2
The Americans Fight Back

Nobody knows the exact minute the first bomb fell on Pearl Harbor, but the generally accepted time is 7:55.M. However, the first Japanese bullets hit Hawaii a few minutes earlier when fighters strafed Kaneohe Naval Air Station, almost due north of Honolulu, returned and strafed the amphibious base again, then bombed about half an hour later. Three of the station's thirty-six planes were on patrol; and twenty-seven of the remaining thirty-three were destroyed on the ground and the other six were damaged. Other planes hit Wheeler Field in the middle of the island, destroying forty-two planes and damaging the rest. These attackers then joined the others at Pearl Harbor and Hickam Field.

Very little damage was done to Bellows Field near Waimanalo. No bombs were dropped on it, but it was strafed by a group of planes that destroyed three of the craft on the ground. The only military target untouched was the new emergency field at Haleiwa because the Japanese apparently did not know it existed.

The major damage was done by the first wave of planes. Each of the seven battleships was hit then, and the Arizona and the West Virginia sank. The Tennessee was only slightly damaged. The California's stern was resting on the bottom. The Nevada managed to get under way but was badly damaged, and was beached rather than block the channel. The Oklahoma capsized when four torpedoes hit her. The Pennsylvania was badly damaged.

Several hundred men were killed and wounded at Hickam Field when bombs and bullets hit the barracks. Bombs also hit the guardhouse, dis

-27-

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The Day the War Began
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction: Saturday, December 6, 1941 1
  • 1 - The First Shot 21
  • 2 - The Americans Fight Back 27
  • 3 - Adventures of the Henley 43
  • 4 - Game Called Due to War 49
  • 5 - View from the Cane Fields 53
  • 6 - Friendly Fire 61
  • 7 - Chinese-American Family 66
  • 8 - Hell on a Sunshiny Day 70
  • 9 - The Military Takes Over Hawaii 77
  • 10 - Niihau Fights Back 82
  • 11 - The Saga of the Pacific Clipper 86
  • 12 - The Forgotten Attack 93
  • 13 - On the Home Front 97
  • 14 - War Comes to the Football Game 105
  • 15 - The Delayed Message 114
  • 16 - The White House Prepares for War 120
  • 17 - War Becomes a Reality 124
  • 18 - Extra! Extra! 132
  • 19 - Strange New Words 135
  • 20 - Sudden Heroes 142
  • 21 - The Mating Dance Continues 149
  • 22 - The Nation Unifies 154
  • 23 - Hawaii's Longest Night 157
  • 24 - Defending the East Coast 162
  • 25 - I Slept Like a Baby 166
  • Bibliography 169
  • Index 173
  • About the Author 181
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