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Lieutenant Sanders, Lewis

When the Japanese attacked Wheeler Field a group of 46th Pursuit Squadron led by Sanders were able to get hold of four P-36 Curtiss Hawks and prepare for take-off. Lieutenants Othniel Norris, John Thacker and Philip Rasmussen were ready to go when Norris went back for a parachute. Seeing the empty aircraft with engine running, Second Lieutenant Gordon Sterling hopped in and off they went for Kaneohe Naval Air Station. Sanders was dismayed to discover a novice in his flight and ordered Sterling to take position on his right wing. The formation attacked the Japanese near Kaneohe and Sanders shot down an enemy aircraft and saw Sterling do the same only to be shot down himself by a Mitsubishi A6M5 Zero which Sanders then destroyed. Rasmussen shot down an Aichi D3A1 Val before being riddled with bullets by two Zeros, an attack that he survived. The flight then made for Wheeler, but Thacker was driven off by anti-aircraft fire. Rasmussen had no choice, he had either to land or crash. Both he and Sanders were missed by their friends' gunnery and Thacker soon landed as well.

See also: Kaneohe Naval Air Station; P-36; Val; Wheeler Field; Zero

You can find out more about the attack on Wheeler Field in the following Osprey book:

CAMPAIGN 62 Pearl Harbor 1941