The Battles at Dawn: The Japanese and American Battles that shaped the World War in the Pacific An Alternate History

Chapter 7 (part one)
Chapter 7 Air Raid Pearl Harbor

0400 Hours December 7, 1941
Kido Butai (First Air Fleet) (Striking Force)
(260 miles north of Oahu)
Carriers Akagi, Kaga, Soryu, Hiryu, Shokaku, Zuikaku, battleships Hiei, Haruna, Kongo, Kirishima, CA Tone (fleet flag Yamamoto), Chikuma, CL Abukuma, 14 destroyers, 12 fleet oilers, 414 combat aircraft (54 Zero fighters for fleet defense, 354 for striking force including 81 fighters, 143 B5N Kate torpedo/level bombers, 135 D3A Val dive bombers) plus 20 float planes for scouting

the fleet turns to the west to launch, then returns to its base course heading south so that by 0930 it will be 180 miles north of Oahu

as of 0400 hours
CL Abukuma, 3 destroyers are 30 miles in front of the fleet as an advanced screen
1 Destroyer (Arare) is moving south at 32 knots toward it's assigned mission position (which it will reach 130 miles north of Oahu at 0500 hours)
the I74 is in position 30 miles off the north coast of Oahu, off Kamuka Point
the I3 is in position 10 miles off shore in Walmea Bay

First Wave: spotted on deck (commander Lieutenant Commander Murata)
40 Kate torpedo bombers (12 each Akagi, Kaga, 8 each Soryu, Hiryu), 3 Val dive bombers (Kaga)

Second Wave: spotted on deck
(Strike Commander: Commander Fuchida)
9 Zero fighters (Kaneohe Bay attack)(Shokaku)
21 Kate Level bombers (air base suppression)(Shokaku)
9 Zero fighters (Air Cover)(Zuikaku)
21 Kate Level bombers (air base suppression)(Zuikaku)
12 Zero fighters (air cover)(Soryu)
12 Zero fighters (air cover)(Hiryu)
9 Zero fighters (air cover)(Akagi)
9 Zero fighters (air cover)(Kaga)

Second Wave: hanger deck (begin moving to flight deck after First Wave launched, which takes 30 minutes total)
15 Kate Level bombers (Akagi)(fleet attack)
15 Kate Level bombers (Kaga)(fleet attack)
10 Kate Level bombers (Soryu)(fleet attack)
10 Kate Level bombers (Hiryu)(fleet attack)
6 Val Dive bombers (Akagi)(special attack unit)
6 Kate reconnaissance scouts (Zuikaku)
6 Kate reconnaissance scouts (Shokaku)

Third Wave (hanger decks, spotted and launched 1 hour after Second Wave)
(commander: Lieutenant Commander Egusa)
Group 1 (Egusa)
18 Val Dive bombers (Soryu)(fleet attack)
18 Val Dive bombers (Hiryu)(fleet attack)
9 Zero fighters (Hiryu)
9 Zero fighters (Soryu)

Group 2 (Shimazaki)
9 Zero fighters (Akagi)
27 Val Dive bombers (Shokaku)(air base suppression)
18 Val Dive bombers (Akagi)(fleet attack)
Group 3 (Sakamoto)
9 Zero fighters (Kaga)
27 Val Dive bombers (Zuikaku)(air base suppression)
18 Val Dive bombers (Kaga)(fleet attack)

Fleet Combat Air patrol
6 Zeros each carrier (36 total), spotted and launched after Third Wave departs

also launched
6 float planes from the battleships and cruisers to scout Lahaina Roads and to provide close in antisubmarine patrol. After dawn another 6 are launched to increase the antisubmarine patrol and soon after 2 more from the cruisers to scout the waters north of Oahu to watch for American surface ships.

Refueling forces, the 12 fleet oilers, along with 4 destroyers are organized into 4 refueling groups. One is already en route for home, having completed its mission on December 4 (3 oilers, unescorted, meeting with 2 additional destroyers en route). Another group completed its task on December 6, and is en route for home with 2 destroyers as escorts. The third group if midway between Marcus Island and Wake Island with 2 destroyers, while a fourth group, with 2 destroyers and 3 oilers, is attached to the Midway Assault Force below

6th Fleet (submarines)
31 fleet submarines plus 5 special attack (midget) submarines at various patrol stations around the Hawaiian Islands. Some will head east toward the United States West Coast after the attack is concluded.

Midway Island Assault Force
CA Aoba, Furutaka, Kako, Kinugasa, 4 destroyers, 2 gunboats, 6 submarine chasers, 1 seaplane tender, 2 tenders, 9 transports, South Sea Force (4,886 troops) on course for Midway

Wake Island Assault force
this force is en route to Wake Island as of December 7
CL Yubari, Tatsuta, Tenryu, 6 destroyers, 2 destroyer transports, 2 transports, (450 naval Special Landing Force Troops)

Call to Battle December 7, 1941
The Japanese strike force 0500 hours – 0605 hours

At 0430 hours, with the entire First Wave in the air, the crews of the Japanese carriers hurriedly bring up the remainder of the Second Wave strike force that was not already spotted on decks. Continued heavy seas causes delays, so the planned launch does not finally begin until 0515, which is 15 minutes later than anticipated. However by 0530 all of the Second Wave planes are in the air, and crews begin preparing the next wave. It is not until 0620 hours that the Third Wave has completed forming up over the fleet in the early morning light and proceeds south on its mission. Meanwhile the battleships and cruisers are launching their float planes to cover the fleet from submarine attack while a pair are sent south to check Lahaini Roads which the Americans frequently use as an anchorage. The Second and Third Waves can be diverted to that location if the Americans have substantial shipping present there, particularly the American carriers.

Lieutenant Commander Murita meanwhile is flying south along with 39 Kate torpedo bombers and 3 Val dive bombers. They are in groups of 2s and 3s, as attempting to form up in the dark over the fleet was considered too risky in terms of possible collisions as well as too time consuming. The aircraft are forced to drop down to below 450 feet, as an overcast ceiling is at 500 feet which blocks their ability to see the ocean below. The aircraft are able to see their first checkpoint (the destroyer Arare) well enough and finally as they approach within 100 miles of Oahu the clouds begin to thin out. A pair of Kates from the Akagi miss the Arare (the last flight of the bomber stream) and they are still too low when they find a mountain peak just south of the Oahu North Shore and both are destroyed with their crews. Their fate would remain a mystery for nearly 2 years before American soldiers training for operations in the Pacific War find the wreckage.

As a result of this low level flying, the Japanese torpedo bombers are not discovered by radar until Kawailoa picks them up briefly as they travel west of Oahu, and then they are picked up again by the radar at Fort Shafter, just in time to pass the word to Air Defense Command and then the Fleet at 0612 hours. By that time the fleet was well aware that an attack was underway.

