We all ran outside of the hangar expecting to see a burning plane, but instead we saw a burning hanger. A plane was diving out of the sun and dropping two bombs in the vicinity of the long range patrol squadrons. When it pulled out of its dive, we could see the symbol of the Rising Sun under its wings. Suddenly, we realized that we were being attacked by the Japanese Imperial Navy.

Fear gripped my heart, and I started looking for cover. By then planes were swarming all over the skies. I turned and saw a low-flying plane coming from the West and turn up the channel heading Northeasterly. As it passed our hangar it was so low I could see the goggles on the rear gunner’s helmet. He swung his machine gun in our direction and began spraying our area with bullets. I jumped behind a dual-wheeled tractor parked at the end of the hangar where the large, rubber tires protected me from the machine gun bullets. The bullets sounded like hail bouncing off of the metal hangar and made puffs of dust as they bounced off of the concrete parking area.

While squatting behind that tractor, I suddenly remembered that less than a hundred feet away in a clump of trees to the North of me was a high-explosive magazine where bombs were stored. If the Japanese bombed that, it would wipe out everything within a block!