Pearl Harbor remembered 75 years later

Pearl Harbor remembered 75 years later

Dec. 7, 2016, marks the 75th anniversary of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, which brought the United States into World War II.  Like other transformative events, Pearl Harbor registered as “history” from the very moment it happened; Pearl Harbor Day loomed large for many years, especially for those journalists who served in the war or covered it.  

“Next morning at breakfast we were nearing Honolulu and we heard a rumbling in the direction of Diamond Head.  I guessed that in view of the Japanese war actions the U.S. military was blasting for new fortifications.   I popped out on deck — and there, in the stabbing sunshine, was all the contrast of the times.  In the bluest of blue skies we saw planes moving about, but, and this was the first disturbing note, we saw anti-aircraft guns on the beach in rapid actions.  We could see guns belching with fire as shells were pushed into them by sailors in white.”

 --Tom Yarbrough, AP War Correspondent

Below is a selection of photographs from the AP archive shot during the Pearl Harbor attack and the days after. 


Believed to be the first bomb dropped on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in the sneak-attack on Dec. 7, 1941, this picture was found torn to pieces at Yokusuka Base by photographer's mate 2/C Martin J. Shemanski of Plymouth, Pa. One Japanese plane is shown pulling out of a dive near bomb eruption (center) and another the air at upper right. (AP Photo)

American ships burn during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Dec. 7, 1942. (AP Photo)

The destroyer USS Shaw explodes after being hit by bombs during the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941. (AP Photo)

Three U.S. battleships are hit from the air during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.  Japan's bombing of U.S. military bases at Pearl Harbor brings the U.S. into World War II. From left are: USS West Virginia, severely damaged; USS Tennessee, damaged; and USS Arizona, sunk. (AP Photo)

A small boat rescues a USS West Virginia crew member from the water after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941 during World War II.  Two men can be seen on the superstructure, upper center.  The mast of the USS Tennessee is beyond the burning West Virginia. (AP Photo)

Black smoke rises from the burning wrecks of several  U.S. Navy battleships after they had been bombed during the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941. (AP Photo)

In this image provided by the U.S. Navy, sailors stand among wrecked airplanes at Ford Island Naval Air Station as they watch the explosion of the USS Shaw in the background, during the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy)

A Japanese dive bomber goes into its last dive as it heads toward the ground in flames after it was hit by Naval anti-aircraft fire during surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. (AP Photo)

Troops man a machine gun nest at Wheeler Field, which adjoins Schofield Barracks in Honolulu, after the Japanese attack on the island of Oahu, Dec. 7, 1941. (AP Photo)

In this Dec. 7, 1941 photo, people buy newspapers reporting the Japanese attack on U.S. bases in the Pacific Ocean, at Times Square in New York. (AP Photo/Robert Kradin)

Declaring Japan guilty of a dastardly unprovoked attack, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war, Dec. 8, 1941. Listening are Vice President Henry Wallace, left, and House Speaker Sam Rayburn. (AP Photo)

U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the declaration of war following the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, at the White House in Washington, D.C., Dec. 8, 1941 at 3:08 p.m. EST.  Watching from left to right are, Rep. Sol Bloom, D-N.Y.; Rep. Luther Johnson, D-Texas; Rep. Charles A. Eaton, R-N.J.; Rep. Joseph Martin, R-Mass.; Vice President Henry A. Wallace; House Speaker Sam Rayburn, D-Texas; Rep. John McCormack, D-Mass.; Sen. Charles L. McNary, R-Ore.; Sen. Alben W. Barkley, D-Ky.; Sen. Carter Glass, D-Va.; and Sen. Tom Connally, D-Texas. (AP Photo)

Young Japanese Americans, including several Army selectees, gather around a reporter's car in the Japanese section of San Francisco, Dec. 8, 1941. (AP Photo)

Ruth Lee, hostess at a Miami Chinese restaurant, seen Dec. 15, 1941, doesn't want to be mistaken for Japanese when she sunbathes on her days off, and brings along a Chinese flag.  Miss Lee is actually American-born. (AP Photo)

Members of the Hearns Volunteer National Defense Corps spell the slogan "Remember Pearl Harbor" at a rally held on 14th St. between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in New York City, Dec. 27, 1941. (AP Photo)


Text written by Valerie S. Komor, Director, AP Corporate Archives

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Book from The Associated Press: Pearl Harbor: An AP Special Anniversary Edition 

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