Whenever Hawaii is mentioned, images of cloudless sunny blue skies and world famous surfing beaches come to mind.
So it is so hard to comprehend that one of the most historical World War Two catastrophes happened on this island paradise.
The attack on Pearl Harbour occurred in the early hours of December 7th1941. The might of the Japanese war machine led by the imperial Japanese Navy attacked the U.S. naval base in a surprise air raid on the unsuspecting Americans reeking devastation as never been seen by America in their history of war.
The damage and loss of life for the U.S. unleashed by the Japanese on this day was immense. By the end of the air raid this is what had happened:
- 4 battleships sunk
- 3 battleships damaged
- 1 battleship grounded
- 2 other ships sunk
- 3 cruisers damaged
- 3 destroyers damaged
- 3 other ships damaged
- 188 aircraft destroyed
- 159 aircraft damaged
- 2,402 lives lost
- 1,247 wounded
- Civilian casualties included:
- 57 killed
- 35 wounded
The result of this attack was a major Japanese tactical victory.
What came about after the Pearl Harbour attack was:
- United States declaration of war on the Empire of Japan
- Germany and Italy declared war on the United States
Visiting Pearl Harbour is quite a moving experience. There is a museum at the naval base including audio and visuals detailing this tragic day in1941.
There is also an informative and captivating movie you watch before being taken out by boat to the memorial that has been built above the sunken wreck of the battleship ‘USS Arizona.’
The USS Arizona was torpedoed by the Japanese and sunk with all 1,177 crewmen aboard. The ship remains untouched to this day and is now the tomb and sacred site to all those that perished on this vessel. This memorial is also the viewing platform that you can walk on to and look down to see the wreck of USS Arizona. At one end is a marble memorial wall with every name of the deceased crew that was onboard that fateful day.
A naval officer is on hand to answer any queries that visitors have.
The attack on Pearl Harbour had a very profound effect on USA and President Franklin Roosevelt described it as “A date that will live in infamy.”
The Island of Oahu has so much to offer as far as sightseeing and adventuring goes, but a visit to Pearl Harbour is a truly amazing experience and should be on the top of your “to do” list.
A clever way to visit Pearl Harbour is on an Aloha Double Decker touring bus. Prices start from $10 USD.
It’s a great way to discover a new city and the bus stops at every major landmark. You can get on and off the bus as many times as you like whilst your pass is valid.
HOW TO GET THERE
(02) 9371 8166
Photography and words Kelly Tang