle of Okinawa, Battle of Iwo Jima, History Tours, American Homefront.
How one of Japan's mini-submarines at Pearl Harbor ended up being the US's first prisoner of war
In the early morning hours of December 7, 1941, hundreds of Japanese planes swarmed Pearl Harbor, sinking and damaging dozens of US ships and killing thousands of Americans. Also participating in the Japanese attack were five mini submarines, a "secret weapon" that fell short of Japan's expectations but yielded the first prisoner of the US's new war.
American shelling of Honolulu killed 32 people, another 36 civilians elsewhere
The defence of the American ships during the attack on Pearl Harbour was for the most part undertaken with five-inch naval guns. Although the shells for use against aerial targets had time-fuses, which could be set to explode in mid-air, the others detonated only when they struck a target. Not surprisingly, many of the shells fired missed the enemy aircraft and landed in the streets of Honolulu. The shells, weighing around 55 pounds, exploded on impact, killing dozens of civilians, the youngest of whom was a three-month old infant.
Excerpt: Rare World War II maps reveal Japan's Pearl Harbor strategy
In honor of Pearl Harbor Day, we are publishing an excerpt from National Geographic's Atlas of World War II. This new book tells the full dramatic story of WWII through maps, including rare documents used by both the Axis and Allies and more than 100 new maps created by National Geographic.
Japan`s Midget Submarine Attack on Pearl Harbor Was a Suicide Mission
On Dec. 7, 1941, the aircraft of the Imperial Japanese Navy rained devastation upon the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. But Japanese warplanes didn`t actually fire the first shots that brought America into a massive Pacific War. An hour before the air attack, a squadron of tiny Japanese midget submarines attempted to slip into the harbor`s defenses, like burglars in the night, to wreak havoc on Battleship Row. Unlike the aerial assault, the sailors failed spectacularly — and the story is often forgotten.
Powerful interactive map of first-person accounts from Pearl Harbor
A Japanese professor has memorialized the horrors of Pearl Harbor online. Hidenori Watanave, associate professor of information technology and design at Tokyo Metropolitan University, archived first-person stories from the day of the attack in an interactive map. His website, 1941.mapping.jp, lays out a collection of photographs and snippets from interviews based on Katrina Luksovsky`s 2014 book Ford Island December 7, 1941, which documented eyewitness accounts from military personnel and family members who lived in US Navy quarters in the vicinity of the attack.
Nazi family living on Pearl Harbor and serving as German spies aided Japanese on their attack
It is not well known that a family of German spies helped set up the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor and made it much simpler and much more deadly. A German Nazi named Bernard Julius Otto Kuhn (Kuehn) moved his wife and two children to Hawaii in August of 1935 with the mission to spy upon the Americans at their military installation in Pearl Harbor. The family had been contracted as agents of the Japanese government with the assistance of the Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. The family was paid quite well for the valuable intelligence they provided about the U.S. military presence in Oahu.
Did Soviet spy Harry Dexter White - a high ranking U.S. Treasury official - provoke Pearl Harbor
The NKVD, predecessor of the KGB, knew that a war with the U.S. would divert Japan from its ambitions in Mongolia and Siberia - threats that tied up 25% of the Red Army - and allow Russia to deploy its full military power against the Nazis. Fortunately for Stalin, his intelligence service had an "agent of influence" in Washington perfectly situated to provoke a U.S.-Japanese war - Harry Dexter White. In May 1941, as the non-aggression pact between Hitler and Stalin began to unravel, NKVD agent Vitalii Pavlov tasked White with an urgent mission - to provoke a war between the U.S. and Japan so that Russia would not have to fight on two fronts.
One more famous Pearl Harbor photo turns out to be taken later during a training session
Katherine Lowe was 26 years old on December 7th, 1941. But she was not at Pearl Harbor fighting fires as several publications suggest. Books detailing the attack by Japan feature a picture of 5 women holding a fire hose - Lowe is one of them. Captions indicate the women are battling fires during the attack, but Lowe said the picture could not have been taken at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 because she was not there. After the Second World War began she got a job at a military warehouse and as part of that job Lowe was taught how to man a fire hose. Lowe does not remember the picture being taken, but is sure it was shot during firefighter training: "Yea, that was a training picture. Then they took us into Pearl Harbor to see how fast we could hook up the hoses and shoot whatever."
