Pearl Harbor is an American lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. It has been long visited by the Naval fleet of the United States, before it was acquired from the Hawaiian Kingdom by the U.S. with the signing of the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is now a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the United States Pacific Fleet. The U.S. government first obtained exclusive use of the inlet and the right to maintain a repair and coaling station for ships here in 1887.The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan on December 7, 1941, was the immediate cause of the United States' entry into World War II.
Pearl Harbor was originally an extensive shallow embayment called Wai Momi (meaning, “Waters of Pearl”) ʻuloa (meaning, “long hill”) by the Hawaiians. Puʻuloa was regarded as the home of the shark goddess, Kaʻahupahau, and her brother (or son), Kahiʻuka, in Hawaiian legends. According to tradition, Keaunui, the head of the powerful Ewa chiefs, is credited with cutting a navigable channel near the present Puʻuloa saltworks, by which he made the estuary, known as "Pearl River," accessible to navigation. Making due allowance for legendary amplification, the estuary already had an outlet for its waters where the present gap is; but Keaunui is typically given the credit for widening and deepening it.or Pu
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During the early nineteenth century, Pearl Harbor was not used for large ships due to its shallow entrance. The interest of United States in the Hawaiian Islands grew as a result of its whaling, shipping and trading activity in the Pacific. As early as 1820, an "Agent of the United States for Commerce and Seamen" was appointed to look after American business in the Port of Honolulu. These commercial ties to the American continent were accompanied by the work of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. American missionaries and their families became an integral part of the Hawaiian political body.
Throughout the 1820s and 1830s, many American warships visited Honolulu. In most cases, the commanding officers carried letters from the U.S. Government giving advice on governmental affairs and of the relations of the island nation with foreign powers. In 1841, the newspaper Polynesian, printed in Honolulu, advocated that the U.S. establish a naval base in Hawaii for protection of American citizens engaged in the whaling industry. The British Hawaiian Minister of Foreign Affairs Robert Crichton Wyllie, remarked in 1840 that "... my opinion is that the tide of events rushes on to annexation to the United States."
From the conclusion of the Civil War, to the purchase of Alaska, to the increased importance of the Pacific states, the projected trade with countries in Asia and the desire for a duty-free market for Hawaiian staples, Hawaiian trade expanded. In 1865, the North Pacific Squadron was formed to embrace the western coast and Hawaii. Lackawanna in the following year was assigned to cruise among the islands, "a locality of great and increasing interest and importance." This vessel surveyed the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands toward Japan. As a result, the United States claimed Midway Island. The Secretary of the Navy was able to write in his annual report of 1868, that in November 1867, 42 American flags flew over whaleships and merchant vessels in Honolulu to only six of other nations. This increased activity caused the permanent assignment of at least one warship to Hawaiian waters. It also praised Midway Island as possessing a harbor surpassing Honolulu's. In the following year, Congress approved an appropriation of $50,000 on March 1, 1869, to deepen the approaches to this harbor.
After 1868, when the Commander of the Pacific Fleet visited the islands to look after American interests, naval officers played an important role in internal affairs. They served as arbitrators in business disputes, negotiators of trade agreements and defenders of law and order. Periodic voyages among the islands and to the mainland aboard U.S. warships were arranged for members of the Hawaiian royal family and important island government officials. When King Lunalilo died in 1873, negotiations were underway for the cession of Pearl Harbor as a port for the duty-free export of sugar to the U.S.[ citation needed ] With the election of King Kalākaua in March 1874, riots prompted landing of sailors from USS Tuscarora and Portsmouth. The British warship, HMS Tenedos, also landed a token force. During the reign of King Kalākaua the United States was granted exclusive rights to enter Pearl Harbor and to establish "a coaling and repair station."
Although this treaty continued in force until August 1898, the U.S. did not fortify Pearl Harbor as a naval base. As it had for 60 years, the shallow entrance constituted a formidable barrier against the use of the deep protected waters of the inner harbor.
