On this day 69 years ago, at 7:55 a.m. Hawaiian time, 360 Japanese war planes descended on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor and attacked the Pacific fleet. Five battleships, three destroyers and seven other ships were damaged or sunk. More than 200 aircraft were destroyed. A total of 2,400 Americans were killed with another 1,200 wounded. The day after the surprise attack, President Roosevelt appeared before a joint session of Congress and declared, “Yesterday, December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” The United States declared war on Japan, and a few days later, on December 11, Germany and Italy declared war on the U.S. The United States officially entered World War II.
The USS Shaw (DD-373) sustained major damage from multiple bomb hits while in dry dock. It was repaired within a few months of the attack, and went on to serve in the Pacific throughout the rest of World War II, ultimately earning eleven battle stars. The USS Shaw was decommissioned in 1945 and scrapped in 1946.