At 07:58am on December 7th, 1941, Commander Logan C. Ramsey ordered the following telegram to be sent to all ships in the Hawaiian area after watching a low-flying plane drop a bomb on Ford Island. Ramsey had in fact just witnessed the very beginning of a coordinated attack on Pearl Harbor in which the Japanese, over the course of 2 hours, would ultimately destroy 188 aircraft and either damage or sink 21 ships. As a result of the attack 2457 people, including 55 Japanese personnel, died.
The next day, the U.S. declared war against Japan.
(Source: National Archives; Image above: A photo of Ford Island under attack, taken from a Japanese plane, via.)
U.S. NAVAL AIR STATION, KODIAK, ALASKA
PSNY 3-7-41 25M
Heading NPC NR 63 F L Z F5L 071830 C8Q TART 0 BT
From: CINCPAC Date 7 DEC 41
To: ALL SHIPS PRESENT AT HAWAIIN AREA.
Info: - URGENT -
AIRRAID ON PEARLHARBOR X THIS IS NO DRILL
RM 58 1910 7DEC