However, the Second Wave has fewer difficulties, and is relying more on radio signals than visual cues as it flies over the Arare, and are at 10,000 feet as they enter radar range 130 miles north of Opana Point. At 0600 hours the Japanese formation is picked up, and by 0605 a full scale air raid alert is issued and all American aircraft are ordered into the air.

American Land based Aviation Central Pacific
Air Defense Command Hawaii (Brigadier General McConnell)
Wheeler Field
HQ 14th Pursuit Wing (15th and 18th Pursuit Groups)
15th Pursuit Group w 44th, 47th Pursuit Squadrons (24 P40), 45th Pursuit squadron (12 P36)
72nd Pursuit Squadron (8 P26)
undergoing maintenance and repair (unassigned) 7 P26, 15 P36, 25 P40, 8 observation aircraft
53rd Coast Artillery brigade (AAA) with 18 x 3 inch, 12 x 37mm AA, dozens of machines guns

Operational aircraft are located in revetments, aircraft undergoing repair and maintenance or that are lacking needed spares are in hangers or parked on the ramp In the previous years, 108 revetments had been built at Wheeler Field and thus this airfield is the best protected American airfield in the entire Pacific Theater.

Bellows Field
18th Pursuit Group w 6th, 73rd, 78th Pursuit Squadrons (36 P40), 46th Pursuit Group (12 P36)
6 operational observation aircraft of several types
all aircraft are parked on the ramp and dispersed. Revetments are planned but have not yet been built
15th Coast Artillery Brigade (AA) same as 53rd Brigade

Haleiwa Field
47th Pursuit Squadron -12 P40 (assigned as part of 15th Pursuit Group)
parked on the ramp but dispersed

Ewa Field
Marine Air Group 21 (fighters are assigned to 14th Pursuit Wing while in Hawaii)
VMF 211 – 12 Wildcats (operational)(4 additional undergoing maintenance)
VMSB 232 – 24 SBD (16 operational, 8 undergoing repair)
VMSB 231 – 8 SB2U (all undergoing repair, remainder of squadron aboard USS Lexington)
3rd Marine Defense battalion (18 x 3 inch AA, dozens of machine guns), deployed in fortified positions

Air Search Command (Rear Admiral Bellinger)
Midway NAS (forward deployed) VP21 w 12 PBY, VJ3 w 8 float planes
(all aircraft are parked on the ramp or floating in the lagoon and are dispersed)
6th Marine Defense battalion (750 men, 18 x 3 inch AA, 6 x 5 inch anti shipping guns, dozens of machine guns)
Kaheohe NAS
Patrol Wing 2 w VP 11, VP 12, VP 14 (30 PBY operational, 6 undergoing repair in hangers)
operational aircraft parked on the ramp or floating in the bay
4th Marine Defense battalion (18 x 3 inch AA guns, dozens of machine guns) deployed in fortified positions

Ford Island NAS
Patrol Wing 1 w VP 21, VP 22, VP 23 (29 PBY operational, 6 undergoing maintenance and repair)
VJ2 w 18 assorted floatplanes, plus 30 various float planes from the battleships and cruisers (25 operational aircraft)
all aircraft parked on the ramp (dispersed) or in hangers.
5 Wildcat, 5 Buffalo, 2 SBD from the carriers are at Ford Island in hangers undergoing repair

Hickem Field
HQ 18th Bomb Wing (Brigadier General Rudolph)
5th Bomb Group w 23rd, 31st Bomb Squadrons (8 B17D operational, 4 undergoing repair)
11th Bomb Group w 11th, 26th, 42nd Bomb Squadrons (24 B18 operational, 9 undergoing repair and maintenance)
58th Bomb Squadron (9 A20 operational, 5 undergoing repair and maintenance)
also assigned, 2 C33 transports (basically civilian DC2 transport aircraft)
16th Coast Artillery brigade (AA) same as 53rd

Hickem lacks revetments, but aircraft that are operational are dispersed while aircraft undergoing maintenance are in hangers or on the main ramp

Other Defenses
3 additional coast artillery (AA) brigades are deployed, with 1 at Pearl Harbor base, another across the harbor at Ford City, and a third at Schofield Barracks in reserve. This is in addition to the AA units that are part of the coast defense fortifications..

All Marine and Army AA units are on alert as of 0600 hours

The Scramble
As of 0600 hours, all aircraft that are operational are armed, fueled, and their crews are standing by for their daily missions and patrols. The Navy utility floatplanes, Marine scout bombers, and Army B18s are scheduled to conduct close range patrols and are armed with light bombs and have orders to attack submarine contacts. The B17s and PBYs are scheduled to conduct long range patrols out to 500 miles, except for 8 PBY from VP21 which are specifically assigned to go find the survivors of the Gamble (if any). The first take offs will be at first light, 0605 hours (the B17s and PBYs) with a the morning dawn patrol of a fighter squadron each from Bellows and Wheeler (6th and 44th Pursuit squadrons). All other fighter squadrons are on strip alert for the next three hours. The Marine Corps fighter squadron has a flight of 4 Wildcats that is scheduled to take off at 0615 hours to patrol over Pearl Harbor.

However, as the first incoming blips are identified on radar at 0515 hours, these plans are changed. All aircraft that can fly are to take off as soon as it is light enough shortly after 0600 hours. Fighters are ordered to assemble over Wheeler Field and Bellows Field until Nautical twilight when they are to be prepared to engage incoming bogies. All other aircraft will take off and proceed on their missions or orbit over neighboring islands out of harms way. The Marines scramble their fighters at 0610 hours.

An urgent message is sent to Major Landon diverting his squadron of 11 B17s that are inbound to their alternate landing field at Hilo. A message is attempted to get CBS radio off the air, but does not reach the technicians until well after 0700 hours. In the rush to prepare, the signals transmitted by the Japanese submarines off the coast are missed, but reports eventually do make their way to Admiral Bellinger regarding the visual sightings made when they used their searchlights. The two Japanese submarines have long since submerged and departed those positions by that time.

Meanwhile, the Army and Navy prepare for air attack. The Army crews man their weapons, prepare ready ammunition and soldiers who are not manning weapons move to take cover in air raid trenches or in the more solid buildings. Some ground crew are still hurriedly attempting to get a few of the aircraft that were not operational as spread out as possible or in a few cases, prepared to take off so they can at least get out off the ground and out of the area. The Marines at the Naval Air Stations are similarly preparing while aboard the ships, watertight doors have long since been closed since 0400 hours or soon after, and deck crews and anti-aircraft gunners nervously peer through the waning darkness just as the Japanese torpedo planes appear over the harbor.

