|SERIAL 0157||11 December 1941|
|ACTION REPORT - Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941.|
Covers Activities of USS Tennessee, During Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor.
|U.S. S. Tennessee|
|December 11, 1941.|
|From:||The Commanding Officer.|
|To:||The Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet. (Direct)|
(1) The Commander Battleship Division Two. (Direct)
(2) The Commander Battleships, Battle Force. (Direct)
(3) The Commander Battle Force. (Direct)
|Subject:||Narrative of events of action in Japanese Air Raid on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941.|
(a)U.S. Navy Regulations, Articles 712, 874(b), 948, and 2029.
(b) Cincpac 102102.
(A) Chronological report of general
(B) Report of damage sustained, Listed by departments, plus pictures of damage to turrets II and III.
(C) Report of Executive Officer. [omitted]
(D) Report of Gunnery Officer, Duty Commander, December 7, 1941. [omitted]
(E) Tennessee mailgram 131950. [omitted]
(1) Lieut-Comdr. John W. Adams, Jr., U.S. Navy:
As Gunnery Officer and temporary Commanding Officer he fought the ship with a calmness and precision that was an inspiration to the entire ship's company.
(2) Lieutenant Robert R. Moore, U.S. Navy:
As senior Damage Control Officer aboard he carried on all of his duties in an extremely calm and efficient manner.
(3) Captain Chevey S. White, U.S. Marine Corps:
Acting as Air Defense Officer, he displayed outstanding coolness and courage during the engagement. While exposed to enemy bombing and strafing attack at his unprotected battle station he directed the fire of the A.A. battery in a calm and efficient manner.
(4) Ensign William S. Thomas, D-V(G), U.S.N.R.:
As A.A. Group Control Officer, while exposed to enemy bombing and strafing attack in an unprotected battle station, he carried out his duties in a calm and efficient manner.
(5) Ensign Donald M. Kable, U.S. Navy:
As .50 caliber machine gun Control Officer he directed the fire of his guns while being strafed by enemy planes until he was so seriously wounded that he was carried below.
(6) Chief Boatswain Lewis W. Adkins, U.S. Navy:
In charge of the after repair party, his leadership and heroic conduct while fighting the fires contributed much toward saving the ship from destruction. Throughout the attack he was in an exposed position and continued to fight the fires until they were brought under control.
(7) Enlisted Men:
The Commanding Officer will make appropriate entries in the service records of enlisted men who are deserving of special commendation.
CHRONOLOGICAL REPORT OF GENERAL EVENTS, AS RECORDED IN CENTRAL STATION, U.S.S. Tennessee ON SUNDAY, DECEMBER 7, 1941.
This is a chronological report of all reports received by ship's service telephone and other means, and recorded in Central Station during action on December 7, 1941. A few of the following entries are not entirely accurate, as can be realized by reading the "Narrative of Events of Action", nor is this report to be considered absolutely complete.
|0758||-||Attacked by enemy planes (Japanese).|
|----||-||Oily water around stern burning.|
|----||-||Canvas awning on stern on fire, Turret III.|
|----||-||Smoke pouring into Repair I. Smoke so thick, cannot see.|
|----||-||Repair I have man standby magazine flood, Turret III.|
|----||-||All boats on fire.|
|----||-||Fire in maintop. secondary aft.|
|----||-||Fire in maintop seems to be out.|
|----||-||West Virginia's quarterdeck and planes on fire.|
|----||-||Fire on Turret III.|
|----||-||Could not get morphine out of doctor's room because it was unsafe; men report that room was too hot to go in and cut safe open.|
|----||-||D-310 excessively hot - investigate.|
|----||-||Squadron of planes diving on Navy Yard.|
|----||-||Repair I, unit 3, abandoned station - too hot.|
|----||-||Fire on topside seems to be under control.|
|----||-||D-310-A is all right.|
|----||-||Set Condition ZED in lower handling room of Turret III.|
|----||-||Oklahoma seems to be capsizing.|
|----||-||California down by the stern.|
|----||-||West Virginia has pretty bad fire below Signal Bridge.|
|NOTE:||Tennessee was hit twice, soon after attack began; one hit (bomb) on face of Turret II, and bomb hit on top of Turret III, penetrating.|
|0930||-||Enemy planes coming in on port beam.|
|----||-||West Virginia's gangway still burning.|
|0940||-||Wounded being removed from the West Virginia.|
|----||-||Oklahoma upside down.|
|----||-||Bow blown away on Arizona.|
|----||-||Destroyers getting underway on other side of Ford Island.|
|----||-||Fire either on Argonne or dock.|
|----||-||Air attack coming in on starboard bow.|
|----||-||West Virginia on fire from Turret I to bow. Flames up as high as foretop.|
|----||-||Fire on port quarter (oil on water).|
|----||-||Firemain ruptured, port side, boat deck. (False Report)|
|0948||-||Planes coming in on starboard bow; do not know whether enemy or friendly.|
|----||-||Ship will not get underway until further orders. Engineering Department, standby.|
|----||-||Destroyer getting underway from Navy Yard.|
|----||-||Unidentified ship in Pearl Harbor down by stern.|
|0951||-||Lighter alongside starboard beam on fire (ammunition lighter, top blown out, can see no ammunition on it).|
