11 Things You Didn't Know About Pearl Harbor
1. Most of the ships that sunk that day were resurrected.
6/8 ships were repaired and returned to the navy.The USS West Virginia and the USS California had both sunk completely, but the Navy raised them, repaired them and reused them. Bullet holes and damage from the attacks can be seen to this day at many of the active military installations on Oahu.
2. Veterans of the attack can be laid to rest at Pearl Harbor.
Survivors of the attack have the option to join their lost comrades and have Pearl Harbor be their final resting place. Even those who served on board of the USS Arizona during the attack may have their ashes deposited by divers beneath one of the sunken Arizona’s gun turrets. Military survivors can choose to have their ashes scattered wherever their ship was located during the attacks.
3. The USS Arizona still leaks fuel.
The USS Arizona fill its tank with 1.5 million gallons of fuel the day before the attack. During the attack, the fuel helped ignite the ship and destroyed it. Still today USS Arizona leaks up to 9 quarts of oil into the harbor each day.
4. Service members stationed in Hawaii took care of the memorial during the 2013 government shutdown.
Service members stationed in Hawaii believe Pearl Harbor to be a living memorial. They have been known to protect it. During the government shutdown in 2013, service members took care of the site, including raking, weeding, and mowing the lawn, when no one was there to do so.
5. Many tourists from Japan come to visit the memorial.
Japan is now one of America’s biggest allies and is the largest source of international tourists to Hawaii. The visitors pay their respects at the Pearl Harbor memorial site.
6. A baby’s remains still lie entombed within the USS Utah.
A crew member had been planning to spread his daughter's ashes in the sea. The attack prevented him from doing so. The child was honored with a funeral at the USS Utah Memorial at Pearl Harbor in 2003.
7. There is an extremely large oil plume beneath Pearl Harbor.
Approximately 5 million gallons of spilled oil has been collecting in an underground plume beneath Pearl Harbor. This plume takes up approximately 20 acres.
8. Japan Attacked Pearl Harbor without declaring war.
The attack took place without a formal declaration of war. They sent a 14-part message indicating they intended to break negotiations. President Roosevelt read the message and stated: “ this means war.”
9. The attack lasted for about two hours.
At 7:53 AM on December 7, 1941, the first bomb fell at Pearl Harbor. After just 5 minutes, ships were sunk and 188 grounded aircrafts were destroyed. The Japanese withdrew around 9:45. 2,403 Americans died in the attack, and another 1,178 were wounded.
10. Twenty-three sets of brothers died aboard the USS Arizona alone.
37 pairs or trios of brothers were assigned to the USS Arizona. Of those 62 men were killed.
11. Americans fired the first shot.
At 6:37 a.m. on the morning of December 7th, 1941, the Wickes-class destroyer USS Ward attacked and sank a Ko-hyoteki-class midget submarine near the entrance to the harbor, officially making it not only the first shot fired on that day, but the first American shots in the War in the Pacific.