Just before 8am on Sunday 7 December 1941 the Japanese launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and just 90 minutes after it had begun, bombs and torpedoes had damaged or destroyed much of the US Pacific Fleet peacefully at anchor, and almost all of the fighters on the ground.

In total, 2,403 American Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen and Civilians were killed with 1143 wounded, and Eighteen ships were sunk or run aground. All of the Americans killed or wounded during the attack were legally non-combatants, as there was no state of war when the attack occurred.

The following day Roosevelt delivered his famous Day of Infamy speech to Congress, calling for a formal declaration of war on the Empire of Japan.

“Yesterday, December 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”

Congress agreed his request less than an hour later and America had now formally entered WWII

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