Naval History and Heritage Command

National Museum of the U.S. Navy

Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor

On December 7, 1941, in one of the defining moments in U.S. history, the Japanese attacked "like a thunderclap from a clear sky" and removed the U.S. Navy's battleship force as a possible threat to the Japanese Empire's southward expansion.  With the attack, the United States was brought into World War II as a full combatant. 

Image: 80-G-30550:  Japanese Attack ot Pearl Harbor - "Battleship Row".  Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.