The Fleet is as is ready as it can be. Aboard the battleships California and Oklahoma, numerous hatches that had been previously open to prepare the ships for inspection on Monday morning have now been secured, and more importantly, damage control parties are assembled and waiting at their stations. Some guns are masked however due to proximity of other ships or are blocked by land installations, but all ships have their internal power ready and some have auxiliary power from shore as well. The only exceptions are the ships in dry dock which are just starting boilers for power when the first attack begins.

However many of the warships present are 20 years old or more, and some of them are in serious need of a refit. Hatches and bulkheads were weaker materially than they were when new. Mostly because during the 1930s maintenance funds were limited and older ships did not get the care they needed. Many of the ships present, especially the battleships, are vulnerable to flooding occurring because of bad seals and weaker than constructed bulkheads and hatches. Indeed the battleship Arizona was scheduled to go to Mare Island in December before the needs of the Navy kept her at Pearl.

In port Pearl Harbor
110 Dock: battleships Oklahoma (moved 0400 hours)
California (inboard, moved 0400 hours), Fleet Target ship Utah (w 1 tug) (outboard)(in motion), submarine Cachelot
Drydock: battleship Pennyslvania, destroyers Cassin, Downes
Floating drydock: destroyer Shaw

Naval Station (Fleet) docks:
heavy cruisers San Francisco, New Orleans, St Louis, light cruiser Honolulu, destroyers Jarvis, Mugford, Bagley, Cummings, minesweeper Greebe, destroyer minesweeper Trever, Zane, Perry Wasmuth, destroyer minelayer Breese, oiler Ramapo, repair ship Argonne, Rigel,

Southeast Loch
(submarine base) docks: submarine tender Pelias, rescue ship Widgeon, repair ship Sumner, stores ship Castor, submarines Narwhal, Dolphin, Tautog,

Carrier Row:
Seaplane Tenders Tangiers, Curtis (usually the location of Utah), seaplane tenders (converted destroyers) Thornton (usual location of Raleigh), Hulbert usual location of Detroit)

Middle loch:
repair ship Medusa, hospital ship Solace (moved 0400 hours)

Battleship Row
battleship Nevada (inboard), destroyer Dobbin (moved 0400 hours)
battleship Arizona (inboard), repair ship Vestal (outboard)
battleship Tennessee (inboard), destroyer Hull (outboard)
battleship Maryland (inboard), destroyer Dewey (outboard)

tied to Ford Island dock: Oiler Neosho
battleship West Virginia (inboard), destroyer Worden (outboard)
channel in off battleship row: Destroyer Selfridge, minelayer Oglala, 6 PT Boats, numerous other boats, 3 tugs

East Loch
destroyers: Henley, Patterson, Ralph Talbot
destroyer tender: Whitney, destroyers Conyngham, Reid, Tucker, Case,

harbor entrance
destroyers Blue, Ward, Helm, 4 minesweepers

off Honolulu harbor
TF 15 Light Cruiser (Rear Admiral Fairfax Leary) Helena, Phoenix, destroyers MacDonough, Phelps, Chew, Allen

North of Oahu (400-450 miles north) Task Force 9 Picket force
Destroyer minelayers Gamble, Ramsey, Montgomery, Pruitt, Tracy (Gamble has been sunk)
submarines S-18, S-23, S-34, Gudgeon, Plunger, Tambor, Thresher
more to come tomorrow... time to overeat
It begins. Tomorrow, I get bombed; I work in retail, and so will be staying as safe as possible in tomorrow's replacement for Black Friday: Superspeader Friday. I'll look forward to reading it as a stress reliever from the day.
So close to Pearl, any ship heavily damaged by torpedoes and/or bombs wouldn't be ordered sunk, like Lexington and later Hornet, but towed back
Very true, but some ships just plain sink. The Japanese will also know that cripples WILL return unless they're sent to the bottom, and Yamato is well aware of how vast America's industry is. Repairing even a nearly sunken ship won't strain the United States overmuch, other than the existence of onlt one big drydock at Pearl.
Chapter 7 (part two) The First Wave
The First Wave – Air Raid Pearl Harbor, this is no drill
At 0605 hours, 3 Val dive bombers from the Kaga begin their glide bomb attack. After swinging past the harbor entrance, they line up using Honololu on their right as a reference, and fly over the harbor at 6,000 feet, beginning their attack using the lights of Ford Airfield as a final reference. As they are descending, they spot the tanker Neosho at the Ford Island dock and deciding it is a much easier target to hit than a relatively small size of the fuel storage tanks and they each drop a 250 kilogram bomb. The first two bombs hit the tanker, one amidships, another just forward of that, and immediately the tanker, which is loaded with aviation fuel, bursts into flame. The third Val is hit by fire from several different ships and crashes into the water a few dozen meters south of the burning ship, not far from where its bomb impacts the water inflicting some crush damage of several hull plates and letting out gasoline which promptly alights and further lights up the area.

As the two surviving Val's are flying over Ford City seeking to escape, they blunder into 8 P26 Peashooters of the 72nd Pursuit Squadron and both are quickly shot down. However nervous American gunners seeing aircraft with fixed landing gear just like the ones that bombed the Neosho open fire on them and 2 Peashooters are shot down in flames, their pilots killed, and the remaining American fighters are all heavily damaged before they can break north away from the harbor. The 72nd Pursuit is out of the battle.

The bright flames of the Neosho however do the job just fine in lighting up Battleship row and providing the needed illumination for the incoming torpedo planes.

The 110 Dock 0612 hours – 0627 hours
11 torpedo bombers from the Kaga have the mission of attacking Carrier Row, and if no carriers are present they are to join the 8 bombers from the Soryu in hitting targets on the 110 Dock. Both groups come in just west of Pearl City through the Middle Loch facing little flak initially as gunners aboard the 4 seaplane tenders, the Medusa and the army gunners at Pearl City are busy shooting up the 72nd Pursuit squadron. It is not until they are spotted by the ships around the 110 Dock that they are engaged, and with the dark night sky behind them the only illumination is from the flames of the Neosho and the city lights behind them. Nevertheless, they are engaged by the full anti-aircraft gun broadside of both the Utah and Oklahoma, machine gunners from the fighting tops of the California and West Virginia, a single machine gun from the Cachelot and fire from two PT boats and the forward guns of the destroyer Selfridge.

The Soryu torpedo bombers escape lightly from this blast of fire, as only 1 is downed and 3 others suffer damage but all manage to drop successfully. The Kaga bombers, having noted that the target size and shapes do not match a carrier at carrier row, come in behind the Soryu, but those few second quickly add up to their disadvantage. By the time the Kaga bombers are engaged, the gunners have managed to overcome initial jitters and learned to make out the shapes moving in front of them and 5 of the Kaga torpedo bombers are blasted out of the sky before they can drop their torpedoes, while all 6 of the remainder are damaged. But those 6 also drop successfully.

