Thursday, December 07, 2006

December 7th, 1941, 0753 - 0923HST

The first torpedo bombing runs on pearl harbor begin.

Two waves of attack break over the mostly unprepared base.

The first wave of attack consisted of 49 level bombers, 51 dive bombers, 40 torpedo bombers and 43 fighter planes (a total of 183 planes) started from north of Oahu, led by Lieutenant-Commander Mitsuo Fuchida.

The second wave consisted of 54 level bombers, 78 dive bombers and 35 fighter planes (a total of 167 airplanes), launched from much the same location.

The surprise is near total, as is the devestation. Only 25 sorties are able to be flown in opposition. Most offensive aircraft on the island are destroyed on the ground.

In 90 minutes, 2,403 Americans were killed, and 1,178 wounded. 18 ships were destroyed, including 5 battleships; the sinking of one of which, the Arizona, itself generated 1,102 of those deaths (and 75 additional casualties), almost half the fatal casualties of the attack. 188 aircraft were destroyed, 155 of them on the ground.

The Japanese only took 64 casualties in the attack.