The United States and the Hawaiian Kingdom signed the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875 as supplemented by Convention on December 6, 1884. This treaty was ratified in 1887. On January 20, 1887, the United States Senate allowed the Navy the exclusive right to maintain a coaling and repair station at Pearl Harbor. (The US took possession on November 9 that year). The Spanish–American War of 1898 and the desire for the United States to have a permanent presence in the Pacific both contributed to the decision.
Following the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom, the United States Navy established a base on the island in 1899. On December 7, 1941, the base was attacked by the Imperial Japanese Navy airplanes and midget submarines, causing the American entry into World War II. There was no meaningful plan for the air defense of Hawaii, for American commanders had no understanding of the capabilities and proper employment of air power. As it was, had the Pacific Fleet acted on the war warnings it undoubtedly would have sortied and been at sea on December 7, where the major ships would have been sunk in deep water, making salvage impossible.Shortly after the devastating Japanese surprise attack at Pearl Harbor two American military commanders, Lt. Gen. Walter Short and Adm. Husband Kimmel, were demoted of their full ranks. The two American commanders later sought to restore their reputations and full ranks.
Over the years, Pearl Harbor remained a main base for the US Pacific Fleet after World War II along with Naval Base San Diego. In 2010, the Navy and the Air Force merged their two nearby bases; Pearl Harbor joined with Hickam Air Force Base to create Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
In December 2016, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a joint visit to Pearl Harbor with US President Barack Obama. This trip marked the 75th anniversary of the attack, and was the first official visit by a sitting Japanese leader.
In December 2019, A US Navy sailor killed two civilian workers and wounded another, before shooting himself at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise, preemptive military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service upon the United States against the naval base at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii, just before 08:00, on Sunday morning, December 7, 1941. The attack led to the United States' formal entry into World War II the next day. The Japanese military leadership referred to the attack as the Hawaii Operation and Operation AI, and as Operation Z during its planning.
The United States Pacific Fleet (USPACFLT) is a Pacific Ocean theater-level component command of the United States Navy that provides naval forces to the United States Indo-Pacific Command. Fleet headquarters is at Naval Station Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, with large secondary facilities at North Island, San Diego Bay on the Mainland.
USS New Orleans (CL/CA-32) was the lead New Orleans-class cruiser in service with the United States Navy. The New Orleans-class cruisers were the last U.S. cruisers built to the specifications and standards of the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922. Such ships, with a limit of 10,000 long tons (10,160 t) standard displacement and 8-inch (203-millimetre) calibre main guns may be referred to as "treaty cruisers." Originally classified a light cruiser, because of her thin armor, she was reclassified, soon after being laid down, a heavy cruiser, because of her 8-inch guns. The term "heavy cruiser" was not defined until the London Naval Treaty in 1930.
USS Tang (SS/AGSS-563), the lead ship of her class was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the tang.
USS Wahoo (SS-565), a Tang-class submarine, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the wahoo, a dark blue food fish of Florida and the West Indies. The contract to build her was awarded to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, and her keel was laid down on 24 October 1949. She was launched on 16 October 1951 sponsored by Mrs. Harry W. Hill, and commissioned on Memorial Day, 30 May 1952 with Commander Eugene P. Wilkinson in command.
USS Ward (DD-139) was a 1,247-long-ton (1,267 t) Wickes-class destroyer in the United States Navy during World War I, later APD-16 in World War II. She caused the first American-caused casualties in World War II, when she engaged a Japanese submarine before the attack on Pearl Harbor, and successfully sank her, killing the two crew on board.
USS Honolulu (CL-48) of the United States Navy was a Brooklyn-class light cruiser active in the Pacific War. Honolulu was launched in 1937 and commissioned in 1938. The ship served in the Battle of Tassafaronga, the Battle of Kula Gulf, the Battle of Kolombangara and the Battle of Peleliu. She was taken out of action by serious torpedo damage just before the Battle of Leyte Gulf. She was repaired, but not in time to rejoin the war. She was decommissioned in 1947 and was held in reserve until she was scrapped in 1959.
