|SCOUTING SQUADRON SIX|
15 DEC 1941
|From:||Lieutenant Commander H. L. HOPPING (Commander Scouting Squadron SIX, Pilot of 6-S-1).|
|To:||The Commanding Officer, U.S.S. ENTERPRISE.|
|Via:||The Commander, ENTERPRISE Air Group.|
|Subject:||Report of Action with Japanese at Oahu on December 7, 1941.|
|Reference:||Art. 712 and 874 U.S. Navy Regulations.|
|Enclosures:||(A1) to (A8) Reports of Pilots.|
(B) Task Organization AM Search.
(C) Task Organization PM Search.
- In accordance with reference (a) this report is submitted via the Commander Enterprise Air Group to the Commanding Officer, ENTERPRISE, for inclusion with the latter's report. Attached hereto as Enclosures (A1) to (A8) are the statements of eight additional pilots of Scouting Six aircraft which participated in the engagement. The pilots of the other four Scouting Six planes involved are killed, missing or in hospital.
- The Task Organization for the morning search is attached as Enclosure (B). Planes were launched about 0615. One plane of Scouting Six departed immediately with the Group Commander, but the remainder of the flight rendezvoused with me, and at 0637 took departure from ENTERPRISE.
- About half way out on the median of sector 095° - 105° (T) contact was made with an unidentified ship broad on the port bow of 6-S-1, distance 20 miles. A signal was made to 6-S-3 to remain outside gun range while 6-S-1 investigated. It proved to be the "PAT DOHENY", a Richfield tanker, 0730 position from memory being latitude 20°-55', longitude 160°-20', course 070° (T). Upon completion of investigation 6-S-3 could not be found: 6-S-1 completed sector alone, then set course for Barbers Point
- When a short distance from Barbers Point heavy smoke was visible. At this time a report was heard over the radio: "Do not attack me. This is six baker three an America plane", and the same voice continued on telling his gunner to break out the boat as he was landing in the water. When abreast of Ewa the first Japanese planes were sighted. They were attacking Ewa Field.
- I broadcast a report that Pearl Harbor was being attacked by Japanese aircraft, dived down to low altitude and at 0845 landed on Ford Island during what proved to be the second of three attacks (considering the VT attack the first and the dive bombing as two waves).
- After landing I taxied to the Control Tower to make arrangements for bombs and to get detailed information for ComTaskFor Eight. The tower transmitter was not working so returned to plane and broadcast several times the details of the attack, and that Ford Island Field was usable. Gunner COLE then appeared and agreed to get bombs for the 3 VSB which had arrived and for others which might arrive later.
- In the absence of the Group Commander, who had reported to the Commander-in-Chief, I reported to Commander Patrol Wing Two. He directed me to send one plane to investigate reports of two Japanese carriers southwest or west of Barbers Point between 25 and 40 miles, and to hold remaining planes on ground as attack group.
- At 1030 took off in 6-S-1, and from Barbers Point flew tracks west 30 miles, south 20 miles, east 60 miles and back to Ford Island. There were no contacts except with our own ships and sampans. During the return orders from the ENTERPRISE were received to "refuel, rearm and rejoin". These orders were acknowledged and passed on to 6-S-7 who was in the air with three other planes. At 1145 landed at Ford Island and reported to ComPatWing Two that there were no Japanese surface craft within rectangle covering area 100 miles west and 60 miles south of Barbers Point and informed him of my orders from ENTERPRISE. ComPatWing Two then directed me to search sector 330° to 030° (T), attack enemy forces encountered, and return to Ford Island.
- At 1210 we took off with 9 VSB armed with 500 lb. bombs, task organization attached as Enclosure (C). No contacts were made. All planes returned by 1545.
- During the initial approach of 6-S-1 to land at Ford Island the anti-aircraft fire was very heavy, but Japanese planes did not come within gun range. On the first take-off and second landing the anti-aircraft fire was not nearly so heavy, and on the take off and landing of the nine plane flight there was little or none. The only damage to 6-S-1 was a bullet in the battery which did not effect plane or radio. This is mentioned to point out the lesson learned namely that approach to land through anti-aircraft fire can be made at very low altitude with relative security.
- The second Japanese attack was witnessed partly from the air and partly from the ground; the third attack from Ford Island Field Tower. It was noted that attacks were made in a glide rather than a dive, that pull-outs were as low as 400 feet, and that the machine gunning of Ewa Field destroyed planes on the landing mat almost immediately by burning. At least two dud bombs were noted. Two Japanese planes were seen to fall in flames one landing in or just east of Middle Loch and one west of Middle Loch.
- One Japanese plane was definitely shot down by Lieutenant C. E. Dickinson Jr., USN, and MILLER, William C., RM1c, USN, in 6-S-4.
- The total personnel casualties of Scouting Squadron Six were as follows:
- Three (3) officers and five (5) men missing:
Ensign J. H. L. VOGT Jr., USN, Pilot of 6-S-3 (Bu#2160). Listed at Naval Hospital, Pearl Harbor, as killed.
