A bomb set off the magazines in the forward part of the ship almost blowing the ship in half killing 1,177 of the 1,512 crew on board at the time. Uncle Jim was one of 335 survivors.
After December 7, 1941, the USA was no longer a neutral bystander in World War II that had already been raging in Europe for almost 2 years and for a lot longer in Asia. At the time of the attack, the USA had a smaller over-all military than Belgium. Ten years of the Great Depression devastated its productive capacity. The Japanese calculated that so bold and brazen an attack would intimidate the USA into negotiations. Instead, the USA rebuilt and expanded its productive capacity within a matter of months and eventually won a titanic war on two fronts on opposite sides of the world, a tremendous and unprecedented accomplishment.