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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060
Scouting Squadron Six Report for Pearl Harbor Attack
SCOUTING SQUADRON SIX
Lieutenant Commander H.L. HOPPING, (Commander Scouting Squadron
SIX, Pilot of 6-S-1).
The Commanding Officer, U.S.S. Enterprise
The Commander, Enterprise Air Group.
Report of Action with Japanese at Oahu on December 7, 1941.
Art. 712 and 874, U.S. Navy Regulations.
(A1) to (A8) Reports of Pilots. (Omitted)
(B) Task Organization AM Search. (Omitted)
(C) Task Organization PM Search. (Omitted)
- In accordance with reference (a) this report is submitted
via the Commander Enterprise Air Group to the Commanding
Officer, Enterprise, for inclusion with the latter's report.
Attached hereto as Enclosures (A1) to (A8) are the statements
of eight additional pilots of Scouting Six aircraft which participated
in the engagement. The pilots of the other four Scouting Six
planes involved are killed, missing or in hospital.
- The Task Organization for the morning search is attacked
as Enclosure (B). Planes were launched about 0615. One plane
of Scouting Six departed immediately with the Group Commander,
but the remainder of the flight rendezvoused with me, and at
0637 took departure from Enterprise.
- About half way out on the median of sector 095°-105°
(T) contact was made with an unidentified ship broad on the port
bow of 6-S-1, distance 20 miles. A signal was made to 6-S-3 to
remain outside gun range while 6-S-1 investigated. it proved
to be the Pat Doheny, a Richfield tanker, 0730 position
from memory being latitude 20°-55', longitude 160°-20',
course 070° (T). Upon completion of investigation 6-S-3 could
not be found; 6-S-1 completed sector alone, then set course for
- When a short distance from Barbers point heavy smoke was
visible. At this time a report was heard over the radio: "Do
not attack me. This is six baker three an American plane",
and the same voice continued on telling his gunner to break out
the boat as he was landing in the water. When abreast of Ewa
the first Japanese planes were sighted. They were attacking Ewa
- I broadcast a report that Pearl Harbor was being attacked
by Japanese aircraft, dived down to low altitude and at 0845
landed on Ford Island during what proved to be the second of
three attacks (considering the VT attack the first and the dive
bombing as two waves).
- After landing I taxied to the Control Tower to make arrangements
for bombs and to get detailed information to ComTaskFor Eight.
The tower transmitter was not working so returned to plane and
broadcast several times the details of the attack, and that Ford
Island Field was usable. Gunner COLE then appeared and agreed
to get bombs for the 3 VSB which had arrived and for others which
might arrive later.
- In the absence of the Group Commander, who had reported to
the Commander-in-Chief, I reported to Commander Patrol Wing Two.
He directed me to send one plane to investigate reports of two
Japanese carriers southwest of west of Barbers Point between
25 and 40 miles, and to hold remaining planes on ground as attack
- At 1030 took off in 6-S-1, and from Barbers Point flew tracks
west 20 miles, south 20 miles, west 60 miles, south 20 miles,
east 60 miles and back to Ford Island. There were no contacts
except with own ships and sampans. During the return orders from
the Enterprise were received to "refuel, rearm and
rejoin". These orders were acknowledged and passed on to
6-S-7 who was in the air with three other planes. At 1145 landed
at Ford Island and reported to ComPatWing Two that there were
no Japanese surface craft within rectangle covering area 100
miles west and 60 miles south of Barbers point and informed him
of my orders from Enterprise. ComPatWing Two then directed
me to search sector 330° to 030° (T), attack enemy forces
encountered, and return to Ford Island.
- At 1210 we took off with 9 VSB armed with 500 lb. bombs,
task organization attached as Enclosure (C). No contacts were
made. All planes returned by 1545.
- During the initial approach of 6-S-1 to land at Ford Island
the antiaircraft fire was very heavy, but Japanese planes did
not come within gun range. On the first take-off and second landing
the anti-aircraft fire was not nearly so heavy, and on the take
off and landing of the nine plane flight there was little or
none. The only damage to 6-S-1 was a bullet in the battery which
did not effect plane or radio. This is mentioned to point out
the lesson learned namely that approach to land through antiaircraft
fire can be made at very low altitude with relative security.
- The second Japanese attack was witnessed partly from the
air and partly from the ground; the third attack from Ford Island
Field Tower. It was noted that attacks were made in a glide rather
than a dive, that pull-outs were as low as 400 feet, and that
the machine gunning of Ewa Field destroyed planes on the landing
mat almost immediately by burning. At least two dud bombs were
noted. Two Japanese planes were seen to fall in flames one landing
in or just east of Middle Loch and one west of Middle Loch.
- One Japanese plane was definitely shot down by Lieutenant
C.D. DICKINSON Jr., USN, and MILLWE, William C., RM1c, USN, in
- The total personnel casualties of Scouting Squadron Six were
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * *
[not included in report]
- The total material losses of Scouting Squadron Six were as
Three (3) planes shot down:
- Bureau No. 4570
- Bureau No. 2158
- Bureau No. 4572
Three (3) planes missing:
- Bureau No. 2160
- Bureau No. 2159
- Bureau No. 4521 - Kauai
Several planes slightly damaged by gunfire but all in commission
except 6-S-2 (Bu#2175) which was left at Ford Island for repairs.
- The conduct of all hands under fire was in keeping with the
highest traditions of the Navy. We were separated in small two
plane units and had no knowledge of the situation until near
Pearl Harbor in the landing approach lanes. As soon as reports
of the attack had been made, it is believed that all pilots adopted
the same course of action. This was to get into a field, engaging
only such enemy aircraft as would prevent them, in order to:
(1) arm with bombs, (2) obtain information of position of enemy
carriers, (3) insure transmission of full information to ComTaskFor
Eight and (4) be prepared to search for and attack the Japanese
raiding force. Six Scouting Six planes and eight Scouting Six
pilots were assembled, reserviced and armed at Ford Island Field
before noon. With the Group Commander's plane and two Bombing
Six planes this made the search and attack group of nine SBD's
shown in Enclosure "C". One Scouting Six plane was
at Ewa Field reserviced and armed. Two Scouting Six planes were
shot down by enemy aircraft after accounting for at least one
Japanese single-seater fighter of a group which attacked this
section. One Scouting Six plane was shot down by our own antiaircraft
fire. What happened to the three missing Scouting Six planes
is not known. Worthy of special commendation are the following:
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * * * *
[not included in the report]
- All aircraft and material functioned efficiently so far as
is known except when damaged or destroyed by aircraft or anti-aircraft
fire. Whether armored seats or leak-proof tanks would have saved
an personnel or material is not known.
Addendum to report of Action with Japanese at Oahu on December
It was noted that stations KGU and KGMB were both broadcasting
music (presumably phonograph records) while the Japanese attack
was in progress between 0800 and 0815. These were heard by pilots
who knew nothing of the engagement and were taking radio bearing.
In view of the fact that a broadcast of the attack might have
been invaluable to naval forces and would appear the normal thing
to expect this report is thought to be of possible interest to
Source: Enclosure (E) to CINCPAC
action report Serial 0479 of 15 February 1942, World War II
the Modern Military Branch, National Archives and Records Administration,
8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740.