At 7:48 am, December 7th, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbor located on Ohau, Hawaii. The base was attacked by 353 Japanese fighter planes, bombers, and torpedo planes in two waves, launched from six aircraft The attack was devastating, intended to keep the American fleet from interfering in operations the Japanese had planned. The attack had the opposite effect and launch America into WWII.
Lieutenant Commander S. G. Fuqua:
I was in the ward room eating breakfast about 0755 when a short signal on the ship’s air raid alarm was made. I immediately went to the phone and called the Officer-of-the-Deck to sound general quarters and then shortly thereafter ran up to the starboard side of the quarter deck to see if he had received word. On coming out of the ward room hatch on the port side, I saw a Japanese plane go by, the machine guns firing, at an altitude of about 100 feet. As I was running forward on the starboard side of the quarter deck, approximately by the starboard gangway, I was apparently knocked out by the blast of a bomb which I learned later had struck the face plate of #4 turret on the starboard side and had glanced off and gone through the deck just forward of the captain’s hatch, penetrating the decks and exploding on the third deck. When I came to and got up off the deck, the ship was a mass of flames amidships on the boat deck and the deck aft was awash to about frame 90. The anti-aircraft battery and machine guns apparently were still firing at this time. Some of the Arizona boats had pulled clear of the oil and were lying off the stern. (http://www.navy.mil/navydata/rph.htm)
The Japanese hit eight battleships were damaged, with four being sunk. All but the USS Arizona were later raised and six were put back into service to fight in the war. The Japanese also hit three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, and one mine layer.
Chief Yeoman, S. R. Miller wrote :
At about 1030, December 7, 1941, after the USS California had been struck with torpedoes and bombs, a man reported to me on the Flag Bridge that be had just escaped from Central Station by the trunk leading into Flag Conn. This was reported to Ensign McGrath on the signal bridge. Stover, C.E., C.Q.M., Campbell (initials unknown), C.E.M., and I with Ensign McGrath entered Flag Conn to investigate We obtained a Line and lowered Ensign McGrath through the trunk to Central Station, which was then being flooded with fuel oil coming from vents and various other places. The oil fumes were so strong that we feared Ensign McGrath would be overcome with the fumes before the trapped men could be rescued. At this time the ship was burning fiercely and there was also danger of the ship turning over as it was listing badly. Ensign McGrath completed his investigation and returned up the trunk to Flag Conn and reported that these men were in a compartment under Central Station and might be rescued by cutting a hole through the deck of Central Station. He reported that the deck of Central Station would soon be flooded with oil and that when this occurred, it would be too late to cut the hole through the deck. (http://www.navy.mil/navydata/rph.htm#california)
All told the causualities were:
2 battleships totally lost
2 battleships sunk and recovered
3 battleships damaged
1 battleship grounded
2 other ships sunk
3 cruisers damaged
3 destroyers damaged
3 other ships damaged
188 aircraft destroyed
159 aircraft damaged
68 Civilians killed
35 civilians wounded.