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Explosion Damage on Dec. 7


Image from Bishop Museum Archives, Honolulu, Hawaii. Images are not to be re-used without permission.

Damaging explosions and fires occurred in multiple locations in Honolulu during the attack on Dec. 7. This photograph shows the area of greatest civilian damage, which was on King Street (in the foreground) at McCully Street. Both stores and houses were destroyed here, and one woman was killed. People naturally believed that bombs from Japanese planes were responsible, but in fact, U.S. Navy anti-aircraft shells that had been fired against the enemy airplanes were the real cause. The shells had not detonated high in the air as they were supposed to, but instead had fallen intact to the ground, where they then blew up. Approximately 60 civilians died on Dec. 7, along with over 3,000 military personnel.

Collection: General Photograph Collection
Call Number: Military. War. WWII. December 7, 1941
Artifact Number: SP 98512
Location: Bishop Museum Archives