How we entered World War 2

On the morning of December 7, 1941, Japanese bombers staged a surprise attack on U.S. military forces at Pearl Harbor Hawaii. In less than three hours, the United States suffered more than 2,400 casualties and loss of or severe damage to 188 airplanes and 8 battleships.

At one station, Army privates were running the radar and at 7:02 a.m., a large white blip appeared. The privates marked this activity and the continuing movements of incoming planes. Pvt. Joseph Lockard reported this to the Information Center, but a group of American B-17s were due to arrive that day from San Francisco, and Lockard was told to forget about what he saw. It was only after arrival at camp that they received word that at 7:55 a.m. the Japanese had begun dropping bombs on Pearl Harbor.

They realized that the planes they had been tracking on the radar plot were not American, but the Japanese attacking force. They had witnessed the start of World War II for America, but they hadn’t realized it.

And so it began.

9 thoughts on “How we entered World War 2

  1. Hülsmeyer says:

    Westinghouse WL-530 VT-122 Water-Cooled Triode (photographs) http://lampes-et-tubes.info/tt/tt166.php?l=f “This high power radar transmitting tube was developed during the late 30’s; a pair of them were used as the final transmitter stage in the 1940 SCR-270 radar (Signal Corps Radio model 270, also known as the Pearl Harbor Radar), one of the first operational early warning radars. It was the U.S. Army’s primary long-distance radar throughout World War II and was deployed around the world.” See also “THE SCR-270 RADAR” by Frederick G. Suffield http://ethw.org/Milestones:Opana_Radar_Site,_1941
    Photograph of a SCR-270 operating position and console showing the antenna positioning controls, oscilloscope, and receiver. http://www.radomes.org/museum/photos/equip/scr270console.jpg

  2. Footnote says:

    The Salvage of Pearl Harbor (part one) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bB-V9cCSC8o
    The December 7, 1941 attack killed 2,403 U.S. personnel, including 68 civilians, and destroyed or damaged 19 U.S. Navy ships, including 8 battleships. https://www.census.gov/history/pdf/pearl-harbor-fact-sheet-1.pdf [on December 4, 2020 at least 2,637 new coronavirus deaths were reported in the United States] https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-us-cases.html

      • Mike says:

        Fox Movietone Newsreel “NOW IT CAN BE SHOWN!” (1942)

        “On December 7, 1941, Fox Movietone News cameraman Al Brick was the one cameraman in the world to capture the Japanese attack on the spot on Pearl Harbor. Greg Wilsbacher, curator of the Fox Movietone News Collection, Moving Image Research Collections, University of South Carolina, introduces the footage – and Fox’s 1942 newsreel “Now It Can Be Shown.” Fox Movietone Newsreel Vol. 25, No. 27 and Fox Movietone Newsreel outtake 48-81″ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDGtit1I0HA

  3. Santayana says:

    An American admiral launched an almost perfect carrier attack on Pearl Harbor during an exercise in 1932, but the military failed to learn its lesson, allowing the Japanese to launch almost exactly the same attack 9 years later. https://www.wearethemighty.com/mighty-history/us-admiral-planned-pearl-harbor/
    (among other things the Navy’s Battleship Admirals argued low level precision bombing of battleships at anchor was unrealistic since “everyone knew that Asians lacked sufficient hand-eye coordination to engage in that kind of precision bombing.”)

    • Snapshot says:

      Lieutenant Ichiro Kitajima, group leader of the Imperial Japanese Navy aircraft carrier Kaga’s Nakajima B5N bomber group, briefs his flight crews about the Pearl Harbor raid, which will take place the next day.
      A diagram of Pearl Harbor and the aircraft’s attack plan is chalked on the deck.
      (click image to enlarge)

      • eideard says:

        Fucking amazing find! Especially since I remember my father leaving work early to come home and tell us what happened. Turn on the radio. No TV, no telephone.

        • p/s says:

          “Solely a Bluff: Relocating the US Fleet to Pearl Harbor” (The National WWII Museum, New Orleans) https://www.nationalww2museum.org/war/articles/fdr-bluff-relocating-us-fleet-to-pearl-harbor

          Diagram of the damage inflicted by the surprise attack on the American Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. It was drawn by Lieutenant Commander Mitsuo Fuchida, who led the first wave of the air attacks and gave the famous radio signal ‘Tora! Tora! Tora!, which was the Japanese code signal to begin the attack.
          “Tora” is a Japanese word that means “tiger,” but the full phrase is considered an abbreviation for totsugeki raigeki, which implies “lightning attack.”
          (click image to enlarge)

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