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US 'fired first shot' at Pearl Harbor
By Rupert Cornwell in Washington
30 August 2002
An accidental discovery on the seabed could provide proof that an
American sailor, not a Japanese pilot, fired the first shot in the
sneak attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 that launched the
American marine researchers have discovered what almost certainly
is the two-man Japanese midget submarine that was sunk by the
destroyer USS Ward shortly before hundreds of Japanese aircraft
devastated the US Pacific fleet as it lay at anchor, sinking or
damaging 21 American warships, and killing almost 2,400 people.
The 78ft submarine was found a few miles from Pearl Harbor itself
during a test dive by the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory.
Eyewitness accounts have long spoken of a submarine skirmish before
the aerial onslaught.
The sunken mini-sub has a bullet hole in its conning tower, and
both torpedoes are intact. The remains of the two crewmen are
believed to be still inside. "It's the shot that started World War
II between the Americans and the Japanese," said John Wiltshire,
director of Hawaii Undersea Research.
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