The attack on Pearl Harbor occurred on the morning of December 7, 1941. It was a surprise attack conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy. The Japanese’s primary target was the US aircraft carriers, but they were not at the base at the time of the attack. This prevented the Japanese from totally destroying the US Pacific fleet. They did succeed, however, in dropping an 1800-pound bomb on the USS Arizona’s forward ammunition magazine. The ship suffered a massive explosion which caused it to sink with more than 1,000 men trapped inside. Luckily, the base’s most vital onshore facilities were left intact. As a result, the US Navy was able rebound relatively quickly from the attack. The next day, the US was unified in its decision to declare war on Japan. “Remember Pearl Harbor!” became a rallying cry for US troops during WWII.