Attack On Pearl Harbor

Megan Bishop

December 7, 1941

Although our president, Franklin Roosevelt, had sent a peace report to the Japanese just yesterday in hopes of remaining neutral in the war against the Axis Powers, the government officials received a hint earlier today that an attack on America may happen. However, this attack was thought to be planned to occur in areas of Southeast Asia, and the islands of Hawaii were unprepared for an attack. At around seven o’ clock yesterday morning (December 7, 1941), a fleet of Japanese aircraft was visible over the island, in which I live with my family, Oahu. During this time, we did not have an official leader in charge of the defenses located here, leaving the base and island confused and unsure of how to respond. Hundreds of planes attacked when they reached the United State’s Pacific Fleet located at Pearl Harbor. Shortly after this first attack, a second wave of Japanese forces arrived at Pearl Harbor. Everyone was in a state of panic trying to find a safe place for their families; we didn’t know what to do because not only were our naval ships and bases targeted, but civilians living on the island as well. We were completely surprised on the island and unprepared for such an attack. During the first attacks, we were even unsure of who was responsible for the bombs. Many important United Sates naval vessels were bombed and destroyed within minutes, such as the USS California, the USS Nevada, the USS Oklahoma, which had initially been vulnerable to the attack due to its preparation for inspection and the USS Arizona, which suffered a large explosion. No ship in the American fleet at this base went without damage. In addition to this destruction, around 2,400 Americans had died while the Japanese suffered little damage and deaths; I am lucky to be alive. There are rumors that the Japanese thought we would be discouraged by this huge defeat and stay out of their way of expanding their power through conquering land. This, however, is not the case because President Roosevelt has asked congress to declare war on Japan. We heard a radio broadcast that had announced the United States would enter World War II as a member of the Allied Powers.