Pearl Harbor 80th Anniversary

  • Published
  • By L. Cunningham, 55th Wing Public Affairs

Dec. 7, 2021, marks the 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

The National Park Service and U.S. Navy will host a number of commemoration ceremonies in Hawaii that will also be livestreamed on

  •  - 80th Remembrance Ceremony- Dec. 7 at 7:40 a.m. HST
  •  - USS Nevada (BB 36) Memorial Ceremony- Dec. 5 at 1 p.m. HST
  •  - USS Utah (BB 31) Memorial Ceremony- Dec. 6 at 5 p.m. HST
  •  - USS Oklahoma (BB 37) Memorial Ceremony- Dec. 7 at 11 a.m. HST


Dec. 7, 1941, began like any other Sunday on the island of Oahu. Service members and civilians were unaware history was about to be made in 115 minutes of devastation.  

At 7:55 a.m. HST, Japanese bombers began a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and Ford Island Naval Air Station.

At 8:00 a.m., they bombed Wheeler Army Airfield northwest of Pearl Harbor. They destroyed 54 planes, killed 37 Soldiers, and injured 53 others as they bombed aircraft hangars and airstrips.

At 8:30 a.m., the Japanese warplanes began attacking Bellows Field located in Waimanalo, east of Pearl Harbor.

At 8:40 a.m., they focused their attack on Hickam Field, located on the southeast end of Pearl Harbor. They bombed the flight line, focusing on the B-17 bombers and destroying 51 planes. They killed 35 men in the mess hall as they were having breakfast. The total casualties for Hickam were 121 men killed, 274 wounded, and 37 missing.

At 8:45 a.m., they began bombing Naval Air Station Kaneohe Bay.

The air raid on the Hawaii territory lasted until 9:45 a.m. HST. The attack was intended to prevent any action from the United States and to cripple the Pacific Fleet to prevent interference with the Japanese takeover of the Dutch East Indies and Malaya, enabling them to conquer Southeast Asia.  

The Japanese were incorrect in their assumptions about the United States. This devastating surprise attack by imperial Japanese warplanes launched America into World War II.

In 115 minutes of mayhem and destruction, 360 Japanese warplanes sank two navy battleships - USS Arizona (BB 39) and USS Oklahoma. Many other ships were sunk, but later recovered and repaired. They destroyed 160 aircraft and damaged 150. They killed 2,403 servicemen and civilians and injured 1,178 others.

The National WWII Museum updated a list of surviving veterans by state Sept. 30, 2021. According to the list, Nebraska currently has 1,729 WWII veterans.

Although there is no official government listing of Pearl Harbor survivors, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs statistics show that out of the 16 million Americans who served in WWII, only 240,329 are still alive.

Dec. 7 - a day to remember all those who made the ultimate sacrifice with their lives.