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Day of Infamy (December 1941)

Day of Infamy (December 1941)

The Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO) was the World War II area of military activity in the Pacific Ocean and the countries bordering it, a geographic scope that reflected the operational and administrative command structures of the American forces during that period. (The other areas of the Pacific War -- the China Burma India Theater, the South-East Asian Theatre, and Manchurian Theatre -- had their own respective command structures, independent of PTO.)

The Pacific Theater of Operations was one of two areas in which the United States initiated offensive combat operations against the Axis in late 1942. This included operations by the 32nd and the 41st Infantry Divisions on New Guinea, the Americal Infantry Division on the Gilbert Islands, and the 1st Marine Division on Guadalcanal. The other area was the Mediterranean Theater of Operations, beginning with Operation Torch in November.

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Imperial Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A6M5 'Zero' Fighter - Pearl Harbor, 1941 Imperial Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A6M5 "Zero" Fighter - Pearl Harbor, 1941 (1:72 Scale)

Aside from the early-morning raid on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, perhaps the biggest shock for American forces in the Pacific was the outstanding performance of the Imperial Navy's main carrier fighter, the beautifully proportioned Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero-Sen.

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IJN Nakajima B5N2 Kate Torpedo Bomber - IJN Aircraft Carrier Akagi, First Attack Wave, Pearl Harbor, December 7th, 1941 Imperial Japanese Navy Nakajima B5N2 "Kate" Torpedo Bomber - IJN Aircraft Carrier Akagi, First Attack Wave, Pearl Harbor, December 7th, 1941 (1:72 Scale)

The Nakajima B5N (Allied reporting name: Kate) was the Imperial Japanese Navy's standard torpedo bomber for the first years of World War II. While the B5N was substantially faster and more capable than its Allied counterparts, the TBD Devastator and Fairey Swordfish, it was close to obsolescence by the time of the Pearl Harbor Attack.

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IJN Nakajima B5N2 Kate Torpedo Bomber - IJN Aircraft Carrier Zuikaku, Second Attack Wave, Pearl Harbor, December 7th, 1941 Imperial Japanese Navy Nakajima B5N2 "Kate" Torpedo Bomber - IJN Aircraft Carrier Zuikaku, Second Attack Wave, Pearl Harbor, December 7th, 1941 (1:72 Scale)

The Nakajima B5N (Allied reporting name: Kate) was the Imperial Japanese Navy's standard torpedo bomber for the first years of World War II. While the B5N was substantially faster and more capable than its Allied counterparts, the TBD Devastator and Fairey Swordfish, it was close to obsolescence by the time of the Pearl Harbor Attack.

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Imperial Japanese Navy Aichi D3A1 Val Dive-Bomber - Lt. Maseo Yamaguchi, Aircraft Carrier Shokaku, Pearl Harbor, December 7th, 1941 Imperial Japanese Navy Aichi D3A1 Val Dive-Bomber - Lt. Maseo Yamaguchi, Aircraft Carrier Shokaku, Pearl Harbor, December 7th, 1941 (1:72 Scale)

The Aichi D3A (Allied code name "Val") was a World War II dive bomber produced by the Aichi company in Japan. It was the primary carrier-borne dive bomber in the Imperial Japanese Navy in the early stages of the war, and participated in almost all actions, including Pearl Harbor.

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Imperial Japanese Navy Aichi D3A1 Val Dive-Bomber - Lieutenant Commander Kakuichi Takahashi, IJN Carrier Shokaku, Pearl Harbor Attack, December 7th, 1941 Imperial Japanese Navy Aichi D3A1 Val Dive-Bomber - Lieutenant Commander Kakuichi Takahashi, IJN Carrier Shokaku, Pearl Harbor Attack, December 7th, 1941 (1:72 Scale)

The Aichi D3A (Allied code name "Val") was a World War II dive bomber produced by the Aichi company in Japan. It was the primary carrier-borne dive bomber in the Imperial Japanese Navy in the early stages of the war, and participated in almost all actions, including Pearl Harbor.

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Imperial Japanese Navy Aichi D3A1 Val Dive-Bomber - EII-235, Aircraft Carrier Zuikaku, "Battle of Coral Sea" Imperial Japanese Navy Aichi D3A1 Val Dive-Bomber - EII-235, Aircraft Carrier Zuikaku, "Battle of Coral Sea" (1:72 Scale)

The Aichi D3A (Allied code name "Val") was a World War II dive bomber produced by the Aichi company in Japan. It was the primary carrier-borne dive bomber in the Imperial Japanese Navy in the early stages of the war, and participated in almost all actions, including Pearl Harbor.

