On Sunday morning 7 December 1941, an “urgent” radiogram went out to all U.S. Navy ships in Hawaiian waters.
The message was sent minutes after Japanese aircraft first started dropping bombs and launching torpedoes on the US Pacific Fleet based at Pearl Harbor.
Caught completely by surprise on that fateful Sunday morning the military response was, at first, slow and painful ... Just a handful of US fighter aircraft managed to get into the air to combat the marauding Japanese “Zeroes”, “Vals” and “Kates”.
Among the pilots who took to the skies over Hawaii were Lieutenants Ken Taylor and George Welch flying their P40 “Tomahawks”.
Both pilots’ exploits on 7 December have been portrayed in movies such as “TORA! TORA! TORA!” (1970) and “PEARL HARBOR” (2001)