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The United States Navy Memorial

Navy Memorial Honoring the Men & Women of the Sea Services



Sunday, December 7, 1941
Damaged at Pearl Harbor
Three enemy planes, identified by yellow disks painted on wings, attacked at 0910. They came in low, approaching from the starboard quarter. The heavy fire from this ship, and from the destroyers of Squadron ONE alongside, caused the plane to swerve and cross just astern. Three bombs were dropped, resulting in near misses on starboard quarter, astern, and port quarter. They appeared to be 300-lb. bombs. Fragments from these bombs struck the stern of this ship, causing the personnel and material damage described below. All personnel casualties were members of No. 4 3 A.A. gun located on the after end of the boat deck. No other attack was experienced by this nest of ships. The nest consisted of the Dobbin, with the Hull, Dewey, Worden, MacDonough, and Phelps alongside port side. The ships alongside started clearing at 0920, the last one getting away at 1450. Repair personnel from this ship were turned to continuously during this period and during the attack to assist them in getting machinery reassembled. ... All boats of the Dobbin were sent into the landings immediately, and have been in continuous service wherever needed since. The Commanding Officer is pleased to report that the performance of all hands was excellent and the conduct most commendable, characterized by a strong will to fight and to turn to enthusiastically in any and every was possible to assist in servicing the destroyers and in protecting their own ship. From the After Action Report 41 273 Downes DD 375 12 7 1941 1941-12-07 00:00:00.000 Pearl Harbor - Damaged in Drydock When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, USS Downes was high and dry alongside USS Cassin (DD-372) undergoing modernization in Drydock Number One at the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard. At the end of the attack, both destroyers were wrecks, hit by bombs and bomb fragments, gutted by fire and flooded with water. Their hulls were badly distorted and their plating wrinkled and weakened by heat. Downes had a huge hole in her starboard midships hull from the explosion of one of her own torpedoes and her pilothouse was demolished. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships 41 274 Helena CL 50 12 7 1941 1941-12-07 00:00:00.000 Pearl Harbor - Single Torpedo Strike While tied up alongside 1010 dock at the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, Helena was hit by a single torpedo during the Japanese raid of December 7, flooding an engine room and boiler room. Due to the prompt damage control corrective measures, Helena remained afloat and remained functional during the remainder of the attack. Prepared by CAPT R.O. Strange USN (Ret.) 41 275 Maryland BB 46 12 7 1941 1941-12-07 00:00:00.000 Struck Twice at Pearl Harbor During the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Maryland managed to bring all her antiaircraft batteries into action shooting down one of the two attacking torpedo planes. Despite two bomb hits she continued to fire and, after the attack, sent firefighting parties to assist her sister ships. ... The Japanese announced that Maryland had been sunk, but on December 30, battered yet sturdy, she entered the repair yard at Puget Sound Navy Yard where she emerged February 26, 1942 Prepared by CAPT R.O. Strange USN (Ret.) 41 276 Nevada BB 36 12 7 1941 1941-12-07 00:00:00.000 Struck by Torpedo at Pearl Harbor At the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Nevada was moored singly off Ford Island, and had a freedom of maneuver denied the other 8 battleships present during the attack. ... As her gunners opened fire and her engineers got up steam, she was struck by one torpedo and two, possibly three bombs from the Japanese attackers, but was able to get underway. While attempting to leave harbor she was struck again. Fearing she might sink in the channel, blocking it, she was beached at Hospital Point. ... Gutted forward, she lost 60 killed and 109 wounded during the attack. Prepared by CAPT R. O. Strange USN (Ret.) 41 277 Oklahoma BB 37 12 7 1941 1941-12-07 00:00:00.000 Multiple Air Attacks at Pearl Harbor Three torpedo hits occurred to Oklahoma soon after the attack commenced. As ship began to capsize, two more torpedoes struck; as men abandoned ship Japanese planes dove in for strafing runs. Oklahoma rolled over with mast touching the bottom of the harbor. ... 415 killed during the attack and 32 others were wounded. Many crew members were trapped in the overturned battleship surviving in pockets of air until rescuers could cut access holes in the bottom of the ship to rescue them; a total of 32 survivors were ultimately saved. Prepared by CAPT R.O. Strange USN (Ret.) 41 278 Pennsylvania BB 38 12 7 1941 1941-12-07 00:00:00.000 Attacked in Drydock - Pearl Harbor During the Pearl Harbor attack, Pennsylvania was in drydock and was one of the first ships in the harbor to open fire as enemy dive bombers and torpedo planes roared out of the overcast. Repeated attempts were made to torpedo the caisson of the drydock but all were unsuccessful, however Pennsylvania and the surrounding dock areas were severely strafed. ... The crew of one 5-inch gun mount was killed when a bomb struck the starboard side of her boat deck and exploded inside casemate 9. Destroyers Cassin and Downes, just forward of Pennsylvania in the same drydock were seriously damaged by bomb hits. Pennsylvania was pockmarked by flying fragments. A 1000 pound component of a torpedo tube from destroyer DOWNES, was blown onto the forecastle of