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How December 7, 1941 became "A Date That Will Live in Infamy"

In November - December of 2021, we marked the 80th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. I did a series of special postings highlighting events starting on November 26, 1941, and ending on December 8, 1941. Below are all of those posts together


26 Nov, 1941 Hittokapu Bay, Kurile Islands, Japan:

After months of planning and training, the Imperial Japanese Navy's 1st Fleets' Strike Force (Kido Butai) weighs anchor and begins steaming eastward out of the harbor.

Its destination: 400 miles NNW of the island of Oahu, Hawaiian Islands.

Its purpose: was to destroy or cripple, by a carrier-based aerial attack, the American Pacific battle fleet based at Pearl Harbor such that it would not be able to halt the Japanese invasions of Malaya, Philippines, and the Dutch East Indies planned in the coming months.

Centered on its six fleet carriers, Kido Butai is an assembly of aircraft carriers and fast escort ships, the likes the world had never witnessed.

The Japanese route to and from Pearl Harbor

The carriers Akagi (Red Castle), Kaga ( Japanese Province), Hiryu (Flying Dragon), Soryu (Green Dragon), Shokaku (Soaring Crane), and Zuikaku (Auspicious Crane) are manned by the finest trained and led naval aviators in the world.

To support its ongoing war in China, the Japanese militarist-led government has determined that the fate of the Japanese nation hinges on seizing the oil, mineral, and rubber resources of the Dutch East Indies Isles. Kido Butai's journey to war will take twelve days, steaming undetected, so the IJN planners hope across the stormy, treacherous north Pacific.

Pearl Harbor, Oahu Island, United States Hawaiian Island territories. The American aircraft carrier USS Enterprise continues provisioning for its departure from Pearl, ordered by Pacific Fleet commander Husband Kimmel, to occur in two days. It ferries a dozen Marine fighter planes to the American airbase at Midway Island, 1500 miles NW of Hawaii.

With war clouds gathering, the American Joint Chiefs have ordered the American Pacific outposts bolstered for the possible outbreak of war. As a result, the Enterprise is expected to return to Pearl on 6 Dec.

Kimmel is nervous about sending one of his two carriers (the venerable USS Lexington) out of Hawaiian waters. Along with the 300 US Army Hawaiian Air Force planes, they provide air cover to the nearly 100 warships of the Pacific fleet based at Pearl. Kimmel knows war might be coming and wants his fleet completely assembled for a prompt response to steam to the western Pacific.

He cannot imagine the war could start outside his office window.

27 Nov 1941 Washington DC:

28 Nov 1941 Oahu, Hawaiian Islands:

29 Nov, 1941 Oahu, Hawaiian Island National Territories:

30 Nov, 1941 2500 miles due West of Oahu:

1 Dec, 1941 Tokyo:

2 Dec, 1941 1600 nautical miles NW of Oahu:

3 Dec, 1941 Oahu, Hawaii:

4 Dec 1941 Manila, Luzon Island, Philippines:

5 Dec 5 1941 900 nautical miles NNW of Oahu, Hawaii:

6 Dec 1941 Washington DC:

7 Dec 1941 PART I of III: First wave Oahu:

7 Dec 1941 PART II of III: The Second Wave Pearl Harbor:

7 Dec 1941 PART III of III: Decision Washington DC

8 Dec 1941 War


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