Sunday 7 December 1941 at 7.55am was the moment when hundreds of Japanese planes released bombs and torpedoes onto the US military ships and planes based at Oahu, Honolulu.
Nearly 2400 Americans were killed and 1180 injured when a task force of carrier based Japanese fighter aircraft bombed and sank 12 naval vessels and heavily damaged nine others.
The USS Arizona, which sank in less than nine minutes after an armour-piercing bomb breached its deck and exploded in the ship’s ammunition magazine, lost 1177 sailors and marines. About 340 of its crew survived.
Other major installations on Oahu, such as Wheeler Field and Kaneohe Naval Air Station, were also attacked.
The attack on Pearl Harbor triggered the decision by the United States to enter World War 2. It was the start of the long, hard fought Pacific campaign that involved thousands of US Marines and Air Force personnel culminating in victory over Japan in 1945.