The surviving torpedo bombers escape at their best speed but are engaged by gunners from Hickem Field and then again as they fly over Honolulu by gunners aboard Task Force 15. Only 6 from the Soryu and 2 from the Kaga eventually make it back to their carriers and both of the Kaga bombers end up being write offs. But they report the location of Task Force 15 as they pass, and in the darkness confuse the Antares, an 11,000 ton cargo ship, as a third cruiser and are certain they spot a carrier as well.

The Japanese manage to drop successfully 18 torpedoes. Two of these end up buried in the mud due to malfunctions, another is dropped wide and smashes into the USS Cachelot, blowing off her entire stern and she sinks in less than a minute taking with her 15 men. Another smashes directly into the dock but does little substantial damage. But 4 torpedoes smash into the USS Utah, and 8 hit the Oklahoma and only heroic efforts prevent both of those ships from capsizing. However both sink quickly, and between the two ships nearly 400 men die.

Battleship Row 0615 – 0623 Hours
The 10 remaining (as 2 were lost en route to accidents) torpedo bombers from the Akagi come first with first plane spotted when it crashes into the Fleet Signal tower scattering flaming debris across the area. The two remaining aircraft of that particular flight are targeting the West Virginia but are brought down before they can launch by fire from ships at the Fleet Dock, the minelayer Oglala, the destroyer Selfridge, as well as guns from the Worden and the fighting top machine gunners of the West Virginia. The lead plane smashes into the Selfridge however, setting a major fire in her aft superstructure and killing 12 American sailors.

The other 7 planes of the Akagi squadron avoid mishaps but are brought under fire from the Vestal, Dewey, Dobbin, Hull, 4 PT boats, several Army guns, and the fighting top machine gunners on the Nevada, Arizona, Tennessee, and Maryland. The 8 from the Hiryu come in right behind and they end up getting the worst of the fire. All of the Akagi bombers manage to launch, but only 3 of the Hiryu bombers survive long enough to do so, and all of the survivors are damaged. They then blunder straight into VMF211 with 12 Wildcats which have just taken off from Ewa and is still at low altitude west of the harbor. The Marines down all of the Akagi torpedo planes and all but 2 of the Hiryu torpedo planes as they attempt to escape, and thus only 2 of Hiryu bombers make it back to their carrier. However the Marine pilots exhaust their ammunition and are forced to land to rearm, placing them out of the fight for a over a half hour. The Marines are credited with 16 kills (although only actually shot down 8 aircraft). Navy gunners are credited with 21 more (shooting down only 8). In any event this is a devastating blow to the Japanese air strike.

The Japanese manage to drop a total of 12 torpedoes at Battleship Row. Of these, 5 end up in the mud, another pair miss entirely and thus only 5 hit a target. The Vestal is hit twice, one by a direct hit that wrecks her engine room, while another blast ruptures her hull at her forward hold, causing serious flooding as the torpedo detonates against the Arizona after passing under her. This torpedo explodes against the torpedo void of the Arizona and does little damage although does cause some serious leaks. The next hit is against the USS Hull, which takes one directly into her aft magazine, causes the entire rear half of the ship to disappear in a massive explosion that starts fires on the Vestal, Tennessee, and Arizona. The other two pass underneath the Dobbin and hit the Nevada, causing serious flooding in her steering compartment as well as two boiler rooms. The Dobbin suffers serious damage from the concussion, as heavy flooding begins due to hull ruptures. Between these hits, over 300 Americans are killed.

In all the Japanese have sunk what they think are two battleships, severely damaged two others and the surviving pilots are convinced that they have met the minimal goal of the attack which is to knock 4 American battleships out of the war for months. What the Japanese have actually done is lost 75% of their best torpedo bomber crews (30 out of 40 lost, including those lost en route) to sink 1 battleship, 1submarine, 1 destroyer, 1 target ship, 1 repair ship and inflict serious damage on 2 battleships, 1 fleet oiler and 2 destroyers. They have also drawn 2 American fighter squadrons out of the fight for now.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Commander Ramsey is standing on the ramp waiting for the first of the PBYs to begin taking off when he sees the explosion aboard the Neosho followed by a wave of gunfire and tracers. Rushing to the message sender, he orders an urgent message be broadcast in plain English for all of the Fleet, and thus the world, to hear.
“Air Raid Pearl Harbor. This is no drill”

A message that quickly spreads around the Pacific and beyond.

Chapter 7 (part three) Second Wave
Sunrise over Oahu
The First Lull

By 0630 it is clear that the torpedo attack is over. Air defense headquarters is reporting that a large force is 45 minutes out and approaching at medium altitude. Admiral Bloch, commander of the Hawaiian naval district, orders the Neosho moved, and 2 tugs and the Oglala assist Commander John Philips in moving her to the Middle Loch where all three vessels continue to assist her in dealing with her fires. This tremendous feat of seaman ship would earn Commander Philips a Medal of Honor and Navy Crosses were awarded to several of her crew as well as the commanders of the other vessels and Admiral Furlong who oversees the operation aboard his flagship.

At this point, the Ward reports attacking and sinking an enemy submarine right at the harbor entrance, and Admiral Richardson is forced to reconsider a sortie. He orders the seaplane tenders to move to the East Loch. The Maryland, California, and West Virginia, all undamaged, are sent to Carrier Row while the destroyer Dewey is ordered to move with them as a roving ship to provide extra AA coverage in case of another torpedo attack. All four ships are still in motion when the Second Wave reaches their target. The destroyers Henley, Patterson, and Ralph Talbot also move to the East Loch to provide additional AA support to the undamaged battleships and are also still moving as the Japanese aircraft approach. This leaves only the Arizona, Nevada, and Tennessee along with the Vestal (which is sinking) and the Dobbin (which is barely afloat) at Battleship Row.

Second Wave
0700 hours Fire in the Sky

The Japanese manage to form up by the time they are approaching the coast as visibility has improved and the morning light is now sufficient to enable safe formation flying. They have been spotted by radar and General McConnell vectors all of his P40s to hit them as they cross the coast. He sends the P36 squadrons to provide point defense, one to orbit over Diamond Head and the other to orbit over Barbers Point so that they can be committed against any formations that get through.

