Pearl Harbor Raid, 7 December 1941
USS Pennsylvania, Cassin and Downes during the Pearl Harbor Attack



When the Japanese raiders arrived over Pearl Harbor, the battleship Pennsylvania was in the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard's large drydock and therefore was beyond the reach of the torpedoes that inflicted such devastation on four of the fleet's other heavy ships. Though bombers of the second wave attacked her, Pennsylvania was directly hit only once, by a bomb that struck amidships, putting some of her five-inch guns out of action but generally causing only minor damage to the heavily-constructed ship.

Also in the drydock, side-by-side ahead of Pennsylvania, the destroyers Cassin and Downes were not nearly so lucky. Several bombs hit on or near them, puncturing their thin hulls with fragments, releasing fuel oil and starting major fires that badly strained their structure. They were further damaged by exploding ammunition and the detonation of one of Downes's torpedoes, which blew a large hole in her midships port side. Finally, when the drydock was partially flooded as a precaution against an attack on its entrance caisson, Cassin came partially afloat and capsized against her consort. The fires caused additional, but superficial, damage to Pennsylvania's bow, and the two destroyers were almost completely wrecked.

This page features views of the battleship Pennsylvania and the destroyers Cassin and Downes during and soon after the 7 December 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Photographs of post-attack salvage work on USS Cassin and USS Downes

For other pictures of, or related to, attacks on ships in and near the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard


Click photograph for larger image.

Photo #: 80-G-19943

Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941


The wrecked destroyers USS Downes (DD-375) and USS Cassin (DD-372) in Drydock One at the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, soon after the end of the Japanese air attack. Cassin has capsized against Downes.
USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) is astern, occupying the rest of the drydock. The torpedo-damaged cruiser USS Helena (CL-50) is in the right distance, beyond the crane. Visible in the center distance is the capsized USS Oklahoma (BB-37), with USS Maryland (BB-46) alongside. Smoke is from the sunken and burning USS Arizona (BB-39), out of view behind Pennsylvania. USS California (BB-44) is partially visible at the extreme left.
This image has been attributed to Navy Photographer's Mate Harold Fawcett.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives Collection.

Online Image: 158KB; 610 x 765

Reproductions may also be available at National Archives.

 
Photo #: NH 64482

USS Cassin (DD-372)
(capsized, right)
and
USS Downes (DD-375) (left)

In Drydock Number One at the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard on 7 December 1941, immediatly following the Japanese attack. Both ships had been severely damaged by bomb hits and the resulting fires.
In the background, also in Drydock Number One, is USS Pennsylvania (BB-38), which had received relatively light damage in the raid.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, NHHC Collection.

Online Image: 162KB; 740 x 610

 
Photo #: 80-G-32511

Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941


USS Downes (DD-375), at left, and USS Cassin (DD-372), capsized at right, burned out and sunk in the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard drydock on 7 December 1941, after the Japanese attack.
The relatively undamaged USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) is in the background.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives Collection.

Online Image: 124KB; 740 x 610

Reproductions may also be available at National Archives.

 
Photo #: NH 64475

Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941


Blistered paint and other fire damage to the forward hull of USS Pennsylvania (BB-38), in Drydock # 1 at the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard shortly after the Japanese raid.
Note Jack flying at the battleship's bow.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, NHHC Collection.

Online Image: 123KB; 740 x 610

 
Photo #: NH 54561

USS Downes (DD-375)


Burned out in Pearl Harbor Navy Yard's Drydock # 1, soon after the Japanese attack of 7 December 1941.
View shows the ship's forward 5"/38 guns and her demolished pilothouse, seen from off her starboard bow.

NHHC Photograph.

Online Image: 117KB; 740 x 615

 
Photo #: 80-G-32430

Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941


USS Downes (DD-375) burned out and sunk in the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard's Drydock # 1, soon after the 7 December 1941 Japanese attack.
This photo shows the ship's starboard forward superstructure, from the pilothouse forward to the bow.
Railway car in the right background is marked "NYPH", "Shop 24", "Storage Car".

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives Collection.

Online Image: 110KB; 590 x 765

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

 
Photo #: NH 54559

USS Downes (DD-375)
, nearest to camera,
and
USS Cassin (DD-372), capsized against Downes

In Drydock Number One at the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, 8 December 1941, the day after they were wrecked by Japanese bombs and the resulting fires.

NHHC Photograph.

Online Image: 134KB; 740 x 600

 
Photo #: 80-G-32431

Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941


USS Cassin (DD-372) burned out and capsized against USS Downes (DD-375), in the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard drydock on 7 December 1941, after the Japanese attack.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives Collection.

Online Image: 124KB; 740 x 610

Reproductions may also be available at National Archives.

 


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