|Pearl Harbor Japanese Aircraft Crash
Sites, Records, & Artifacts:
by James Lansdale
Aichi Kanbaku Relic USAR 1021 & The Shootout At Barbers Point
ARIZONA Memorial Aichi Kanbaku Relic USAR 1021 was found on the beach
at Barbers Point, Oahu in 1992. It may have been the remains of an
AKAGI-based dive-bomber brought down during dog fighting that occurred
over this area on the morning of 7 December 1941. ARIZONA Memorial
Historian Daniel MARTINEZ explains the provenance of USAR 1021 in more
99 Naval Bomber
This identified it as a part from an Aichi Type 99 … commonly known as a Val Dive Bomber. … The aircraft was apparently lost in aerial combat with American P-40 fighter planes. P.O. 3/C Tokuji Iizuka witnessed the combat and saw Goto’s plane go down into the sea. Research indicates that the American planes involved in the action were piloted by Lt. George Welch and Lt. Ken Taylor. These two aviators had taken off from Haleiwa during the attack in a desperate attempt to stop the Japanese assault. Apparently Welch was credited for the air victory despite evidence indicating that Taylor was equally involved.”
Art by Jack Matthews via Art Prints Unlimited
Detail of the GOTOH Kanbaku from Jack Matthews' Art "A Bold Attack On A Strafing Run" via Art Prints Unlimited
Additionally MARTINEZ related an interesting and little known sidebar associated with the attack on Pearl Harbor and the aerial battles over Barbers Point and Ewa MCAS. Several of the Japanese aircraft had sustained great damage either as a result of antiaircraft fire over Pearl Harbor or from being attacked by American fighters. At least two of the Japanese aircrew managed to bailout of their stricken aircraft over the Barbers Point Lighthouse as reported by the lighthouse keeper, John M. SWEENEY:
Barbers Point Lighthouse Then ... Credit:USCG Photo
“Barbers Point Light Station
10 December 1941
The action as seen from Barbers Point
Above: Kanbaku over EWA MCAS and inland from Barbers Point Light (Note mountains on the horizon!)
At 8:00 a.m. many planes were seen overhead, both Japanese and ours. Dog fighting continued for twenty minutes, bullets hitting the ground in bursts. Then all planes headed south, our planes chasing them. Seemed to have come from the windward side, and left the Island on Barbers Point side.
Two parachutists were dropped close to the station; they were confused in the kiawi trees and prowled around the station all Sunday night, the Fort Kam. 55th C.A. boys firing at them with rifles and machine guns. One was wounded, and was later found on the beach, buried by his mate. His feet were sticking out of the sand. The other was later shot by an officer.
Monday night was bad; the boys were nervous and had to go with them to the top of the tower two times. First they thought a green light was on top of the tower. It proved to be the reflection of the moon on the glass. The next time they thought parachutists were on top of the tower. It proved to be nothing. They escorted me to the house and warned me not to go outside as they would shoot at anything.
When we got the word that the two Japs were located, we felt easy, and Tuesday night was the first night anybody slept.
/s/ John M. Sweeney, Keeper
Barbers Point Light Station.”*
And, Barbers Point Lighthouse Today!