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

USS Tucker, Report of Pearl Harbor Attack


DD374/A16-3
Serial 718
  U.S.S. Tucker (DD374),
Pearl Harbor, T.H.,
December 15, 1941.

From: The Commanding Officer.
To: Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
 
Subject: Offensive Measures Taken During December 7 Raid.
 
Reference: Cincpac Dispatch No. 102102 of December 1941.

  1. The start of the air raid on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 was first seen on this vessel by Bowe, Walter E., G.M.2c, USN, who immediately manned the after 50 calibre Machine Guns of this vessel. Almost simultaneously (at 0757) the quartermaster on watch (Robert Burns, Sea.1c, USN) on the bridge sounded the general alarm. Before the general alarm started ringing Bowe was firing one of the after machine guns. It is believed from numerous reports and comments by personnel of this and other ships that Bowe fired the first shot fired by the American Forces in Pearl Harbor.
  2. The entire crew with the exception of about 3 men and 4 officers were on board. The Executive Officer, Lieutenant W.H. Watson, USN, was the senior officer on board. The entire battery was manned. This vessel being nested alongside the tender, U.S.S. Whitney, 5" gun No. 3 could not be fired. However all other guns and 50 caliber machine guns were manned and fired at attacking planes during all attacks. Ensign Lee D. Goolsby, USN, served in the capacity of Gunnery Officer. There were no losses to the personnel nor damage to materiel of this vessel.
  3. It is believed that this vessel shot down 3 or 4 enemy planes. It is further believed that one, possibly 2 of the planes shot down were brought down by Bowe on the after machine gun.
  4. The performance of all personnel of this vessel was outstanding and in the best traditions of the naval service. The quick action of Bowe on his own initiative was particularly outstanding.

[signed]
W.R. TERRLELL.


Source: Enclosure (E) to CINCPAC action report Serial 0479 of 15 February 1942, World War II action reports,
the Modern Military Branch, National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740.
23 May 2001