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|SCOUTING SQUADRON SIX|
U. S. S. ENTERPRISE
| ||At Sea|
13 December, 1941
|From:||Lieutenant W. E. Gallaher, USN, (Pilot of 6-S-10).|
|To:||The Commander, Scouting Squadron SIX.|
|Subject:||Report of Action with Japanese on Oahu on 7 December, 1941.|
|Reference:||(a) Art. 874 U.S. Navy Regulations.|
- I took off from the U.S.S. ENTERPRISE in 6-S-10 at 0615 on the morning of 7 December
1941, and, in company with 6-S-5, piloted by
Ensign W. P. WEST, USNR,
proceeded on a scouting flight to a distance of 150 miles on true track 080° from Pt.
Option. No contacts were made.
- In accordance with instructions I proceeded toward Ford Island upon completion of the
scouting mission. When we reached a position somewhere between Kaui and Oahu I observed
several planes effecting a rendezvous ahead of me on the port bow at an altitude of about
1500 feet. At this time we were flying at 500 feet and I was getting a radio bearing on
KGU. I thought the planes sighted were U.S. Army planes. Shortly thereafter I shifted back
to voice and heard White 16 broadcast that Pearl Harbor was being attacked and then heard
6-B-3 broadcast, "Don't shoot I'm a friendly Navy plane", or words to that
effect. I continued to Oahu, arriving at about 0835, discovered that Pearl Harbor had been
bombed and realized that the planes sighted earlier were enemy planes.
- We were unable to get into Ford Island on the first attempt due to anti-aircraft fire
from shore batteries and ship batteries in and around Pearl, so returned to the vicinity
of Barbers Point. Here I was joined by three more Scouting SIX planes and two Bombing SIX
planes. Circled in the area between Barbers Point and Ewa Field for several minutes at an
altitude of 400 to 500 feet. During this time I saw a number of what I believed to be
enemy fighters overhead at about 4000 feet but we were not attacked.
- Then proceeded to a point about 10 miles south of Barbers Point during what I believe
was the third attack on Pearl. I saw a number of bomb explosions, some in the water, but
did not see any of the planes in their dive due to the cloud of smoke over Pearl Harbor.
After the attack the enemy planes effected a rendezvous south-west of Barbers Point and I
broadcast this information by voice radio. As I was getting low on fuel I proceeded toward
Ford Island as soon as the AA. fire had subsided.
- Landed at Ewa Field but was advised not to stay on the ground there as they had been
heavily machine gunned and had lost nearly all their planes. Took off and proceeded toward
Ford Island accompanied by 6-S-5 and 6-S-8. Effected a safe landing at Ford Island
although heavy anti-aircraft fire was encountered while making the approach to the field.
The remaining four planes turned back and landed at Ewa. One of these planes had been hit
by gun fire but neither the pilot nor the passenger were injured and the damage to the
plane was minor.
- The planes were armed with 500 lb. bombs and refueled and we stood by for orders. At
1210 took off in company with eight other VSB planes, led by
Commander H. L. HOPPING, USN, in 6-S-1, to search a sector 330° to 030°(T)
from Kaena Point. Accompanied by 6-S-8, pilot
Ensign W. P. WEST, USNR,
I searched the sector 010° to 030° (T) to a distance of 200 miles from Kaena Point
but made no contacts. Returned to Ford Island and landed at 1545.