|0954||-||Bow of Maryland on fire.|
|0955||-||Still playing fire hose on ammunition lighter. Fire seems to be under control.|
|0956||-||Solace getting underway.|
|0958||-||Fire on bow of Maryland under control.|
|----||-||Superstructure on West Virginia on fire - 4 or 5 men trapped, trying to escape by crane.|
|----||-||Fire (oil on water) at our stern is out.|
|----||-||Fire very close to D-310-M.|
|1002||-||Flood D-310-M (D-306-M and D-312-M also flooded, not isolated).|
|1005||-||West Virginia preparing to abandon ship.|
|1008||-||Arizona aflame all over.|
|1010||-||Planes approaching from starboard beam; did not come in.|
|1020||-||Arizona looks as if she is on the bottom.|
|----||-||Word passed for the 5th division to lay aft to relieve the fire party.|
|1024||-||Torpedo boats leaving harbor.|
|1027||-||People coming from West Virginia on board Tennessee by way of a five inch gun.|
|1032||-||Arizona abandoning ship.|
|----||-||Repair II reports all C&R soundings normal.|
|----||-||Repair IV reports all soundings normal.|
|----||-||Repair III reports all soundings normal.|
|----||-||Pull circuit L28 at Aft Distribution Board.|
|----||-||Mr. Teague says hatches cannot be opened from inside wardroom country - too hot.|
|1033||-||Ship 6° down by stern from flooding of D-306, D-312-M.|
|1036||-||Unit 2, Repair I, combatting fire in W.R. country.|
|NOTE:||Dead man forward of conning tower, sent stretcher party.|
|1058||-||Naval Air Station planes in air.|
|1100||-||Repair II told to open drain valve and core valves in GSK. Valves to Sk Bay.|
|----||-||Enemy plane coming in on bow. All hands, not engaged in fighting fire, seek cover.|
|1103||-||Destroyer putting to sea, (other side of Ford Island).|
|----||-||Gasoline stowage filled with CO2.|
|1121||-||2° list to port.|
|1130||-||Bridge steering telegraph out (being repaired).|
|----||-||Sending planes from Hickam Field.|
|1135||-||Two planes bearing 270°|
|1136||-||Light cruiser putting out to sea.|
|----||-||Turning engines over, to keep fire on water away from ship.|
|1150||-||Channel reported to have been mined.|
|----||-||Told repair III to rig submersible pump in wardroom country, and pump water overboard via port hole. Power from steering aft.|
|1156||-||Army fortresses up in the air.|
|----||-||Believe enemy planes and submarines lying in channel.|
|1210||-||Draft of ship (internal): Fwd, 34' 6"; Aft, 35' 10¼"; Mean, 35' 4¼"|
|----||-||Enemy transport reported 40 miles off Barber's point.|
|----||-||Parachute troops landing on Barber's Point (later, proved false).|
|----||-||After Battle dressing Station send stretcher party to left gun, Turret III, and remove casualties.|
|----||-||Three planes on starboard beam coming this way (do not know whether enemy or no). Said planes flying low; apparently, turning away.|
|----||-||Organize a crew of about 30 men to relieve men of Turret IV who are fighting fire on water.|
|1230||-||Secure all fresh water, except galley and drinking.|
|1245||-||Planes on port bow (do not know whether enemy or not).|
|1246||-||California sinking fast, stern underwater.|
|----||-||Close all topside hatches, as turrets will be fired. (Did not).|
|----||-||Gun four port reported Hoist #22, 5"/51, in B-510 was damaged.|
|----||-||Powder can be sent up, but is slowed.|
|----||-||Draft of ship, Fwd: 34'9".|
|----||-||Magazine temperature of Turret I - 84°.|
|1340||-||Plane coming in on starboard beam. (Proved to be friendly).|
|1415||-||Set Condition ZED from Turret III, second deck, aft.|
|----||-||Repair I, unit 2, leading out fire hose to play water on West Virginia.|
|----||-||Received report that one of our destroyers sank Jap sub.|
|1500||-||Report states that Wake Island had been bombed by 30 bombers.|
|----||-||Ens. Kable still alive. Hudgell dead; also, Miller and Adams.|
|1551||-||Repair 4 - all outboard voids normal. All sounding normal.|
|NOTICE:||Pennsylvania had been hit while in dry dock.|
|----||-||No. 2 MG repaired, and in commission again.|
|1628||-||Open up wardroom country and sleepy hollow.|
|----||-||Fire on West Virginia seems to be under control.|
|----||-||Repair I cut off #32 vent system; smoke coming down.|
|1647||-||Told Fwd Battle Dressing Station to send doctor and stretcher party to West Virginia bridge to get Captain.|
|----||-||Ship astern (Arizona) blew up.|
|----||-||Two planes bearing 350°.|
|1659||-||Engines ahead 1/3.|
|----||-||Engines ahead 1/3.|
|----||-||Repairs 2 and 4p - send 2 rescue breathers each, and spare Oxygen bottles to starboard side of West Virginia quarterdeck.|
|1703||-||Word received to stop main engines.|
|----||-||Delivered 6 gas masks to West Virginia.|
|1755||-||Plane, bearing 345. Plane signalled with red light; did not understand meaning of signal.|
|1823||-||Plane bearing about 300.|
|1833||-||Plane bearing about 345. (Running lights on; believed friendly).|
|1835||-||Plane on port beam; running light on.|
|1837||-||Plane coming in from dead ahead; bright lights on it.|
|1838||-||Plane bearing about 245.|
|1855||-||Enterprise plane approaching Oahu.|
|1900||-||Plane bearing from dead ahead; running lights burning.|
|1953||-||Word passed over loudspeaker: "All men having hammocks in port hammock nettings remove them, and stow same inboard.|
December 11, 1941.
