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You Are Here: Home > Community Information > Cool City Facts > Pearl Harbor Facts & Trivia 

Pearl Harbor Fun Facts and Trivia

Honolulu Facts & Trivia

2,390 American men, women and children were killed in the attack.

1,177 of those casualties were aboard the USS Arizona.

64 Japanese lost their lives.

The average age of the American casualties at Pearl Harbor was 23.

The Arizona Memorial wall is made of white marble. Only names of servicemen who died with her are scripted.

1 to 1.5 million visitors a year, pay their respect to the Sailors and Marines entombed within the Arizona.

The Japanese launched their attack with 33 warships. 6 were aircraft carriers.

15 Servicemen were presented the Medal of Honor for their actions at Pearl Harbor.

5 were alive to accept the medal.

The attack was conceived by Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. He attended Harvard University.

He was later killed in the war, while a passenger in a plane shot down by American fighter pilots.

Wai Momi is the name the native Hawaiian people called Pearl Harbor. It means ‘pearl waters’. It thrived with pearl producing oysters at one time.

185 ships of the Pacific Fleet were assigned to Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7, 1941. Slightly more than half of the entire US Navy. 96 were moored in harbor during the attack.

Honolulu radio station KGMB, which normally did not broadcast all night, did so at the request of the military, on the evening and morning of December 6th and 7th. The transmission signal would help guide American B-17’s from the mainland, to Hawaii, by playing continuos ‘native’ music, as opposed to it’s regular format. Pilots would navigate to the source, using the music as their beacon.

Japanese code word “Tora” means tiger.

Mess Attendant Doris Miller of the USS West Virginia, was the first black man awarded the Navy Cross for exceptional gallantry. He was also the ships heavyweight boxing champion.

Marine Corps Air Station Ewa had the dubious honor of being the rendezvous point for the Japanese attack planes as they headed home to the carriers. All unused weaponry was dropped on the Marine air field. The Marines lost 33 aircraft and 4 men.

Army pilot and Lieutenant Philip Rasmussen was one of the few airmen to get airborne during the attack. He left Wheeler airfield in his P-36... wearing his pajamas. He survived an Aerial onslaught and returned to Wheeler. After the battle subsided, he counted nearly 450 bullet holes in his plane.

Dutch seamen from the passenger liner, SS Jagersfontein, which had arrived in Pearl Harbor at 0900, from the East Indies, helped stave off the onslaught of Japanese aircraft, with her antiaircraft guns. The crew and passengers later continued their help by donating much needed blood for the wounded Americans.

As the damaged USS Nevada made a break for the open seas, 3 survivors of the USS Arizona swam to her and were rescued. The 3 promptly requested to be assigned to man a machine gun.

The US Navy lost 19 warships during the attack.

In spite of the devastating air assault, the 4,500,000 gallons of fuel stored at the tank farm, survived undamaged. It was supposed of been a priority target of the second wave of attack.

After President Roosevelt’s plea to Congress to declare war, the Senate Voted 82 to 0. The House followed with a 388 to 1 vote. Congresswoman Jeanette Rankin (R-Montana) was the lone vote against war. She had also voted no to war, along with 55 other Congressmen, when President Wilson made a request to Congress in 1917 to declare war on Germany. She was the first woman elected to Congress(1916 and again in 1940) and a staunch pacifist.

Total time of the attacks was a little more than 2 hours.
The Japanese attacked with 353 aircraft during the two assaults. 29 were shot down.

Of the eight battleships damaged by the attack, six were repaired and returned to service. The Arizona and Oklahoma were soon decommissioned.

The USS Utah, which along with the USS Arizona and USS Oklahoma, was never repaired. Built as a battleship (BB-31) and commissioned during 1911. At the time of her sinking, she was not a battleship. She was retrofitted as a target and training ship (AG-16) during 1931 to comply with the ‘London Treaty’ and avoid being turned to scrap.

The Arizona went down with between 800,000 to 1.7 million gallons of oil inside and although it burned for three days after the attack, no one knows how much fuel it still holds.

Less than 2.5 gallons of oil leak from the ship each day. Approximately 1 drop every 9 to 15 seconds.

US losses were 2403 killed and 1178 wounded including those civilians killed by faulty anti-aircraft shells. The Japanese lost only 64 men, 55 from the 29 planes shot down and 9 from the midget subs with 1 sailor captured.

The endurance cutter, USS Taney(WPG-37), a survivor of Pearl Harbor, remained in active service until 1986 .... longer than any other ship at Pearl.

Japanese ‘midget’ submarines were 45 feet long and 12 feet tall. A typical Japanese submarine was 215 feet long in comparison.

The first woman recognized as wounded in action at Pearl was US Army nurse Ann Fox. She was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries suffered while serving at Hickam Field.

Japan and the United States had been at odds with each other since 1905.

Four Japanese officers who participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor had attended college in the United States. Admiral Yamamoto and Chief of the Naval General Staff Osami Nagano attended Harvard. Admiral Yamaguchi attended Princeton. Admiral Arima attended Yale.

390 American military aircraft were based in Hawaii on December 7, 1941. Of those, 38 got airborne during the battle. 10 were shot down. Most had been destroyed on the ground.

The USS Arizona Memorial is America’s only major naval memorial to disaster and defeat.

Only those who served aboard the USS Arizona on December 7, 1941 may be interned with her. Those who served prior may have their ashes scattered above her.

Movie actress Gloria Stuart, who starred with James Cagney in the 1934 film ‘Here Comes the Navy’, which was filmed on the USS Arizona, also starred in the 1997 blockbuster ‘’Titanic’ as an elderly lady named Rose.

A Bureau of Yards & Docks report cited, among other things, facilities at Pearl Harbor in 1941 included a navy yard of 498 acres, a battleship drydock, a marine railway, offices, two tank farms for fuel, a supply depot, housing totaling 190 buildings, a 1,100-bed naval hospital on 41 acres; a 330-acre fleet air base on Ford Island, 32 acres and 28 buildings for a submarine base, a Marine barracks setup of 29 buildings on 55 acres, two ammunition depots, one large and another small radio station, a mooring mast for blimps, reserved land for water lines, and a 10-mile highway to Honolulu.

In 2001, Congress, by Public Law 103-308, as amended, has designated December 7, as "National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day." All Federal agencies, interested organizations, groups, and individuals are urged to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff this and every December 7 in honor of those who died as a result of their service at Pearl Harbor.

The Arizona's bow rose out of the water as a result of the internal explosion of the forward magazines. Today, there is clear evidence of a fracture line running completely around the ship. It's located in between gun turrets 1 & 2. Also, the explosion tore away three decks of the ship and dropped gun turret number 1 down 23 feet from its original mounting.



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