December 7, 1941
Japanese carrier aircraft
attacked Pearl Harbor and installations on Oahu.
March 4, 1942
During the night of March 4, 1942 two
Kawanishi H8K Emily flying boats from the 24th Air Flotilla, based
at Jaluit and Wotje took off on a bombing mission against Pearl Harbor. The target was obscured by clouds, one dropped their bombs harmlessly onto Mount
Tantalus. The released its bombs into the sea.
"Operation K" was conceived as a retaliation
raid against the Marshalls in early
February 1942. Japanese seaplanes used the French
Frigate Shoals, as a rendezvous point. To avoid detection,
the planes headed south between Kauai and Niihau before heading to the western
tip of Oahu. The Emilys closed formation and approached Kaena Point
at 15,000'. Some clouds were observed over the Koolau mountain
range and in the direction of Pearl Harbor. The two flying boats
on an eastward course to bring them north of Pearl Harbor, where
they intended to turn south for their bomb run, bombing the "Ten-Ten" dock.
Over the target, clouds obscured Oahu and lights on the ground were blacked out. Crewmen aboard plane No.1
thought they saw Ford Island, and Hashizume made a rapid turn to
left to circle back over the target. Hashizume dropped his four 250kg bombs sometime between 2:10-2:15
am, impacting the southen slope of Mount Tantalus. The bombs landed roughly 1,000' from Roosevelt High School, creating four bomb craters 6–10' deep and 20–30' across and shattered windows. No other damaged was caused. Later, an examination of the bomb fragments,
identified them as Japanese and identical to those dropped
during the December 7, 1941 raid.
Meanwhile, Tomaro misunderstood the order and continued southward, becoming
from Hashizume. When the mistake was discovered, Tomaro reversed
course and dropped his four 250kg bombs by direct reckoning at 2:30am. These bombs landed in the ocean, either off the coast of Wai'anae or near the sea approach to Pearl Harbor.
same cloud cover that obscured the target enabled the raiders to
escape undetected. American P-40 Warhawks were
unable to locate the bandits and returned to their bases, while the
PBY Catalinas searched in vain for them. For a time, the Army
and Navy blamed the each other for an avaitor accidentally released
their bombs on Mount Tantalus before returning to base. Many Oahu
still believe that this is what happened. At the time it was believed that no Japanese plane had the range to make the round trip
their nearest bases at Wake Island or the Marshall Islands.
Afterwads, the two flying boats then flew southeast toward the Marshall Islands. Sasao returned as planned to Wotje atoll, but Hashizume's airplane had sustained hull damage while taking off from French Frigate Shoals. Fearing the primitive base at Wotje was insufficient to repair the damage, Hashizume proceeded non-stop to Jaluit, making his flight the longest bombing mission in history up to that point.
May 30, 1942
The Japanese Navy planned a reconnaissance
mission over Pearl Harbor on May 30, 1942. It was canceled when three submarines: I-121,
I-122 and I-12 discovered that French Frigate Shoals were under close
observation by the US Navy. Had the reconnaissance mission proceeded, Admiral Yamamoto might have learned that USS Yorktown, USS Enterprise and USS Hornet were at Pearl Harbor, information that might have been taken
into consideration for the upcoming Battle of Midway.