USS Albert David (FF-1050) was a Garcia-class destroyer escort, later reclassified as a frigate, in the United States Navy. She was named for Lieutenant Albert David, a Medal of Honor recipient. Laid down on 28 April 1964 and commissioned on 19 October 1968, the Albert David served in the Pacific, including performing gunfire support operations in Vietnam during the 1970s. She was briefly deployed to the Arabian Sea in September and October 1982. On 18 September 1989 she was leased to the Brazilian Navy, and then sold to Brazil where she served as the destroyer Pará until 12 November 2008 when she was decommissioned and put in reserve.
The first USS Farenholt (DD-332) was a Clemson-class destroyer in the United States Navy following World War I. She was named for Oscar Farenholt.
USS Watts (DD-567) was a Fletcher-class destroyer of the United States Navy. It was named for Captain John Watts (ca.1778–1823), who fought French privateers during the Quasi-War with France.
Fleet Band Activities (FBA), formerly the Navy Music Program (NMP), s the central management office for nine active-duty fleet bands of the United States Navy. It is located at Naval Support Activity Mid-South in Millington, Tennessee, this office has the responsibility of coordinating the assignment and distribution of personnel, equipment and funding to activities worldwide as well as managing the application and audition process for those wanting to serve as Navy musicians. Personnel at the FBA office work directly with Navy Personnel Command's Career Management Department (PERS-4) to meet our Musician manning requirements to the fleet.
Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Pacific provides operational direction and management to all Pacific Naval Telecommunication System users. In addition to this function, NCTAMSPAC manages, operates, and maintains Defense Communication System and Naval Telecommunication System assets, and offers a full range of ADP and information resource services, maintenance and repair, and communication/electronic and Defense Message System coordination to the United States Navy and other United States Department of Defense (DoD) activities in the Pacific.
USS Waxbill (MHC-50/AMCU-50/AMS-39/YMS-479/PCS-1456) was a YMS-1-class minesweeper of the YMS-446 subclass acquired by the U.S. Navy for the task of removing mines placed in the water to prevent ships from passing.
USS Arctic (AF-7) was an Arctic-class stores ship acquired by the United States Navy shortly after World War I, which saw extensive service in World War II. She served in the dangerous Pacific Ocean, delivering food and household items to ships and bases.
A series of events led to the attack on Pearl Harbor. War between Japan and the United States had been a possibility that each nation's military forces planned for in the 1920s, though real tension did not begin until the 1931 invasion of Manchuria by Japan. Over the next decade, Japan expanded slowly into China, leading to the Second Sino-Japanese war in 1937. In 1940 Japan invaded French Indochina in an effort to embargo all imports into China, including war supplies purchased from the U.S. This move prompted the United States to embargo all oil exports, leading the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) to estimate it had less than two years of bunker oil remaining and to support the existing plans to seize oil resources in the Dutch East Indies. Planning had been underway for some time on an attack on the "Southern Resource Area" to add it to the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere Japan envisioned in the Pacific.
Joint Base Pearl Harbor–Hickam (JBPHH) is a United States military base adjacent to Honolulu, Hawaii. It is an amalgamation of the United States Air Force's Hickam Air Force Base and the United States Navy's Naval Station Pearl Harbor, which were merged in 2010.
Naval Station Pearl Harbor is a U.S. naval base adjacent to Honolulu, in the U.S. state of Hawaii. In 2010, along with the United States Air Force's Hickam Air Force Base, the facility was merged to form Joint Base Pearl Harbor–Hickam.
The United States Navy grew rapidly during World War II from 1941–45, and played a central role in the war against Japan. It also assisted the British Royal Navy in the naval war against Germany and Italy. The largest amphibious invasion of all time was the invasion of France in June 1944. The combatant warships were 79 percent British or Canadian, 17 percent American, and the remainder were from other allies.
Ford Island is an islet in the center of Pearl Harbor, Oahu, in the U.S. state of Hawaii. It has been known as Rabbit Island, Marín's Island, and Little Goats Island, and its native Hawaiian name is Mokuʻumeʻume. The island had an area of 334 acres (135 ha) when it was surveyed in 1825, which was increased during the 1930s to 441 acres (178 ha) with fill dredged out of Pearl Harbor by the United States Navy to accommodate battleships.
December 7th, 1941, a day that will live in infamy.
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