At 7:45 a.m., Dec. 7, 1941, the Japanese Imperial Navy attacked Pearl Harbor with more than 350 bombers and torpedo planes, launched from six aircraft carriers. They sank 12 ships and destroyed 188 aircraft — killing 2,402 American service members and wounding another 1282.
A day that changed lives forever
That day was more than just a horrible tragedy in American history. For many, it was a learning experience. Many service members were in their late teens and early 20s — boys, who were expected to react, understand and even lead like experienced men.
“I was just finishing morning chow when all of a sudden the planes flew about 200 feet over our heads,” said Samuel Clower, former first sergeant of Headquarters Company, 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th ID. “We could tell that they were Japanese planes, because of the rising sun emblem on them, but we had no idea why they were here.”
“Many began that day as boys, but quickly became men. It wasn’t a choice; it wasn’t an option. It was just one of the things we faced and dealt with. We were thrust into manhood, and we all grew up that day.”
-2,402 killed aboard USS Arizona & at Pearl Harbor
-1,282 wounded aboard USS Arizona & at Pearl Harbor
-429 killed aboard USS Oklahoma
-33 killed at Schofield & Wheeler
-75 wounded at Schofield & Wheeler
-12 ships sunk
-188 aircraft destroyed