Japan's Pearl Harbor spy Tadashi Morimura sent Tokyo the cable giving the all-clear to launch the Pearl Harbor attack
There are moments when an individual holds history in his hands, and 1941 was a year of such moments. Takeo Yoshikawa knew that this was his. Late in the evening of December 6, 1941, Yoshikawa sat at his desk in Honolulu's Japanese Consulate. The vice consul prepared to send out his final message to Tokyo. U.S. military intelligence had tracked Morimura's espionage activities. One officer complained that Morimura raced unimpeded "all over the goddamn place." Word directly from Washington, though, ordered officers not to arrest spies to avoid undermining the loyalty of the islands' large dual-nationality population.
A declassified memo - read by FDR 3 days before the attack - shows that Japanese surprise attack to Pearl Harbor was expected
Now, on the 70th anniversary of Japan's bombardment of the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbour, evidence has emerged showing that President Franklin D.Roosevelt was warned 3 days before the attack that the Japanese empire was eyeing up Hawaii with a view to "open conflict." The information, in a declassified memorandum from the Office of Naval Intelligence, adds to proof that Washington dismissed red flags. "In anticipation of possible open conflict ... Japan is utilizing every available agency to secure military, naval and commercial information, paying particular attention to the West Coast, the Panama Canal and the Territory of Hawaii," stated the memo. Dated December 4, 1941, and entitled "Japanese intelligence and propaganda in the United States," it flagged up Japan's surveillance of Hawaii under a section headlined "Methods of Operation and Points of Attack."
Five myths about Pearl Harbor dispelled in detail
(3) The U.S. military responded quickly and decisively. (A) For months after Pearl Harbor, the United States suffered defeat after defeat in the Pacific theater. General Douglas MacArthur, in command of the Army garrison in the Philippines, sent Roosevelt a telegram pleading for naval assistance, including for U.S. subs to target the Japanese vessels delivering troops, but the requests went unanswered. There was little assistance to offer the beleaguered general, and the Philippines fell.
Lost photos, films by Navy photographer Clyde Daughtery recall Pearl Harbor attack
John Bolender has been collecting pieces of military history for years. When a distant relative of a WW2 veteran responded to one of his ads, he had no idea what he'd find. "It's big piece of history. It was just sitting in a garage. It had previously been in a storage shed and it was just not being well taken care of," he said of his find. The history came through the lens of Navy photographer Clyde Daughtery, who was assigned to the USS Arrgonne on December 7, 1941. He snapped dozens of pictures and even shot film of that day. Much of his work was neglected as years went by.
Skull found at the bottom of Pearl Harbor may be Japanese pilot shot down in 1941
An excavation crew has discovered a skull at the bottom of Pearl Harbor that archaeologists suspect is from a Japanese pilot who perished in the historic attack in 1941. Archaeologist Jeff Fong, of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Pacific, said early analysis of the startling find has made him '75%' that the skull belongs to a Japanese pilot. Japan lost 29 of their aircraft in the December 7 attack, compared with the 2,403 U.S. service members who died. No Japanese remains have been found at Pearl Harbor since the Second World War.
WWII veteran Ed Chlapowski notified the world of Pearl Harbor attack, in Morse code
"This is no drill - Pearl Harbor is being bombed by the Japanese - this is no drill." That's the message Ed Chlapowski, a WWII Navy radioman who has passed away at 88, sent in Morse code during the attack that pushed the United States into the Second World War. His death is a big loss to the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, in which he was an active member both giving interviews and reporting the deaths of Pearl Harbor survivors.
How did newspapers cover Pearl Harbor attack the day after?
On Dec. 8, 1941, one day after the bloodiest attack on U.S. soil by a foreign country, newspapers tried to make sense of it all. The journalists of the era had only pieces of information from the Japanese attack and did their best to put it into a broader context. --- St. Petersburg Times wrote: "Our very survival depends upon complete victory," while TIME penned: "Japanese bombs had finally brought national unity to the U.S."
Kazuo Sakamaki, captain of a Japanese midget-submarine, was the first U.S. POW in World War II
On December 7, 1941, 5 Japanese midget submarines, each with 2 torpedoes and 2-man crew, navigated into the waters of Pearl Harbor. By nightfall, 9 crew members were dead because of drowning, depth-charges, or toxic gases in the subs. The only survivor, Kuzuo Sakamaki, made it to a beach of Oahu. For a man who had promised to die for the emperor, being a POW was the worst outcome: "I was terribly ashamed. I asked for an opportunity to die an honorable death, but they just laughed at me."
