This short six minute video comes to us from one of our FASF Member news scouts, Jerry Dixon, himself a retired US Marine Corps Jet Fighter Pilot.  The story tells of these two young Army Air Forces Lieutenants stationed on Hawaii on that fateful day in early December of 1941.

While most of us know how the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor caught the United States off guard and unprepared to defend itself, few are likely aware of the story of these two brave young P-40 “Warhawk” Fighter Pilots. (NOTEThis fighter was the only front line fighter in the U.S. arsenal when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.  The plane was built by the same company that also made the First Aero Squadron’s famous Jenny open-cockpit biplane, which first went into combat for the U.S. only 25 years earlier out of Columbus, New Mexico.)

The two men were both only Second Lieutenants: Ken Taylor and George Welch.  Ken and George had spent Saturday night, December 6th, out on the town playing poker and dancing until the wee hours of Sunday morning.  They didn’t get home and into bed until about 6:30 AM.

Only an hour later, they were suddenly jarred awake by the screaming engines, rattling machine guns and the exploding bombs being dropped all around them by the attacking hordes of Imperial Japanese war planes. Nevertheless, and entirely at their own initiative, they grabbed a car and, amid exploding bombs and strafed machine gun bullets, they raced at breakneck speed to a distant part of the Island where their two Curtiss Fighters were parked. With only their smaller 30 caliber machine guns loaded, they nevertheless took off to engage the vast numbers of more heavily armed enemy attackers – – – with amazing results.  The two fledgling pilots did a remarkably heroic job, considering the terrible odds they were up against that morning.   Now view this remarkable story in graphic and documentary detail.

                     Turn up your audio and enjoy this piece of little known U.S. history


  1. Mike Mangino

    Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism – how passionately I hate them! Albert Einstein

    As a rule, all heroism is due to a lack of reflection, and thus it is necessary to maintain a mass of imbeciles. If they once understand themselves the ruling men will be lost. Ernest Renan

    To be really great in little things, to be truly noble and heroic in the insipid details of everyday life, is a virtue so rare as to be worthy of canonization.

    Harriet Beecher Stowe

    We can’t all be heroes, because somebody has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.

    Will Rogers

    You cannot be a hero without being a coward.

    George Bernard Shaw

    There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

    William Shakespeare

    1. fasfric

      Thanks, David! Appreciate the important input about more of the actual details involved that infamous day. I was an USAF Aide-de-Camp for General Brooke Allen, during my own tour of duty during the mid to late fifties. He had became sort of famous on 12/7/41 for having jumped into one of the parked B-17s at Hickam, without the rest of his crew, and safely got airborne amidst the falling bombs, straffing and gerneral chaos and bedlam, thereby saving his plane from probably certain destruction. As a young new pilot, that helped launch his career quite successfully. Appreciate the link and will check it out. A friend of mine, Roger Nichols, who lives in El Paso, TX and is an active member of the FASF (and former USAF Pilot and Navigator), had a father in the frackus. His Dad, Maj. Genral Frank “Nick” Nichols was one of the pilots who got airborne in his P-40, later becoming an ACE in the Pacific Theater. His son, Roger, knows the story quite well, and often speaks to groups about his Dad’s wild experience on Pearl Harbor day. Really great to have your commentary, which will go right up on the FASF website! Thanks again. 🙂


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