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At sea,
13 December 1941.
From:Ensign W. E. ROBERTS, A-V(N), U.S.N.R.
To:Commander, Bombing Squadron SIX.
Subject:Air Attack on Oahu Observed Sunday morning,
7 December 1941.
  1. At 0615 December 7, 1941 I was launched in 6-B-9 from the U. S. S. ENTERPRISE on a combined scouting and ferry flight to Luke Field. I was in company with 6-S-14, flown by Ensign E. T. Deacon of VS-6, as I was substituting for a VS-6 plane that was down.
  2. The first leg of the flight took us about ten miles north of the island of Kauai, from which point we proceeded directly to Barber's Point, Oahu. At 0820 I sighted a loose formation of approximately 30 low wing monoplanes north of Oahu headed toward Kauai. I passed near a small detached group and observed that the planes were painted a green color similar to that used on Army planes, which I assumed them to be. The significance of the red circles on the wings did not occur to me until later. One plane came quite near and waved his wings in passing.
  3. At 0830 over Barber's Point, I observed smoke rising from the vicinity of Pearl Harbor and Ewa, which I took at first to be cane field fires. I noticed geysers rising offshore a few yards south of the southern coast. At this time approximately twenty planes of the type previously seen passed overhead at about 2000 feet altitude heading westward. I followed 6-S-14 in an attempt to reach Pearl Harbor, passing over Fort Weaver at an altitude of 200 feet and a speed of 150 knots. When directly over Fort Weaver, I noticed tracer bullets flying upward past my plane, and felt several strike it. 6-S-14 pulled up momentarily, then began losing altitude. I observed white smoke or gasoline streaming from his plane, and gasoline streaming from my left wing. I lost sight of the other plane below me, then noticed Hickam Field was dead ahead a very short distance, and effected a safe landing there.
  4. As telephones were dead at Hickam Field, I sent a teletype message to Pearl Harbor to broadcast a warning on frequency 6835 kcs. I sent several warnings on the same frequency from my plane on the field.
  5. Shortly after my arrival, a new dive bombing raid on Pearl Harbor began. The attack was started from about 8000 feet from the direction of the sun. The bombers, thirty to fifty in number, dived very slowly at an angle of about sixty degrees, releasing what appeared to be 500 pound bombs at an altitude of 400 feet or less.
  6. About one half hour later a bombing and strafing attack was made on Hickam Field, during which my passenger, JONES, D.H., AMM1c, fired on the attacking planes with the .30 caliber machine gun in the rear of our plane on the ground until his ammunition was expended.
  7. Inspection revealed the following damage to the plane: ignition wire to the rear spark plug of number three cylinder cut, both left fuel tanks punctured, landing light broken, skin and stringers of both wings torn in numerous places, engine cowling torn, left aileron and left elevator pierced.
  8. No injuries were sustained by either my passenger or myself.
(Signed) W.E. ROBERTS

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