Pennsylvania. Prepared by CAPT R.O. Strange USN (Ret.) 41 279 Shaw DD 373 12 7 1941 1941-12-07 00:00:00.000 Pearl Harbor - Attacked in Drydock During the attack on Pearl Harbor, Shaw, in drydock, took three hits: two bombs through the forward machine gun platform, and one through the port wing of the bridge. Fires spread rapidly through the ship and after all fire fighting facilities were exhausted, the order was given to abandon ship. ... Efforts to flood the dock were only partially successful and, shortly afterward, Shaw's forward magazine blew up. Prepared by CAPT R.O. Strange USN (Ret.) 41 280 Utah BB 31 12 7 1941 1941-12-07 00:00:00.000 Aerial Torpedo Attack - Pearl Harbor Soon after the commencement of the attack Utah took a torpedo hit forward, and immediately started to list to port. As the ship began to roll over on her beam ends, 6-by-12-inch timbers-placed on the decks to cushion against the impact of bombs used during the ship's employment as a mobile target-began to shift, hampering efforts of the crew to abandon ship. ... Comdr. Isquith made an inspection to make sure men were out and nearly became trapped himself. As the ship began to turn over, he found an escape hatch blocked. Fortunately, a man outside grabbed Isquith's arm and pulled him to safety through a porthole at the last instant. ... At 0812, the mooring lines snapped, and Utah rolled over on her beam ends; her survivors swam to shore, some taking shelter on the mooring quays since Japanese strafers were active. Shortly after most of the men had reached shore, Comdr. Isquith, heard knocking from within the overturned ship's hull. Although Japanese planes were still strafing the area, volunteers returned to the hull with a cutting torch to free their trapped shipmates. ... Of Utah's complement, 30 officers and 431 enlisted men survived the ship's loss; 6 officers and 58 men died. Prepared by CAPT R.O. Strange USN (Ret.) 41 281 West Virginia BB 48 12 7 1941 1941-12-07 00:00:00.000 Torpedo Attacks - Pearl Harbor During the Pearl Harbor attack West Virginia took five 18-inch aircraft torpedoes ( it was later revised after inspection of damage that seven torpedoes had actually struck the ship ) in her port side and two bomb hits The first bomb penetrated the superstructure deck, wrecking the port casemates and causing that deck to collapse to the galley deck level. Four casemates and the galley caught fire, with the subsequent detonation of the ready-service projectiles stowed in the casemates. ... The second bomb hit wrecked the floatplane atop the high catapult on Turret III. The projectile penetrated the turret, wrecking one gun. Although the bomb proved a dud, burning gasoline from the damaged aircraft caused damage. The torpedo hits ripped into the ship's port side but the heroic damage control efforts saved the ship from capsizing in the manner that befell Oklahoma. ... Instances of heroic conduct on the battleship proliferated in the heat of battle. The ship's commanding officer, Capt. M. S. Bennion, on the bridge early in the battle was struck down by a bomb fragment when a 15-inch bomb hit the center gun in Tennessee's Turret II, spraying both ships with fragments. Bennion, hit in the abdomen, and mortally wounded, clung tenaciously to life until just before the ship was abandoned, directing the ship's defense up to his dying moment. For his conspicuous devotion to duty Capt. Bennion was awarded a Medal of Honor, posthumously. Prepared by CAPT R.O. Strange USN (Ret.) 41 282 Vestal AR 4 12 7 1941 1941-12-07 00:00:00.000 Aerial Bombing - Pearl Harbor Vestal was, moored outboard of the USS Arizona on the morning of December 7. She was hit by two Japanese bombs and received additional damage from the force and heat of Arizona's explosion. ... Casting loose from the sunk and burning battleship, Vestal moved up the harbor a short distance and anchored. However, one of the bomb hits caused her to flood aft, and the water could not be controlled in the ship's old hull. Accordingly, she hoisted her anchor and was beached on Aiea Shoal, in Pearl Harbor's northeastern corner. Naval Historical Center 41 283 Peary DD 226 12 10 1941 1941-12-10 00:00:00.000 Bombing Raid at Cavite Navy Yard More than 50 Japanese high level bombers attacked the port of Cavite and destroyed practically the entire base. ... Peary, moored to a small pier, took one bomb forward which riddled the superstructure and stack and killed 8 of her crew. ... She found herself in a very precarious position, as fires began to set off torpedo warheads in a torpedo overhaul shop on the wharf next to her. Fortunately, minesweeper Whippoorwill towed her out of harm’s way. Prepared by CAPT R.O. Strange USN (Ret.) 1 284 Reid DD 369 12 11 1944 1944-12-11 00:00:00.000 Kamikaze Attacks near Surigao Straits Escorting reinforcements for Ormoc Bay near Surigao Straits Reid destroyed seven Japanese planes, before she sank from repeated kamikaze crashes. Her 150 survivors were picked up by landing craft in her convoy. ...The tradegy of 11 December 1944 was the snuffing out of lives of almost half of the ship's company. They all were at their battle stations fighting to save the Reid one minute, and dead the next. Any way one looks at it, it was an unmitigated disaster. With one or two exceptions these were young people in their teens abd early twenties with their whole lives ahead of them. They were good, well-trained destroyer sailors who had experienced more than their share of close-call air attacks. They didn't do something they shouldn't have done, or fail to do something they should have done. The savagery of the attack was just more than any destroyer could handle - and it cost these men their lives.

