I found that action record but there was no mention of aircraft being involved so dismissed it
It is not well known. Excerpt From page 25 of Bert Kinsey’s excellent book “Attack on Pearl Harbor - Japan Awakens a Sleeping Giant” Military Aviation Archives pub. 2010:
“At 0630, the stores ship USS Antares, ASK-3 was approaching the entrance to Pearl Harbor with a steel barge in tow. Her crew sighted what appeared to be a small submarine and alerted WARD”...”Meanwhile a Navy PBY-5 Catalina patrol plane arrived on the scene. This PBY-5 was from Patrol Squadron FOURTEEN (VP-14) based at NAS Kaneohe Bay and was flown by Ensign William P. Tanner”...”At 0645, and at a range of 100yards, the WARD opened fire”...”but the shot missed”...”A second shot, fired from the number three four inch gun at a range of approximately fifty yards struck the conning tower”...”The Catalina followed with an attack of its own, and Ensign Tanner dropped a depth charge on the spot where he estimated the bow of the submarine to be as it disappeared beneath the surface. With this attack, the Americans fired the first shots of the attack, and of WWII in the Pacific.”
And thus, lowly PBY-5, BuNo. 2491, became the first US aircraft to attack an enemy vessel in WWII. It was one of three Catalinas on patrol around the Island at the time of the attack. One another note, Ensign Tanner radioed he had destroyed the sub, but his report was amended later to indicate the Ward’s role, so they both shared the credit. But, as history would have it, the Ward’s attack has been remembered , while Tanners attack has been forgotten.
Fortunately, for those that model such aircraft, Wolfpack Decals and Academy Models have recently teamed together and released a kit of this very same PBY-5 aircraft, 14-P-1 —if you are so inclined to model it. I received the kit as an Xmas present, but didn’t realize until just recently the kit includes decals for 14-P-1. It’s a very nice packaging of this old (but still great). Academy model. The kit is here:https://store.spruebrothers.com/product_p/wpd17204.htm