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December 7, 1941
The story starts with a man named Aaron Smith. He was a fighter pilot in WW2. Aaron and his wife Michelle had gotten married nearly two years ago and lived in downtown Chicago. They had thought it was time to have a baby and they did. They gave birth to a baby boy. Just five days after their baby son was born, Aaron had left to fight in the war. Aaron had fought nearly fifteen battles in Japan and was shot down on his last mission. In the crash, his co-pilot Matt Johnson perished. When Aaron had recovered, he was stationed in Pearl Harbor. But Aaron had made it clear to his captain that he would not fly any time soon because he was still traumatized about the accident. He was just there to help out and repair damaged planes. On the night of December 6th 1941, Aaron had gone to his captain’s office. When he had walked in he was greeted by his captain….
“Aaron, so good to see you, how are you feeling?” said the captain.
“I am doing well, thank you for asking.” There was then a long pause and then Aaron said
“I was thinking that it was time to resign,”
“Why,” his face went flat along with his tone. “I thought you wanted to get back into the air?”
“I did,” Aaron looked down and thought of his family, his newborn child and his best friend who had just so recently died in combat. “But I just can’t. Not anymore.”
At this point his captain felt a bit of rage and had said to him “This is no time for games, the bottom line is this country needs you. I understand that you feel guilty for the death of Matt, but you need to let go, he would have wanted you to.”
With that last remark Aaron had left the room with his head down in shame and anger. At this point neither he, nor his captain or even his own country had known how much his flying skills would be needed for the next day that lie ahead.
The next day, December 7th, 1941 Aaron had awakened early due to trouble sleeping. He had gone outside to one of the hangers to work on a fighter plane that would soon be going to battle that needed repair. At 7:38 AM Aaron was still working on the same plane when he had heard a loud bang, and then an explosion. When he then turned to the east, he had realized that the bang and explosion he had heard was the USS Helena being nuked and blown up by one of the incoming fleet of fighter planes. When some of the planes had circled around to hit another ship, Aaron had seen the Japanese flag on the side of the planes. At that moment, he ran inside to the captain’s quarters and said,
“Captain, Captain! Wake up! We are under attack! The Japanese had just blown up one of the ships in the harbor!” The captain could not believe what he had just heard and with a look of fear he sighed and told Aaron, “Aaron, you must listen to me. Alert all the other soldiers and tell them to abort the airfield immediately, I am going to get dressed and call it in. We will be in touch. Good luck son.”
With that, Aaron left and did what he was told. When the soldiers had left their quarters Aaron looked to his right and saw a bunch of the men from his quadrant. As he ran through the airfield he thought about his family and being able to see his son’s next birthday. The more he thought, the faster he ran. While he was zoned out by the thought of his family, he was interrupted by a loud noise that was becoming louder and louder. The noise seemed to be the noise of extremely loud engines. As he turned around to see what the powerful noise was, he saw that it was the Japanese fleet coming at him faster than ever before.
He found himself running for his life. Aaron then saw the planes fly over all of them and everyone appeared to be fine. But just as the planes seemed to vanish into the clouds, there was a loud whistling sound that sounded as if it was a tea kettle going off. The noise kept on getting louder and louder and before Aaron had noticed, he was tossed nearly 20 feet in the air. A bomb had been dropped from one the enemy aircrafts. When he made impact with the ground, he had fractured his left leg. When he eventually got up after about one minute of being unconscious, most of the sound of the crying and screaming was tuned out and he was still in shock. When he looked up his heart started to sink. Almost all of his comrades he ran outside with had already perished and the ones who were still alive were almost all missing limbs. Some of the bodies were separated and some were even decapitated.
It was then Aaron had made a daring but brave decision. He had decided that he would get into a plane and attempt to save the lives of the innocent people that were still in grave danger. Without hesitation, he had limped as fast as he could to the nearest hanger with a plane. Even with the fractured leg, he made it to the plane in absolute agony. He told the remainder of the men to cover him as he took off. Aaron lifted off smoothly only to find himself with two enemy planes on his tail and one plane coming at him. As the plane got closer to him he had come up with a plan to shake the planes that were on his tail.
He would align with the incoming plane, and just before they would collide, he would go out of the way and the incoming plane would hit the one on his tail. Aaron was a very good pilot and everything went according to his plan and he had one more on his tail and that was the last plane that was still in the area. The rest of the Japanese fleet had already rendezvoused to the South. Since he had been flying in and around the Pearl Harbor area for nearly a year already, he had known the flying area pretty well and much better than the enemy pilot that was now close behind him. As he flew over the airfield he had checked to see if the radio still worked. Aaron that checked the radio and thankfully he had a signal. Relieved he picked it up and said
“Watchdog to Command, come in”
“Watchdog, this is command, what is it son?”
“I have an enemy plane on my ass and I can no longer shake em’, I am going to come in hard from the east, and come down as low as possible. I need you to shoot down the Jap behind me.”
“That is affirmative Watchdog. Over”
Aaron had taken the enemy plane between buildings and under bridges and finally came to the airfield. He came in low and just as he picked up the radio to tell his crew to prepare, he checked behind to see if the enemy jet was still behind him. Stunned, there was nothing there. He then looked forward and saw something in the air that was heading for his men in a crater from an explosion on the airfield. It was the Japanese plane. Aaron then thought of his family, his men and his country, he said to himself, “I will be remembered.” He then dropped the radio and grabbed onto the stick. He headed straight for the enemy plane and had lined up perfectly towards it. And as the planes kept getting closer.…………
Three rifle shots were sounded at the Pearl Harbor cemetery on December 11, 1941.