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USS Vireo, Reports of Pearl Harbor Attack

  U.S.S. Vireo  
AM52/A16-3/(C)/(85)   Pearl Harbor, T.H.
December 10, 1945


From: The Commanding Officer.
To: The Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Subject: Action taken by this vessel during Air Raid, 7 December, 1941 - Report of.
Reference: (a) Cincpac disp. 102131 of December 1941.
  1. In accordance with reference (a) the following report of action taken is submitted.
  2. At about 0755 this vessel was moored inboard at the Coal Dock, bow to seaward, at the seaward end of the Coal Dock with the U.S.S. Turkey, U.S.S. Bobolink, and U.S.S. Rail moored outboard. This vessel was in upkeep status.
  3. About 0800 an explosion was heard. This was investigated. Immediately planes bearing the Japanese insignia was seen. General Quarters was immediately sounded and at about 0815 a second group of enemy planes flew over toward Hickam Field. This vessel immediately opened fire and expended 22 rounds of 3" A.A. ammunition. About 0830 this vessel brought down one enemy plane flying forward of the bow, toward seaward, over Hickham Field, from left to right. The bursts of #2 A.A. gun of this vessel were definitely spotted in the path of this plane and the plane was seen to land in the vicinity of Hickham Field. 400 rounds of .30 calibre Machine Gun ammunition was expended. Battery consists of 2-30 calibre machine guns, and 2-3"/50 A.A. guns.
  4. There was no damage to this vessel nor loss of life. At 0830 there was one personnel casualty to the radioman, PRICE, Aubrey Evan, RM2c, USN, on watch at the telephone on dock astern of this vessel. He received a shrapnel wound in jawbone and neck. This casualty was immediately transferred to the hospital at Pearl Harbor and returned to duty this date.
  5. This vessel was immediately put into Condition ONE at General Quarters, engines put together and ship made ready for getting underway.
  6. During the action the conduct of all officers and the crew was commendable. Everyone did his job 100%. There was no hysteria but commendable coolness and control.
  7. At 1348 this vessel received orders to get underway and to report to Commander Base Force at Ten-ten dock. This vessel was ordered to West Loch to bring u 5", 3", and .50 cal. ammunition for the U.S.S. California which was badly in need of ammunition. At 1455 while waiting for ammunition to arrive at the Ammunition Depot, West Loch, hauled an ammunition lighter loaded with 14" powder away from Ammunition Depot dock, where it was a menace, and moored it alongside the old Navajo. Returned to Depot, picked up ammunition and delivered it to U.S.S. Argonne at 1730.
  8. At 2100 moored alongside U.S.S. California and commenced salvage work.
  9. At about 2110 anti-aircraft fire commenced and a plane was seen shot down and an aviator fell astern of this vessel. This vessel immediately rescued the aviator and identified him as an Enterprise aviator who had been shot down. A dispatch was immediately sent to assure control that planes in the air were Enterprise planes. The aviator was transferred to the U.S.S. California and then to the hospital.


Copies to:

    Commander Base Force
    Commander Train Squadron SIX. 




  U.S.S. Vireo  
AM52/A16-3/(C)/(0201)   December 25, 1941


From: The Commanding Officer.
To: The Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Subject: Additional Information on Enemy Attack on Ships at Pearl Harbor, T.H., December 7, 1941
Reference: (a) CinCPAC conf. Ser. 02087 of 21 December 1941
Enclosures: (A) Chart I. [not attached]
  (B) Chart II. [not attached]
  (C) Chart III. [not attached]

1. In accordance with reference (a) the following additional information is submitted:

(a) Chart I indicated tracks of planes actually fired on by this vessel between 0815 and 0930. Planes circling and maneuvering over Hickam Field were fired on and, in addition, planes coming up channel from sea toward the Navy yard proper were fired on. At 0910, plane flying low toward West Loch was fired on by .30 caliber machine guns. (b) Chart II is used for additional information as this ship did not sortie. The three ships alongside sortied about 0930..

    (1) About 0757, three dive bombers were seen to pull out of a dive in vicinity of West Loch having approached from Ford Island. On pulling out of the dive, one or two of the planes changed course and flew over Hickam Field.

    (2) At about 0805, a torpedo plane was seen to fall in flames at the hospital.

    (3) At about 0950, six horiontal bombers, at about 8000 feet altitude, flew up channel and apparently dropped bombs on berth in the Navy Yard.

(c) Chart III shows (1) position of torpedo plane actually seen falling flames at the hospital and (2) position of the plane shot down by #2 AA gun over Hickam Field. (3) In addition a dive bomber came across the ship at 500 ft. altitude, flying toward West Loch, then changed course to right, inland. This plane was throwing off heavy smoke and apparently was in trouble but was not seen to land.


2. It is further noted that the dive bomber formation, at about 0930, flying up channel toward West Loch, was apparently attacking destroyers making sortie out of harbor at that time. Three bombs landed in channel and several were seen to land on shore at the northwest entrance to West Loch.

NOTE: Times, altitudes, and types noted in all reports are according to the best estimates available. 



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: Fri Mar 16 09:27:42 EDT 2018