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In Pictures: Aerial WWII shots reveal the bombing of Hong Kong by the U.S. 14th Air Force

The three photos below are from the FDR Presidential Library and Museum. They show scenes from an aerial reconnaissance flight after a raid on Hong Kong during WWII.

surprise bombing hong kong

Photo: FDR Presidential Library & Museum.

Often, after a bombing mission, one lucky pilot would remain in the vicinity in an attempt to survey the damage to targets. The pilot would then report back to command.

surprise bombing hong kong

Photo: FDR Presidential Library & Museum.

The initial Japanese attack on Hong Kong took place just eight hours after the bombing of Pearl Harbour in the US.

war battle hong kong

The Gin Drinker’s Line, set up over two years by the British, was expected to protect the territory for months – however, it fell in the space of three days with troops outnumbered two-to-one. Within 18 days, Hong Kong itself had fallen and the Japanese seized control at the Peninsula Hotel on Christmas Day, 1941.

surprise bombing hong kong

Photo: FDR Presidential Library & Museum.

Despite an impressive continued resistance by Gangjiu Da Dui Guerillas, the brutal Japanese occupation lasted for three-and-a-half years.

map of japanese lines

Map of the Japanese lines of attack. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

surprise bombing hong kong

A surprise bombing by the US Air Force on Kowloon Docks, 1944.

Unexploded bombs from WWII are still occasionally uncovered, especially around areas of reclamation, and war remnants can be spotted and explored on various historical hiking trails around the city.

In Pictures: Aerial WWII shots reveal the bombing of Hong Kong by the U.S. 14th Air Force