The American P40 squadrons have climbed to 14,000 feet by the time the Japanese formations begin crossing the coast. The Japanese are in a single massive formation, with the Val Dive bombers in the lead and the level bombers arranged by squadrons behind them. The bombers are at 10,000 feet and accelerating toward their attack speed. Providing cover are 18 Zeroes as the Kaneohe raid attack has been canceled because of the delays in launching. Another 42 Zeroes are above and behind the bombers to provide high cover at 12,000 feet. McConnell orders the 18th Pursuit Group (36 P40s) to attack the enemy fighter escort while the 15th Pursuit Group (24 P40s) goes for the bombers.
The Americans have studied the recommendations made by Chennault both in person and in writing, and attempt to make their first pass count. The Zeroes spot the approaching Americans and are climbing to meet them as the American fighters make their dives. This is when a serious flaw in Japanese fighter tactics is illuminated. The Zeroes are not providing escort, but are conducting a fighter sweep in support of the bombers but not with them.

The American 18th Fighter Group score 6 kills and damage 6 more as the Zero proves to be terribly vulnerable to the .50 caliber machine gun. The P40B and P40C has two in the nose, plus 4 .30 caliber machine guns on the wings. However many of the American pilots, while very experienced, and indeed in many cases even more experienced than their opponents, are still green and open fire at too great a range and fail to take into account the rapid closing rate. Thrilled by their success, the American aggressiveness soon turns into a mistake when the P40 pilots attempt to dogfight the Zero and learn that the Japanese is not to be trifled with in a dogfight.

However the 15th Fighter Group has an open field while the other American fighters keep the Zeros busy, and is joined by the 47th Pursuit Squadron (12 more P40s) from Halaiwa Field and they rip into the heavily outnumbered 21 level bombers from the Zuikaku which has the mission of attacking Ewa Field. Lieutenant Ken Taylor is the high scoring pilot, shooting down 4, while his wingman George Welch gets 2 more and in all the 15th Pursuit Group shoots down 13 of the Kates and force the rest to jettison their bombs and run for the coast as nearly all the rest are damaged to one degree or another. The 15th Pursuit Group escapes with only 2 planes damaged by return fire.

Meanwhile the 14th Pursuit Group learns the hard way that Chennault's lessons are to be heeded. Outnumbered 48 to 36, the Americans still manage to down 6 Zeroes, damage 9 more the Americans lose 15 P40s shot down and another 16 are damaged and all of the American survivors are forced to break off. The Japanese pilots are lost forever while 6 American pilots manage to successfully bail out. The Japanese learn that the P40 is practically invulnerable to their rifle caliber machine guns and they do not have enough 20 mm ammunition for a long fight. The 14th Pursuit Group is knocked out of the battle, but the attack on Ewa Field has been prevented and the two American fighter groups have shot down 24 of the enemy aircraft, damaged and thus knocked out of the battle another 23 enemy aircraft (although claims are 76 aircraft shot down) at the cost of 15 aircraft lost and 17 more damaged.

As the Japanese push through, McConnell makes a serious mistake and commits both of his P36 squadrons to defend Wheeler Field and both squadrons reach the 21 Kates from the Shokaku after the other 50 Kates and 6 Vals have split off to proceed toward Pearl Harbor. It is later learned that the radar operator at Fort Shafter lost them briefly in a radar shadow created by the mountains. By the time he discovers his error the formations have split.

For the 21 Japanese bombers attacking Wheeler Field, this is a costly disaster for them. The Americans attack with 24 P36 Hawks and while they have half the firepower of the P40 and are slower, they are plenty fast enough to fight a Kate. Lieutenant Gabreski leads the scoring, getting 2 in his first pass, but 9 are shot down by the American fighters, most of the others suffer damage from Army flak guns, and while 36 bombs hit the base and several hangers are set afire and 12 aircraft are destroyed in hangers or on the ramp, it is hardly worth the cost. Particularly when the Hawks make another pass and shoot down 8 more of them. Only a single Kate makes it back to the Shokaku and is written off on landing, the rest are lost in combat directly or ditch on the way.

Assessing the results after the battle, the Hawaiian Command admits that concentrating on defending their base was a serious error. Although many kills were scored (44 actual kills either over Hawaii or crashing en route to their base, and another 25 damage, 12 of which are written off) and many more are claimed (120 Japanese aircraft claimed) the 2 American Pursuit Groups have expended the bulk of their fighters defending two strongly defended airfields and one of them (the 15th Pursuit Group) has essentially been knocked out of the battle by this point. The Japanese on the other hand view the result of this air battle as a disaster. Later historians find both the Japanese and Americans are right.

The Japanese attempt to neutralize the American fighter force has been a disaster. In addition to the aircraft lost, the Japanese have also lost 44 highly trained pilots (plus additional aircrew in the bombers) and damage to Wheeler Field is not severe while Ewa remains fully operational and untouched. While roughly half the Army Air Force fighter force is combat ineffective, the Japanese at this point have suffered devastating casualties for far less than the desired result. However, the Japanese still have a powerful force of 50 level bombers and 6 dive bombers and there are no fighters standing in their way and are headed straight for the American Pacific Fleet.


0715 Hours: A rain of bombs
The Japanese level bombers fly just above the crest line of the Koo Lau Mountains and make their turn approaching the harbor at McGrew Point lined up on Battleship Row. The dive bombers then break off and begin their dive on the Fleet Headquarters building.

This target was the most difficult for Genda and Yamamoto to justify to themselves but the decision was made late in the planning that the best way to reduce the effectiveness of the American battle fleet was to hit their command center and communications facilities at the Pacific Fleet headquarters building. While not aimed specifically at Admiral Richardson, his death would not be an unfortunate result. Of greater importance is temporarily paralyzing the American ability to coordinate their naval forces that are not at Pearl Harbor.

The 6 Val Dive Bombers push over into their attack into a wall of fire from ships and Army flak guns who are also shooting at the far bigger target flying straight and level at 10,000 fleet toward Battleship Row. The dive bombers manage to get all 6 of their bombs on or near the target, and 3 bombs hit the building directly while 3 others land just in front of it. The building has most of the upper part of it destroyed, although the basement (and the critical decoding and intelligence office) are barely touched. However, Admirals Richardson and Pye are observing the approach of the level bombers through a window when a 250 kg bomb lands a mere 40 feet from that window, killing Admiral Richardson instantly and leaving Admiral Pye critically wounded (and missing his left arm). Losses to staff are also heavy and the Fleet Signals office is all but wiped out. Only 4 of the Japanese bombers escape as flak catches them as they pull out of their dives, and of the rest, all are damaged to varying degrees but manage to make it back to their ship.

