Howard Young’s first encounter with the Japanese was on December 7, 1941 when U.S. aircraft returning from Wake Island met the Japanese attackers at Pearl Harbor. In February 1942, under Young’s command, Air Group Six made the first attack on Japanese held territory. Young took part in raids on the Marshall and Gilbert Islands and later the Marcus and Wake Islands. His actions of leading two successful raids on February 1, 1942 earned Young the DFC. In April 1942 he was promoted to Carrier Air Group Commander.