With the attack on Pearl Harbor Hawaii on December 7, 1941 the United States officially joined the Second World War. United States territories such as Guam was also attacked on December 7. This sparked a patriotic movement in the America where many men and women rushed to enlisting stations to join the military.
2nd Division of the crew of the USS Arizona, 1934 (above). It is unclear if these men in the photo perished or survived during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
From June 4 to June 7 the United States began retaliation on the attack on Pearl Harbor with the Battle of Midway. During this battle the United States fought against the Japanese in the Pacific Ocean. The United States lost one fleet carrier, one destroyer, 150 air crafts and 307 men died (three of which were prisoners). Japan lost 4 fleet carriers, 1 heavy cruiser, 248 air crafts, and 3,057 killed and 37 taken prisoner. It was a victory for the United States.
Published for the US Navy 1940
Visual Instruction on cleaning torpedos
Instructions on Cleaning torpedos
Visual representation of Torpedo transportation
Instructions on Transporting Torpedos
A total of three major battles occurred during 1943. One of the most impressive was from March 2 to March 4. The United States allied with Australia to fight Japan in the Battle of the Bismark Sea. The United States and Australia combined lost 2 bombers, 4 fighters, and 13 men died. Japan lost 8 transports, 4 destroyers, 20 fighters, and more than 2,980 men died.
U.S. General Douglas MacArthur (Army in Pacific/Japan battle)
In 1944 war continued with the Battle of the Philippine Sea in June lasting a day and the Battle of Leyte Gulf lasting three days in October. During this time the United States regained territories in Guam, Saipan, and Manila.
Imperivm Neptvni Regis Certificate, George Siegel, 1944.
This certificate was given to sailors in the US Navy who sailed past the equator for the first time after partaking in a ceremony called "Crossing the Line." The tradition goes back as far as 200 years.
In 1945 fighting amped up significantly as the war was starting to see the end. During the Battle of Iwo Jima which lasted from February 19 to March 26 the United States suffered a massive loss of life. In total 6,821 men died and 19,217 were wounded. The United States lost one escort carrier, one fleet carrier, and 137 tanks. Two men were captured by the Japanese but escaped.
Japan suffered 17,845 to 18,375 dead or missing and 216 men taken as prisoners. Although the United States suffered a great loss of life, this battle still came to a United States victory.
After dropping two Nuclear Bombs on Hiroshima (August 6) and Nagasaki (August 9) Japan ultimately surrendered on August 15 which celebrates VJ (Victory Japan) Day.
On September 2, 1945 Japan signed the Japanese Instrument of Surrender on the USS Missouri which ended World War II officially.
Top Battles of WW2:
December 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii 2,400 military deaths
June 3-6, 1942 Midway Atoll (NW Hawaii Island) 4,000 military deaths
August 7, 1942-February, 1943 Solomon Islands/Guadalcanal Campaign 27,000 deaths
April 1-June 21, 1945 Okinawa, Japan 148,000 military deaths
February 19-April 9, 1945 Iwo Jima, Japan 28,000 military deaths
June 19-20, 1944 Philippine Sea, Philippines 3,000 military deaths
October 20-December 31, 1944 Leyte, Philippines 66,000 military deaths
August 25-September 5, 1942 Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea 1,000 military deaths
VJ Day Kiss (Left) was taken in New York City, NY. In Times Square a Sailor, Alfred Eisenstaedt, kissing Nurse Edith Shain on August 14, 1945. The kiss happened after news of the Victory in Japan.
Eisenstaedt and Shain did not know one another.