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Pearl Harbor Timeline

Franklin D Roosevelt

Pearl Harbor Timeline: Franklin Roosevelt was the 32nd am: erican President who served in office from March 4, 1933 to April 12, 1945. One of the most important events during his presidency was the bombing of the US Naval fleet at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as detailed in the Pearl Harbor Timeline.

Pearl Harbor Timeline
The following fact sheet contains interesting facts and information on Pearl Harbor Timeline.

1931: The Japanese military began to take control from the civilian government and establish a military government beginning the rise of Japanese Militarism and the policy of aggressive expansion.

1931: September: The Japanese, led by General Tojo, invaded the resource-rich province of Manchuria in Northern China. The British and the United States support China against the actions of the Japanese.

1932: Japan completes it's occupation of Manchuria

1933: Japan announced that it was withdrawing from the League of Nations

1937: Japan attacks China marking the beginning of total war between China, under Chiang Kai-shek, and Japan in the Second Sino-Japanese War.

1937: December: The USS Panay gunboat was sunk by Japanese aircraft in the Yangtze River outside Nanking on 12 December 1937

1938: Congress pass the 1938 Naval Act on May 17, 1938. The legislation "mandated a 20% increase in strength of the United States Navy" in order to triple the size of the US naval fleet by 1944.

1938: The Japanese declares its policy to establish a "new order in East Asia"

1939: July 26, 1939: US Secretary of State, Cordell Hull gives formal notice for termination of the 1911 Treaty of Commerce and Navigation with Japan in retaliation for its colonization of China

1939: September 3, 1939: WW2 broke out as Britain and France declared war on Germany

1939: September 5, 1939: The United States declares its neutrality in WW2

1940: The Japanese begin to fortify the Marshall Islands located between Hawaii and the Philippines posing a significant threat to am: erican, British and Dutch colonial possessions

1940: June: FDR orders the US Pacific Fleet to move its main Pacific base from California to Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian Islands as a deterrent to Japanese aggression

1940: July 1940: US Congress passed the Export Control Act limiting exports to Imperial Japan. The embargo halted the shipment of items including airplanes, machine tools and parts and aviation gasoline.

1940: September 1940: The Tripartite Pact was signed forming the Axis powers of Germany, Italy, and Japan

1941: April 1941: President Roosevelt extends lend-lease aid to China for their war against the Japanese (refer to the Lend-Lease Act )

1941: July 1941: Japan invades and occupies Vietnam:  in Southern Indochina.

1941: July 1941: General Douglas MacArthur was  sent to the Philippines to build up am: erican defenses

1941: July 26, 1941: The US freeze Japanese assets and Japanese bank accounts in am: erica

1941: August 1, 1941: The US place an embargo on crucial oil shipments to Japan

1941: November 3, 1941: The Japanese military present a plan for the attack on Pearl Harbor to Emperor Hirohito which he approved at the Imperial Conference on November 5, 1941 providing a diplomatic settlement with the US was not achieved

1941: November, 1941: Negotiations with the US failed and the Japanese government made the decision to launch a surprise air attack on the United States Pacific Fleet at its Pearl Harbor base

1941: Saturday, December 6: President Roosevelt makes an appeal for peace to avoid War in the Pacific with Emperor Hirohito - there was no reply.

1941: Saturday, December 6: The U.S. code-breaking service deciphers part of Japanese message believing a Japanese attack somewhere in Southeast Asia is imminent. The U.S. War Department sends out a warning but delays prevent the alert being received before the Japanese attack

1941: On Sunday morning on 7 December 1941 the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor.

What happened during the attack?
Admiral Husband E. Kimmel was in command of the U.S. Pacific Fleet in Hawaii and together with Lt. Gen.Walter C. Short, commanding general of the Hawaiian Department, prepared for the defense of the Hawaiian islands. On Sunday morning on 7 December 1941 the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu.

