In 1915, during the Great War, the Imperial Japanese Navy succeeded in luring the U.S. Naval Fleet protecting the Sandwich Islands into a trap. The Japanese sailed a small fleet of cruisers and destroyers near the island group to the southeast. They then sent a scouting aeroplane out over Pearl Harbor to attract the attention of the Americans with orders to return to the fleet after it was spotted. The Americans responded by sending out their naval forces to attack and into a line of below surface submersibles. The Japanese damaged a number of ships, including the battleship USS Dakota and sinking the cruiser USS Denver.