Two WWII veterans saw the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on the top deck of the USS Phoenix
Ben Russell and Al Kamenicky served together on the USS Phoenix, but on ship filled with 1,200 sailors, the two men spend time together. "Neither one of us ran across each other. We just never did hang together." 40 years later, the two Pearl Harbor survivors ended up in the same Veterans Home.
Kermit Tyler: Officer who replied to the radar warning of Pearl Harbor raid: "Don`t worry about it"
Kermit A. Tyler - a fighter pilot at Wheeler Field in Hawaii in 1941 - was the officer on duty at the aircraft tracking center on Oahu when the Japanese attacked. He wasn't supposed to be on duty that day, and he had been at the center only once before. His assignment was vague: he just knew he was supposed to report for duty. The radar system was in the early stages. When two privates at the island's north end saw a large blip on their scope, the call came to him. Tyler knew the equipment was new, and he thought a group of American B-17s was coming in. He told the two privates: "Don't worry about it."
Three enduring mysteries of the Pearl Harbor attack
Why didn't the US see Japanese planes coming on radar? In reality, US Army radar operators did see the Japanese air assault on radar. They just did not know what they were seeing. Radar technology was in early stage of development, and an Army crew was training on a new radar at the the Hawaiian island of Oahu. On Dec. 7, 1941, this crew spotted a mass of incoming planes larger than they had ever seen. They decided it was some expected US B-17s and reported it as such. But the radar return looked much different from what they were used to: Why didn't this raise questions? --- Why did the US Navy ignore attacking a Japanese submarine prior to the attack?
How many American Battleships were sunk at Pearl Harbor
On Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese carriers launched 353 aircraft in a surprise attack on the U.S. Navy's fleet in Pearl Harbor. One misquoted fact about the attack is the number of U.S. battleships sunk: Many claim that 8 were sunk. Reliable sources agree that the real number is lower, but disagree about the exact number: According to PearlHarbor.org 3 were sunk, Naval History & Heritage claims 4, National Geographic lists 2, and eSSORTMENT says 5. Problem: the definition of "sunk". Pearl Harbor was so shallow that a ship could not fall below the water level. Several warships were put out of commission, but all except the Arizona and the Utah were repaired.
Pearl Harbor veteran Richard C. Crosariol recalls day of infamy
Dec 7, 1941, started out as a typical Sunday for Richard Crosariol aboard the USS Maryland - until the Japanese attack, which pushed the U.S. into WWII, began. "The only thing I heard was a rap, rap, rap, from the bullets... hitting the deck. We thought the Army Air Force was practising." Then came an announcement: "This is no drill... Man your battle stations." Japanese planes strafed to clear off anybody defending the ships, then came dive-bombers and torpedo planes. During the second wave, the USS Maryland was covered by the smoke: "It was... a godsend. They couldn't see us."
U.S. planned their own "day of infamy" attacks long before Japanese
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor might never have took place if the U.S. government had carried out a secret plan to send a fleet of bombers flying over Japan for a pre-emptive strike. Nationalist Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek, President Franklin Roosevelt's adviser Lauchlin Currie and Claire Chennault (leader of the Flying Tigers groups) devised the plan to bomb Japan in Dec 1940. Alan Armstrong uncovered the documents from the U.S. archives, and used them as the basis for book "Preemptive Strike: The Secret Plan That Would Have Prevented the Attack on Pearl Harbor." FDR approved the plan to bomb Japan, but chief of staff George Marshall opposed it.
Report buries theory that the US leaders heard a coded warning about Pearl Harbor
It has been one of WWII's most-debated mysteries: Who in Washington knew what and when before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941? Specifically: who saw a transcript of a Tokyo shortwave radio news broadcast that was interrupted by a prearranged coded weather report? Witnesses stated that the "winds execute" message was caught Dec. 4, three days before the attack. But after analysing American and foreign intelligence sources and decrypted cables, historians for the National Security Agency revealed that whatever other warnings reached Washington about the attack, the "winds execute" message was not one of them.