Lieutenant (jg) F. A. PATRIARCA, USN, Pilot of 6-S-16 (Bu#4521). Reported by radio at Burns Field, Kauai, on December 7, 1941. No further information.
Ensign W. M. WILLIS, A-V(N), USNR, Pilot of 6-S-15 (Bu#2159). No definite information. Rumor that body found on Oahu.
PIERCE, Sidney, RM3c, USN, Gunner 6-S-3 (Bu#2160). Listed at Naval Hospital, Pearl Harbor, as killed.
DE LUCA, Joseph F., RM1c, USN, Gunner 6-S-16 (Bu#4521). Same status as Lieutenant (jg) F. A. PATRIARCA.
DUCOLON, Fred J., Cox, USN, Gunner 6-S-15 (Bu#2159). Same status as Ensign W. M. WILLIS.
MILLER, William C., RM1c, USN, Gunner 6-S-4 (Bu#4570). Pilot (Lieut. C. E. DICKINSON) reports he was wounded twice and probably killed before or in plane fire and crash.
COHN, Mitchell (n), RM3c, (V-3), USNR, Gunner 6-S-9 (Bu# 2158). Probably killed before or in crash of plane.
- One (1) officer and one (1) man wounded:
Ensign J. R. McCARTHY, A-V(N), USNR, Pilot of 6-S-9 (Bu#2158). Reported by a Commander in the Medical Corps to an officer of this squadron as at Naval Hospital with broken leg presumably incurred parachuting from plane at low altitude.
COSELETT, Audrey G., RM3c, USN, Gunner 6-S-14 (Bu# 4572). Gunshot wounds in throat and wrist. Rescued by pilot of plane which made crash landing on East side of Pearl Harbor channel. Presumably taken to Tripler Hospital
- One (1) officer slightly wounded:
Ensign E. T. DEACON, USN, Pilot of 6-S-14 (Bu# 4572). Minor gunshot wound in left leg. Returned to duty after treatment.
- Three (3) officers and five (5) men missing:
- The total material losses of Scouting Squadron Six were as follows:
- Three (3) planes shot down:
6-S-4 - Bureau No. 4570 6-S-9 - Bureau No. 2158 6-S-14 - Bureau No. 4572
- Three (3) planes missing:
6-S-3 - Bureau No. 2160 6-S-15 - Bureau No. 2159 6-S-16 - Bureau No. 4521
- Several planes slightly damaged by gunfire but all in commission except 6-S-2 (Bu#2175) which was left at Ford Island for repairs.
- Three (3) planes shot down:
- The conduct of all hands under fire was in keeping with the highest traditions of the
Navy. We were separated in small two plane units and had no knowledge of the situation
until near Pearl Harbor in the landing approach lanes. As soon as reports of the attack
had been made, it is believed that all pilots adopted the same course of action. This was
to get into a field, engaging only such enemy aircraft as would prevent them, in order to:
(1) arm with bombs, (2) obtain information of position of enemy carriers (3) insure
transmission of full information to ComTaskFor Eight and (4) be prepared to search for
and attack the Japanese raiding force. Six Scouting Six planes and eight Scouting Six
pilots were assembled, reserviced and armed at Ford Island Field before noon. With the
Group Commander's plane and two Bombing Six planes this made the search and attack
group of nine SBD's shown in Enclosure "C". One Scouting Six plane was at Ewa
Field reserviced and armed. Two Scouting Six planes were shot down by enemy aircraft
after accounting for at least one Japanese single-seat fighter of a group which attacked
this section. One Scouting Six plane was shot down by our own anti-aircraft fire. What
happened to the three missing Scouting Six planes is not known. Worthy of special
commendation are the following:
- Lieutenant C. E. DICKINSON Jr., USN, who fought his plane till spinning and on fire, parachuted to safety, made his way to Ford Island during the attack, and again took the air to search for and attack the enemy.
- MILLER, William C., RM1c, who though twice wounded, shot down a Japanese plane and stayed with his ship to the end.
- Ensign E. T. DEACON, USN, who, though shot down, still under fire and himself slightly wounded, had the presence of mind to use his radio cord as a tournequet for his gunner's mangled arm, and to rescue the latter from the crashed plane.
- Ensign P. L. TEAFF, USN, who did not hesitate to take off in an already damaged plane in order to search for and attack the enemy, and who continued on with defective engine at a time when no chance for rescue existed, even when authorized to return at discretion.
- All aircraft and material functioned efficiently so far as is known except when damaged or destroyed by aircraft or anti-aircraft fire. Whether armored seats or leak-proof tanks would have saved any personnel or material is not known.
Addendum to Report of Action with Japanese at Oahu on December 7, 1941
- It was noted that stations KGU and KGMB were both broadcasting music (presumably phonograph records) while the Japanese attack was in progress between 0800 and 0815. These were heard by pilots who knew nothing of the engagement and were taking radio bearings. In view of the fact that a broadcast of the attack might have been invaluable to naval forces and would appear the normal thing to expect this report is thought to be of possible interest to Naval Intelligence.
|(Signed) H. L. HOPPING|