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Relive Pearl Harbor - Hour by Hour: 12/6 @ 10 p.m.

Picture of house World War II is raging, but the United States is at peace on this calm evening of December 6, 1941. It's just another ordinary Saturday night at Pearl Harbor, the naval base of the U.S. Pacific fleet on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Some of the thousands of soldiers and sailors stationed at Pearl Harbor have gone ashore to clubs and parties, while others have gone to Honolulu. Young families, like U.S. Navy commander Hubert "Dale" Gano and his wife Margaret "Johnie" Gano, a newlywed couple, are spending a relaxing evening at home. Dale has served in the Navy since 1938, and was assigned to Pearl Harbor in July 1941.

Nearby, at Hickam airfield, an annual charity dance is in progress. Outside in the darkness, hundreds of American fighter planes are parked and lined up in neat rows — a perfect target for an air attack — because they can be more easily guarded against sabotage. Driving home from the charity dance, a general and his wife notice the reflection of thousands of ships' lights playing on the still water of the harbor. "What a target they would make!" the general remarks.

Picture of Ganos At that very moment, 220 miles north of Oahu, dozens of ships under the command of Admiral Chuichi Nagumo stand in position, waiting. The sailors and pilots on board the aircraft carriers are in good spirits, toasting the Emperor and listening to music. The deck crews are hard at work making final preparations to launch hundreds of attack planes at dawn. Their destination: Pearl Harbor.

Pearl Harbor Activity Station
Relations between America and Japan have been strained for some time. And yet, most Americans are far more concerned about being drawn into the European conflict than they are about a possible Japanese attack. Did Dale and Johnie Gano ever think that their lives were in danger because they were stationed at Pearl Harbor? Find out by reading an interview with them.

Sabotage — the deliberate damage or destruction of property.

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