Why was it important for the United States to protect Hawaii during World War 2?
Because it was a major base for the Pacific Fleet. Not only that but it is part of the USA and US citizens live there.
It did not become a state until 1959, so at the time it's main importance was Japan could reach the USA from the air for bombing offensives and we could reach Japan for the same purpose. Also we lost many large ships at Pearl Harbor, luckily our carriers (the most important of the war ships, were else where at the time).
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