Battleship Row
The Japanese have 50 level bombers, and leading the attack is Commander Fuchida. As he surveys the port for damage he is appalled to discover that there are 3 undamaged battleships at Carrier Row and the flak is too intense to risk more than one bomb run. He orders half of the force to focus on the Nevada and the rest to focus on the Arizona and a total of 50 bombs are dropped in a very tight group. Anti aircraft fire downs 6 of the bombers as they release or just after, and nearly all of the remaining aircraft take at least some damage, but results are exactly as expected, or so is claimed later. Of 50 bombs dropped, 11 hit a target. Of these 1 goes through every deck of the Dobbin including her engine room and detonates in the mud below the ship, breaking her back and sending her to the bottom within a few minutes. The Vestal is hit by two bombs, both of which plunge all the way through her and both of these bombs are disappointing from the Japanese perspective. The hurried weapons program that produced them was flawed, and nearly half of the bombs have serious problems that result either in low order detonations or complete failure to detonate at all. The Vestal is lucky as both of these bombs are duds. However, a near miss close alongside the Vestal results in exactly the result desired as it detonates normally, and yet more flooding hurries her to the harbor bottom. The Tennessee, which was just getting underway and as yet not seriously damaged aside from debris and fire damage from the explosion of the Hull, is hit twice. The first is a dud which nevertheless wrecks a 14 inch gun in her aft most turret, rendering that gun inoperable. The second bomb detonates in her stern, wrecking the steering compartment, the rudder and both screws, and brings her to a rapid halt.

However the Nevada and the Arizona are the far worst hit. Japanese planners had estimated a 24% chance of getting a hit in an engineering space, and a 20% chance of a magazine hit. These estimates turn out to be right on the money. Of 6 bombs, each battleship takes 3 hits. The Nevada suffers a low order explosion in the ships galley that wipes out an entire damage control team, while another bomb smashes her forward most turret but the low order explosion kills only the crewmen there but does no other damage. The final hit penetrates into her forward boiler room, detonating there and wiping out that space and several nearby compartments as well as letting in water that her crew is nevertheless able to stop although at this point several hundred tons of water has entered the ship and she will need months of repairs.

It is the Arizona however that suffers the fatal blow. One bomb hits her and breaks up after breaking the number 3 turret ring. Another penetrates her after engine room and fails to explode. However the deadly blow occurs when a bomb penetrates her forward magazine that starts a fire that 45 seconds later results in that magazine detonating and killing nearly 1,000 men in an instant.

The surviving Japanese aircraft break for home, and with the American fighters still rearming and refueling, they get away. A total of 8 aircraft are lost to anti-aircraft fire including that of Commander Fuchida, during the attack which was a result only possible because of the destruction of the Ewa and Wheeler Field attack forces. However, one battleship has been destroyed, and two others are knocked out of action for months at least. A fleet auxiliary has also been sunk as has a destroyer, and personnel casualties are very severe aboard the Arizona and very high aboard the Nevada, Vestal, Dobbin and Tennessee. Indeed this attack has resulted in the most casualties of the day as over 1,500 men are dead or missing never to be found among all the ships and at the base. Fleet headquarters is shattered, and communications are down until something can be restored. Among the dead are Admiral Richardson and Rear Admiral Kidd, and Admiral Pye is severely wounded and out of action. Admiral Bloch is senior officer present and takes command upon hearing the news while he is aboard the tug Ontario overseeing the movement of the battleships around Carrier Row.

By the end of the strike the Japanese have achieved their minimal objective of sinking or knocking out of action at least 4 American battleships (3 sunk, 1 heavily damaged) although at a severe price as the strike commander and many valuable squadron and element leaders have been killed and most of the attacking bombers have been either shot down, damaged sufficiently to be write offs, or at least damaged requiring repair and thus knocked out for the rest of the day.

As a second lull sets in already over 2,000 Americans are dead, half the battle line is knocked out, and the Japanese can claim a victory even though they have lost 89 (including accident losses) of the 203 aircraft launched. While losses are higher than expected, Yamamato and Nagumo will consider this an acceptable loss for the results achieved, although Genda and Yamaguchi will not once they realize that another 6 fighters, 5 torpedo bombers, 8 level bombers and 2 dive bombers are write offs so that of the first two waves, and only 93 aircraft remain serviceable or repairable and only 45 of those are bombers (2 Val dive bombers, 43 Kate Torpedo / Level bombers).
some changes regarding Japanese and American aircraft losses from the previous draft. Note that the Japanese armor piercing bombs were indeed rushed into production and did indeed have problems indicated above.

However at this point in OTL, the US Army fighter force had been essentially gutted and reduced to one operational squadron, the Marines had been knocked out completely, and 8 American battleships had suffered damage from catastrophic to serious. Japanese aircraft losses were far less historically (far far less) as only 9 lost OTL vs the 89 destroyed in this timeline, so the increased readiness of the American military in this timeline has already paid big dividends

More tomorrow.....
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more tomorrow
And with regards to hitting the oil refineries, etc., I still don't see that happening here ITTL, either (and @CalBear will agree with me on this)...
That kind of targeting was not even considered at any point historically and I indicated the mission goals earlier

Neutralizing the base simply isn't going to happen ... Yamamoto is trying to trigger a fleet action while he has superiority.
to the author i going to assume that the naval battle near midway is next following with a final accounting of the losses before we jump into the beginning of the phillipines campaign.
to the author i going to assume that the naval battle near midway is next following with a final accounting of the losses before we jump into the beginning of the phillipines campaign.

Yes, that will keep things a bit less confusing than trying to jump back and forth between theaters
Air Raid Pearl Harbor Third Wave
The Second Lull 0725 Hours - 0800 Hours
Bloch orders the remaining battleships, destroyers, and support ships to sortie and to ignore the reports of submarines off the harbor entrance. Better to lose one or two ships to a submarine attack then have all of them trapped in the harbor with another raid already detected on radar. His ships need sea room and the ability to use all their guns. Air Defense Headquarters orders the 14th Fighter Wing to get back into the air as quickly as possible. Leary is ordered to proceed at high speed with his cruisers and destroyer from Honolulu and provide additional anti-aircraft and anti-submarine support for the fleet as it assembles off Oahu.

Meanwhile radar picks up two raids. The first consists of 108 bandits and is on a course that will take it directly to Pearl Harbor, while raid 2 is 54 aircraft and is heading for Honolulu. Convinced that Raid 2 is likely heading for Leary (and thus will search for ships offshore), McConnell decides to commit the relatively intact 15th Pursuit Group with 32 P40 and 10 P36 to cover the base, while the remaining 10 P36 along with the 4 operational P40s of the 14th Group will defend the ships offshore, along with the 12 Wildcats that return to the air. All remaining operational American fighters are in the air by 0750 hours climbing at full military power to reach their assigned altitude.