WWII pilot Thomas McKelvey recalls Pearl Harbor attack
Thomas McKelvey believed he'd won a great assignment after finishing Navy pilot school in 1941. He imagined what flying adventures awaited as he headed to his duty station on the beautiful islands of Hawaii. He arrived at the Navy base in Pearl Harbor only 2 weeks before the Japanese attack that thrust America into World War Two. "I was awakened by an explosion... I looked out the window, and I could see smoke coming from a hangar at the end of the island. Then someone came running down the hall yelling, 'General quarters, general quarters. This is not a drill.'" McKelvey frantically pulled on a shirt and pants and ran outside. Chaos reigned.
Pearl Harbor: Hawaii Was Surprised; FDR Was Not
In a pre-war gallup 88% opposed U.S. involvement in the war, and in a 1940 speech FDR stated: "Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." But privately FDR planned the opposite, dispatching Harry Hopkins to meet Churchill in Jan 1941 with the message: "The President is determined that we shall win the war together." During WWII's early days FDR offered numerous provocations to Germany: freezing its assets; shipping destroyers to UK; depth-charging U-boats. The Germans did not react - so FDR switched his focus to Japan. Lieutenant Commander Arthur H. McCollum's memo urged 8 actions to lead Japan into attacking the America. FDR enacted all 8 steps.
Pearl Harbor survivor: "You could see the pilot in the cockpit... You could see his helmet." (Article no longer available from the original source)
Paul E. Brown Sr., a Navy veteran who pulled through the explosion of his ship during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, was in 7 major naval battles during World War II, including the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands, the Guadalcanal, the Battle of Savo Island. At 7:55 a.m., as Japanese bombers and torpedo planes began their assault, he was asleep below decks on the destroyer USS Shaw. "I went up... and I saw Japanese planes go by at very low altitude. You could see the pilot in the cockpit of the plane. You could see his helmet... Some guys swear they looked down at you and smiled." Brown asked "What's going on?" - and got the answer: "The Japs are attacking."
A mission to restore Husband Kimmel's rank
Thomas Kimmel Jr. is trying to restore the 4-star admiral rank of Admiral Husband Kimmel, who commanded the Pacific fleet during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Relieved of his command he was haunted by the attack until his death: "You could not talk to the man for 2 minutes before Pearl Harbor came up." A commission by Roosevelt in 1941 leveled a charge of dereliction of duty. But the Naval Court of Inquiry, the only one of the 9 probes in his lifetime in which he was allowed to cross question witnesses, cleared him. Professor Michael Gannon said Admiral Kimmel was a scapegoat for incompetence in Washington.
Dealing with aftermath of Pearl Harbor - Food rationing (Article no longer available from the original source)
Americans were still staggering from the shock of Pearl Harbor when Safeway management published a part of Franklin D. Roosevelt's Dec. 9, 1941, message: "...we should not have to curtail the normal articles of food. There is enough food for all of us and enough left over to send to those who are fighting on the same side with us." --- Within 5 months nationwide rationing was set up: Meat, sugar, butter, coffee as well as gasoline, tires and shoes were among the rationed items. One hundred million books containing stamps were printed. It listed your name, address, height and weight. Coupon 25 was good for one pound of coffee and coupon 17 entitled to one pair of shoes.
Significance of Pearl Harbor - Essay winners
On December 7, 1941 the Japanese unexpectedly raided Pearl Harbor, all of a sudden thrusting our unprepared nation into World War II. Sadly, many of us have forgotten the true significance of Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor, as an event frozen in history, seldom excites the same patriotism today as it did in 1941, when our nation's rallying cry was "Remember Pearl Harbor!" The attack also struck the death blow to isolationism, which had kept America divided and neutral. Infuriated by the treacherous attack, the people of our nation united in unanimous support of the war effort.
Pearl Harbor: Americans in vintage World War I uniforms and weapons (Article no longer available from the original source)
Robert Pittman thought he'd found paradise: 98th Coastal Artillery Regiment was busy during the day with training drills, but time off was plentiful and the surroundings were sensational. When he reported for duty, troops were wearing out-of-date World War I uniforms. The weapons were mostly WWI vintage, including aging antiaircraft artillery and water-cooled, inefficient 30-caliber machine guns. Although Pearl Harbor is often viewed as an attack on Naval forces, dozens of Japanese warplanes focused on airfields. Before the day was over, the Army Air Corps lost 97 planes at Hickam Field and Wheeler Field.
