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USS Pruitt, Report of Pearl Harbor Attack


DM22/A16-3/( 0225 )

U.S.S. Pruitt (DM22)


Pearl Harbor, T.H.

December 10, 1941.


From: Commanding Officer.
To: Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Via: (1) Commander Mine Division ONE.
(2) Commander Minecraft, BATTLE FORCE.
Subject: Engagement With Japanese Planes During Air Raid on Pearl Harbor, T.H., December 7, 1941.
Reference: (a) Article 712, U.S. Navy Regulations, 1920.
  1. The following report is submitted in accordance with reference (a).

      At 0753 on December 7, 1941, the U.S.S. Pruitt was moored at berth 18, Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, undergoing routine navy yard overhaul. The U.S.S. Sicard and U.S.S. Ontario moored to port in that order. All machinery and armament disabled for overhaul. Duty section and duty officer on board, and remainder of crew berthed at Receiving Ship barracks.


      At 0753 a group of 10 low flying planes came in from a southerly direction and bombed the hangars on the north end of Ford Island. Japanese insignia was plainly visible on all planes. At 0801 battleships were attacked by dive bombers and torpedo planes. At 0815 high altitude level bombing attack launched on battleships. Attacks continued in this area until about 1130 with heaviest attack on Pearl Harbor by dive bombers and horizontal bombers at 0907. Three low flying Japanese fighter planes were shot down in the immediate vicinity of this vessel apparently by small caliber weapons.


      The initial surprise of the attack passed quickly and all personnel began arming themselves with all available small arms in the ready locker. The only arms immediately available were .30 caliber machine guns, Browning automatic rifles, service rifles, and service pistols. Within an incredibly short time men were equipped and firing at low flying attacking planes. Fire hoses were led out and men not armed were organized in two fire-fighting parties, one forward and one aft. Steel helmets and gas masks were removed from stowage and distributed. Work was started on assembly of .50 caliber machine guns and steps taken to have 3"/23 anti-aircraft gun hoisted on board by the Navy Yard. The navy yard distributed small caliber ammunition and a working party from this vessel was sent to the ammunition depot to procure 3"/23 anti-aircraft ammunition.


      All personnel conducted themselves in a very creditable manner. They quickly grasped the seriousness of the situation and proceeded to carry out their duties with a minimum of confusion. The duty officer, Ensign A.A. Richards, D-V(G), U.S.N.R., supervised the initial preparations in a very efficient manner, and the following men displayed outstanding courage and leadership under fire:

        WALLER, L., #162 68 67, CSM (AA), U.S. Navy
        ST.PETER, G.L., #204 24 15, BM2c, U.S. Navy
        FERGUS, R.C., #299 92 15, GM2c, U.S. Navy
        HOLDER, V.B., #283 17 11, EC2c, U.S. Navy.

      Men who could be spared were sent to the U.S.S. New Orleans and the U.S.S. Cummings at nearby berths to assist in the operation of their anti-aircraft batteries. Verbal reports indicate that these men performed valuable services in connection with the duties assigned them.

  2. There was no damage to the ship. The only casualty to personnel appears to be KEITH, G.R., #381 34 02, RM3c, U.S. Navy, who it is believed was killed on board the U.S.S. Pennsylvania. He had been sent from the Receiving Barracks to assist the Pennsylvania.


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 11:29:53 EST 2018