We honor their memory and pay tribute to their sacrifice.

CAPT. Rufus C. Porter, USN (Ret)
The last Executive Officer
of the USS REID(DD-369) 1 285 Caldwell DD 605 12 12 1944 1944-12-12 00:00:00.000 Kamikaze Attack near Ormoc Bay On December 12, while escorting landing craft to Ormoc Bay Caldwell bore the brunt of a fierce air attack. ... Hit on the bridge simultaneously by a suicide plane and fragments from a two-bomb straddle, the destroyer suffered 33 killed and 40 wounded including the commanding officer. ... Despite the heavy damage, Caldwell's after guns continued to fire on enemy planes, while her well-trained damage control parties saved the ship. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships 1 286 Nashville CL 43 12 13 1944 1944-12-13 00:00:00.000 Kamikaze Attack near Mindoro While en route to participate in the invasion of Mindoro, Nashville was struck by a kamikaze off Negros Island. The aircraft crashed into her port 5-inch mount, both bombs exploding about 10 feet off the deck. ... Gasoline fires and exploding ammunition made her midships area an inferno, but although 133 were killed and 190 wounded, her remaining 5-inch guns continued to provide antiaircraft cover. Prepared by CAPT R.O. Strange USN (Ret) 1 287 Fogg DE 57 12 20 1944 1944-12-20 00:00:00.000 Submarine Attack in the Altantic

Homeward bound, on December 20, one of the LSTs in the convoy was torpedoed, and as Fogg began to search for the submarine, she, too, was torpedoed. ... Fourteen of her men were killed and six wounded (one of whom subsequently died), and the ship badly damaged ( losing the rear third of the ship, breaking off just aft of the Engine Room #2 bulkhead ). ... For two days the crew fought to save their ship, but when on December 22, the stern sheared off, all but a skeleton crew were taken off. These men restored buoyancy, and Fogg reached the Azores in tow the next day.

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships 1 288 Gansevoort DD 608 12 30 1944 1944-12-30 00:00:00.000 Kamikaze Attack at Mindoro Ganesvoort entered Mangarin Bay, Mindoro, with convoy the morning of December 30, 1944. That afternoon a suicide plane which crashed Gansevoort's main deck to port. ... A terrific explosion cut steering and electric power, started several fires, and killed or wounded 34 of her crew. Damage control parties could not get aft as her main deck was blown upward. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting SHips 1 289 Orestes AGP 10 12 30 1944 1944-12-30 00:00:00.000 Struck by Bomber at Mindoro Late the next month, while in a Mindoro bound convoy with 30 PT Boats and 50 other vessels enemy planes made life tenuous. ... On December 30, a Val bomber came in low on the starboard side and crashed Orestes amidships causing heavy damage and the loss of 45 members of the crew. Accompanying LCIs finally brought the resultant fires under control and the craft was beached. DIctionary of American Naval Fighting Ships 1 290 Porcupine IX 126 12 30 1944 1944-12-30 00:00:00.000 Struck by Kamikaze near Mindoro Porcupine, in company with a convoy of ships arrived Mangarin Bay December 30, eager to offload supplies and head back to Leyte before dark. Throughout most of the day the offloading proceeded smoothly, but then five Vals broke through and made a suicide attack. Within two minutes destroyers Gansevoort (DD-608) and Pringle (DD-477), tender Orestes (AGP-10), and Porcupine were hit. ... Porcupine was hit off White Beach by a low flyer which came in off her port bow. She opened fire with all guns, but was unable to divert the attacking Val from its course. The kamikaze released a bomb over the stricken ship's main deck and crashed in after it. Seven sailors died and eight were wounded. Fuel tanks ruptured; the engine room flooded and the plane's engine passed through the ship's hull, tearing a large hole beneath her water line. Prepared by CAPT R.O. Strange USN (Ret.) 1 291 Pringle DD 477 12 30 1944 1944-12-30 00:00:00.000 Kamikaze Attack Pringle came under intense air attack while escorting a resupply echelon to Mindoro from December 27 - 30, 1944. Several ships in the convoy were sunk, while Pringle shot down two planes. ... On the 30th a Kamikaze crashed into her after deckhouse, killing 11 men and injuring 20, totally destroying one 40mm mount and damaging two 5-inch mounts. Prepared by CAPT R.O. Strange USN (Ret.) 1 292 Minivet AM 371 12 29 1945 1945-12-29 00:00:00.000 Mine Explosion in Tsushima Straits Minivet was in the midst of a 2nd minesweeping pass of the area when she struck a mine. In a matter of minutes Minivet rolled over and sank. ... Despite the discipline and courageous action of her crew and the bravery of American and Japanese rescuers, Minivet suffered 31 men killed. She became the first American minesweeper lost during these hazardous operations that had destroyed 20,000 mines since the end of the war. Prepared by CAPT R. O. Strange USN (Ret.) 1 293 Coamo 12 9 1942 1942-12-09 00:00:00.000 U-Boat Attack near Bermuda

