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Wheeler Field

The main US Army Air Force base on Oahu was Wheeler Field in the middle of the island. The units here were 14th Pursuit Wing with P-26 Peashooters, 15th Pursuit Group (Squadron 22, 45th and 46th Pursuit Squadrons with PBYs, P-40s and P-36s) and 18th Pursuit Group (6th, 19th, 73rd and 78th Pursuit Squadrons with P-40s). In all, 145 American aircraft. They were hit by the First Attack Wave at 0751 when 16th Attack Unit came in from the east and attacked the hangar and park complex. The aircraft had been gathered together to make them easier to guard against attack by nisei, ethnic Japanese saboteurs that existed only in the army's imagination. At 0755 3rd Fighter Combat Unit and 4th Fighter Combat Unit arrived from the south to strafe the field. A few aircraft managed to take off to oppose the Japanese. Lieutenant Lewis Sanders (Sanders, Lewis) led a formation of P-36s to Kaneohe Naval Air Station. Two pilots of 47th Pursuit Squadron refueled and reached here after 0920.Of the aircraft at Wheeler 42 were destroyed and 56 put out of service.

See also: 3rd Fighter Combat Unit; 4th Fighter Combat Unit; 16th Attack Unit; 47th Pursuit Squadron; First Attack Wave; Flood, William J; Kaneohe Naval Air Station; nisei; Oahu; PBY; P-36; P-40; Sanders, Lewis