05.00am: The Japanese attack force, consisting of six Aircraft Carriers with 423 planes, under the command of Admiral Nagumo, prepare to attack the US base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

06.00am: The first attack wave of 183 warplanes, consisting of 51 dive bombers, 40 torpedo bombers, 50 high level bombers and 43 fighters, led by Comdr. Mitsuo Fuchida prepared to take off from Japanese aircraft carriers located 230 miles north of Oahu heading for the U.S. Pacific Naval Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Japanese submarines launched torpedoes at the battleships.

06.45am: The USS Ward sinks a Japanese midget submarine outside the entrance of Pearl Harbor.

06.53am: The USS Ward sends a message to Naval Headquarters, at Pearl Harbor stating "We have attacked, fired upon, and dropped depth charges upon submarine operating in defensive sea area."

07.02am: Opam a Radar Station on Oahu picks up flight of unidentified planes bearing in 132 miles north of Oahu. The information center at Fort Shafter assumes that the flight is a group of twelve expected am: erican B 17 Flying Fortresses traveling from California to the Philippines via Hawaii.

07.15am: The message from the USS Ward is encoded and eventually makes its way to Adm. Kimmel who decides to "wait for verification of the report" because there had been so many recent "false reports of submarines".

07.15am: The Japanese launch their second wave of 168 aircraft

07.49am: Comdr. Mitsuo Fuchida issued the first wave Japanese attack order by exclaiming the codeword "Tora! Tora! Tora!", literally meaning "Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!" indicating that they had surprised the enemy with a lightning attack

07.55am: The first wave of Japanese aircraft begin the attack that includes the US warships in Pearl Harbor and the air stations at Hickam: , Wheeler, Ford Island, Kaneohe and Ewa Field.

07.55am: Comdr. Logan C. Ram: sey orders telegraph operators to transmit an uncoded message to every base and ship. The message read AIR RAID ON PEARL HARBOR X THIS IS NOT DRILL

08.00am: The expected am: American B 17 bombers were unarmed and unaware of the Japanese attack. They could only dodge Japanese fighter planes and U.S. anti-aircraft gunfire as they prepared to land at Oahu.

08.00am: There were 100 ships in Pearl Harbor but the primary targets of the Japanese were the 8 battleships anchored there. Seven battleships were moored on Battleship Row along the southeast shore of Ford Island and the USS Pennsylvania was in dry dock across the channel.

08.10am: The attacks on the 8 battleships began:

  • The USS Arizona was struck by a torpedo, killing 1,177 aboard

  • The USS Oklahoma was hit by five torpedoes and turned turtle. 429 men died

  • The USS West Virginia was hit by two bombs and seven torpedoes. 106 died

  • The USS California was hit by two bombs and two torpedoes.100 died

  • The USS Nevada was hit by six bombs and one torpedo. 60 died

  • The USS Tennessee was hit by two bombs. 5 died

  • The USS Maryland was hit by two bombs. 4 died

  • The USS Pennsylvania (Kimmel's flagship) was in dry dock and hit by one bomb. 9 died

  • All but the Arizona, Utah, and Oklahoma were repaired and sailed again

08.10am: President Franklin D. Roosevelt learns about the attack on Pearl Harbor

08.17am: The destroyer USS Helm emerged from the channel and engaged a Japanese mini submarine

08.35am: The first wave of attacks on Pearl Harbor end

08.39am: The destroyer USS Monaghan engaged and sunk a second Japanese mini submarine

08.54am: The second wave of Japanese aircraft begins, consisting of 35 fighters, 78 dive-bombers, and 54 high-altitude bombers targets other ships and shipyard facilities.

09.30am: The destroyer USS Shaw is destroyed

10.00am: The victorious Japanese attack force returned to the Japanese fleet. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor resulted in the loss of 29 planes and a handful of midget submarines

10.00am: The attack took a terrible toll on the US Pacific fleet

  • 21 of the 96 ships at anchor were destroyed and many were severely dam: aged

  • Of the 394 planes at the Hickam: , Wheeler, and Bellows airfields, 188 were destroyed and 159 were dam: aged

  • The death total was 2,403 (including 68 civilians) and the number of wounded total was 1,178

US am: erican History
1929-1945: Depression & WW2

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Updated 2018-01-01

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