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Imperial Japanese Navy Aichi D3A1 Val Dive-Bomber - Aircraft Carrier Akagi, Pearl Harbor, December 7th, 1941 Imperial Japanese Navy Aichi D3A1 Val Dive-Bomber - Aircraft Carrier Akagi, Pearl Harbor, December 7th, 1941 (1:72 Scale)

The Aichi D3A (Allied code name "Val") was a World War II dive bomber produced by the Aichi company in Japan. It was the primary carrier-borne dive bomber in the Imperial Japanese Navy in the early stages of the war, and participated in almost all actions, including Pearl Harbor.

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Imperial Japanese Navy Aichi D3A1 Val Dive-Bomber - Houkoku, Aircraft Carrier Kaga, Pearl Harbor, December 7th, 1941 Imperial Japanese Navy Aichi D3A1 Val Dive-Bomber - "Houkoku" (Patriotism Gift), Aircraft Carrier Kaga, Pearl Harbor, December 7th, 1941 (1:72 Scale)

The Aichi D3A (Allied code name "Val") was a World War II dive bomber produced by the Aichi company in Japan. It was the primary carrier-borne dive bomber in the Imperial Japanese Navy in the early stages of the war, and participated in almost all actions, including Pearl Harbor.

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Imperial Japanese Navy Nakajima B5N2 Kate Torpedo Bomber - Aircraft Carrier Soryu, Pearl Harbor, 1941 Imperial Japanese Navy Nakajima B5N2 "Kate" Torpedo Bomber - Aircraft Carrier Soryu, Pearl Harbor, December 1941 (1:72 Scale)

The Nakajima B5N (Allied reporting name: Kate) was the Imperial Japanese Navy's standard torpedo bomber for the first years of World War II. While the B5N was substantially faster and more capable than its Allied counterparts, the TBD Devastator and Fairey Swordfish, it was close to obsolescence by the time of the Pearl Harbor Attack.

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USAAC Curtiss P-40B Warhawk Fighter - 160/15P, 2nd Lt. George Welch, 47th Pursuit Squadron, 15th Pursuit Group, Wheeler Field, Pearl Harbor, December 7th, 1941 [75th Anniversary Pearl Harbor Attack Commemorative Packaging] USAAC Curtiss P-40B Warhawk Fighter - 160/15P, 2nd Lt. George Welch, 47th Pursuit Squadron, 15th Pursuit Group, Wheeler Field, Pearl Harbor, December 7th, 1941 [75th Anniversary Pearl Harbor Attack Commemorative Packaging] (1:72 Scale)

The P-40 was the best known Curtiss-Wright designed airplane of the Second World War. It was also one of the most controversial fighters, vilified by many as being too slow, lacking in maneuverability, having too low a climbing rate, and being largely obsolescent by contemporary standards even before it went into production.

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Imperial Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero Fighter - AI-I54 s/n.5289, Petty Officer 1st Class Takashi Hirano, IJN Aircraft Carrier Akagi, Pearl Harbor, December 7th, 1941 [75th Anniversary Pearl Harbor Attack Commemorative Packaging] Imperial Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero Fighter - AI-I54 s/n.5289, Petty Officer 1st Class Takashi Hirano, IJN Aircraft Carrier Akagi, Pearl Harbor, December 7th, 1941 [75th Anniversary Pearl Harbor Attack Commemorative Packaging] (1:72 Scale)

Aside from the early-morning raid on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, perhaps the biggest shock for American forces in the Pacific was the outstanding performance of the Imperial Navy's main carrier fighter, the beautifully proportioned Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero-Sen.

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RAF Curtiss Tomahawk IIB Fighter - AK402, P/O Neville Duke, No.122 Squadron, North Africa, 1941 RAF Curtiss Tomahawk IIB Fighter - AK402, P/O Neville Duke, RAF No.122 Squadron, North Africa, 1941 (1:72 Scale)

The P-40 was the best known Curtiss-Wright designed airplane of the Second World War. It was also one of the most controversial fighters, vilified by many as being too slow, lacking in maneuverability, having too low a climbing rate, and being largely obsolescent by contemporary standards even before it went into production.

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American Volunteer Group Curtiss P-40C Warhawk Fighter - "White 47", Robert "R.T" Smith, 3rd Squadron, Kunming, China, June 1942 American Volunteer Group Curtiss P-40C Warhawk Fighter - "White 47", Robert "R.T" Smith, 3rd Squadron, Kunming, China, June 1942 (1:72 Scale)

The P-40 was the best known Curtiss-Wright designed airplane of the Second World War. It was also one of the most controversial fighters, vilified by many as being too slow, lacking in maneuverability, having too low a climbing rate, and being largely obsolescent by contemporary standards even before it went into production.

