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.