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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 On December 7 1941 the Japanese bombed the United States Military Base Pearl Harbor located at Oahu Hawaii At 6 am Hawaiian time on December 71941 the first Japanese attack fleet of 183 planes took off from aircraft carriers 230 miles north of Oahu At 702 am two Army operators at a radar station on Oahus north shore picked up Japanese fighters approaching on radar They contacted a junior officer who disregarded their sighting thinking that it was B-17 bombers from the United States west coast The first Japanese bomb was dropped at 755 am on Wheeler Field eight miles from Pearl Harbor The crews at Pearl Harbor were on the decks of their ships for morning colors and the singing of The Star-Spangled Banner Even though the band was interrupted in their song by Japanese planes gunfire the crews did not move until the last note was sung The telegraph from Washington had been too late It arrived at headquarters in Oahu around noon Hawaiian time four long hours after the first bombs were dropped There is no mistake in thinking that entering World War II was inevitable for the United States However is it unrealistic to think that the bombing of Pearl Harbor could have been prevented Did President Franklin D Roosevelt know that the bombing was going to occur Could the loss of 2403 United States soldiers 18 ships including 5 battleships and 188 planes been averted Did an additional 1178 soldiers have to be wounded Before entering World War II Japan had many other problems to deal with Japan is naturally isolated because of their location It wasnt until 1853 when US naval officer Matthew C Perry arrived in Japan that the opening of trade with the West began In
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