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USS Aylwin, Reports of Pearl Harbor Attack

Report of Aylwin, December 12, 1941
Report of Aylwin, January 4, 1942

DD355/L11-1

Serial 077

U.S.S. Aylwin

Pearl Harbor, T.H.

December 12, 1941

From: The Commanding Officer.
To: The Commander, Destroyers, Battle Force.
Subject: Action Taken During Enemy Air Raid – Report of.
Reference: (a) CINCPAC Despatch 102102 of December 1941.
  1. In accordance with reference (a), subject report is hereby submitted.
  2. The enemy attack commenced at 0755 with the Utah being torpedoed by planes. At 0758 this vessel and the other vessels in Desdiv. 2, berthed at buoy X-18, opened fire with main batteries and machine guns on dive bombers as they came in over Ford Island. This vessel with her main battery assisted in destroying about three planes. At 0800 preparations were made for getting underway. Fires were lighted under boilers #1 and 2 and cut in on the main steam line in 15 minutes. At 0828 received orders from Commander Destroyers Battle Force to get underway. About 0845 Monaghan was underway followed by the Dale and the Farragut. At 0850 a bomb exploded about 75 yards off the starboard bow. The Monaghan rammed a submarine 500 yards off the starboard quarter of the Curtiss. This vessel left anchor chain and stern wire at the buoys, stripped ship and got underway at about 0858. The Ralph Talbot, Henley and Patterson commenced sortie at this time. This vessel kept continuous fire while proceeding out of the channel. The combination of all machine guns got at least three planes.
  3. Ensign S. CAPLAN, senior officer aboard was in command. However Ensign ANDERSON is responsible for much of the vessel's successful operation. He made some very important decisions and showed remarkable ability as a ship handler. Ensigns CAPLAN and ANDERSON were on the bridge throughout the entire operation. Ensign REORDEN and SUTEROWSKI, CFC did excellent work on the directors. Ensign BRITTON was excellent as acting JOOD.
  4. The conduct of the personnel was magnificent. Because of missing men, the engineers with COCHRANE, CMM in charge stood their watches without any reliefs until 0700, Monday when the damage control party was sent below to help them. Every man did more than his job and was eager to fight.

    The following men besides those mentioned deserve special commendation: WILCOX, QM3c, ASHMAN, SM1c, COOK, GM2c, MIELZIEWSKI, GM2c, DAUBENSPECK, SM3c and TUCKER, EM1c, U.S. Navy.

  5. The conduct of Ensign S. CAPLAN, USNR, who has been at sea a total of eight months in superbly taking command for 36 hours during war operations of the severest type is a most amazing and outstanding achievement.

/S/ R.H. RODGERS.

Copy to:

    Comdr., L.P. LOVETTE, USN

U.S.S. Aylwin   

DD355/A16

Serial 01   

At Sea,

January 4, 1942. 

 

From: The Commanding Officer.
To: The Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
 
Subject: Pearl Harbor Action of December 7, 1941 – Report of
 
References: (a) CDBF mailgram 130143 of December 1941.
(b) Articles 712, 762, 874 (6), and 2029 of Navy Regulation.
  1. On the day of the subject action this vessel was berthed with Destroyer Division TWO at buoy X-14, with an anchor chain out to the forward buoy and a stern wire to the after buoy. The direction of the s hip's head was approximately 010 degrees (t)., the order of ships in the nest from right to left was the Monaghan, Dale, Farragut and Aylwin.
  2. The attack commenced at 0755 with the Utah berthed at F-11, being torpedoed by planes. The torpedo planes were immediately followed by dive bombers who came in from the direction of Barber's Point at an altitude of about 6000 feet. Some of them dropped bombs on the Curtiss while the remainder flew over Ford Island circled about 180 degrees and then bombed the battleships. In coming out of their dive they went over Ford Island, some turning rather sharply and passing astern and on the port side of this vessel. This vessel opened fire at 0758 with main battery and machine guns and was probably most effective on the dive bombers a they came out of their dive over Ford Island.
  3. At 0800 preparations were made for getting underway. Fires were lighted under boilers number 1 and 2 and cut in on the main steam line in 15 minutes. At 0828 received orders from the Commander, Destroyers Battle Force to get underway. At 0845 the Monaghan was underway followed by the Dale and the Farragut. The Monaghan rammed a submarine about 500 yards off the starboard quarter of the Curtiss. At 0850 a bomb exploded about 75 yards off the starboard bow. This vessel left anchor chain and stern wire at the buoys and was underway at 0858. Continuous fire was kept up while proceeding out of the channel. The machine guns and main battery assisted in destroying three planes.
  4. An enemy plane was seen to crash in the vicinity of Beckoning Point, and one fell in flames on the Curtiss. SUTOROWSKI, Edward, CFC (PA), USN., saw one crash near Ford Island astern berths X-25 and X-35. Ensign W.K. REORDAN, USNR., fire control officer, saw another crash on Ford Island near berths F-2 and F-3. The observations of Ensign W.K. REORDAN, and SUTOROWSKI were made when this vessel was at buoy X-14.
  5. The conduct of the personnel was magnificent. Because of missing men, the engineers with COCHRANE, Claude H., CMM (AA), USN., in charge stood their watches without any reliefs until 0700, Monday when the Damage Control Party was sent below to help them.
  6. Ensign S. CAPLAN, USNR., senior officer aboard was in command. Ensign H.C. ANDERSON, USNR., is responsible for much of this vessel's successful operation. He assisted in all important matters and demonstrated remarkable ability as a ship handler. With experience of only seven months at sea he was able to take the ship out under the severest conditions. The conduct of Ensign S. CAPLAN, USNR., who had been at sea a total of eight months, in taking command for 33 hours during war operations of the severest type is considered outstanding.
  7. Lieutenant Commander R.H. RODGERS, U.S. Navy, regularly in command arrived at Pearl harbor at about 0900, secured a motor launch and with the other officers of the Aylwin proceeded to sea, making contact with the Aylwin about 1000 off the entrance buoys. The Commander, Destroyer Squadron ONE refused to allow the Aylwin to slow. The Aylwin stood out to sea and these officers went on board the Chew and assisted in off shore activities until the following day when return to the Aylwin was accomplished.
  8. It is recommended that Ensign S. CAPLAN and Ensign H.C. ANDERSON, USNR., receive special commendation.

[signed]
R.H. RODGERS.

Copy to:

    SecNav
    CDD2
    CDS1
    CDBF 

     

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

     

 

Published:Fri Feb 16 11:44:21 EST 2018