This photograph documents one of the most shocking moments in American history, which took place 80 years ago this month. On December 7, 1941, the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii was hit by a surprise attack. More than 350 Japanese aircraft rained down bombs and torpedoes, turning the base into an inferno. The attack killed more than 2,400 people. It also damaged or destroyed more than 20 ships and 180 aircraft.

The next day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt called December 7 “a date which will live in infamy.” He asked Congress to declare war on Japan. With that declaration, the U.S. officially entered World War II (1939-1945) on the side of Great Britain and the Soviet Union. They fought the Axis powers of Germany, Japan, and Italy. Images of Pearl Harbor, such as this one of the burning battleship USS West Virginia, helped rally most Americans in support of the war.

Today, many Americans still honor December 7 as Pearl Harbor Day—and this photo remains a powerful reminder of the tragedy.