Editor’s note: a version of this post first appeared in 2018.
On December 7, 1941, the U.S. naval fleet stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, suffered a devastating attack from the air and sea.
The Japanese assault began around 8 a.m., resulting in the deaths of 2,403 Americans, numerous injuries, and the sinking of four battleships, and damage to many more.
Surprised U.S. service members who normally would have slept in on that Sunday morning or enjoyed some recreation found themselves fighting for their lives.
In 2013, the U.S. Navy remembered the “day of infamy” with a series of photo illustrations overlaying scenes from that horrifying date with present-day photos.
Now, 81 years after the attack, here’s what Pearl Harbor looked like then and now.
Defenders on Ford Island watch for planes during the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor
The battleship USS California burns in the foreground as the battleship USS Arizona burns in the background after the attack on Pearl Harbor
Defenders on Ford Island watch for planes
Sailors on Ford Island look on as the Mahan-class destroyer USS Shaw explodes
A view of the historic Ford Island control tower from 1941. The tower was once used to guide airplanes at the airfield on the island. It is now an aviation library
The USS Shaw explodes during the attack
The battleship USS Arizona burns during the attack, as viewed from Ford Island
Hangar 6 on Ford Island stands badly damaged after the attack
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