By Joseph M. Horodyski During the dark daysof December 1941, when it seemed as if American and British bases were falling like dominoes across the Pacific, two incidents during the Japanese attack on the naval base at Pearl Harbor gave American morale a much needed boost. One of these occurred when Army Air Corps lieutenants George Welch and Ken Taylor managed to get airborne in their two Curtiss P-40 Warhawk fighters from their base at Haleiwa Field and between them downed five enemy aircraft that Sunday morning, ending their attacks only when their ammunition and fuel were exhausted. But their exploits were not fully known until after the attack was over, they had been debriefed and their claims verified, and their story appeared in newspapers to a country hungry for positive war news. They achieved their exploits in the open skies over Hawaii, mostly unseen by those on the ground below. The second incident was more widely witnessed. The World War I-vintage battleship USS Nevada was the only capital ship that day that managed to get underway during the attack and attempt an escape from the confining waters of Pearl Harbor to the open sea; battered and heavily damaged, her captain chose to beach her on a nearby spit of land so she could be repaired and readied to fight another day. Though her run for the sea lasted barely 30 minutes, it was later claimed (rightfully or not) to have been witnessed, at least in part, by just about every serviceman present that Sunday at Pe


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