Japan at War with USA and Britain Declaration after Bombing American Bases Attacks on Hawaii and Manila

The Birmingham Post (England), December 26, 1998 | Go to article overview

Japan at War with USA and Britain Declaration after Bombing American Bases Attacks on Hawaii and Manila


December 8

Japan has declared war on Great Britain and America. The declaration took effect at six o'clock this morning. Many hours before then, however, Japanese planes, operating from aircraft-carriers had made heavy raids on American air and naval bases in the H awaiian and Philippine Islands.

(The Hawaiian Islands lie in the North Pacific Ocean about 200 miles south-west of San Francisco. The Philippines, largest group of the Malay Archipelago, extend almost due north and south from Formosa to Borneo. Between the two groups are the Japanese m andated Caroline Islands.)

Heavy casualties and extensive damage are reported from Honolulu, which bore the brunt of the first attack.

One direct hit on the Hickman airfield is reported to have killed 350 men. An American battleship in Pearl Harbour is reported to be on fire.

In the United States immediate mobilisation of all naval and military personnel has been ordered, and the Cabinet was called together last night. In London, both Houses of Parliament have been summoned for to-day.

First official announcements - made to a Press conference at the White House, Washington, by Mr. Stephen Early, the President's secretary - told first of air attacks on Pearl Harbour (Hawaii) and on naval and military activities on Oshu (the principal ba ses in the Hawaiian Islands) and then of attacks on army and naval bases in Manila (Philippines). Late last night a further attack - this time on Guam (Marianne Islands) - was announced.

These were the only official messages bearing directly on hostilities but broadcasting and news agency services gave details.

It was stated that the first attack on Oahu, was carried out by between eighty and ninety planes. The main targets were the Pearl Harbour naval base and the Hickman airfield. One direct hit on the airfield is understood to have killed 350 men. There were also heavy casualties in other parts of the island, the killed including two Japanese subjects.

Raiders Shot Down

Two of the first batch of raiders were shot down and others crashed as the operation progressed. Ground defences and fighter planes were in action against the raiders, but were unable to prevent heavy damage to the naval base and at Honolulu. Three ships in Pearl Harbour, including the battleship Oklahoma (20,000 tons) were damaged. The Oklahoma was reported on fire. Fires in Honolulu were quickly brought under control. The Governor declared a state of emergency, and defence services, including A.R.P., were in immediate operation.

On a small town west of Honolulu Japanese planes dived low in a machine-gun attack and many persons were injured. By the time the first attack had been beaten off there was an extensive trail of damage and loss of life was reported to be heavy. Two hours later a second attack developed. So far no details are available.

Aircraft-carrier Sunk

There are reports that a war ship also arrived off Pearl Harbour and began a bombardment. …

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