|U.S.S. New Orleans||(90-an)|
Pearl Harbor, T.H.,
December 13, 1941.
|From:||The Commanding Officer, U.S.S. New Orleans.|
|To:||The Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet.|
|Subject:||Report of actions taken during Air Raid of December 7, 1941.|
|Reference:||(a) Cincpac confidential despatch of 10 December 1941 (cincpac despatch 102102).|
At 0757 sighted enemy planes "dive bombing" Ford Island and went to General Quarters immediately. At 0805 sighted enemy torpedo planes on port quarter flying low across our stern. Rifle fire and Pistol fire was opened from our fantail as the first planes flew by to launch their torpedoes at the battleships. This ship saw several planes launch their torpedoes headed in the direction of the battleships. Our 1.1/75 battery and Machine Guns aft were manned in time to actually fire at three or four enemy planes passing our stern. About 0810 all batteries, except the 8" battery, were in action engaging such enemy planes a presented themselves as targets.
The area around berths 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 & 19 at the Navy Yard was subjected to a dive bombing attack by approximately ten enemy planes. This attack was turned aside by the combined fire of the batteries of the U.S.S. Honolulu and U.S.S. New Orleans. Several enemy planes were believed heavily damaged during this attack. Whether or not these planes crashed is not definitely known. The turning away of this attack undoubtedly saved the ships of this area from more damage. Three bombs were dropped, one falling ahead of and another astern of the U.S.S. Rigel. These two failed to explode. The third bomb landed midway between the Rigel and New Orleans, exploding and causing some damage from flying fragments to the hulls and superstructure of the two vessels.
The New Orleans damage due to flying fragments consisted of numerous jagged holes in the hull and superstructure varying in areas from 1 to 6 square inches in size. Locations of holes were as follows:
Shell plating above water line frames 8 to 34 starboard 16 holes.
Bulkhead around blower room upper deck forward 6 holes.
Beams over signal bridges structure 1 hole.
Forward battle lookout station 2 holes.
#2 stack 2 holes.
The gasoline line for air plane fueling was severed.
The officers and crew of this vessel quickly went to Battle Stations and throughout the raid fought the ship with the coolness and steadiness of a Veteran crew. Due to the fact that this vessel has not engaged in a target practice since last June and, since that time, has had a large turnover of personnel, the action of the crew under fire was most commendable. Fully 40 per cent of the crew had little or no gunnery experience, many of them never having fired machine guns or big guns before.