Mokoli'I Island in Kaneohe Bay, seen from Kualoa Regional Park, Oahu, Hawaii
© Riddhish Chakraborty/Getty Image
Where the battle began. National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
While most know the US entered World War II after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, fewer know that the battle on December 7, 1941, actually started here on Oahu's eastern shore at the old Kaneohe Bay Naval Air Station. Now a Marine Corps airfield, the base lies beyond the small, cone-shaped Mokoli'I Island in the background of this image.
Kaneohe Bay is a protected notch along the windward shore of Oahu, about 10 miles from Pearl Harbor. To ensure a successful attack, the Japanese first destroyed American air defenses here, taking out dozens of planes before moving on to the ships tied up at Pearl Harbor—starting a chain of events that would alter the world.