Today’s Daily Data – Mon. Dec. 07, 2020

As of the beginning of 2020, there were fewer than 20 Pearl Harbor survivors still alive in the US. Unfortunately, this means that eventually the details and stories of Pearl Harbor will no longer be passed on first hand by any US veteran. This is why data is so important. It allows us to learn, remember, and reflect on the specifics of historical events and tragedies many years after they took place. 
  • 19 Naval vessels were destroyed, including eight battleships and over 300 airplanes
  • More than 2,400 Americans died in the attack, including civilians, and another 1,000 people were wounded
  • 28 Japanese planes were shot down and 5 submarines sunk
  • 188 US planes were destroyed in the attacks

“December 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy,” President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously proclaimed. Today marks the 79th anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor. We remember and celebrate all those who lost their lives and the survivors who shaped the events of that day. Here are some facts surrounding that fateful day in US history:

Oil or “Black Tears” leaking from the USS Arizona.
  • The USS Arizona still leaks fuel. The day before the attacks, the ship took on nearly 1.5 million gallons of fuel, much of which helped ignite the explosion. The Arizona continues to spill up to 9 quarts of oil into the harbor every day. Some refer to the leaking oil as “black tears.”
  • The surprise attack didn’t destroy the entire American Pacific fleet. The USS Arizona and Oklahoma were the only two ships that were damaged beyond repair. Three other battleships sank upright in the shallow water of the harbor but were salvaged.
  • Submarines were originally supposed to play a major role in the attack. Prior to Japanese bombers and fighter planes arriving, submarines were supposed to scout and penetrate the defenses of the harbor. Once the air attack began, they were to release their torpedos at their targets and head out.
  • The attacks lasted for about 2 hours. The first wave of attacks began at 7:55 am, the second wave at 8:50 am, and the attacks came to an end at 9:45 am. The Japanese strike force consisted of a total of 353 aircraft.