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Incident Off Ni'ihau– December 7, 1941

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 Product Description

Limited Edition of 199
Giclee, printed upon Epson Ultrasmooth Fine Art Paper, Epson K-3 ink
Image size: 25” x 18”
Overall size: 29” x 24”
S/N by Artist

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10 Artist Proof...$250.00


INCIDENT OFF NI’IHAU – December 7, 1941

Shortly after 0800 on December 7, 1941, word was received aboard the heavy cruiser USS Northampton (CA-26) that Pearl Harbor was under attack. Northampton was part of a task force which had just delivered a US Marine fighter squadron to Wake Island and was enroute back to Pearl Harbor. At about 1115 two Curtiss SOC scout floatplanes (5CS-2 and 5CS-4) were launched off Northampton after their crews had been assigned a search sector which took them near the Islands of Kauai and Ni’ihau. At about twenty minutes after launch and at a position approximately fifteen miles west of Kauai, the two search aircraft were attacked by an enemy IJN Zero, described in the Northampton after-action report as being grey, or light khaki in color with a “wide red band” on the fuselage and a “large red ball” between the cockpit and the tail.

This description would have described an aircraft from the IJN Akagi Air Group, but subsequent investigation convincingly suggests that it was from the Kaga Air Group, rather that Akagi. The enemy aircraft repeatedly attacked the two scout aircraft from Northampton (seven times), all unsuccessful due to the flight discipline of the Northampton pilots, and on the seventh attack Northampton gunner RM-1 Rob’t. P. Baxter hit the attacker with defensive machine gun fire which caused the Zero to break off the attack and retreat toward the Island of Ni’ihau, apparently crashing into the sea just offshore. It is believed that this is the aircraft which was seen in the company of another Zero (from the Hiryu Air Group) over Ni’ihau somewhat earlier. The extraordinary story of the Hiryu aircraft and pilot, Airman First Class Nishikaichi Shigenori’s crash landing and subsequent actions on Ni’ihau have already been well-documented, but the Kaga Air Group pilot’s identity and the location of his final resting place so far remains uncertain.


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