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Imperial Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A6M2 Riesen Zero Fighter - PO1c Tadao Kimura, Aircraft Carrier Akagi Imperial Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A6M2 Riesen "Zero" Fighter - PO1c Tadao Kimura, Aircraft Carrier Akagi, December 1941 (1:48 Scale)

The Mitsubishi A6M Zero was a light-weight carrier-based fighter aircraft employed by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service from 1940 to 1945. It is universally known as Zero from its Japanese Navy designation, Type 0 Carrier Fighter (Rei shiki Kanjo sentoki), taken from the last digit of the Imperial year 2600 (1940), when it entered service.

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Imperial Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A6M3 Riesen Zero Fighter - Q-108 Imperial Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A6M3 Riesen "Zero" Fighter - "Q-108", 1941 (1:48 Scale)

The Mitsubishi A6M Zero was a light-weight carrier-based fighter aircraft employed by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service from 1940 to 1945. It is universally known as Zero from its Japanese Navy designation, Type 0 Carrier Fighter (Rei shiki Kanjo sentoki), taken from the last digit of the Imperial year 2600 (1940), when it entered service.

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Imperial Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A6M2 Fighter - Captain Yoshio Shiga, 105 Squadron, Aircraft Carrier Kaga Imperial Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A6M2 Fighter - Captain Yoshio Shiga, 105 Squadron, Aircraft Carrier Kaga (1:48 Scale)

The Mitsubishi A6M Zero was a light-weight carrier-based fighter aircraft employed by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service from 1940 to 1945. It is universally known as Zero from its Japanese Navy designation, Type 0 Carrier Fighter (Rei shiki Kanjo sentoki), taken from the last digit of the Imperial year 2600 (1940), when it entered service.

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USMC Douglas SBD1 Dauntless Dive-Bomber - VMSB-232, Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, Hawaii, December 7th, 1941 USMC Douglas SBD1 Dauntless Dive-Bomber - VMSB-232, Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, Hawaii, December 7th, 1941 (1:48 Scale)

The Dauntless was the standard shipborne dive-bomber of the US Navy from mid-1940 until November 1943, when the first Curtiss Helldivers arrived to replace it. Between 1942-43, the Dauntless was pressed into service again and again, seeing action in the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Guadalcanal campaign.

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Imperial Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A6M2 Model 21 Riesen Zero Fighter - Lt. Commander Shigeru Itaya, Aircraft Carrier Akagi, Pearl Harbor Raid, Hawaii, 1941 Imperial Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A6M2 Model 21 Riesen Zero Fighter - Lt. Commander Shigeru Itaya, Aircraft Carrier Akagi, Pearl Harbor Raid, Hawaii, 1941 (1:48 Scale)

The Mitsubishi A6M Zero was a light-weight carrier-based fighter aircraft employed by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service from 1940 to 1945. It is universally known as Zero from its Japanese Navy designation, Type 0 Carrier Fighter (Rei shiki Kanjo sentoki), taken from the last digit of the Imperial year 2600 (1940), when it entered service.

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Imperial Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A6M5 Model 52 Zero Fighter - Aircraft Carrier Hiryu, Pearl Harbor Raid, Hawaii, 1941 Imperial Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A6M5 Model 52 Zero Fighter - Aircraft Carrier Hiryu, Pearl Harbor Raid, Hawaii, 1941 (1:48 Scale)

The Mitsubishi A6M Zero was a light-weight carrier-based fighter aircraft employed by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service from 1940 to 1945. It is universally known as Zero from its Japanese Navy designation, Type 0 Carrier Fighter (Rei shiki Kanjo sentoki), taken from the last digit of the Imperial year 2600 (1940), when it entered service.

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Imperial Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A6M2B "Zero" Fighter - LCDR Shigeru Itaya, IJN Akagi, December 1941 Imperial Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A6M2B "Zero" Fighter - LCDR Shigeru Itaya, IJN Akagi, December 1941 (1:48 Scale)

The Mitsubishi A6M Zero was a light-weight carrier-based fighter aircraft employed by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service from 1940 to 1945. It is universally known as Zero from its Japanese Navy designation, Type 0 Carrier Fighter (Rei shiki Kanjo sentoki), taken from the last digit of the Imperial year 2600 (1940), when it entered service.

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Imperial Japanese Navy Aichi D3A1 Val 11 Dive Bomber - Aircraft Carrier Akagi Imperial Japanese Navy Aichi D3A1 'Val' 11 Dive Bomber - Aircraft Carrier Akagi, 1941 (1:48 Scale)

The Aichi D3A (Allied code name Val) was a World War II dive bomber produced by the Aichi company in Japan. It was the primary carrier-borne dive bomber in the Imperial Japanese Navy in the early stages of the war, and participated in almost all actions, including Pearl Harbor.

