Pearl Harbor Attack

At the time of the attack the Enterprise was at sea, about 200 miles due west of Oahu.

The USS Enterprise CV-6 needs no introduction. Also known as the Big E or the Grey Ghost, the USS Enterprise is the most decorated ship of WWII. She was built as a Yorktown-Class Aircraft Carrier the USS Enterprise was commissioned on May 12, 1938. Fortune favored the USS Enterprise from the start of the war. In November, she was tasked with ferrying F4F Wildcat fighters to Wake Island and was supposed to return to Pearl Harbor on December 6. A storm delayed the Enterprise’s return to port until December 7, 1941. On the morning of December 7, she sent elements of her airwing on a scouting mission with orders to then land at Ford Island. After having found nothing on their patrols, the planes proceeded on to Ford Island, where they were met with utter chaos. The Japanese attack was underway. Seven of the 13 planes the Enterprise sent ahead were shot down by either Japanese planes or friendly fire. News of the Attack on Pearl Harbor reached the USS Enterprise by radio. She then proceeded to launch a strike package to intercept the Japanese Fleet. Due to faulty coordinates, the planes failed to find the Japanese Fleet. While the bombers returned to the USS Enterprise, Six Wildcat fighters were ordered to land at Hickam Field. Not everyone got the message that the American planes were inbound. One Wildcat had to ditch due to lack of fuel, and three were shot down by jumpy anti-aircraft crews, killing three pilots. The Aircraft Carrier Enterprise drew first blood for the US in the war against Japan when on December 10, planes from her airwing sank the Japanese submarine I-70. She would then go on not to simply create history but to become a legend. The Enterprise escorted the USS Hornet on the Doolittle Raid. At the battle of Midway, her planes were credited with three of the four Japanese Carriers. She has been damaged several times, with the Japanese reporting her as sunk three different times, earning her the nickname Grey Ghost. By the end of the war, her planes had: 911 enemy planes shot down, 71 enemy ships sunk, and she damaged 192 others. She would receive A Presidential Unit Citation, a Navy Unit Commendation, and 20 battle stars for her Pacific War Service. She was decommissioned on February 17, 1947. Despite attempts to preserve the USS Enterprise as a museum, the effort failed, and she was scrapped. The name Enterprise lives on in The first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in the world, USS Enterprise CVN-65, the soon-to-be-constructed Gerald Ford-class USS Enterprise CVN-80, the most well-known science fiction spaceship in the world, USS Enterprise NCC-1701 from Star Trek, and the rental car company Enterprise Rent a Car (the founder of Enterprise, Jack C. Taylor served aboard the USS Enterprise in WWII). Below is a list of the personnel killed on December 7, 1941, please view the list to learn the names of those who lost their lives on that day.

The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6) underway in the late 1930s. On deck are Grummen F3F fighters, Northrop BT-1 dive bombers and Douglas TBD-1 Devastator torpedo bombers., U.S. Navy (The photo is part of a scrapbook assembled by CDR William H. Balden, USNR, documenting his World War II service)., U.S. Navy National Museum of Naval Aviation photo No. 2007.084.001.510, PD-USGov

The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6) en route to New York to take part in the Navy Day Fleet review, October 1945. She is steaming in company with an Independence-class light carrier., Unknown Author, U.S. Navy photo 80-G-K-6576, PD-USG

Scouting Squadron SIX

These aviators arrived over Oahu during the attack and were shot down by the Japanese.

S. No. Name, Rank S. No. Name, Rank
1 Mitchell Cohn, RM3c 7 Fred J. Ducolon, Cox
2 Manuel Gonzalez, Ens 8 Leonard J. Kozelek, RM3c
3 William C. Miller, Rm1c 9 Signey Pierce, Rm3c
4 John H. L. Vogt, Jr., Ens 10 Walter M. Willis, Ens

Fighting Squadron SIX

These aviators were shot down by “friendly fire“ in an attempt to make a night landing at Ford Island NAS.

S. No. Name, Rank S. No. Name, Rank
5 Eric Allen, Jr., Lt. (jg) 11 Frederick F. Hebel, Lt. (jg)
6 Herbert H. Menges, Ens