For veterans by veterans
Monday, December 8, 1941
LUZON - The first word of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is received on Luzon by commercial radio between 0300-0330 hours local. Within 30 minutes radar at Iba Field plots a formation of airplanes 75 miles offshore, heading for Corregidor. P-40's are sent out to intercept but make no contact. Shortly before 0930 hours, after Japanese land based aircraft from Formosa are detected over Lingayen Gulf heading toward Manila, B-17's at Clark Field are ordered airborne to prevent being caught on the ground. Fighters from Clark and Nichols Fields are sent to intercept the enemy but do not make contact. The Japanese airplanes swing East and bomb military installations at Baguio, Tarlac, Tuguegarao, and airfields at Cabantuan are also attacked.
By 1130 hours, the B-17's and fighters sent into the air earlier have landed at Clark Field and Iba Field for refueling, and radar has disclosed another flight of Japanese aircraft 70-miles (112-km) west of Lingayen Gulf, headed South. Fighters from Iba Field make a fruitless search over the South China Sea. Fighters from Nichols Field are dispatched to patrol over Bataan and Manila. Around 1145 hours a formation is reported headed south over Lingayen Gulf.
Fighters are ordered from Del Carmen to cover Clark Field but fail to arrive before the Japanese attack the airfield shortly after 1200 hours. B-17's and many fighters at Clark Field are caught on the ground, but a few P-40's manage to get airborne. Destroyed on the ground are B-17D 40-3069, B-17D 40-3095.
2d Lt. Randall B. Keator, 20th Pursuit Squadron, 24th Pursuit Group shoots down the first Japanese aircraft over the Philippines. The P-40's earlier sent on patrol of the South China Sea return to Iba Field with fuel running low at the beginning of a Japanese attack on that airfield. The P-40's fail to prevent bombing but manage to prevent low-level strafing of the sort which proved so destructive at Clark Field. At the end of the day's action it is apparent that the Japanese have won a major victory. The effective striking power of Far East Air Force has been destroyed, the fighter strength has been seriously reduced, most B-17 maintenance facilities have been demolished, and about 90 men have been killed.
USN - Sunk at Malalag Bay , Davao Del Sur is PBY Catalina 1229 and PBY Catalina 1230.
Japanese force depart Kwajalien for Wake while the first Japanese attack on Wake.
RAAF: Shot down attacking the Japanese invasion force off Kota Bharu are Hudson A16-19.
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