DAYTON, Ohio - This flag was flown on the U.S.S. St. Louis at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, the day of the Japanese attack. It was later flown on the U.S.S. Iowa in Tokyo Bay at the time of the Japanese surrender in 1945. The flag was donated by Mr. Ralph W. Youmans from Middletown, Ohio.
At 7:55 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, a Japanese force of 183 airplanes attacked U.S. military and naval facilities on Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands without warning. For 30 minutes, dive bombers, level bombers and torpedo planes struck airfields and naval vessels.
After a 15-minute lull, a second wave of 170 planes launched another attack at 8:40 a.m. that lasted an hour. Casualties to U.S. service personnel were 2,343 killed, 960 missing and 1,272 wounded; Japanese aircraft destroyed 151 U.S. planes on the ground and sank or damaged all eight U.S. battleships at anchor in Pearl Harbor. At a cost of only 28 airplanes shot down, the Japanese had dealt the United States a staggering blow.
On Dec. 8, the United States declared war on Japan. Germany and Italy in turn declared war on the United States on Dec. 11. The United States then declared war on those two Axis partners of Japan.
Click here to learn more about the museum's Pearl Harbor exhibit.