On December 7, 1941 over 350 Japanese aircraft launched from six aircraft carriers hammered US military installations across Oahu, Hawaii. The focal point for their attack was the elements of the US Pacific Fleet then at anchor at the US Naval Base at Pearl Harbor. This attack killed over 2,400 Americans and sank or damaged eight battleships (with two total losses), three cruisers, three destroyers, some auxiliary ships, and destroyed 183 aircraft. In turn, the Japanese lost 29 aircraft and five midget submarines.
Late last week the USS Iowa (BB-61), the lead ship in the final class of US battleships ever built, began a voyage from Suisun Bay, California that will ultimately end in Los Angeles - where she will serve as a floating museum.
Laid down in June 1940 and commissioned in February 1943 the Iowa weighed in at 45,000 tons, was 887 feet long and included a crew of over 2,750 officers and men. Her potent main armament of nine 16 inch (406mm) guns could rain one ton shells down onto targets over 20 miles away.
Australian and New Zealand warships clearing World War II era munitions from the harbor at Rabaul have found what is believed to be a Japanese midget submarine. The wreck was found sitting upright on the sandy bottom at 180 feet underwater. Rabaul was one of the most important Japanese Naval bases during the War, and the site of sharp combat in January 1942 - when Japanese forces seized the harbor and associated military installations from Australian forces.