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USS Maryland, Report of Pearl Harbor Attack

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BB48/A16/Of10/(0229)

UNITED STATES PACIFIC FLEET

BATTLESHIPS, DIVISION FOUR

U.S.S. Maryland

Pearl Harbor, T.H.,

December 15, 1941.

From: The Commanding Officer. 

To: The Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet. 

Subject: Attack of December 7, 1941. 

Reference: (a) Cincpac Confidential Despatch 102102 of December, 1941. 

1. In accordance with reference (a), the following report is submitted:

A. DAMAGE TO ENEMY 

Seven (7) enemy planes were reported shot down by the Anti-aircraft batteries of this vessel, the destruction of four (4) being quite definitely confirmed. 

B. OFFENSIVE MEASURES TAKEN DURING RAID 

All Anti-aircraft batteries were promptly manned at the beginning of the attack. The machine gun battery placed torpedo planes under fire immediately, it being believed that the first two such planes approaching this ship and the Oklahoma met destructive fire. All A.A. batteries were employed against the dive bombing and strafing attacks which followed the torpedo attack. The approximate amount of ammunition expended is as follows: 

5"/25 - 450 rounds

1.1" - 4500 rounds

.50 cal. M.G. - 2500 

C. (1) OWN LOSSES 

Deaths: Officers -1; Men - 2. 

Seriously injured Officers - 0; Men - 3. 

Slightly injured Officers - 0; Men - 10. 

Subsequent to the attack Lieut.(jg) James B. Ginn, U.S. Navy, aviator of the VO-4 unit attached to this ship was killed in a crash while on patrol duty. 

C. (2) OWN DAMAGE 

Armament: Barrel of #2 machine gun burned out. Rammer cylinder of #8 5"/25 cal. gun struck by enemy fire causing piston to jam. 

Machinery: Torpedo air compressors placed out of commission due to flooding of compartment in which they were located, following bomb hits. 

Hull: Damage not yet completely ascertained due to the flooded condition of forward compartments. Known damage to 1600, December 14, 1941, is as follows: 

Shell and Bottom 

Hole about 18"x22" frame 10 port about 22 feet below water line; 

Numerous smaller holes between frames 9 and 20 mainly below turn of the bilge and concentrated near frame 14. 

Hold Deck 

A-103-A (sails and awnings) badly wrecked; site of high order detonation; deck, after bulkhead (frame 15) and starboard bulkhead holed. 

Damage aft of frame 15 on this deck believed limited to flooding in general. 

Second Platform Deck 

Damage from flooding mostly; deck of A-201-A wrecked from below. 

First Platform and Third Decks 

Damage from flooding only. 

Second Deck 

Minor damage in C.P.O. quarters and trunk A-504-T. 

Main Deck 

General wreakage between frames 9 ½ and 18. 

Upper Deck 

Deck needs renewal from frame 9 to frame 15, topside gear such as anchor chains, paravane chains, hatches and coamings, gouged and holed by fragments and splinters. 

Superstructure 

Minor damage. 

General damage from bomb fragments and splinters 

Loss of #3 motor launch which was destroyed by fire due to burning oil on water. 

D. DISTINGUISHED CONDUCT OF PERSONNEL 

The conduct of the entire personnel of this ship is considered distinguished. Outstanding, however were the actions of the following: 

SHORT, Leslie Vernon, Sea.1c., USN, a machine gun striker, while writing a letter near one of the guns of M.G. Group A, after observing the bombing of Ford Island, loaded a machine guns and opened fire effectively on the first two approaching torpedo planes, before battle stations had been manned. 

GEISER, Andrew Joseph, S.F.1c., USN, arriving among the first at his battle station in Central Station, had the aviation gasoline stowage compartment flooded, probably avoiding a serious explosion due to the fact that an enemy bomb struck the forecastle directly above the gasoline stowage. 

