The Imperial Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Two waves of aircraft took off from six Japanese aircraft carriers and led the aerial bombardment.
The attack on Pearl Harbor was masterminded by Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the commander of the Japanese Navy. Its aim was to neutralize the U.S. Pacific Fleet so Japan could continue expanding through the resource-rich islands of the South Pacific.
Simultaneous attacks were conducted on military installations across Oahu. Navy air bases at Ford Island and Kaneohe Bay, the Marine airfield at Ewa, and Army Air Corps fields at Bellows, Wheeler, and Hickam were also bombed and strafed at the same time Japanese forces attacked the anchored ships at Pearl Harbor.