UNITED STATES PACIFIC FLEET
MINECRAFT, BATTLE FORCE
Pearl Harbor, T.H.,
December 7, 1941.
|From:||Commander Minecraft, BATTLE FORCE.|
|To:||Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet.|
|Via:||Commander Battle Force.|
Japanese Plane Attack on Pearl Harbor;
Narrative by Commander Minecraft, BATTLE FORCE, Rear Admiral William R. Furlong, U.S. Navy, in U.S.S. Oglala, sunk by torpedo.
WILLIAM R. FURLONG.
Immediately after the Oglala sank in the forenoon, men from her crew (about 75%) were pooled and details sent to various other units of the Fleet; among them a party to both the Pennsylvania and Helena to assist those ships in manning their batteries, 45 men to the Tennessee to assist in fire fighting, 30 men to the Mugford, which ship went to sea soon thereafter, and repair parties were also sent to the Pennsylvania and Helena. Approximately 75 men were sent to the Naval Ammunition Depot at West Loch. In addition, the Oglala's medical personnel assisted in receiving and distributing dead and wounded men from the battleships being landed at the end of 1010 dock.
Commencing Monday, December 8, working parties were sent to various activities ashore and afloat. The crew, officers and men, were split up and assigned to various ships and activities in the 14th Naval District.
Mine Division ONE, now in overhaul at the Navy Yard, Pearl Harbor, did not have their .50 caliber ammunition on board due to welding work in the magazines. Ammunition was promptly borrowed from a nearby ship and fire was opened with their .50 caliber antiaircraft batteries within 15 minutes from the time of the commencement of the attack. Fire was promptly opened at the commencement of the attack with their .30 caliber machine guns, ammunition for which was on board.
In addition to the above action men from Mine Division ONE, were sent, after the bombing started, to the Pennsylvania, and were on board when that ship was bombed. Three of these men from the Tracy and one from the Pruitt are still missing. One of the bodies recovered from the Pennsylvania shows evidence of being ZACEK. Three other bodies from the Pennsylvania are at the hospital but their identity has not been definitely established. The four men that were missing from the detail sent to the Pennsylvania were the following:
|KEITH, G.R.||RM3c||381 34 02||Pruitt|
|PENCE, J.W.||RM3c||321 30 25||Tracy|
|BIRD, J.A.||Sea1c||376 19 51||Tracy|
|ZACEK, L.J.||F2c||368 50 90||Tracy|
From Mine Division ONE, men were also sent to fill up the crews of other ships, namely: Cummings, New Orleans, Whitney and California.
28 December 1941
|From:||The Commander Mine Craft Battle Force.|
|To:||The Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet.|
|Subject:||Compilation of Reports of Ships of Mine Divisions I and II and USS Oglala with respect to Japanese Planes observed shot down, December 7, 1941.|
One olive colored medium sized bomber in flames passing over Repair Basin at 300 to 400 feet from northeast to southwest, gliding down. Seen by Ensign A.A. Richards in Pruitt.
One fighter plane about 100 feet over Sicard heading parallel to pier, i.e., 210°, being hit by 30-caliber Lewis & Brownings of Pruitt and Sicard, smoking, maneuvering wildly and losing altitude rapidly, just missed hitting roof of Boiler Maker Shoyp, must have fallen in Navy Yard. Seen by Commander J.F. Crow of Mine Division I in Pruitt about 1030. Also seen by B.V. Holder, Fire Controlman 2c, in Pruitt.
One fighter passed over Preble and Tracy at altitude of 80 feet from north of east heading toward seaward end of Ford Island, smoke coming out of him, would fall on seaward end of Ford Island or in water near it. Seen by V.B. Holder, Fire Controlman 2c, on watch in Pruitt.
One fighter in flames all over body came from north of east, passed over Tracy and Preble, 150 feet altitude, cut across building 67 and went down behind it in direction of Hospital. Seen by V.B. Holder, Fire Controlman 2c, in Pruitt.
One plane hit by vessels near Submarine Base, Torpedo of plane exploded, blowing plane to bits but tail came down. Seen by men of Sicard coming from their quarters at Receiving Barracks to their ship.
On plane shot down by Marines with rifles at Main Gate. Seen by Sicard's men coming by gate from barracks to Sicard.
One plane, silver color, flew approximately over 1010 dock from northeast to southwest at 30 feet altitude over Oglala and Pennsylvania, apparently falling near Hospital.
One plane shot down by .50 caliber machine guns of destroyer Cummings, moored outboard of Preble; Tracy's and Preble's men helping to man Cummings' guns. Seen by Lieutenant Commander H.D. Johnston, Commanding Officer of Preble. Also reported and seen by Tracy, Ensign L.B. Ensey of Tracy.
