The First Japanese Dive Bombers

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At 0755 the first Japanese dive bombers appeared over Hickam Field as well as Ford Island with seconds between the two. Enemy torpedo planes and dive bombers swung in from various sectors to concentrate their attack on the heavy ships moored in Pearl Harbor. This was the beginning on the attack which would last for several hours destroying much of the Navy’s Pacific Fleet. The Empire of Japan surprised the US with the intention of crippling the country’s defenses, destroy the Pacific Fleet. Crippling America so they wouldn’t be able to fight back as Japan’s armed forces spread across the South Pacific. On December 7, after months of planning and practice, the Japanese launched their attack. On this day we lost more than 2,500 people wounded at least 1,000 more. Of the ships 18 was lost and or damaged and the largest death toll was from the USS Arizona where half of the casualties occurred. According to the US Navy’s after-action report of the day 7 December, 1941 ‘With the dropping of the first bombs on Ford Island, Commander Patrol Wing TWO, at 0758, broadcast the warning to Al Ships Present: "AIR RAID, PEARL HARBOR. THIS IS NOT DRILL!" A similar message from the Commander-in-Chief followed a few minutes later.(NAVY)” At 0730 the first wave of attacks which consisted of torpedoes and dive-bombers flew threw a dead zone in between the mountains of Oahu when the planes emerged they radioed back to the carriers “Tora, Tora, Tora” which was the Japanese code-word used to

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