As all of this is going on, the destroyers at the harbor entrance spot and destroy 2 midget submarines but miss the third, which fires both of its torpedoes blindly into the column of ships making their way through the channel at 0736 hours. By pure luck, both torpedoes miss the West Virginia and slam into the Thornton, an old four stack destroyer that has been converted into a seaplane tender. One slams into a boiler room, another into her bow, but the skipper manages to beach her at Hospital Point, and avoids blocking the channel.

As the fleet makes its way out of the harbor, Rear Admiral Anderson aboard the West Virginia forms it into a task group and the fleet proceeds at the speed of its slowest ship at 18 knots due south.

At the same time Admiral Bellinger orders 9 A20 bombers, 22 Dauntless dive bombers and 2 Vindicator bombers (all of which are carrying bombs) to head north and once the Japanese fleet is spotted, to attack immediately. Regrettably there are no fighters available to escort them. They are flying to the western side of Oahu and thus miss the air battle that is about to occur in the central part of the island and off the southern coast. The bombers are in three formations, with the A20s flying at 4,000 feet at their cruising speed of 250 miles per hour and are carrying 3 500 pound bombs, and have four .30 caliber machine guns forward and a twin .50 caliber machine gun mount for the dorsal gunner and carry a crew of 3 men. Behind them are the 22 Marine Corps Dauntless bombers, each carrying a single 1,000 pound bomb, have two man crews, and they are flying at 180 miles per hour and are at 14,000 feet, which means they are very rapidly outdistanced by the Army bombers. Finally are a pair of Vindicators, which also each carry a 1,000 pound bomb and a crew of two and by the time they reach their altitude of 14,000 feet and cruise of 160 miles an hour, they are well behind both other groups.

The Third Wave 0800 Hours
This force, which consists entirely of Val Dive Bombers and escorting Zero fighters is at 10,000 feet and has accelerated to 230 miles an hour as it crosses the coast. The fighters are ahead and above the Val dive bombers at 12,000 feet. There are two groups in Raid 1 with each group consisting of 5 squadrons of 9 dive bombers, plus a squadron of 9 fighters in the van. Group 1 has 27 dive bombers that have the mission of eliminating Ford Island as an effective airbase, while 18 have the mission of hitting the Fleet Docks, specifically the cruisers tied up alongside them. Group 2 is organized the same way, with 27 having the mission of eliminating Hickam Field as an effective airbase, while 18 are to attack the dry dock and the battleship Pennsylvania presently sitting there.

Raid 2 has 36 dive bombers, escorted by 18 fighters, and it has the mission of attacking the suspected carrier task force reported by the First Wave off Honolulu. Failing that, it will search for it in case it has moved, and then attack it where it can be found. If there are no carriers present, it will attack any cruisers or battleships that have made their way to sea, as the 2nd Wave has reported that several are undamaged and underway. If no ships are found, it will attack the same targets that can be found in Pearl Harbor itself.

Air battle over Ewo Forest
The 14th Fighter Group has 32 P40s and 10 P36s, and includes with them the leading scorers during the First Wave of Lieutenant's Taylor, Welch and Gabreski. The 47th Pursuit (and with them Welch and Taylor) are the only intact squadron and they have the mission of keeping the fighters busy in the lead group, while the other two squadrons will each take a dive bomber squadron as will the P36s.

The 9 Japanese fighters in the lead group spot the approaching Americans and joined by the fighters from the second group with both squadrons quickly climbing to intercept as the American fighters begin their dives.

The air battle takes place over one of the most beautiful mountain ranges on Earth, with blue sky and scattered clouds above, and all around the bright greens of the Hawaiian landscape and the blue sea beyond. This picturesque scene is rapidly spoiled by flame and smoke as aircraft hammer machine gun bullets and cannon shells into one another. Outnumbered 12 to 18, the 47th makes one pass, flaming 5 Zeros (with Welch and Taylor get one each, making Taylor the first American ace in World War II). The Zeros pursue but find that the P40 is far faster in a dive than they are.

This buys time for the other P40s and the P36s to hit the 3 lead Val squadrons (from the Shokaku) and they achieve good results, shooting 10 of them down, damaging 14 more and forcing them to jettison their bombs and completely disrupting the entire formation. While the P40s are fast enough to zoom away, the P36s lack the superb dive speed of the Warhawks, and the Zeroes catch them, shooting 5 of them down, and damaging all of the others. Gabreski, who gets 2 Val's and in the dogfight that follows knocks down a Zero, becomes the second American ace of World War II, and also manages to bring the wreck of his P36 down on a dirt road a few hundred yards from a farm near Pearl City. He would spend the next few weeks in a hospital but would travel with Welch and Taylor to Washington DC to be decorated by the President with the Medal of Honor. The P36s manage to damage 2 Zero fighters and shoot down 1 but are out of the fight. The P40s however zoom away and regroup over Opana Point to catch the enemy as they depart.

The remaining bombers of Group 1 proceed to their target, and the 3 from the Zuikaku, now too few to seriously damage Ford Island, join in with the Akagi attack group.

Attack on the Fleet Docks
At total of 21 dive bombers, most from the Akagi, reach the harbor and begin their dives on the cruisers. They are met by heavy flak from the ships tied up on the docks, as well as Army batteries around the harbor. Flak gets 4 of the Val's as they dive, another 9 are damaged, but 19 bombs are dropped successfully. All four cruisers are hit, with the San Francisco taking a hit in her hanger deck which starts a severe fire, another blasts apart her rear superstructure, causing considerable casualties and a fire. Both fires burn for a couple of hours before finally being put out. The New Orleans suffers two very near misses that causes flooding and casualties and a direct hit on her fantail that knocks out her rudder and one screw. Two bombs aimed at her hit the Oiler Ramapo, which is loaded with fuel oil and carrying 4 PT boats on her deck that were originally destined for the Philippines. Two of the boats are blasted apart, and a serious fire starts that becomes the primary focus of firefighting efforts for Navy base firefighters and is put out in 30 minutes. Casualties are heavy aboard the Ramapo, but relatively light aboard the New Orleans. The cruisers St Louis and Honolulu, tied up side by side, and both still dependent on shore power as their engines were offline being overhauled, are hard to miss, and indeed are hit hard. Both suffer two bomb hits each, with the near misses all around. The Honolulu suffers a hit that threatens to set her magazine afire, and the forward magazine is quickly flooded but B turret is wrecked, A turret is damaged, and of course the magazine is flooded. The second bomb knocks a 5 inch mount completely apart on her port side, and also starting a serious fire that will rage for over an hour. Ready ammunition also explodes and further damage results. Heroic efforts prevent a chain reaction reaching any magazine but casualties aboard her are heavy. The St Louis takes a hit on her fantail, another amidships that starts a serious fire, and two near misses cause heavy flooding in her forward boiler room. Her steering is knocked out, as is half of her power plant, and damage to the dock also knocks out power to both ships temporarily.