Ramsay underway at 0855 following Monaghan and one other destroyer out, among first ships to go out. Ramsay shot down a plane near buoy #6. The plane was coming up the channel from southeast; after being hit, burst in flames and glided down toward Fort Weaver.
The following five planes were flying low over Middle Loch from east; they were fired at variously by Gamble, Breese, Montgomery and Ramsay. Gamble at 0925 shot down with .50-caliber machine gun one plane passing over Division at 800 feet altitude, falling in water 1,000 yards on port beam of ship in Middle Loch. This was one of group flying from eastward and leveling off over Middle Loch after attacking Battleships. Seen to fall also by Ensign M.J. Silverman of Montgomery, also seen to fall by Lieutenant A.B. Coxe, Jr., of Breese.
Breese at 0913 hit a dive bomber aft of pilot's cockpit with 3"/23 gun, fuse set 3 seconds. Plane fragmented in air, forward section with motor falling and burning for some time on north shore of Waipio Peninsula, west of Beckoning Point. Seen by Lieutenant Commander H.F. Stout, Commanding Officer of Breese, who stood by gun and followed tracer into plane at short range. Seen also by Lieutenant A.B. Coxe, Jr., Executive Officer Breese. Seen also by Montgomery.
One plane seen by Montgomery to have wing knocked off crashed on west bank of Middle Loch. Reported by Lieutenant Commander R.A. Guthrie commanding Montgomery.
One plane reported a seen by Ensign M.J. Silverman of Montgomery as shot down by machine guns of division, falling in water off Beckoning Point. This may be same as preceding plane and the two reports will be counted as one.
One plane fell on shore near Pearl City, seen by Montgomery. Seen by Lieutenant A.B. Coxe, Jr., of Breese.
One plane fell in water near Pearl City, falling between pier and buoy D-7. Seen by Montgomery. Seen also by Lieutenant A.B. Coxe, Jr., of Breese. Montgomery sent boat to pick up Japanese pilot swimming in water; he sank.
Commanding Officer of Breese, Lieutenant Commander Stout, saw Curtis shoot tail off one plane, but did not see where it fell.
One plane dove into and burned on Curtis. Seen by several ships of Mine Division II.
Oglala fired at planes at close range with 30-caliber machine guns and one 3"/50 caliber gun. One plane, flying northeast to southwest over Battleships, seen in flames at about 1500 to 2000 feet altitude when passing over seaward end of Ford Island, would probably fall at Fort Weaver or in sea. Seen by Rear Admiral W.R. Furlong in Oglala, probably hit by Battleships or cruisers and destroyers anchored north of Ford Island.
One plane flying northeast to southwest over Navy Yard side of channel in flames at 1500 to 2000 feet altitude, when passing above Oglala, would probably fall at sea or on Fort Weaver. Seen by Rear Admiral W.R. Furlong in Oglala. 1.1 guns in battleships and cruisers were seen to be putting up rapid and heavy volume of fire.
The above eighteen enemy planes were seen to fall by above personnel of Mine Divisions I and II and the flagship Oglala. Some of these may be reported by other vessels. Of the eighteen observed, at least five were given the final blow by Mine Division II in Middle Loch and a sixth was shot down by Ramsay as she stood down the channel.
While Breese was patrolling off Pearl Harbor at 1180, a motor torpedo boat reported a periscope to Breese. At 1115 Breese dropped two depth charges, no results. Bearings: Barber Point (297°(t), Diamond Head 078°(t), and Hickham Tower 357°(t). However, at 1135 in same vicinity, Breese picked up sounds of submarine and dropped two depth charges, second of which brought up oil and debris. Breese knows to distinguish oil from brownish color that some times comes up from depth charge upon detonation. There were positive indications of oil and some debris. A second attack here a few minutes later with four deeper charges gave no tangible results. Several other destroyers depth charged in this locality following the Breese first attack.
At 1204 on sound contact with submarine dropped three depth charges, 168 True from Diamond Head light distant 2.5 miles.
Monday, December 8, a few minutes after noon, Ramsay depth charged submarine on excellent sound contact 11 miles due west of Barbers Point. Reports bringing up positive oil bubbles. Heard submarine again about 20 minutes later and depth charged again, deepest charge 250 feet; got positive oil indications again.
WILLIAM R. FURLONG
Rear Admiral, USN
Commander Minecraft Battle Force
Source: Enclosure (E) to CINCPAC
action report Serial 0479 of 15 February 1942, World War II
the Modern Military Branch, National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740.
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23 May 2001