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Imperial Japanese Navy Aichi D3A2 Val 22 Dive Bomber - Aircraft Carrier Shokaku, 1941 Imperial Japanese Navy Aichi D3A2 'Val' 22 Dive Bomber - Aircraft Carrier Shokaku, 1941 (1:48 Scale)

The Aichi D3A (Allied code name Val) was a World War II dive bomber produced by the Aichi company in Japan. It was the primary carrier-borne dive bomber in the Imperial Japanese Navy in the early stages of the war, and participated in almost all actions, including Pearl Harbor.

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Imperial Japanese Navy Nakajima B5N1 Kate Torpedo Bomber - Aircraft Carrier Soryu Imperial Japanese Navy Nakajima B5N1 "Kate" Torpedo Bomber - Aircraft Carrier Soryu, 1941 (1:48 Scale)

The Nakajima B5N (Allied reporting name: Kate) was the Imperial Japanese Navy's standard torpedo bomber for the first years of World War II. While the B5N was substantially faster and more capable than its Allied counterparts, the TBD Devastator and Fairey Swordfish, it was close to obsolescence by the time of the Pearl Harbor Attack.

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Imperial Japanese Navy Nakajima B5N2 Kate Torpedo Bomber - Lt. Col. Mitsuo Fuchida, Aircraft Carrier Akagi Imperial Japanese Navy Nakajima B5N2 "Kate" Torpedo Bomber - Lt. Col. Mitsuo Fuchida, Aircraft Carrier Akagi, 1941 (1:48 Scale)

The Nakajima B5N (Allied reporting name: Kate) was the Imperial Japanese Navy's standard torpedo bomber for the first years of World War II. While the B5N was substantially faster and more capable than its Allied counterparts, the TBD Devastator and Fairey Swordfish, it was close to obsolescence by the time of the Pearl Harbor Attack.

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Imperial Japanese Navy Yokosuka K5Y Willow Biplane Trainer Aircraft Imperial Japanese Navy Yokosuka K5Y 'Willow' Biplane Trainer Aircraft (1:48 Scale)

The Yokosuka K5Y was a two seater unequal-span biplane trainer aircraft (Allied codename: Willow) that served in the Imperial Japanese Navy during the World War II.

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Imperial Japanese Navy Yokosuka K5Y2 Willow Float Plane Imperial Japanese Navy Yokosuka K5Y2 'Willow' Float Plane, 1941 (1:48 Scale)

The Yokosuka K5Y was a two seater unequal-span biplane trainer aircraft (Allied codename: Willow) that served in the Imperial Japanese Navy during the World War II.

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USN Consolidated PBY-5 Catalina Flying Boat - Bu.No.2418, 14-P-2, Otto F. Meyer Jr, Patrol Squadron 14, Kaneohe Bay, Pearl Harbor, December 7th, 1941 [75th Anniversary Pearl Harbor Attack Commemorative Packaging] USN Consolidated PBY-5 Catalina Flying Boat - Bu.No.2418, 14-P-2, Otto F. Meyer Jr, Patrol Squadron 14, Kaneohe Bay, Pearl Harbor, December 7th, 1941 [75th Anniversary Pearl Harbor Attack Commemorative Packaging] (1:72 Scale)

The PBY Catalina was the US Navy designation for an American and Canadian-built flying boat of the 1930s and 1940s. PB stands for Patrol Bomber, with Y being Consolidated's manufacturer identification. It could be equipped with depth charges, bombs, torpedoes, and .50 caliber machine guns and was one of the most widely used multi-role aircraft of World War II.

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USN Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina Flying Boat - VP-11, (Proud Pegasus), Pearl Harbor, 1941 USN Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina Flying Boat - VP-11, ("Proud Pegasus"), Pearl Harbor, 1941 (1:48 Scale)

The PBY Catalina was the US Navy designation for an American and Canadian-built flying boat of the 1930s and 1940s. PB stands for Patrol Bomber, with Y being Consolidated's manufacturer identification. It could be equipped with depth charges, bombs, torpedoes, and .50 caliber machine guns and was one of the most widely used multi-role aircraft of World War II.

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USN Consolidated PBY-5 Catalina Flying Boat - VP-52 Black Cat, Solomon Islands, 1944 USN Consolidated PBY-5 Catalina Flying Boat - VP-52 "Black Cat", Solomon Islands, 1944 (1:48 Scale)

The PBY Catalina was the US Navy designation for an American and Canadian-built flying boat of the 1930s and 1940s. PB stands for Patrol Bomber, with Y being Consolidated's manufacturer identification. It could be equipped with depth charges, bombs, torpedoes, and .50 caliber machine guns and was one of the most widely used multi-role aircraft of World War II.

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