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Pearl Harbor Raid, 7 December 1941
Japanese Aircraft during and after the Raid



Japanese planes attacked in two waves. The first wave, arriving just before 8AM, began its assault with dive-bombing and straffing against Navy and Army airfields to ensure that there would be a minimum of opposition from U.S. fighter planes, and to reduce the risk of a counterattack by American bombers and patrol planes. Almost simultaneously, torpedo planes roared in low over Pearl Harbor, launching their weapons against warships moored on both sides of Ford Island and at the Navy Yard's 1010 Dock. Shortly after 8AM, high-flying horizontal bombers paraded in formation over "Battleship Row", dropping their heavy armor-piercing bombs on the ships below. Having achieved great results, the first wave departed the scene about a half hour after it appeared.

The second Japanese wave hit about fifteen minutes after the first had departed, and delivered dive bombing, horizontal bombing and fighter machine gun attacks over the next hour. It did more damage to airfields, struck targets in and around the Navy Yard, and pummeled USS Nevada, the only U.S. battleship to get underway. At about 0945 on the morning of 7 December 1941, their assigned missions successfully completed, the last Japanese planes left the area to return to their carriers.

Total Japanese aircraft losses were light, only 29 planes, nine of them in the first wave. The second attack wave, arriving over targets that were alert and intensely motivated, faced much heavier anti-aircraft fire and lost twenty of its number. Several of the downed planes fell in or near Pearl Harbor or the other targets and were recovered for technical examination, as was one "Zero" fighter that crash landed on a remote island in the Hawaiian group. These provided U.S. intelligence with its first close-up look at the new enemy's latest aerial equipment.

This page features views of Japanese carrier planes in action during the Pearl Harbor attack, and crashed Japanese planes after the raid.

For other views of Japanese forces in the Pearl Harbor Attack


Click photograph for larger image.

Photo #: 80-G-32908

Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941


Japanese Navy Type 99 Carrier Bomber ("Val") in action during the attack.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives Collection.

Online Image: 57KB; 740 x 615

Reproductions may also be available at National Archives.

 
Photo #: 80-G-32460

Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941


Japanese Navy Type 99 Carrier Bomber ("Val") drops a 250 kilogram bomb during the attack.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives Collection.

Online Image: 45KB; 740 x 605

Reproductions may also be available at National Archives.

 
Photo #: 80-G-19931

Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941


Japanese Type 00 Carrier Fighter ("Zero") trailing smoke after it was hit by anti-aircraft fire during the attack.
The masthead machinegun platform of a battleship is visible in the lower right.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 43KB; 740 x 610

Reproductions may also be available at National Archives.

 
Photo #: 80-G-13040

Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941


Japanese Type 00 Carrier Fighter ("Zero") that crashed at Fort Kamehameha, near Pearl Harbor, during the attack.
This plane, which had tail code "A1-154" and a red band around its rear fuselage, came from the aircraft carrier Akagi.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 132KB; 740 x 590

Reproductions may also be available at National Archives.

 
Photo #: 80-G-22158

Japanese Navy Type 00 Carrier Fighter (A6M2)


Interior of the cockpit of a "Zero" which crashed into Building 52 at Fort Kamehameha, Oahu, during the 7 December 1941 raid on Pearl Harbor. The pilot, who was killed, was NAP1/c Takeshi Hirano. Plane's tail code was "AI-154".
Note the U.S. manufactured Fairchild Radio Compass in the upper center (Compass Model RC-4, Serial # 484). It was tuned in on 760 KC.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 126KB; 740 x 600

Reproductions may also be available at National Archives.

 
Photo #: 80-G-22162

Japanese Navy Type 00 Carrier Fighter (A6M2)


Tail of a "Zero" which crash landed on Niihau Island, Territory of Hawaii, on 7 December 1941, following the raid on Pearl Harbor. The plane's tail code was "BII-120". It came from the carrier Hiryu and landed on Niihau after running low on fuel.
Some of the rudder's fabric covering has been cut off by souvenir hunters.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives Collection.

Online Image: 68KB; 580 x 765

Reproductions may also be available at National Archives.

 
Photo #: 80-G-32441

Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941


Japanese Navy Type 99 Carrier Bomber ("Val") is examined by U.S. Navy personnel following its recovery from Pearl Harbor shortly after the attack.
This plane was relatively intact, except that its tail section was broken away. It came from the aircraft carrier Kaga.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives Collection.

Online Image: 95KB; 740 x 600

Reproductions may also be available at National Archives.

 
Photo #: NH 50940

Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941


Wing of a Japanese Navy Type 97 Carrier Attack Plane ("Kate") that crashed at the Naval Hospital, Pearl Harbor, during the attack.
This plane came from the aircraft carrier Kaga. Its "Rising Sun" insignia has been largely cut away by souvenir hunters.

NHHC Photograph.

Online Image: 137KB; 740 x 520

 


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