Attack on Hickam Field
The Zuikaku attack force of 27 dive bombers have the mission of knocking out Hickam Field, and while flak is heavy from Army anti-aircraft gunners, the Army gun crews fail to knock any Val's down and the Japanese inflict a severe pasting on the base. A total of 27 500 pound bombs hit the base, wrecking every hanger, wreck all 17 bombers that were undergoing repair plus a visiting B24 that was held over the previous day because of engine trouble. However the plan to strafe the base is canceled due to heavy fire and while none of the Japanese bombers were shot down 11 of them were damaged in their attacks. The Japanese formation breaks off after bombing and leaves the area along the other dive bombers.

Attack on the Fleet Dry Dock
The 18 dive bombers from the Kaga begin their dives on the dry dock even as the rest of the dive bombers are making their runs. Facing only light flak, these crews, probably the best crews in the Japanese Navy, drop all 18 of their bombs in a very tight pattern and blast the destroyers Cassin and Downes apart, seriously damage the dry dock, start a severe oil fire from the wrecked destroyers, and place four bombs on the Pennsylvania. She takes 3 hits amidships, starting a severe fire in the hanger, badly damaging both the fore and aft superstructure, and also getting a hit on C turret that fails to penetrate the turret armor but whose splinters cause serious casualties. Another pair of bombs wreck the dry dock crane. None of the Val's are shot down, but 5 are damaged by American flak as they pull out of their dives.

American ambush over the North Shore
The surviving aircraft of Raid 1, consisting of 10 battle worthy Zero fighters and 62 Val dive bombers begin their egress from the attack, flying due north and their exit over Kahuku Point. They find that 28 P40s of the 14th Fighter Group are waiting for them. In another slashing diving attack that focuses on bombers that are lagging behind the rest, Taylor and Welch add to their scores (getting 2 kills each) and Welch becomes the third American Ace of World War II. In addition to their 4, another 6 Vals and 2 Zeroes are shot down and the American fighters continue their dives and zoom away. Several suffer damage from Val's gunners but Zeros that turned into the attack manage to knock down 4 of the American P40s.

Raid One has inflicted serious damage to a battleship, four cruisers, a fleet oiler and wrecked 2 destroyers and 2 PT boats. The fleet dry dock has sustained some damage, along with some shore installations nearby. Hickam Field is burning (although the runways are undamaged), and 18 aircraft have destroyed on the ground and 9 American fighters in the air. Another 12 American fighters are write offs. Japanese losses however have been heavy, with 12 of 18 fighters destroyed, 3 more are doomed to be write offs when they reach the carriers. The 90 dive bombers suffered 24 shot down, 4 ditch on their way home (and their crews die with them), 30 more are doomed to be write offs, and nearly every other bomber has suffered at least some damage.

Raid Two
As fierce fighting wages over Oahu, Raid Two makes its way over Honolulu, sees only the Antares and a few merchant ships in Honolulu harbor and proceeds toward the entrance of Pearl Harbor looking for ships that have sortied. There it finds the American fleet of 19 ships, and just as importantly the Army Air Force with 4 P40 and 10 P36 and the Marines with 12 Wildcats finds the enemy.

Using the same tactics as their fellow Army pilots, the P40s dive on the 18 Zeros as they climb to meet them using the heavy firepower and daunting dive speed of the Warhawk to blast 2 of the enemy fighters out of the sky and then diving away to then use their built up air speed to zoom back up to altitude. The Zeros manage to shoot down 2 of the P40s however, and damage both the others. Right behind however are the Marine Wildcats, which have not been briefed on the weakness and strengths of the Zero and while the Marines down 3 Zeroes, and force 5 more out of the fight, 3 Wildcats are shot down and 7 more are badly riddled and knocked out of the fight, with only their heavy construction saving them from loss. But the Army and Marine fighters have cleared the way for the P36s which shoot down 4 of the lead Vals (from the Soryu), damage 4 more (and force them to jettison their bombs) before also diving away to avoid enemy fighters.

Attack on the California
The 28 Val's that remain are all ordered to concentrate on the lead battleship, the California, which was first to exit the harbor and still remains in the lead. American flak is murderous however, as well over 100 5 inch guns and numerous 3 inch guns all have clear firing arcs, as do the machine guns of the fleet as the Val's pull out of their dives. The American fleet blasts 2 out of the sky before they can drop, another 7 are shot down after they drop their bombs, and nearly every bomber takes at least some damage. The fierce flak throws off the Japanese aim and while 27 bombs are dropped at the battleship, only 4 manage to score, all amidships. Casualties are heavy aboard the California and she is left with a serious blaze that burns for nearly two hours before damage control teams manage to get it under control.

As the Japanese bombers flee the scene with they are once again attacked by the American fighters who have dive on them again. The remaining 8 Japanese fighters manage to engage the P36 squadron before it can reach their prey however, and blast 6 out of the sky and wreck the rest at no loss to themselves, preventing further attack.

For the Japanese this has been a bitter disappointment. While a battleship has been seriously damaged and 15 American fighters either destroyed or doomed to be write offs when they land, they have lost 11 Val dive bombers and 5 Zeros shot down, another 3 Zeros and 11 Vals are doomed as write offs when they finally reach their ships. A disastrous trade for the Japanese 1st Air Fleet.

By 0855 the last Japanese plane has departed Oahu and the last American fighter has returned to base.

The results of the Third Wave
In all the Japanese have lost 39 bombers and 17 fighters, with another 6 fighters and 41 dive bombers so badly damaged as to be write offs out of 126 divebombers and 36 fighters, a severe cost. The Americans have 2 battleships, 4 cruisers, 1 fleet oiler seriously damaged and out of the war for months, and 2 destroyers effectively sunk plus some yard craft and a pair of PT boats destroyed. Damage to the drydock is serious but will require considerable effort to repair but a planned attack on the floating drydock was thwarted, damage to Hickem Field while serious did not affect the runways, and Ford Island escaped attack entirely. Overall however the Japanese consider the damage to American warships worth the cost, while the Americans are satisfied to have avoided damage to most of the fleet that had sortied and having suffered minimal damage to the base and airfields. American claims naturally exceeded the actual number of Japanese aircraft involved, while the Japanese claim to have inflicted damage to all three of the battleships that sortied and twice the number of actual aerial combat kills. As always, the very fast moving events during an air battle make mistakes common and of course as always aviators tend to be optimistic in their excitement and reporting. But the Air Raid on Pearl Harbor is over. But the Pacific War has only just begun....
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Quiet the battle. The Japanese lost the war today, though making the realize it will take a LONG time.
(It might take even longer if they realize that they need a better pilot training system.)