A total of 2,403 Americans were killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor, including 2,335 military personnel and 68 civilians. Additionally, 1,178 people were wounded, and 21 ships were damaged or destroyed, including eight battleships.

The attack led to the United States entering World War II, ultimately defeating Japan and its allies.

Pearl Harbor Attack

Background Information on Pearl Harbor Attack

The Japanese fleet consisted of battleships, cruisers, and destroyers equipped with torpedoes, bombs, and strafing guns; their attack lasted only two hours but saw 21 US ships either destroyed or damaged and nearly 200 aircraft destroyed – an extremely devastating loss. American soldiers were stunned and stunned, yet they stood their ground and did not easily bow to Japan’s attack as part of a long and ongoing struggle to take control over Asia.

Even though many Americans died that day at Pearl Harbor, its damage did not cripple its navy. A few ships were lost to attacks, but most managed to make it through and return to service soon afterward.

The US Navy suffered both military casualties and heavy material losses from this attack. Their naval base hosted facilities like oil storage depots, repair shops, and submarine docks decimated during this attack; some survived, however, and could still help keep Pacific Fleet operational. While the military was trying to recover, civilians also did their part. The National Archives has numerous firsthand accounts from sailors at Pearl Harbor that day; the most interesting sources are logbooks for US Navy ships and stations at the port.

Survivors kept logbooks from Pearl Harbor as records of events leading up to and during the attack and lists of those killed on December 7th, 1941. The National Archives also holds images depicting this destruction at Pearl Harbor – such as this photograph showing seven aging battleships anchored on Battleship Row: USS Arizona is at the fore, followed by West Virginia and Tennessee before Utah and Oklahoma lie further along.

Before the attack began, a patrol of US Army SCR-270 radar units on Oahu observed several Japanese planes approaching from Japan; their commander assumed this to be part of a scheduled delivery service.

Careful Japanese planning allowed them to keep the attack secret from American intelligence. The first wave of enemy aircraft included 48 dive bombers and 455.25 fighters launched from six aircraft carriers 25 miles off Oahu.

President Franklin Roosevelt was finishing lunch at the White House when news of Japan’s attack reached him. Immediately upon hearing this news, he began writing his speech to Congress the next day calling for war against Japan. Soon after the attack, the United States immediately entered World War II. Over the following weeks, American armed forces clashed with Japan and its allies across Europe and Africa before eventually defeating all.

Pearl Harbor Veteran Laid to Rest

Paul Gebser was killed in action during the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec 7, 1941. Eventually, his bones were found by divers, and the Navy was able to perform a DNA test to confirm this identity. He was finally laid to rest at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery on June 17, 2022, receiving military honors and full military burial.

We were honored to provide services for Daniel Harris killed in action at Pearl Harbor and buried at Fort Rosecrans with a  Service on 12/07/2022. There were full military honors including a gun salute. He was laid to rest at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery on Dec 7, 2022 receiving military honors.

For additional information on military honors (flag presentation and military taps) and the various aspects involved please visit our Veteran Military Honors section.

Fort Rosecrans Interment in casket and honor guard for  Pearl Harbor veteran
For additional information on military funeral benefits the VA has a good website – please visit our Veteran Funeral Information section.
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