Continuity mistake: When Rafe is taking Evelyn to the boat in the beginning of the movie to sit on the lighted platform, they clearly pass the same platform about 2 or 3 times before they get onto it.
Continuity mistake: In the scene where Rafe is burning his love letters on the beach after learning Evelyn is pregnant with Danny's child, when Danny and Rafe are talking there is a modern "dune fence" meant to keep people from walking on sensitive dune plants clearly visible in the background.
Continuity mistake: When Rafe and Evelyn go to the Queen Mary ship and they are rising on the platform, and kissing, one sweeping camera shot shows the handle of the elevator controls going straight up. This would mean that they had stopped, yet they are still moving up. A couple of seconds later, a close up of the handle shows that it is now in the position to move the elevator up.
Continuity mistake: During the attack on Pearl Harbor, Rafe, along with a couple of other pilots jump into a convertible car to drive to another airfield. The actual set they depart from (which is exploding all around them) is the same one they "arrive" at minutes later, but the whole set is intact, instead of an actual different set/location.
Plot hole: Danny receives the telegram from Rafe, telling him that he is alive, at the same time Rafe meets with Evelyn. The telegram must have been sent from Hawaii. Why didn't he just call on the phone? When Rafe reached the U.S. after leaving England why didn't he send a telegram then. In those days it took some time to travel from the Eastern U.S. all the way to Hawaii and there is no way he beat the telegram if it was sent when he returned to the U.S.
Continuity mistake: On the island with Pearl Harbor when the girl and Ralf is sitting in the old car on the beach you can see the camera wagon in the bumper on the car.
Continuity mistake: When one of the Men are speaking to the President about the boys having to take the airplanes off the carrier too soon, you can see there's a ring on his left pinky finger, but no wedding ring.
Continuity mistake: In the scene where Rafe is fighting for Britain his plane gets hit. As it goes down into the water, it is day. Later when they show him swimming out of the plane and to the surface, it is night.
Continuity mistake: When Rafe and Evelyn go to the Queen Mary and are rising on the boat is one sweeping camera shot. Look to the right as their boat goes up and you can see the film crew going up on a platform. Note that the next shot of them on the boat is filmed from that platform.
Plot hole: Near the end of the Tokyo raid, Col. Doolittle orders his radio operator to "break radio silence" so he can address the rest of the planes. For the duration of the raid, though, intelligence officers had been listening to radio transmissions back at Pearl (other users have already commented that this in itself is a historical error). If these transmissions were being heard at Pearl, there was obviously no radio silence to begin with.
Continuity mistake: When Danny & Rafe take off from the sattellite airfield their landing gear is (obviously) down. You see a shot of them from behind like this. Two seconds later they just clear a building, in the heat of a combat takeoff,and both sets of landing gear are fully retracted.
Continuity mistake: When Rafe comes back for the first time after supposedly being dead and you see his reflection in the glass before meeting his lover, as the camera pans across the room you can see a green light moving on the wall as the camera moves. I'm not sure what it is but it could be the light to indicate the camera is on.
Factual error: In the first view of Pearl Harbor, just before the nurses are shown in the small transport boat as they arrive at Pearl, you clearly see the Arizona Memorial in the background as the camera pans down from sky to harbour.
Plot hole: In the scene where Danny and Evelyn are talking, Danny 'finds out' that Rafe volunteered to go to England. Danny already knew that Rafe volunteered because near the start of the film, Danny was in the same office as Rafe when Rafe was given the choice to go to England or not.
Deliberate mistake: The four U.S. Navy ships moored side-by-side shown in the film during the attack are mothballed Spruance Class Guided Missile Destroyers built during the late 1970s. The large boxes near their bows are box launchers for anti-submarine rockets, known as ASROCs.
Factual error: When Danny is paying tribute to Rafe after he is shot down, he pours Jack Daniels into a glass in front of Rafe's picture. The bottle of Jack Daniels is a modern bottle with all the awards on it that were not on it in the 1940s.
Factual error: During the first scene of the adult Rafe and Danny at Mitchell Field on Long Island, there are large hills/mountains visible in the background. There are no large hills or mountains located anywhere in Long Island. (Scenes were filmed elsewhere, including Hawaii, which explains the hills/mountains, but this is a mistake nonetheless, since they are supposed to be at Mitchell Field at Long Island, NY.)
Continuity mistake: In the scene in front of the hotel on the night before Rafe ships out to England, Evelyn puts a scarf around his neck. There is a camera shot from his back: no scarf; then another one from his front, and he's wearing the scarf again.
Visible crew/equipment: During the attack on Pearl Harbor, when the people are jumping off the ships, you can briefly see a crew member (dressed as a sailor) holding a camera (covered in green plastic) floating next to him in the water.
Factual error: One shot of the "Japanese fleet" at sea clearly shows a nuclear-powered super-carrier, surrounded by guided missile-armed cruisers and destroyers.
Continuity mistake: In the scene showing the ship's deck while the ship is sinking and people are falling off of the deck, etc. clearly visible on either side of the deck are huge ship chains. These chains never sag from gravity as the ship is turning on its side. They don't even move.
Continuity mistake: After Doolittle's bombing raid on Tokyo and the planes are flying towards China, the sun is setting behind the planes. The planes are flying west, so they should be flying towards the setting sun.
Continuity mistake: When the final planes take off from the aircraft carrier to bomb Tokyo, the captain gives the order for extra speed. But when the second and third planes take off, you can see that the carrier is safely moored with three anchor chains at the front of the ship and not going anywhere.
Factual error: Just before the attack on Pearl Harbor begins you see a scene of some Japanese planes flying in a place called Kualoa Valley. Two boys watch these planes fly by. Here is the error - in order to get to Pearl Harbour they would have to be flying almost the exact opposite direction, these planes were flying out of the valley...back out to sea.
Factual error: In the scene where Petty Officer Dorie Miller is boxing, a sailor betting on the fight holds a wad of dollar bills where the top one shows the overprinting HAWAII. The HAWAII overprint notes were not introduced until July of 1942, when the U.S. government replaced all currency on the islands with overprinted notes just in case the islands were invaded by Japan. If they had been overrun by Japan, the notes would then have been declared illegal.
Continuity mistake: As the Japanese attack begins, fighter aircraft strafe pedestrians (and everything else) near the harbour. The reporter with the hand-held movie camera is killed twice. Watch as he is blown into the air and then miraculously restored to health, only to be blown away yet again, this time with the camera in front of his face.
Continuity mistake: In the scene where President Roosevelt is sitting at the table talking to the joint chiefs etc., the camera pans around the table and as it passes General Marshall, it shows what appears to be a Vietnam service ribbon in the cluster on his chest.
Continuity mistake: In another scene when Danny and Evelyn are at the Black Cat diner after leaving the cinema she gets up to leave first, but when she gets up there is no hankie on the table. After the camera shows her walking out the door, it cuts back to Danny who picks up the hankie, which was not there a second ago.
Continuity mistake: After Rafe hits himself with the cork, Evelyn puts snow on it. She then is seen removing it, but when the camera angle changes, the snow is back on his nose.