Chapter 19 – World War II Comes to Hawai‘i
War came on a quiet Sunday morning on December 7, 1941. The day was like any other beautiful Hawaiian day—blue sky and sea and warm sun and gentle winds. As in the United States, people were getting up later than usual. A fleet of ships was in Pearl Harbor.
With the suddenness of lightning, at 7:55 a.m. Japanese planes swept over the islands. The first target was O‘ahu’s airfields. United States air strength was wiped out. Within the hour, the skies over Pearl Harbor swarmed with enemy planes. In a few minutes, three ships, including the U.S.S. Arizona, blazed and sank. Over 4,000 Americans were killed or wounded. At Pearl Harbor, the surprise had been complete. This act plunged the United States into World War II.