SS Coamo was topredoed by U-604 off of Bermuda while en route to New York. The ship was detached from the convoy she started in and was never heard from again. This was the greatest loss of a merchant crew of any US Flag merchant vessel during WWII

A Careless Word A Needless Sinking 1 294 John Harvey 12 2 1943 1943-12-02 00:00:00.000 Air Attack at Bari, Italy 1 295 John L. Motley 12 2 1943 1943-12-02 00:00:00.000 Air Attack at Bari, Italy 1 296 Joseph Wheeler 12 2 1943 1943-12-02 00:00:00.000 Air Attack at Bari, Italy 1 297 John Bascom 12 2 1943 1943-12-02 00:00:00.000 Air Attack at Bari, Italy 1 298 Cooper DD 695 12 3 1944 1944-12-03 00:00:00.000 Torpedo Attack near Ormoc Bay Operating in company with USS Allen M. Sumner (DD 692) and USS Moale (DD 693) through Surigao Straits COOPER encountered a Japanese force of transports and escorting destroyers landing troops at Ormoc Bay, Leyte Philippines. The three US destroyers during the melee damaged or sank one destroyer, five transport freighters and 10 aircraft. At 0013 a Japanese torpedo found COOPER; she suffered a high order explosion on her starboard side, breaking the ship in two and sinking within a minute of the torpedo hit. 191 of her crew went down with the ship ... The proximity of Japanese forces precluded the immediate rescue of survivors by friendly surface forces, however the valiant efforts of “Black Cat” seaplanes enabled 168 survivors to later be rescued from the waters of Ormoc Bay Prepared by CAPT R.O. Strange USN (Ret.) 1 299 Touchet 12 3 1943 1943-12-03 00:00:00.000 Torpedo Attack SS Touchet was torpedoed by U-193 in the Gulf of Mexico while en route to New York from Houston, TX. The ship was ordered abandoned within 15 minutes . Another torpedo struck 15 minutes after that sealing the ship's fate. Several of the Naval Armed Guard stayed by their gun until hope of survival had past, they were captured by the undertow of the sinking ship. ... Survivors were picked-up by SS Lilie Mor, USS Falgout (DE-324) and USS Raven (AM-55). Various Sources 1 300 Francis Asbury 12 3 1944 1944-12-03 00:00:00.000 Mine Explosion SS Francis Asbury struck a mine while approaching the Schelde River along the coast of Belgium. The explosion was so powerful the ship ws nearly blown in half. A Carless Word A Needless Sinking 1 301 Drayton DD 366 12 5 1944 1944-12-05 00:00:00.000 Air Attack near San Pedro Bay On December 5, 1944 while screening a convoy of LCMs and LCIs to San Pedro Bay, Drayton was attacked by a twin-engine bomber which scored a near miss, killing two and wounding seven of the destroyer's crew. ... About an hour later she repulsed a group of strafing planes before they could damage her charges, and later the same morning engaged 10 or 12 enemy fighters. One crashed a 5 mount, killing 6 and wounding 12 men. ... Drayton extinguished her fires and carried out her mission convoying her charges safely to harbor and then sating unassisted to Manus for repairs.

Lost At Sea Log

Number of sailors in this log: 8

Namesort descending Service Branch
CGM Glenn Cook USN
Sea 1c Matthew Crisp USN
Sea 2c Robert Huffman USN
MM 2c William Nichols USN
Sea 2c John Plsek USN
Sea 1c Sylvester Servais USN
F 2c John Stettler USN
StM 2c O. Woodard USN