REPORT OF DAMAGES SUSTAINED 7 DECEMBER, 1941:
(A) Damage to Turret II.
A bomb, apparently converted 15" or 16" shell about 1500 lbs. of low order detonation and small flame, struck the center gun outside the turret on the chase of the gun adjacent to the gun port. Upper right hand surface of the chase about 45° from vertical center line of barrel.
(B) Damage to Turret III.
A bomb, the same type as that described in paragraph (A), struck the top of the turret and pierced 5" armor of the after key plate. As it entered the turret it exploded with a low order detonation and broke up, pieces flying into the booth and left gun chamber. Flames from the blast shot into the booth and into all three gun chambers. The turret crew had just manned their stations and were in the process of closing all flame-proof doors and hatches when the bomb struck. In its descent it sheared off the starboard after yardarm of the mainmast giving the bomb an angle of fall of about 75°.
(C) Catapult on top Turret III.
(D) Gun No. 2, .50 Cal., M.G. Battery.
Note: Gun out of commission for two hours. Repaired by ship-fitter's shop and now ready for firing in all respects.
C & R Department
(A) Foremast - 3" hole in deck of secondary forward.
(B) Mainmast - Starboard yard arm broken and missing.
(C) Machine Gun Platform forward of Conning Tower - Six holes in gun shield.
(D) Upper Deck:
(E) Main Deck:
(F) Second Deck:
(G) Third deck - D-518-E, frame 148 starboard, blanked air port welding cracked from heat (welding done by NYPS).
(H) Shell plating (main deck to waterline) badly distorted by heat on port and starboard sides from frame 104 to stern. There is approximately 1,500 feet of cracks in the shell plating and 2,000 loose rivets.
(I) Port gangway and platforms burned and missing; starboard gangway badly burned.
(J) Magazines D-306-M, D-310-M, and D-312-M were flooded, cork insulation on deck water soaked and loosened from deck. Removed by Ship's Force after compartments were drained.
(K) The following damage was done to ship's boats and booms:
(L) There are 21 blanked off ports in the area which was exposed to great heat. Of these blanked ports, one, item G above, the welding pulled apart due to the distortion of the shell plating. The regular ports in this area had the lenses fused, rubber gaskets burned, and the canvas stop-water between the port frame and the side of the ship destroyed. Except in small isolated cases, there was no burning of linoleum. This was probably due to the fact that the heat was above all linoleum rather than under.
(A) All I.C. circuits and connection boxes aft of Frame 115 on second deck scorched and water soaked, requiring renewal.
(B) Magazines D-106-M, D-110-M and D-112-M flooded, requiring renewal of about 100 feet of lighting cable and about 100 feet of cable in the thermostat fire alarm circuit.
(C) Bomb hit in turret 3 destroyed telephone cable terminal plate and cut firing circuit in two places. Range and deflection indicator destroyed.
(D) Fire in maintop required renewal of about 100 feet of 13 pair telephone cable to selection switch.
(E) Ten ship service telephones destroyed by fire in Wardroom Country.
(F) Twelve telephone leads cut by splinters topside.
(G) Stern crane damaged by heat and fire. One interpole grounded. Push button start and stop remote control circuit burned out. Power lead forward of wardroom on second deck burned out for about 30 feet. Broken coil grounded by moisture from flooding.
(H) Stern light and quarter boom light fixtures burned off.
(I) Lighting cable burned out on second deck aft of Frame 116 with exception of Wardroom Mess. All fixtures burned up on starboard side.
(J) Eight bulkhead ventillating fans damaged beyond repair, two bulkhead heaters destroyed.
(K) The "Q" coil and quarter deck section of the "M" coil of the degaussing circuit destroyed.
At no time during or after the action participated in by the U.S.S. Tennessee on December 7, 1941 were there any communication failures. Transmitters were maintained ready on through use of the vertical antennae. Minor damages to radio material were as follows: