Last year I looked at a few aircraft which were at or around Pearl Harbor at the time of the attack in 1941. I ran across another one on the Web as I carried out one of my stored searches.
Our story concerns a Waco UIC biplane with the registration NC13408. In 1941 it was owned and operated by a company called K-T Flying Service in Honolulu. The substantial version of the story says that Robert ‘Bob” Tyce, (part owner of K-T, being the “T” part) was flying in NC13408 when he and another individual in another Waco were bounced by Japanese aircraft on the morning of December 7th. The second Waco was hit and the pilot bailed out. Tyce, so the story goes, managed to evade the attackers and landed, although he was killed on the ground following the landing, becoming one of the first, if not the first civilian casualty of the Japanese attack. It gets a little complicated because some sources say it wasn’t Tyce flying the aircraft, and yet another source disputes the claim that NC13408 was in the air at all on December 7th.
Whatever the truth is about NC13408, Ancestry.com records that Robert Horatio Tyce, born 11 May 1903 at Częstochowa, Śląskie, Poland, died on 7 Dec 1941 at Pearl Harbor, Honolulu County, Hawaii, United States of America.