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USS Mugford, Report of Pearl Harbor Attack


(Serial 066)



U.S.S. Mugford (DD-389)

At Sea,

December 9, 1941.



From: The Commanding Officer.  
To: Commander Destroyers, Battle Force.  
Via: Commander Destroyer Division EIGHT.  
Subject: Summary of action by the U.S.S. Mugford During Raid by Japanese Planes on Pearl Harbor, T.H.  
Enclosure: (A) Extract of Log from 0758 to 1235, 7 December, 1941.  
  1. The U.S.S. Mugford was moored port side to the U.S.S. Sacramento, in Berth No. 6, at the Navy Yard. U.S.S. Jarvis and action taken by the Mugford at the times indicated:


    0758 Attack started.
    0800 Commenced assembly of engineering plant which had been placed out of commission for Navy Yard overhaul. Connected fuel oil hose to Yard line, 8,000 gallons being total oil on board.
    0801 Sounded General Quarters.
    0804 Opened fire with .50 caliber machine guns.
    0807 Shot down Japanese plane bearing on starboard quarter, at altitude of approximately 800 feet. Torpedo had been released by this plane.
    0815 Shot down one plane bearing astern, approximate altitude 20 feet. Torpedo had not been launched from this plane.
    0820 Opened fire with 5"/38 caliber battery.
    0928 Shot down plane bearing on port bow, at approximate altitude 200 feet, with forward .50 caliber machine guns.
    0955 Commenced receiving fuel oil from Yard line.
    1005 Main engines and two boilers ready to get underway.
    1020 U.S.S. Jarvis cleared starboard side.
    1030 Fuel oil barge moored starboard quarter.
    1040 Commenced receiving fuel from oil barge in addition to oil from Yard line.
    1205 Discontinued fueling. 115,000 gallons on board.
    1209 Oil barge cleared starboard side.
    1214 Underway.
  2. Firing was maintained by both .50 caliber machine guns and 5"/38 caliber battery during the entire period from 0805 to 1159, whenever enemy planes came within range and bearing. No casualties other than minor bruises and burns were sustained by personnel of the Mugford, and no material damage occurred to the ship. A total of 280 rounds of 5"/38 caliber and 5,000 rounds of .50 caliber machine gun ammunition was expended.
  3. At the time of the air raid there were two cameras aboard the Mugford. One in the custody of a regularly designated Camera Officer and the second brought aboard by a member of the crew. This man normally kept the camera at the Y.M.C.A. On the Sunday in question he had been taking pictures in Honolulu and upon being directed to return to this ship inadvertently brought the camera with him. He reported this fact immediately to the Officer of the Deck. Both the Camera Officer and the member of the crew were given permission, by the Commanding Officer, to take pictures of Pearl Harbor that morning. The film exposed is as follows: One 8 mm roll, part personal pictures except 80 feet Pearl Harbor scenes (Kodachrome): One 8 mm roll, all of Pearl Harbor (Kodachrome); Four rolls of 35 mm still negatives of Pearl Harbor. All exposed film in now in the custody of the Commanding Officer. Information is requested as to whether this film shall be delivered to Commander Destroyers, Battle Force, or destroyed.

[signed] E.W. YOUNG.




December 9, 1941.

Extract of Log from 0758 to 1235, 7 December, 1941.

On the morning of 7 December 1941, the U.S.S. Mugford was moored port side to U.S.S. Sacramento, in Berth No. 6, at the Navy Yard. U.S.S. Jarvis moored port side to U.S.S. Mugford.

The following are extracts from the rough log which was kept by the Quartermaster on watch. The times and descriptions of the planes shot down by this vessel were obtained from the men on the gun and surrounding witnesses.


