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Check Six: December 7, 1941

December 7, 2015
Planes and hangars burning at Wheeler Army Air Field, Oahu, soon after it was attacked in the morning of December 7, 1941. View toward the southwest as seen from a Japanese Navy plane. Naval History and Heritage Command photograph

Planes and hangars burning at Wheeler Army Air Field, Oahu, soon after it was attacked in the morning of December 7, 1941. View toward the southwest as seen from a Japanese Navy plane. Naval History and Heritage Command photograph

From the This Day in Aviation website

On the morning of December 7, 1941, only two American pilots were able to get airborne to fight the Japanese attackers. Second Lieutenants Kenneth Marlar Taylor and George S. Welch took two Curtiss P-40B Warhawk fighters from a remote airfield at Hale‘iwa and against overwhelming odds, each shot down four enemy airplanes: Welch shot down three Aichi D3A “Val” dive bombers and one Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero fighter. Taylor also shot down four Japanese airplanes. Although both officers were nominated for the Medal of Honor by General Henry H. (“Hap”) Arnold, they were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

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