Friday, July 31st, 2015

The Pearl Harbor P-40 Boys

Just when you thought you knew all there was to know about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, another story arises that demonstrates acts of courage that amaze you and provide evidence that Everyday Heroes abound.

Ken Taylor and George Welch were two yound second lieutenants who had been dancing, partying, and playing poker the night before the Japanese attack. They did not get to sleep 6:30 a.m. They were awakened at 7:55 a.m. by the sounds of low-flying aircraft that were strafing the American base. They quickly dressed in parts of the tuxedoes they wore just an hour-and-a-half earlier. Nothing in the stories I've read about Taylor and Welch mentioned their physical conditions (as in their level of sobriety), but they were All-American boys who knew how to enjoy themselves.

George Welch was born George Lewis Schwartz, but his parents changed his name to avoid the anti-German sentiment surrounding World War I. He attended St. Andrew's School (1936) in Delaware. He completed three years of a mechanical engineering degree from Purdue University, before joining the Army Air Corps in 1939. 

Kenneth Taylor graduated high school in Hominy, Oklahoma in 1938. He entered the University of Oklahoma as a pre-law student in the same year and joined the Army Air Corps two years later. 

When the attack began, the two lieutenants, without orders from their commanding officer, went into action. Their performance was not only courageous, but were astounding when you consider the odds they were up against.

I encourage you to watch the attached video. It is well-worth your time. It portrays events that occurred that morning that most people would assume must be fictitious. On the contrary, Taylor and Welch were real-life Everyday Heroes who risked everything to defend their fellow servicemen, their fellow Americans, and their country.