Honolulu News 75 years ago —Hawaii State Quarter Coin

Today, the Hawaii State Quarter Coin remembers the attack on the islands on December 7, 1941.

The following articles came from an eight page Extra of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, published on December 7, 1941. [Source: freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com]


Four Waves, Start At 7:55, Oahu Hit In Many Places



By The Associated Press

TOKYO, Dec. 7–Imperial headquarters announced at 6 o’clock tonight that Japan had entered a state of war with the United States and Great Britain in the western Pacific from dawn today.


Honolulu and Oahu came through a baptism of fire today with calm and determination as wave after wave of Japanese bombers rained missiles all over the island.

At 3 this afternoon army, navy, the police and various civilian agencies were on a war footing, and faced possible further attacks with undaunted vigor and courage.

At 3 p. m. the police reported that, based on Information from the city emergency hospital and the morgue there are 25 known dead and 56 known injured in the bombing raids.

In Washington President Roosevelt announced that the raids were by Japanese bombers.

A United Press dispatch at 3 this afternoon said that estimates given out at Washington are that 400 are dead and 300 injured of the army forces on Oahu alone.

Japanese raiding planes struck hardest at the army and navy bases, but the city of Honolulu itself suffered severe damage.

Deaths on Oahu are reported at more than 400, counting army and civilian fatalities.

Navy casualties have not been announced. Estimate of the army deaths was given out in a White House statement at Washington tonight.


Unconfirmed reports this afternoon based on fragmentary broadcast reports heard on  mainland stations, were that both Guam and Panama had been attacked by the Japanese.

Press association dispatches mentioned possible attacks on Manila but there was no confirmation of this.


Washington, Dec. 7. (U.P.)-The White House tonight issued a preliminary estimate that 400 were dead and more than 300 wounded in the army forces alone on Oahu. Civilian casualties were not mentioned.


NEW YORK, Dec. 7. (U.P.)-NBC tonight heard the Panama radio broadcast that a Japanese aircraft carrier was sunk off Honolulu.


SHANGHAI, Monday, Dec. 8. (U.P.)-The Osaka Mainichi reported from Tokyo today that Japanese imperial headquarters announced a naval battle between the Japanese and the British and American fleets is going on “in the western Pacific.”



The United States fleet steamed from Pearl Harbor Sunday after a Japanese dive bomber, torpedo plane and parachute raid on the great American naval and air base, causing heavy loss of life and property damage in an unprovoked assault which precipitated a general war in the Pacific.

Reportedly the sound of gunfire was heard off Oahu and gun flashes were seen.

The White House confirmed reports of Heavy damage and casualties in Pearl Harbor and also announced that the navy reported to President Roosevelt an unidentified squadron of airplanes was sighted off Guam.

The White House said it was unable to confirm reports of an attack on Manila.

Reportedly Hawaiian officials have been expecting the attack for about a week and gave the raiders a warm reception.


Attacking planes, several of which were reported shot down, clearly bore the insignia of the rising sun.

Hickam field appeared to be the principal objective, but fires were also started on Ford island in the middle of the harbor.

Reportedly 50 planes attacked later and parachute troops were sighted. However, the parachutists were believed handled.

The National Broadcasting Co. said 350 were killed by a direct hit on Hickam field.

The battleship Oklahoma, according to NBC, was also reported attacked and set afire in Pearl Harbor.

Governor Joseph Poindexter of Hawaii declared a state of emergency and the islands operated under a prearranged plan.

Meanwhile, at Washington President Roosevelt conferred with the cabinet and then summoned congressional leaders. It was believed Mr. Roosevelt was preparing a message to a joint session of congress asking a declaration of war–which was expected to pass as soon as asked.


The navy established censorship immediately on all outgoing cable and radio messages.    Army and navy posts throughout the nation were mobilized. Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson and Secretary of Navy Frank Knox ordered army and navy men to wear uniforms at all times.



Huge fires were raging at Pearl Harbor at 1:10 this afternoon and five navy vessels appeared to have been destroyed in the air raids.

One ship had turned over on its side.

Fires raging on four other warships appeared to be gaining in intensity and they had settled low in the water.

The Base itself apparently was extensively damaged in the raids and great clouds of smoke rose above it.

Patrols were scouring the hills above Pearl Harbor for parachute troops reported to have been seen in the vicinity.


The Hawaii State Quarter Coin shows with an image of the billowing smoke and explosions at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Hawaii State Quarter Coin