The surprise attack by 360 Japanese planes on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii destroyed 19 ships, 150 planes, resulted in 2,400 deaths. Luckily, most of the U.S aircraft carriers were out on maneuvers. This Japanese attack leads Congress to vote for war on Japan on December 8th, 1941. 3 days later the Axis declares war on the U.S and on December 12, the U.S declares war on the Axis. This was important to the overall scheme of WWII because this attack is what brought the United States into the war.