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Pearl Harbor

From Academic Kids

Satellite image of Pearl Harbor. Hickam AFB and Honolulu International Airport occupy the lower right corner
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Satellite image of Pearl Harbor. Hickam AFB and Honolulu International Airport occupy the lower right corner

Pearl Harbor is a complex embayment on the island of O'ahu, Hawai'i, west of Honolulu. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is a US Navy deep water naval base: headquarters of the US Pacific Fleet. It was the attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan on 7 December 1941 that brought the United States into World War II.


Contents

Early History of Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor was originally an extensive, shallow embayment called Wai Momi (meaning "Water of Pearl") or Pu‘uloa by the Hawaiians. Pu‘uloa was regarded as the home of the shark goddess Ka‘ahupahau and her brother, Kahi‘uka. The harbor was teeming with pearl-producing oysters until the late 1800's.

In the years following the arrival of Captain James Cook, Pearl Harbor was not considered a suitable port due to the shallowness of the water. The United States of America and the Hawaiian Kingdom signed the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875 as Supplemented by Convention on December 6, 1884 and ratified in 1887. On January 20, 1887, the United States Senate allowed the Navy to lease Pearl Harbor as a naval base (the US took possession on November 9 that year). As a result, Hawai‘i obtained exclusive rights to allow Hawaiian sugar to enter the United States duty free. The Spanish-American War of 1898 and the desire for the United States to have a permanent presence in the Pacific both contributed to the decision to annex Hawai‘i.

After annexation, Pearl Harbor was refitted to allow for more navy ships. In 1908 the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard was established. In 1917, Ford Island in the middle of Pearl Harbor was purchased for joint Army and Navy use in the development of military aviation in the Pacific.

As Japanese influence increased in the Pacific, the US increased the US Navy's presence as well. With tensions rising between the United States and Japan in 1940, the US began training operations at the base. The attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan on 7 December 1941 brought the United States into World War II.

 Aerial view of Pearl Harbor, Ford Island in center. The Arizona memorial is the small white speck on the far right side close to Ford Island
Enlarge
Aerial view of Pearl Harbor, Ford Island in center. The Arizona memorial is the small white speck on the far right side close to Ford Island

Pearl Harbor after December 7, 1941

See the article Attack on Pearl Harbor.

On the morning of December 7, 1941, planes and midget submarines of the Imperial Japanese Navy issued a surprise attack on the US under the command of Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo. This attack brought the United States into WWII. At 6:00 a.m. on December 7th the six Japanese carriers launched a first wave of 181 planes composed of torpedo bombers, dive-bombers, horizontal bombers and fighters. The Japanese hit American ships and military installations at 7:53 a.m.. They attacked military airfields at the same time they hit the fleet anchored in Pearl Harbor. Overall, twenty-one ships of the U.S. Pacific Fleet were sunk or damaged, aircraft losses were 188 destroyed and 159 damaged, American dead numbered 2,403. That figure included 68 civilians, and there were 1,178 military and civilian wounded.

Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard

Established as the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard in 1908, this former coaling station has grown to play a central role in maintaining the U.S. Navy's Pacific Fleet. It is the largest naval repair facility in the broad expanse of the Pacific between the west coast of the United States and the Far East. The Shipyard was heavily involved in repairing the Pacific Fleet following the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

Its drydocks and machine shops can and do service virtually all naval craft from submarines (including the 688-, or Los Angeles class submarine) up to aircraft carriers. The Shipyard is Hawaii's largest industrial employer today, with more than four thousand civilian workers and about eight hundred uniformed personnel.

Films and Books

Fiction

  • The Final Countdown is a movie set around Pearl Harbor, in which the aircraft carrier, USS Nimitz, from 1980 is time-warped back to 1941, one day before the December 7 attack on the base.
  • From Here to Eternity by James Jones. The attack on Pearl Harbor plays a crucial role for Robert E. Lee Prewitt.

'Historical' Fiction

  • Tora! Tora! Tora! is a movie about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Many consider this to be the best Pearl Harbor movie ever made as it deals with all aspects of the battle. The movie's re-enactment of the attack lasts almost as long as the original event.
  • Pearl Harbor is the title of a 2001 film about the 1941 attack.

External links

de:Pearl Harbor es:Pearl Harbor fr:Pearl Harbor he:המתקפה על פרל הארבור id:Pearl Harbor it:Pearl Harbor ja:真珠湾 no:Pearl Harbor nl:Pearl Harbor (marinebasis) pl:Pearl Harbor pt:Pearl Harbor ru:Пёрл-Харбор fi:Pearl Harbor sv:Pearl Harbor zh:珍珠港

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