Pearl Harbor Raid, 7 December 1941
Combat in the Air during the Pearl Harbor Raid



Despite the effective Japanese counter-air effort, a few Army P-40 and P-36 pursuit ships got airborne, including some from the small, and untargeted, airfield at Haleiwa on Oahu's north coast. These shot down perhaps as many as eleven enemy planes of the second attack wave, losing four of their number in return, two while taking off and one to American anti-aircraft fire while returning to base.

In the midst of the raid, twelve unarmed B-17C and B-17E four-engine bombers arrived over Oahu after a long flight from California. Unaware of the events then unfolding at their destination, several of these were attacked. Though unable to fire back, only two B-17s were destroyed, both after landing, an early indication of the toughness of the "Flying Fortress" in combat.

Two Navy SBDs flying into Oahu from the carrier Enterprise, were also downed by enemy action during the raid. One of these may have been the victim of a mid-air collision with its opponent near Ewa Field.

This page features views related to aerial combat over Oahu on 7 December 1941. For more images related to Japanese attacks on airfields and of aerial combat during the Pearl Harbor raid, see Attacks on Airfields and Aerial Combat.

Click photograph for larger image.

Photo #: SC 127014

Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941


Two Japanese Navy Type 99 Carrier Bombers ("Val") fly near a U.S. Army 38th Reconnaissance Squadron B-17E (Serial # 41-2408) that arrived over Oahu from California in the middle of the Japanese air raid. The B-17 was piloted by First Lieutenant Karl T. Barthelmess.
Photographed by Staff Sergeant Lee Embree.

Photograph from Army Signal Corps Collection, U.S. National Archives.

Online Image: 94KB; 740 x 600

Reproductions may also be available at National Archives.

 
Photo #: SC 126996

Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941


Two Japanese Navy planes circle a burning aircraft just north of Ewa Beach, Oahu, during the raid. The crashed plane is probably a USS Enterprise (CV-6) SBD flown by Ensign John Vogt or Lieutenant Clarence Dickinson. A Japanese plane crashed in the same location, with its wreckage intermingled with that of the U.S. Navy aircraft.
Photographed by Staff Sergeant Lee Embree from a U.S. Army 38th Reconnaissance Squadron B-17E that arrived over Oahu during the Japanese attack.

Photograph from Army Signal Corps Collection, U.S. National Archives.

Online Image: 77KB; 740 x 600

Reproductions may also be available at National Archives.

 


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