Pearl Harbor

December 7, 1941: Japan Launches a Surprise Attack on Pearl Harbor

Dec 7, 2017
Photograph taken from a Japanese plane during the torpedo attack
Wikimedia commons / Official U.S. Navy Photograph NH 50930

In the early morning hours of December 7, 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The raid killed more than 2,400 Americans and prompted the United States to enter World War II.  Torpedoes and bombs sank four U.S. battleships, including the USS West Virginia, which lost two officers and 103 crew members.

The Morgantown High School Marching Band makes its way down High Street in Morgantown on Wednesday, Nov. 11, during the city's Veterans Day parade.
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Dec. 7, 2016 will mark the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, which thrust America into World War II. Morgantown High School’s marching band has been selected to represent West Virginia during a commemoration next year in Hawaii to honor that milestone.

One of the few remaining survivors of the attack came to the Mountain State from Texas to share his first-hand account of that fateful day with the band members and take part in Veterans Day ceremonies.