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The Attack on Pearl Harbor


Part 2: The Damage

When the attack was finished, 21 of the 96 ships at anchor had been sunk and others had been severaly damaged. Of the 394 planes at Hickam, Wheeler, and Bellows airfields, 188 were destroyed and 159 were damaged. The death total was 2,403 (including 68 civilians). The wounded total was 1,178.

Eight battleships were damaged in the attack, along with three destroyers and four other smaller ships. Among the battleship casualties:

  • The USS Arizona was struck by a torpedo, which hit a gun magazine. The ship went down in 9 minutes, killing 1,177 aboard.
  • The USS Oklahoma rolled over on its side, pinning many men inside and underwater. Some were rescued; many were not. Of the crew of 1,301, 429 died.
  • The USS West Virginia was struck numberous times by both torpedos and bombs. It sank.
  • The USS Nevada was struck numberous times by both torpedos and bombs. After the first wave, the Nevada tried to get out to sea through the narrow channel leading into the harbor. The Nevada had almost made it when the second wave of Japanese planes attacked. The planes tried to sink the Nevada and block the channel, but the Nevada chose to beach itself instead.

Two other smaller ships, the Shaw and the Oglala, were badly damaged. (The Oglala capsized.) The Vestal was beached. The Utah, which had been a target ship for the U.S. military, was itself sunk in the attack.

The Japanese attack force lost 29 planes and a handful of midget submarines.

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