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December 7, 2010

Pearl Harbor, 69 years ago today

Sixty-nine years ago, on December 7th, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy launched a surprise attack against the United States naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Over 350 Japanese aircraft attacked in two waves, strafing, dropping bombs and torpedoes. Four U.S. Navy battleships were sunk, four other battleships were damaged, and eight other ships were either sank or damaged. 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed, 2,402 personnel were killed and 1,282 were wounded. The following day, the United States declared war on Japan, officially entering World War II. This year's 69th anniversary coincides with the dedication of a new $56 million Pearl Harbor visitors center. Collected here are photos from that infamous day. (34 photos total)

Aerial view of Battleship Row in the opening moments of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7th, 1941. (U.S. Navy)

Japanese Navy Type 99 Carrier Bombers ("Val") prepare to take off from an aircraft carrier during the morning of 7 December 1941. Ship in the background is the carrier Soryu. (U.S. Navy) #

This photograph, from a Japanese film later captured by American forces, is taken aboard the Japanese aircraft carrier Zuikaku, just as a Nakajima "Kate" B-5N bomber is launching off deck for the second wave of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941. (AP Photo) #

A Japanese Navy "Zero" fighter (tail code A1-108) takes off from the aircraft carrier Akagi, on its way to attack Pearl Harbor during the morning of 7 December 1941. (U.S. Navy) #

Aerial view of the initial blows struck against American ships as seen from a Japanese plane over Pearl Harbor. Halftone reproduction of a photograph taken from a Japanese plane during the torpedo attack on the ships moored on both sides of Ford Island. View looks about southeast, with Honolulu and Diamond Head in the right distance. Torpedoes have just struck USS West Virginia and USS Oklahoma on the far side of Ford Island. On the near side of the island, toward the left, USS Utah and USS Raleigh have already been torpedoed. Fires are burning at the seaplane base, at the right end of Ford Island. (U.S. Navy) #

Japanese Navy Type 99 Carrier Bomber ("Val") in action during the attack. (U.S. Navy) #

Aerial view of Battleship Row next to Ford Island after Japanese planes launched a torpedo attack, but before the commencement of dive bombing runs by Japanese aircraft, 7 December 1941. (U.S. Navy) #

View of the airfield at Naval Air Station (NAS) Ford Island and flames from burning ships in the background taken during the Japanese attack, 7 December 1941. (U.S. Navy) #

Battleships aflame on Battleship Row alongside Ford Island in the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. (U.S. Navy) #

Antiaircraft bursts dot the sky above smoking ships in Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack on December 7th, 1941. (U.S. Navy) #

The magazine of the destroyer Shaw (DD 373) explodes during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. (U.S. Navy) #

A Japanese bomber on a run over Pearl Harbor, Hawaii is shown during the surprise attack of Dec. 7, 1941. Black smoke rises from American ships in the harbor. Below is a U.S. Army air field. (AP Photo) #

The battleships West Virginia (BB 48) and Tennessee (BB 43) burning after the December 7th Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. (U.S. Navy) #

Photo from a captured Japanese aircraft taken during the initial moments of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Note the Japanese aircraft visible at upper right flying over Naval Air Station (NAS) Ford Island. (U.S. Navy) #

A Japanese dive bomber goes into its last dive as it heads toward the ground in flames after it was hit by Naval anti-aircraft fire during surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. (AP Photo) #

American ships burn during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. (AP Photo) #

Sailors at Naval Air Station (NAS) Kaneohe, Hawaii, attempt to salvage a burning PBY Catalina in the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. (U.S. Navy) #

Cars that were strafed by Japanese aircraft pictured at Naval Air Station (NAS) Kaneohe, Hawaii, in the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. (U.S. Navy) #

A small boat rescues a USS West Virginia crew member from the water after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7th, 1941. (AP Photo) #

The battleship USS Arizona belches smoke as it topples over into the sea during a Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Dec. 7, 1941. (AP Photo) #

White House reporters dash for the telephones on December 7th, 1941, after they had been told by presidential press secretary Stephen T. Early that Japanese submarines and planes had just bombed the U.S. Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. (AP Photo) #

The USS California on fire in Pearl Harbor after the Japanese attack. (U.S. Navy) #

The battleship Nevada (BB 36) burns in the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. (U.S. Navy) #

Rescue workers help evacuate the Lunalilo High School in Honolulu after the roof of the main building was hit by a bomb during the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. (AP Photo/File) #

Oil streams from Battleship Row adjacent to Ford Island in Pearl Harbor following the Japanese attack on 7 December 1941. (U.S. Navy) #

Newspapers go on sale on December 7th, 1941 in Times Square in New York City, announcing that Japan has attacked U.S. bases in the Pacific. (AP Photo/Robert Kradin) #

Unidentified attaches of the Japanese consulate began burning papers, ledgers and other records shortly after Japan went to war against the U.S. on December 7th, 1941, in New Orleans. Police later stopped the fire after most of the papers had been destroyed. (AP Photo/Horace Cort) #

Heavy damage is seen on the battleships U.S.S. Casin and the U.S.S. Downes, stationed at Pearl Harbor after the Japanese attack on the Hawaiian island, Dec. 7, 1941. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy) #

The shattered wreckage of American planes bombed by the Japanese in their attack on Pearl Harbor is strewn on Hickam Field, Dec. 7, 1941. (AP Photo) #

Wreckage, identified by the U.S. Navy as a Japanese torpedo plane , was salvaged from the bottom of Pearl Harbor following the surprise attack Dec. 7, 1941. (AP Photo) #

View of one of the propellers of the battleship Oklahoma (BB 37), which capsized during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941. (U.S. Navy) #

The body of a Japanese Lieutenant who crashed during the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Dec. 7, 1941 is buried with military honors by U.S. troops. This undated picture was released by the Navy Department in Washington. (AP Photo) #

Visitors enter the USS Arizona memorial at the W.W. II Valor in the Pacific National Monument at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii December 4, 2010. (REUTERS/Hugh Gentry) #

Pearl Harbor survivor Allen Bodenlos is seen at the W.W. II Valor in the Pacific National Monument at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii December 4, 2010. (REUTERS/Hugh Gentry) #

 
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