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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060
USS Ward, Report of Pearl Harbor Attack
Pearl Harbor, T.H.
December 13, 1941.
The Commandant, Fourteenth Naval District.
(1) Commander Destroyer Division EIGHTY.
(2) Commander Inshore Patrol.
Sinking of a Japanese Submarine by U.S.S. Ward.
- While patrolling Pearl Harbor Entrance on Sunday, December
7, 1941, the U.S.S. Ward attacked an unidentified submarine
in the Restricted Area off the Harbor.
The facts are as follows:
- At 0637 the Officer-of-the-Deck said, "Captain come
on the bridge". A conning tower with periscope of submarine
was visible. She was apparently headed for Pearl Harbor trailing
the U.S.S. Antares. The Antares was standing toward
the channel entrance towing a lighter.
- At 0640 the attack was started. The Ward bore down
on the submarine while accelerating from 5 to 25 knots.
- At 0645 the Ward opened fire with No. 1 and 3 guns
and began dropping depth charges. One shot was fired from each
gun. The shot from No. 1 gun missed, passing directly over the
conning tower. The shot from No. 3 gun fired at a range of 560
yards or less struck the submarine at the waterline which was
the junction of the hull and coning tower. Damage was seen by
several members of the crew. This was a square positive hit.
There was no evidence of ricochet. The submarine was seen to
heel over to starboard. The projectile was not seen to explode
outside the hull of the submarine. There was no splash of any
size that might results from an explosion or ricochet.
- Immediately after being hit the submarine appeared to slow
and sink. She ran into our depth charge barrage and appeared
to be directly over an exploding charge. The depth charges were
set for 100 feet.
- The submarine sank in 1200 feet of water and could not be
located with supersonic detector. There was a large amount of
oil on the surface where the depth charges exploded.
- The attack was made at 0645 which was before Pearl Harbor
was bombed by Japanese planes.
- A dispatch by voice transmission was sent to Commandant,
Fourteenth Naval District at 0645 which stated:
"We have attacked, fired upon, and dropped depth charges
on a submarine operating in defensive sea areas."
- The performance of duty by the officers and men during this
attack was in accordance with the traditions of this service.
Appearance of submarine: Cylindrical tube about 80
feet long with small oval shaped conning tower. It had no deck.
It was painted dark green and was covered with moss indicating
that it had been at sea for a considerable period.
Behavior during attack: In spite of the five minute
run from the time of sighting and time of attack, the submarine
apparently did not see or detect the Ward. It was making
from 8 to 10 knots and was apparently bent on following the Antares
into port. Exact distances are not known but at the time of the
first shot the range was not more than 100 yards and for the
second shot the range was 50 yards or less. The submarine passed
very close to our stern.
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.