My fear turned to terror, and I looked for “taller timber.” In the hangar I found a large “I” beam that supported the roof. The recess in it was large enough for me to squeeze into it where I felt safer with steel on three sides of me. (Thankfully, the bomb was dropped in the wrong clump of trees a block North.)

As I stood there shaking in my No. 8 shoes, I became aware that a couple of our men had picked up .45 caliber pistols that had been used on watch the night before and began shooting at the planes with those pistols. Some other men broke open the emergency rifle cabinet and began shooting at the planes with the single-shot, bolt-action .30 caliber rifles. Now here I am, an aviation ordnanceman, (trained in maintaining and manning machine guns) hiding in an “I” beam. I felt like a coward. My shame overcame my fear, prompting me to join some other ordnancemen in putting machine guns in the mounts of about a dozen planes parked near the hangar. The last gun I put in was in the waist hatch of a PBY Catalina patrol bomber, and manned that gun for the rest of the attack.

Some of the most vivid memories include the first Japanese plane I saw shot down. Early in the attack Japanese planes were swarming all over the harbor like bees around a beehive.