1941 Pearl Harbor attack fading from American consciousness (Article no longer available from the original source)
When approached at Greenville's Colonial Mall, more than a dozen people refused to comment on the significance of the Pearl Harbor attacks, citing a lack of knowledge about the events that day. Others said they knew the raid on Pearl Harbor was a defining moment in history, but they did not know many details about it. "I think that is when we were attacked by the Germans or something like that," one middle-aged lady said. 15 of 27 people said they did not know the anniversary of Pearl Harbor was coming near, and 8 of those 15 did not know what took place at Pearl Harbor.
Tora, tora, tora pilot Mitsuo Fuchida left memoirs of world war 2
Manuscripts of an autobiography by Mitsuo Fuchida, the pilot who led the air attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, and sent the famous signal - "Tora, tora, tora" - that indicated that total surprise had been achieved, have been kept by his son. The manuscripts depict the briefing on the attacks that his father, then a lieutenant commander in the Imperial Japanese Navy, gave to Emperor Showa, and recount how rivalry affected major strategies, stories that had so far remained untold. Fuchida commanded the air squadron on the aircraft carrier Akagi, which was among the carriers used in the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Film historian offering Pearl Harbor program
Film historian Steven Fredrick, who collects rare Hawai'i-themed films, will present a 2-pronged program of historic World War II film shorts and a related Downtown walking tour geared to give the war a historic perspective timed to the upcoming 66th anniversary of the Dec. 7 attack on Pearl Harbor. He has assembled a blend of films that depict Hawai'i during the war years. The program will include "Hawaii During World War II: The Movies and the Music of the 1940s," with vintage newsreel images filmed during the attack by Japan at Pearl Harbor.
Report knew: Pearl Harbor attack would happen at 7:30 on a Sunday
Did U.S. Army Air Corps Maj. Gen. Gerald Brant tried to prevent the Dec. 7, 1941, sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. Brant embraced theories by his mentor, Brig. Gen. Billy Mitchell, that the US wasn’t ready to take on Japan in a war. In the mid-1920s, Mitchell produced a report warning Japanese military forces would overwhelm the Hawaiian Islands at 7:30 a.m. on a Sunday. The attack on Pearl Harbor occurred at 7:53 a.m., Dec. 7, 1941 — a Sunday. In addition, he predicted an attack on Ni‘ihau as well. In line with that theory, Brant urged owners of Ni‘ihau Island to plow up two-thirds of the island 1933-1941.
Pearl Harbor memorabilia a way to remember historic event (Article no longer available from the original source)
"Dec. 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy..." began the speech Franklin Roosevelt after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Most any war, but particularly this one creates memorabilia that collectors seek for years to come. "Remember Pearl Harbor" became the battle cry in the Pacific. The phrase first appeared in a Portland newspaper, on Dec 9, 1941. Today, collectors look for that edition. Medals, plaques, letters associated with the Pearl Harbor attack are out there for the interested collector to scarf up. The original negatives of photos that documented the Dec 7, 1941, event were offered for sale at a $10,000.
Attack on Pearl Harbor - Gun blazing, he held his ground
200 parked airplanes burned, 18 mighty ships hit, 2,400 dead, an illusion of national invincibility lost. But battles are not just won or lost at the strategic level. Ralph C. Riddle scored his own, small, victory. "All you could hear was this drone of planes. You couldn't see nothing because of the smoke. I wouldn't have known a Jap plane if I'd seen it. I opened up on him, probably put 15 rounds in him." He was interrupted by his lieutenant: "Did you shoot that plane down?" "Yes, sir." "You shot down one of our planes," the lieutenant yelled. "Sir, I don't know whose it was, but it dropped a bomb, so I shot it down."
Battle of Pearl Harbor adversaries meet face-to-face (Article no longer available from the original source)
On Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese Imperial Navy navigator Takeshi Maeda guided his Kate bomber to Pearl Harbor and fired a torpedo that helped sink the USS West Virginia. In Pearl Harbor, U.S. Navy signalman John Rauschkolb, stood on the West Virginia's port side as a series of Japanese planes pummeled the battleship with 5-7 torpedoes and two bombs. The West Virginia lost 106 men in the assault. Maeda and Rauschkolb, now both 85, met face to face for the first time. "He may have been shooting at me," Rauschkolb said as he shook Maeda's hand at a meeting on the 65th anniversary of the attack.
