*Image info: An aerial view of the submerged USS Arizona
, which was sunk during the attack on Pearl Harbor, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickham, Hawaii. The memorial straddles the hull of the sunken battleship, which was declared a National Historic Landmark on 5 May 1989.
(U.S. government photo)
On December 7, 1941, Japanese forces launched a surprise attack on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor near Honolulu, Hawaii. The attack began just before 8:00 am local time, and in the two hours it lasted, nearly 20 American ships and more than 300 aircraft were destroyed. 2,000 American troops died in the attack and a further 1,000 were wounded. The following day, the United States declared war on Japan, marking its official entry into Worl War II. For the next three-plus years, American soldiers, sailors, and Marines battled Japanese forces across the Pacific, until Japan surrendered in August of 1945.