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USS Hull, Report of Pearl Harbor Attack

In Reply

Refer to: Serial


Serial 0390

U.S.S. Hull

December 9, 1941.


From: Commanding Officer.
To: Commander Destroyers Battle Force.
Subject: Air Raid on Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941 – Report on
  1. This vessel with Destroyer Division One plus Phelps was alongside USS Dobbin undergoing tender overhaul. Fires were out under the boilers.
  2. Offensive Measures:


    0757 - General Quarters; prepared to get underway.
    0758 - Gangway Watch opened fire with .45 cal. pistol on two (2) planes crossing bow within 50 yards.
    0805 - #4 Machine gun opened fire.
    0807 - #1 Gun, 5"/38 cal. opened fire.
    0809 - #5 Gun, 5"/38 cal. opened fire, followed by guns #2, #3, and #4, shortly thereafter.
    0812 - All Machine guns plus two (2) automatic rifles on the bridge and one on after deck house firing.
  3. Damage to Enemy:
    1. No. 2 Machine Gunner, while firing at a plane on the bow saw it ignite and crash into cane field in flames. Gunner states that as far as he knew he was the only one firing at this plane.
    2. One plane that crossed the bow of this nest was seen to smoke and crash in Aiea with an attendant explosion. Officer at director stated that this plane was still carrying her 50-100 lb. bombs. (This plane can only be claimed by the nest as a whole).
    3. Gunner at #3 machine gun put 15-20 shells in bottom of one plane. Plane dropped out of sight; men from other ships in nest state this plane immediately crashed. Same gunner states he cut part of a wing off another plane.
    4. Machine gunners stated they hit other planes without any definite results. Three (3) machine gunners stated that their tracers seemed to bounce off the planes.
    5. Pointer on Gun #4 had depressed for loading by hand. As plug went home he sighted plane in his cross-wire. He pulled his trigger and saw wing come off plane. Plane immediately dropped out of sight beyond USS Pelias and may have been the plane that crashed on the deck of the USS Curtiss.


    0830 - There was a lull.
    0830 - Two Vee's high level bombers (10,000 ft.) directly over head seen intermittently through the clouds. Opened fire with all guns. Formations broke up and dropped their bombs in the cane field.
    0845 - Second attack of dive bombers.
    All attacks except one was broken up. One formation of three (3) continued on. Two of these wore shot down; one by USS Dobbin and one by the nest of ships. Two bombs landed astern of nest, close to side of Dobbin.
  4. Own Losses:
    1. No personnel casualties this vessel.
    2. One of the two bombs mentioned above hit USS Dobbin Motor Launch killing boat's crew. Other bomb landed 10-15 yards astern of this vessel and sprung a flange in the hydraulic system of the steering engine, causing an oil leak. No other damage. It is believed that a fragment from this bomb killed a machine gunner on the Dobbin and broke the leg of another man on the Dobbin.
  5. Distinguished Conduct:
    1. It is felt that no individual or set of individuals can be singled out for distinguished conduct. The entire company of the Dobbin and the ships alongside are deserving of the highest praise. As a single example: A Dobbin welder was over the side welding up airports when a bomb hit 25 yards from his. Not for a moment did he stop welding. Another example: At the beginning of the raid while the men were in the magazines breaking out ammunition the Dobbin pulled all light and power. In spite of these difficulties the crew succeeded in servicing the guns with ammunition. All guns had to be loaded and operated by hand, yet this vessel fired 200 rounds of 5"/38 Cal. ammunition. Passengers from other ships helped in whatever [rest of sentence is missing from document]

Note: The following fact stood out very forcibly: Any vessel or any nest of vessels that could maintain a volume of fire suffered little or no damage. Time and again attacks (in the second raid) were directed at this nest of ships and were successfully driven off.


Copy to:


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


Published: Tue Feb 20 12:08:20 EST 2018