Japanese Pearl Harbor Strike Fleet November 26, 1941, December 7, 1941. More about this image and story at Public Domain Clip Art - http://publicdomainclip-art.blogspot.com/2014/12/pearl-harbor.html
Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, commander of the Japanese fleet, devised a plan to immobilize the U.S. fleet at the outset of the war with a surprise attack.
The key elements in Yamamoto's plans were meticulous preparation, the achievement of surprise, and the use of aircraft carriers and naval aviation on an unprecedented scale. In the spring of 1941, Japanese carrier pilots began training in the special tactics called for by the Pearl Harbor attack plan.
In October 1941 the naval general staff gave final approval to Yamamoto's plan, which called for the formation of an attack force commanded by Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo. It centered around six heavy aircraft carriers (Akagi, Kaga, Sōryū, Hiryū, Shōkaku, and Zuikaku) accompanied by 24 supporting vessels. A separate group of submarines was to sink any American warships which escaped the Japanese carrier force.
Nagumo's fleet assembled in the remote anchorage of Tankan Bay in the Kurile Islands and departed in strictest secrecy for Hawaii on November 26, 1941. The ships' route crossed the North Pacific and avoided normal shipping lanes. At dawn December 7, 1941, the Japanese task force had approached undetected to a point slightly more than 200 miles north of Oahu.
Japanese aircraft carrier Zuikaku just leaving Hitokappu Bay for Pearl Harbor. Sailors were winching up the anchor on the quarter-deck. Date: November 26, 1941
These Pearl Harbor photographic images were published before December 31st 1956, or photographed before 1946 and not published for 10 years thereafter, under jurisdiction of the Government of Japan. Thus these photographic images are considered to be public domain according to article 23 of old copyright law of Japan and article 2 of supplemental provision of copyright law of Japan.
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons, User Suiten
Pearl Harbor Attack, December 7, 1941. Photo #: 80-G-182248 More about this image and story at Public Domain Clip Art - http://publicdomainclip-art.blogspot.com/2014/12/pearl-harbor.html
The Commanding Officer of the Japanese aircraft carrier Shokaku watches as planes take off to attack Pearl Harbor, during the morning of December 7, 1941.
The Kanji inscription at left is an exhortation to pilots to do their duty.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives Collection.
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Pearl Harbor Attack, December 7, 1941. Photo #: 80-G-182259 More about this image and story at Public Domain Clip Art - http://publicdomainclip-art.blogspot.com/2014/12/pearl-harbor.html
Japanese Navy Type 99 Carrier Bombers ("Val") prepare to take off from an aircraft carrier during the morning of December 7, 1941. Ship in the background is the carrier Soryu.
Note: This image is frequently reproduced with the planes facing toward the right. The orientation shown here, with the planes facing toward the left, is correct.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives Collection. Reproductions may also be available at National Archives.
Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941. Photo #: NH 50603 More about this image and story at Public Domain Clip Art - http://publicdomainclip-art.blogspot.com/2014/12/pearl-harbor.html
A Japanese Navy Type 97 Carrier Attack Plane ("Kate") takes off from a carrier as the second wave attack is launched. Ship's crewmen are cheering "Banzai"
This ship is either Zuikaku or Shokaku. Note light tripod mast at the rear of the carrier's island, with Japanese naval ensign.
Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941 Photo #: NH 50930 More about this image and story at Public Domain Clip Art - http://publicdomainclip-art.blogspot.com/2014/12/pearl-harbor.html
Photograph taken from a Japanese plane during the torpedo attack on ships moored on both sides of Ford Island. View looks about east, with the supply depot, submarine base.
Japanese caption on this captured photo reads: "Full view of Ford Island gasping under the attack of our Sea Eagles.
This distant view of Ford Island immediately after the attack of our assault force shows the enemy capital ships lined up on the opposite side of the Island.
In the foreground is the cruiser fleet, including the battleship UTAH. The enemy ships around the island have all become tempting targets for our Sea Eagles. In the upper right clearly appear the outlines of two of our Sea Eagles who are carrying out a daring low-level attack, reminiscent of the performance of the Gods."