Flight Journal

November - December 2021

Flight Journal is the world’s number one historical aviation brand. It is the go-to publication for those seeking the aviation experience as seen from the cockpit by history-making pilots and through the lenses of the world’s best aviation photographers. The emphasis is on giving readers unexpected aviation information and making them part of landmark experiences in a way that is to be found in no other periodical.

United States
Air Age Media
6 Issues

in this issue

2 min
pearl survivor

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was right when he declared December 7, 1941 a day that would live in infamy. Even 80 years later, the mere mention of the attack on Pearl Harbor can summon quite a range of emotions, and the violation of our sovereignty on that day, with the images of burning ships and planes, will forever be etched in our souls. Now history has proved that while Pearl Harbor may have been a temporary tactical success for the Imperial Japanese Military, it was a strategic blunder on a massive scale. It was the catalyst that awakened the industrial might of America and her Allies and the extraordinary resolve and strength of our citizens. That first glimpse of strength was demonstrated by those who fought at Pearl as the first…

13 min
the ghosts of pearl harbor

The movies “Tora! Tora! Tora!” and “Pearl Harbor” give us the erroneous impression that the only American defenders over Oahu were two Army Air Force (AAF) P-40 pilots. In fact, a number of pilots managed to make it into the air and battle the attackers. This combat ranged all over the island and was not merely, as the movies would have it, centered on the harbor. Newspaper accounts and interviews with 2nd L. George S. Welch and 2nd Lt. Kenneth M. Taylor recorded months after the attack are the basis for most of the stories about their actions on December 7, 1941. The thread of facts originates with them, but further details from the Japanese Kodochosho (combat reports), U.S. witnesses on the ground, and Welch and Taylor’s first reports paint a…

3 min
attack timeline

0342 Mine sweeper Condor sees periscope in restricted area near harbor entrance and radios USS Ward to investigate. 0600 Adm. Nagumo delays launch of first wave because of high waves rough sea. 0615 183 aircraft off six carriers are launched. 0620 200 miles west of Oahu, USS Enterprise launches 18 SBDs on a routine scout mission. They land at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. 0637 USN PBY on patrol sights submarine and drops smoke pot. USS Ward views sub tower and opens fire. Second shell hits sub; PBY completes circle and drops depth charges on target; hits conning tower; air attack by PBY follows. 0653 Ward’s commander, Capt. Outerbridge, sends message to Bishop Point radio station: “We have attacked, fired on and dropped depth charges on submarine operating in defensive sea area.” The PBY sent a…

5 min
wrong place, wrong time

At 0620, three PBYs were ordered into the air on a routine submarine patrol that had nothing to do with any knowledge of an impending attack. One found a midget sub and helped the USS Ward to sink it. When the attack on Pearl Harbor started, they were diverted to search for the Japanese carriers. At 0700, four PBYs took off on a training mission with submarine USS Gudgeon off the island of Lanai. They, too, were diverted to search for Japanese carriers. One flew into a Japanese Val formation and managed to survive an air-to-air battle. Eighteen unarmed SBDs from the USS Enterprise were unwittingly flown into battle (six were lost—one, to ground fire), and 12 B-17s came in from California (two were lost). They arrived just after the Japanese…

1 min
civilian planes involved in pearl harbor attack

Aeronca—Gambo Flying Service; Marguerite H Gambo, instructor (owner of flying service) Aeronca—Gambo Flying Service; Roy Vitousek, renter (aircraft now exhibited at Pacific Air Museum) Aeronca—Honolulu Jr. Chamber of Commerce Flying Club; G.H. “Tommy” Tomberlin, instructor (first plane attacked on December 7). Interstate “Cadet”—Andrews Flying Service; Cornelia C. Fort, instructor Piper Cub—K-T Flying Service; Robert Tyce, instructor (owner of flying service). Tyce was killed by strafing fire after he had landed. Piper Cub—K-T Flying Service; M.F. Poston, student (solo, flying with Tyce on wing); first plane shot down on December 7, pilot bailed out; OK. Piper Cub—K-T Flying Service; Clyde Brown, renter (shot down; crew missing) Piper Cub—K-T Flying Service; Henry Blackwell, renter (shot down; crew missing)…

1 min
going to war in a piper cub? civilians in the air at pearl

In the movie “Tora! Tora! Tora!,” do you remember the woman instructor who joined up with a Japanese formation? She depicted a half a dozen or more stories in one character. There were actually eight single-engine civilian planes in the air; all but one were attacked, and three were shot down. Of these, two are still missing. The first civilian-plane attack was the first American/Japanese air-to-air encounter of the day. The aircraft was the Honolulu Junior Chamber of Commerce flying club’s Aeronca flown by G.H. “Tommy” Tomberlin and a student. Two Piper Cubs were attacked over the Koolau Mountains. One was shot down—the day’s first aircraft crash—but its pilot, M.F. Poston, bailed out safely. Roy Vitousek and his son had rented an Aeronca for a Sunday flight around Oahu. They flew…