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Word Count: 610
The Bombing of Pearl Harbor Pearl Harbor is on the island of Oahu Hawaii On December 7 1941 at about 800 AM on a Sunday morning Japanese fighter planes began a strike on the harbor At 600 am There were six Japanese carriers that launched a first wave of 181 planes There were torpedo bombers dive bombers horizontal bombers and fighters When they were flying south US forces on Oahu realized there was something different about this Sunday morning In the hours before morning US Navy ships spotted a submarine periscope near the entrance to Pearl Harbor It was attacked and reported sunk by the destroyer USS Ward and a patrol plane At 700 am an alert operator of an Army radar station at Opana spotted the approaching first wave of the attack force When the alert operator told superior officers they did not take it seriously because they thought it was a group of US planes that was due that morning The Japanese aircrews achieved complete surprise when they hit American ships and m ilitary installations on Oahu just before 800 am They attacked military airfields at the same time they hit the fleet anchored in Pearl Harbor The purpose of the simultaneous attacks was to destroy the American planes before they could rise to intercept the Japanese Of the more than 90 ships at anchor in Pearl Harbor the primary targets were the eight battleships anchored there seven were moored on Battleship Row along the southeast shore of Ford Island while the USS Pennsylvania lay in dry-dock across the channel Within the first minutes of the attack all the battleships adjacent to Ford Island had taken bomb and or torpedo hits The USS West Virginia sank quickly The USS Oklahoma turned and sank At about 810 am the USS Arizona was destroyed by an armor piercing bomb which ignited the ships forward ammunition magazine The resulting explosion and fire killed 1177 crewmen
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