|Enterprise AIR GROUP|
( 579 )
December 15, 1941.
|From:||The Commander Enterprise Air Group.|
|To:||The Commanding Officer, U.S.S. Enterprise|
|Subject:||Report of Action with Japanese Air Force at Oahu, T.H., December 7, 1941.|
|Reference:||Articles 712 and 874, U.S.N. Regulations.|
At about 0720 I sighted a tanker to starboard, proceeding on an easterly course, which upon investigation proved to be the Pat Doheny of Los Angeles, belonging to the Richfield Oil Co. Continuing on my track of 090° I sighted and passed the U.S.S. Thresher accompanied by the U.S.S. Litchfield at about 0740. At about 0810 I passed Kaena Point abeam to port distance 20 miles. At 0820 passed Barber's point to seaward and at this time I noticed approximately a squadron of planes circling Ewa Field in column. Believing them to be U.S. Army pursuit planes I gave them a wide berth, decreasing my altitude to about 800 feet and continued toward Ford Island Field. At a point mid-way between Ewa Field and Ford Island I noticed considerable "AA" fire ahead. At almost the same instant I was attacked by Japanese planes from the rear without warning. Recognizing the insignia of one plane that had completed a dive on me I immediately dove toward the ground zig-zagging. My passenger did not have sufficient time to man the free gun. My fixed guns were loaded and charged but I had no opportunity to use them. The planes that attacked me appeared to be low-wing monoplane fighters with retractable landing gear. My wing man was attacked at the same time but was not hit and stayed with me, circling low over a cane filed to the North of Pearl City. It was immediately evident that I was under AA fire regardless of which direction I went. I did not have sufficient fuel to return to the ship had I been able to get away from the island. Hoping that I would be recognized as friendly I decided to make a low approach to Ford Island Field and land I had no alternative it seemed. From this point on until I had landed I was subjected to heavy AA fire from ships and shore batteries in spite of making recognition maneuvers and the fact that my wheels and flaps were down for landing. My wing man turned away just prior to landing. I could not communicate with the Ford Island Field control tower. I estimate my time of landing to have been about 0835. Inspection of the plane revealed several bullet holes through the wings but no serious damage.