Pearl Harbor Attack: USS Turkey (AM-13) Action Report

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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

USS Turkey, Report of Pearl Harbor Attack


    Pearl Harbor, T.H.
December 17, 1941

From: The Commanding Officer.
To: Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
 
Subject: Aerial Attack of Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941.
 
Reference: (a) U.S. Navy Regulations 1920, Articles 712, 762, and 2029.
 
Enclosures: (A) Report of Ensign R.J. MELCHOR, USNR -- Duty Officer.
(B) Report of Boatswain, J. EIKAM, USN -- Executive Officer.

  1. When the attack developed, this vessel was moored with three other mine sweepers at the Coal Dock, Pearl Harbor, T.H. Ensign R.J. MELCHOR, USNR, a reserve officer of six months sea duty, was at the time, duty officer and commanding officer. Preparations were made for getting underway and fire was opened with 3" 50 cal. battery, 30 cal. machine-gun battery, and riflemen stationed about the deck. Upon the arrival of the executive officer, Boatswain J. EIKAM, USN, about 20 minutes after the attack started, the ship was backed clear of the dock and anchored in the stream to increase the angle of fire and to decrease masking effect or vessels in the nest. Lieut. Comdr. T.F. FOWLER, USN, commanding officer, arrived after the Turkey had backed clear of the dock. One plane being fired at only by the four mine sweepers mentioned above, was observed to commence smoking, lose altitude, and passed out of sight. It is believed this plane was destroyed but no claim can be made by any one vessel since all were firing at the time.

  2. The crew performed efficiently and well. This vessel was never under attack, but considerable shrapnel and spent machine-gun bullets fell on and near the ship and this danger was accepted calmly. No individual can be picked for praise except to state that the actions of Ensign MELCHOR and Boatswain EIKAM, were the proper ones at the time. No casualties were received either to personnel or material. 37 rounds of 3" 50 cal. A.A. ammunition and about 2,350 rounds of 30 caliber was expended.

[signed]
T. F. FOWLER


  U.S.S. TURKEY  
Enclosure (A)    
Pearl Harbor, T.H.
December 16, 1941

From: The Officer of The Deck.
To: The Commanding Officer.
 
Subject: Attack of Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941.

  1. On December 7, 1941, while in the capacity as Officer of The Deck, at about 0753, I heard an explosion followed by the noise of diving planes which, when sighted, proved to be Japanese. I immediately ordered general quarters and made preparations for getting underway.

  2. At 0755 all guns were manned and opened fire on low flying dive-bombers approaching from the Southwest. The estimated number of this flight is eighteen planes. Five minutes later the second flight of about 18 dive-bombers passed overhead and out of gun bearing, headed toward Navy Yard, followed by nine torpedo planes following channel and passing over Hospital Point toward Navy Yard. About 0820, sighted flight of about twenty-five heavy bombers, estimated altitude 12000 ft coming from West, which dropped about seven bombs, landing in the West Lock Area.

  3. The conduct of the crew was excellent. They responded immediately and efficiently.

[signed]
R. J. MELCHOR,
Ensign, USNR.


  U.S.S. TURKEY  
 
Enclosure (B)
  Pearl Harbor, T.H.
December 17, 1941

From: The Executive Officer.
To: The Commanding Officer.
 
Subject: Aerial attack of Pearl Harbor, T.H., December 7, 1941.
 
Reference: Navy Regulations 1920, Arts. 712, 762, 2029.

  1. In compliance with referenced articles it is herewith reported. Upon my return to the ship about 0805; (which was prompted by actual observation of Japanese planes in a diving attack, about 0750), I found the crew at General Quarters, making preparations for getting underway, and engaged in repelling the aerial raiders. Copy of the report of the Duty Officer of events taking place prior to my return, marked enclosure (A). At this time the Turkey was the second ship outboard of a group of four Mine Sweepers nested at the Coal Dock, Pearl Harbor, T.H., thereby limiting the fire power of this, as well as other vessels of the nest. About 0820 sighted formation of bombers approaching from west, and opened fire for purpose of laying a barrage in path of this formation. When the outboard ship cleared the side, this vessel got underway and anchored in the stream for purpose of increasing fire power.

  2. No further attacks were made in this area within gun range, but opened fire toward areas where planes were seen under fire of ships in those areas, to assist in laying down a heavier barrage.

  3. The crew performed their duties efficiently and with courage.

[signed]
J. EIKAM,
Boatswain, U.S. Navy,
Executive Officer.


Source: World War II action reports, Modern Military Branch, National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740.
09/02/2003