December 7th: Almost Infamy

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

The Japanese Imperial Fleet is steaming towards Pearl Harbor, Hawaii with 183 aircraft on board.

Admiral Morgan Hunt sat at his post on the flag bridge of the USS Nimitz. The Nimitz was a United States Navy Super Carrier with the designation CVN-68. She was named after the famous World War II Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz.

 

Admiral Morgan had been concerned for some time as a strange jamming had been detected in the atmosphere effecting his radars, and radios. His GPS systems and satellite communications had even been spotty. Because of this Morgan had asked the captain of the carrier to ground all flights to the deck but to keep a CAP, or combat air patrol, over the carrier at all times.

 

He wasn't sure if the jamming was a natural occurrence or was the work of a foreign power hostile to the United States. But he wasn't going to take chances with uncertainties. He had been able to stay in contact with distant elements of the Aircraft Carrier's battle group via semaphore and blinker light so he knew that his various fleet units were also having the same issues.

 

Morgan was scanning the sea with his high power binoculars when all of the interference suddenly just stopped cold. He lowered his binoculars looking around the bridge. The captain looked to him with a, "i have no idea what happened", look on his face. Just then the bridge intercom chirped. "bridge, radio room." The voice said. The captain glanced at Morgan and leaned forward to pick up his receiver. "Radio room, Bridge here. This is the captain speaking."

 

"Sir I am picking up chatter on radio bands that seems funny, sir. Another thing is that the channels they are using haven't been in use for almost 70 years, sir." I am also picking up a lot of language that sounds a lot like Japanese sir, but I couldn't be sure."

 

"Very well." Said the captain. "Keep an ear out for anything else unusual and report to us up here right away." He added. Just then the bridge intercom chirped once again. "Bridge, CIC" (the cic, or combat information center was the heart of all of the warfare capabilities of the ship and where all information was put together into a total picture of the available situation.) "CIC, Bridge here." Bridge. I have a total of 183 contacts flying low and slow approximately 150 miles out sir. They are heading this way. I make their altitude to be about 500 feet sir."

 

"Very well. Have you tried to warn them off?"

 

"Yes sir, several times and the bogies ignore our calls and continue to close." CIC said to the captain.

 

Morgan had been listening to all of this and was now convinced that some sort of attack was underway against his force. Morgan made a snap decision. "Captain, order the CAG to launch one of our E-2 hawkeyes, and the entire squadron of VFA-154." (VFA-154 also known as the "Black Knights" was comprised of all F/A-18F Super Hornets.) The super hornet was a replacement fighter plane for the aging F-14 fleet.

 

Within minutes the activity on the flight deck doubled as first the Hawkeye launched then the fighter planes of the Black Knights roared off the catapult and into the sky. Morgan waited until all of his aircraft were in the sky then ordered his radio room to bring the rest of the fleet to Battle Stations surface.

 

Close to 20 minutes later the Hawkeye, callsign "buzzsaw", was flying through the cloud deck. Far below he could see the advancing black shapes that he had been tracking on radar. Approaching from behind the Hawkeye were the formations of VMF-154.  The pilot of the Hawkeye raised his binoculars and looked down through the patchy cloud cover. He could see the planes off and on but couldn’t quite get a good view. Then suddenly a break in the clouds enabled him to get a good glimpse of several of the planes. He whistled to himself with his binoculars still to his eyes.  He spoke to his co pilot. “You wont ever believe this hammer.” He said. “Believe what? That we are in the middle of the ocean, we don’t have GPS, we don’t have a satellite uplink to pearl, and we don’t have any coms with pacific fleet HQ?” He asked sarcastically. “Noooo...Those planes down there are WW2 era Japanese planes…I shit you not..Mint condition too from the looks of it.” He said in excitement. We better call this in the pilot said.

 

Back on the Nimitz Admiral Morgan was still a little in the dark. The battle group had picked up radio programs that were estimated to be over 60 years old, and the fleet hadn’t had a single contact with any higher headquarters in almost 24 hours. To top it all off the Hawkeye that he had ordered out to get eyes on the bogies reported back that it was a flight of almost 200 Japanese WW2 era fighter planes. Morgan didn’t get where he was at without being highly intelligent and he began to put together all of the pieces of knowledge they had gathered.  “Captain, call the CAG with the black knights and ask him and his wingman to try to close on those planes and see what their intentions are.

Morgan and the bridge crew sat in silence for some time when the response finally came back from the CAG Lieutenant Commander Kevin Jenkins.  “Sir, those Japanese planes are all armed with cannon rounds and I saw many with bombs and torpedoes when I dove through their formation.  I shook em up a bit sir, but they aren’t playing around either like we were.” He told Morgan. “Sir, something else. My navigator says that these guys are heading straight for Pearl Harbor as well.  Is it just me Sir, or does this seem a little familiar to anyone else. “

 

He asked the question which seemed to hang in the silence of the bridge. Morgan absently looked up at the small calendar magnetically attached to the bulkhead…it read December 7th. Then it clicked in Morgan’s head. “Gentlemen, I cant explain how we got here, or why we are here but I believe that today is December 7th…..1941. Everyone knows what date that means. We have a chance before us here to rewrite the history books. But in order to do this..we will need to fire on a enemy that has not yet declared war on our country, and we will need to sink their flat tops that are out there. We have many many advantages over these Japanese.  We know from the history books where their fleet is, we know how many, and from which direction they will attack. We are going to destroy those ships and planes gentlemen.

 

The Nimitz became a behive of activity. As the squadrons based aboard Nimitz were armed and fueled. Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 323 (VMFA-323) "Death Rattlers" with McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C Hornets, Strike Fighter Squadron 146 (VFA-146) "Blue Diamonds" with F/A-18C Hornets, Strike Fighter Squadron 147 (VFA-147) "Argonauts" with F/A-18F Super Hornets. Morgan also had refueling aircraft and electronic countermeasures aircraft which he had not planned to use at this time.

 

An hour later The Nimitz flight deck was clear as the last of the strike aircraft had launched into the sky. Morgan lowered his binoculars as the last flight sped out of his view. “Fair winds and following skies gentlemen.” He said quietly to himself


Submitted: May 10, 2015

© Copyright 2022 Michael Csiti. All rights reserved.

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