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Pearl Harbor Photos Found in Old Brownie Camera

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Analysis: Really? All of these amazing photographs were taken by one lone sailor equipped with a cheap Kodak Brownie camera in 1941?

What I'd like to know is how a person stationed aboard the USS Quapaw ATF-110 — a ship they hadn't even finished building when this event took place, mind you — managed to take more than a dozen snapshots during the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor from every conceivable vantage point, including an aerial view of "Battleship Row."

The answer is: he couldn't have, and didn't. These pictures weren't found in a footlocker hidden away in somebody's basement for 65 years. They're official U.S. Navy photographs from the collections of the National Archives and U.S. Naval Historical Center in Washington, DC. Most are well known, having been published time and time again in the myriad books and articles recounting the Japanese surprise attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Consecrated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as "a date which will live in infamy," the attack left over 3,500 American servicemen and women dead or wounded, 188 aircraft destroyed, and at least a dozen Navy ships wrecked or damaged. On December 8, 1941 the United States officially joined World War II by declaring war on Japan.

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Sources and further reading:

Images of Pearl Harbor Raid, 7 December 1941
Naval Historical Center

History of the USS Quapaw
USS Quapaw ATF-100 home page

The Kodak Brownie Camera

Lest We Forget: Pearl Harbor - December 7, 1941
By John Fischer, About.com

Timeline of World War II

Last updated: 12/07/13

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