    0758 – Japanese planes dived on Ford Island. Several large bombs struck the seaplane landing followed by explosions near hangers. Then several Japanese planes came in low from the southeast and released torpedoes which struck the U.S.S. Oklahoma and the U.S.S. West Virginia. Japanese torpedo planes then came in continuously from the same direction and fired torpedoes at the battleships.
    0800 – Started assembly of engineering plant and rigging fuel hose.
    0801 – Sounded General Quarters.
    0805 – .50 Caliber machine gun battery opened fire.
    0807 – Shot down one Japanese plane, altitude 800 feet, on starboard quarter, passing aft on starboard hand. This plane had fired a torpedo at the U.S.S. Oglala.
    0808 – U.S.S. Oklahoma turned turtle. The U.S.S. West Virginia listed heavily to port. The U.S.S. Arizona blew up.
    0812 – The U.S.S. Oglala appeared to be listing to port. Attack started again. Heavy anti-aircraft fire.
    0815 – Shot down one Japanese torpedo plane dead astern approaching battleships. Plane's altitude 20 feet off the water. Plane crashed on Ford Island aflame. Torpedo was not launched.
    0820 – Opened fire with 5"/38 caliber battery.
    0825 – Signal received that parachutist or wrecked pilots were landing oat Hickam Field.
    0830 – Five Japanese plane in "V" formation passed directly overhead making horizontal bombing attack.
    0838 – The U.S.S. West Virginia burning. U.S.S. Arizona on fire. Tugs trying to pull overturned U.S.S. Oklahoma clear. U.S.S. Vestal clearing U.S.S. Nevada.
    0842 – U.S.S. Vestal clear.
    0845 – Executed signal to TASK FORCES ONE and TWO to get underway. Tugs pulled U.S.S. Oglala clear of U.S.S. Helena.
    0850 – U.S.S. West Virginia listed heavily to port.
    0851 – Executed signal to get underway; and sortie according to Plan EASY SAIL.
    0854 – Attack started again from north.
    0855 – U.S.S. Nevada underway. Dense smoke over Ford Island. A tanker was towed clear of Ford Island.
    0900 – Attack started again from the south. U.S. ARMY planes taking off from Hickam Field.
    0902 – Formation of planes sighted to south. Decks of U.S.S. Arizona and U.S.S. West Virginia level with water. Dense smoke pouring from U.S.S. Arizona.
    0906 – Japanese planes diving Ford Island from southeast. U.S.S. Nevada standing down south channel.
    0909 – Bomb dropped some 400 yards on Mugford port bow. Ship in repair basin hit.
    0911 – Horizontal Japanese bombers passed overhead.
    0912 – Heavy black smoke coming from U.S.S. Shaw in floating dry dock.
    0913 – U.S.S. Nevada stopped south side of south channel.
    0915 – Thick black smoke coming from dry dock.
    0920 – More Japanese planes from northwest.
    0923 – U.S.S. Patterson standing out.
    0925 – White smoke pouring from amidships on U.S.S. Arizona.
    0927 – U.S.S. Shaw on fire forward.
    0928 – Shot down Japanese plane after it pulled out from dive on port bow. Altitude approximately 200 feet. Plane apparently a dive bomber.
    0930 – U.S.S. Oglala going over to port. Personnel abandoning ship and getting on dock.
    0937 – Explosion on destroyer ahead of U.S.S. Pennsylvania in dry dock.
    0938 – Japanese subs reported inside and outside of Pearl Harbor.
    0942 – U.S.S. Bagley underway.
    0945 – U.S.S. Oglala capsized to port.
    0946 – Japanese planes coming in from southwest, low.
    0947 – U.S.S. Honolulu underway.
    0955 – U.S.S. Perry and U.S.S. Gamble standing out.
    0957 – U.S.S. California listing to port.
    0958 – Battleships ordered to remain in port.
    1003 – Japanese planes reported dropping mines in channel entrance.
    1005 – U.S.S. Shaw in floating dry dock exploded. Main engines and two boilers on Mugford ready to get underway.
    1013 – U.S.S. Schley and U.S.S. Allen underway.
    1020 – U.S.S. Jarvis underway.
    1022 – U.S. Navy motor torpedo boats standing out.
    1023 – Floating dry dock sinking.
    1027 – U.S.S. Wharton, U.S.S. Cummings underway, standing out.
    1030 – Oil barge moored to starboard quarter.
    1056 – Japanese planes attacking from north.
    1058 – Numerous explosions from U.S.S. West Virginia and Arizona.
    1100 – Fires appeared to be under control on U.S.S. Nevada.
    1132 – Horizontal bombers (Jap) approaching from port.
    1136 – U.S. Navy planes took off from Ford Island.
    1140 – Japanese planes on starboard beam.
    1205 – Discontinued fueling. 115,000 gallons on board.
    1209 – Oil barge underway from alongside.
    1214 – Underway on various courses and speeds. Standing out of channel.
    1230 – Japanese plane crashed on beach of Hickam Field.
    1235 – Passed entrance to channel.

Four .50 caliber machine guns and four 5"/38 caliber guns opened fire on Jap planes whenever opportunity presented itself, expending 5,000 rounds of machine gun ammunition and 280 rounds of 5"/38 caliber ammunition.


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: Wed Feb 21 09:36:04 EST 2018