Pearl Harbor Attack - Photos, written stories and video clips (Article no longer available from the original source)
Historians and witnesses of Japan's surprise air attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec 7, 1941 are using the net to preserve their memories of the day that drew the U.S. into World War II. The Pearl Harbor Memorial Fund unveiled its Pearl Harbor Survivor Project Web Site that includes photos, written stories and video clips of the raid. It aims to find living witnesses of the air and sea attack. Contributor Ansil Saunders was in the Navy when warships, aircraft carriers and airstrips on and around Pearl Harbor came under siege. He also helped recover bodies from sunken battleships like the USS Oklahoma and the USS Arizona.
Admiral Kimmel was made a scapegoat for Pearl Harbor (Article no longer available from the original source)
Mr. Kimmel spoke about his mission to get the US to admit that his late grandfather Admiral Husband E. Kimmel was unjustly made a scapegoat for the unpreparedness of the US Pacific Fleet when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Admiral Kimmel was a 4-star Admiral at the time. He has a compelling case, which has been backed up by an increasing body of secret documents declassified in the US and the Soviet Union that supports his belief that his two men were the "fall guys" for the Pearl Harbor attack. Vital information was withheld about the increasing likelihood that the Japanese were planning a surprise attack.
Isolationists until the bombing of Pearl Harbor
Until the bombing of Pearl Harbor, John Kearney's family had all been isolationists. They believed the British were sending propaganda to the US to try to pull them into the war. The DesMoines Register had been printing a series of false propaganda that the British had used to bring the US into WW1. But all of that changed on Dec. 7. After boot camp Kearney shipped out and wound up in a place at that time called Point Gloucester. One night he and his comrades were sleeping in hammocks on the beach when Japanese Imperial Marines swam ashore armed only with knives and intending to take the very beach on which the GI’s were sleeping.
Pearl Harbor attack a strategic failure for Japan (Article no longer available from the original source)
Japan's two-year "window of opportunity" resulted in its decision to go to war in the Pacific. Japan needed resources to become the world power, and the resources in the south were too great a magnet. The only power that could oppose it was the US. So strategic plan was formed: With a massive first strike, Japan would destroy the US Navy based at Pearl Harbor. The battle plan: In late Nov 1941 sail a huge Imperial Japanese Navy fleet across the northern Pacific. When the fleet was 200 miles north of Hawaii, aircraft carrier planes would be sent out to bomb the US naval base, sinking as many of the ships as possible.
7 December 1941: Japanese planes bomb Pearl Harbor
Japan has launched a surprise attack on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and has declared war on Britain and the United States. The US president, Franklin D Roosevelt, has mobilised all his forces and is poised to declare war on Japan. Details of the attack in Hawaii are scarce but initial reports say Japanese bombers and torpedo-carrying planes targeted warships, aircraft and military installations in Pearl Harbor. At 0755 local time the first wave of between 50 and 150 planes struck the naval base for 35 minutes causing several fires and "untold damage" to the Pacific Fleet.
With war so widely expected, why was US so ill-prepared?
With war so widely expected, why was US so woefully ill-prepared? Rumours that began in the war are still hanging around, well past their sell-by date, fuelled by revisionist historians and conspiracy cranks. They claim Roosevelt was itching for war with Japan but was constrained by US neutrality, so needed a solid reason to fight. Hence they accuse him of suppressing prior knowledge of the attack, or of provoking it to enable America to enter the war by the back door. Some even say that the attack on Pearl Harbor was deliberately engineered by a crypto-communist president guilty of high treason.
Three Japanese airmen - Attack on the US fleet in Pearl Harbor (Article no longer available from the original source)
After the war, the three Japanese airmen, together with their surviving comrades from all branches of the Imperial Japanese military were either ignored or shunned by their fellow citizens. ---Kaname Harada was a natural pilot. Of the 1500 men who signed up with him to become navy pilots, only 26 completed the brutal four year selection and training process. Harada was awarded a watch by the Emperor for being the best graduate in his cohort. Strong, handsome and intelligent, he was the perfect candidate for the Japanese military.
Japanese Pearl Harbor midget submarine found
A historic Japanese submarine has been discovered on the ocean floor a few miles from Pearl Harbor. The 78-foot (24-metre) sub could provide the first physical evidence to back US claims that it fired first against Japan in World War II and inflicted the first casualties. The sub fell prey to a US Navy destroyer on 7 Dec 1941, the day of the Pearl Harbor attack. "It's the shot that started WWII between the Americans and the Japanese." The vessel was one of four Japanese midget submarines to participate in the Pearl Harbor attack. The newly discovered sub was believed to be the one sunk by the destroyer USS Ward more than an hour before the attack.