1941: Japanese carrier-based naval aircraft launch a surprise attack upon American and British possessions in the Pacific. Japanese aircraft hit Pearl Harbor and nearby Hickam Field at 7:55 A.M. Shortly thereafter, Bellows and Wheeler Field are also attacked. Of the nearly 3,000 Americans casualties, 163 Army Air Forces personnel are killed and 390 others are wounded or missing. Six AAF pilots shoot down ten Japanese aircraft in air-to-air combat. Lt. George Welch flying a P-40 is credited with four of the ten.