Pearl Harbor P-40 Warhawk - White Background
Painting - Illustration
Pearl Harbor P-40 Warhawk
Lt. George Welch
Lt. George Welch was one of a few U.S. fighter pilots to get aloft and attack the Japanese during the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. Returning from a Christmas party in Waikiki the night before and still wearing mess dress, Lt. Welch and another pilot (2nd Lt. Ken Taylor), sped to Halewia Field on Oahu's North Shore. After calling ahead to get two P-40s armed and fueled, Welch wasted no time jumping from Ken's Buick into the P-40B Tomahawk once they arrived. Lt. Welsh was credited with four aircraft - 3 Aichi D3A Val Dive Bombers and an A6M2 Zero Fighter. Welch and Taylor were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for their decisive actions.
Lt. Welch would later become a triple ace eventually racking up 16 confirmed victories flying P-40s, P-39s, and P-38s. Post war, George Welch became a test pilot for the U.S. Air Force and attempted to exceed the speed of sound in an XP-86 Sabre jet. There is much controversy surrounding the breaking of the sound barrier 2-weeks prior to the X-1 as Welch's highest speeds were achieved while diving instead of level flight.
November 16th, 2013
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