Some of the most interesting images of Pearl Harbor Attack

On Sunday Dec. 7, 1941, 72 years ago today, Japan launched a surprise attack on the U.S. fleet anchored in Pearl Harbor, in the Hawaii, causing the death of 2,402 Americans, wounding 1,282 others, sinking four warships and damaging many others.

The attack, unexpected because negotiations were still apparently in progress, led to the entry of the U.S. into World War II and President Roosevelt to proclaim Dec. 7, 1941, “a date which will live in infamy.”


Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A6M2 “Zero” fighter launches from the aircraft carrier Akagi (this should be an image from the second wave).
2 - Carrier_shokaku

Japanese aircraft prepare to take off from Shokaku aircraft carrier to attack Pearl Harbor.


Naval dispatch from the Commander in Chief Pacific (CINCPAC) announcing the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.


Not only warships anchored in the harbor were attacked during the Japanese air raid. 188 U.S. planes were destroyed and 159 damaged during the attack.

USS Arizona explodes

USS Arizona explodes in Pearl Harbor at 08.10 AM: half of the total number of victims of that day were aboard this battleship.

5-USS West Virginia

Rescue boat nears the sunken USS West Virginia (BB-48) during the Japanese attack.

6-Japanese Zero hit

Japanese dive bomber hit by the anti-aircraft fire: about 30 Japanese planes were downed during the attack.


Panorama view of Pearl Harbor, during the Japanese raid. Note the anti-aircraft shell bursts overhead.


PBY Catalina is recovered at Kaneohe airfield.


A destroyed B-17 after the attack on Hickam Field.


Routes used by the Japanese fleet to approach Pearl Harbor.

Image credit: U.S. Navy

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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.