Patrol bomber burning at Naval Air Station Kaneohe, Oahu, during the Japanese attack.

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Photo & caption courtesy of Naval Historical Center

Marine Barracks during the Pearl Harbor Attack

Pearl Harbor's Marine Barracks, located just south of the Navy Yard's industrial area, was not a target of the Japanese attack. It received slight damage from falling anti-aircraft projectiles and only a few non-fatal casualties, but had a very close view of the destruction inflicted on the nearby warships.

Like the other personnel at Pearl Harbor, the Marines were completely taken by surprise when the Japanese onslaught began. However, they organized quickly. Some were posted on the Barrack's parade ground and sentry posts with their rifles and ammunition, ready to fire on passing planes. Reportedly, one plane was downed by this small arms fire. Machine guns and seven three-inch anti-aircraft guns with some associated fire control equipment, were broken out and emplaced. First aid parties were organized, for use inside the Barracks compound and at the Navy Yard, gathering casualties and transporting them to treatment facilities.

Other Marines, assigned to the Navy Yard Fire Department, worked hard to suppress fires on and around ships and buildings at the Navy Yard and the nearby Naval Hospital. Marines were also sent to Hickam Army Air Field, located just to the south of the Barracks, to help with anti-aircraft defense and wreckage clearance. After the raiders had left, by 10AM, the Marines, along with Hawaii's Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen, stood ready through the day, and beyond, in case the enemy should return.

Naval Historical Center http://www.history.navy.mil

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