Ensign William J. MANNING, USN, by his quick action in breaking open locked 1".1 ammunition magazines and starting an ammunition supply train of men not having A.A. gun stations resulted in the effective use of the 1".1 guns in a very short time following the discovery of the attack. 

In addition to the above, the assistance rendered by Captain W.R. Carter, U.S. Navy, and Commander W.F. Fitzgerald, Jr., U.S. Navy, Chief of Staff and Operations Officer, respectively, of the Staff of Commander Battleships, in getting the A.A. Battery (5"/25) in action promptly was very helpful. 

Likewise considered deserving of praise is the cool, intelligent and efficient actions of ANDERSON, Charles Green, Cox., U.S. Navy, 321-30-28 and HEITZMAN, Raymond Arthur, G.M.3c., U.S. Navy, 321-30-37, in connection with the prompt organization of their gun crew and the operation of their 5"/25 Cal. gun thereafter. 

E. OTHER ITEMS OF INTEREST 

The ship's only .50 Cal. M.G. ammunition magazine is located well forward in the ship. That magazine was flooded from bomb hit, necessitating the procuring of additional M.G. ammunition from an adjoining ship. 

No provision had been made for the stowage of ready 1".1 ammunition delaying the first firing of those guns. 

The effectiveness of both the M.G. and 1".1 guns against air attacks made within the range of those guns was definitely proven. 

Bomb that did most structural damage of forecastle and vicinity apparently detonated on contact with forecastle awning. 

Rumors of enemy use of large caliber A/P projectiles borne out by fragments of samples furnished the Commanding officer and Battleships Material Officer. 

Previous opinions of difficult living conditions under protracted periods in material Conditions Yoke and Zed confirmed. 

It was found that nervousness of men at stations below decks was allayed by giving them some type of work to do, and informing them by loud speaker or otherwise the progress of events visible to those on topside stations. 

The placing of both torpedo air compressors out of commission due to flooding of the forward compartment in which they are located indicates the need for the placing of at least one high pressure air compressor in an after location. 

[signed]

D.C. Godwin.

Copy to: ComBatShips.

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BB48/A16-3/Of10/ UNITED STATES PACIFIC FLEET

BATTLESHIPS, DIVISION FOUR

U.S.S. Maryland   

SERIAL 0234   December 19, 1941. 

From: Commanding Officer. 

To: The Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet. 

Via: (1) Commander Battleships, Battle forces.

(2) Commander Battle Force. 

Subject: Damage sustained in action December 7, 1941. 

1. In accordance with the requirement of Article 840, U.S. Navy Regulations, 1920, the following known damages sustained in action on December 7, 1941, and the corrective action taken to date to make the ship seaworthy and to restore it to its previous battle efficiency is submitted.

2. Summary of damages and losses sustained by departments:

HULL DEPARTMENT 

Structural damage. 

From hit or hits on forecastle: 

General wreckage of deck, fittings, topside gear including anchor and paravane chains, piping and electrical circuits between frames 9 and 20 on Upper and Main Decks. Trunk A-404-T badly holed and W.T. doors and hatches bulged; hatches in trunks A-407-T and A-507-T also bulged; ladders in trunks wrecked; Bulkhead 9 wrecked on main Deck level. 

From hit through shell into A-103-A: 

Shell holed at frame 10 about 22 foot waterline, 18" by 22". This missile apparently penetrated deck of A-201-A and detonated in A-103-A, the blast being principally aft, to starboard, up and down. Much canvas and 5t30 lifejackets in this compartment absorbed many fragments and splinters and possibly saved further holing of the shell. Five fairly large (about 3") holes in bottom A-1-V, several loose and missing rivets and many gouges and splinter holes in shell plating of A-1-V, principally in vicinity of frame 14. Seam badly bulged at frame 14, starboard, about 14 foot waterline, leaky. Some floors and frames (beams) in A-1-V completely wrecked. Bulkhead 15 badly wrecked with whole panels blown through into A-104-A from A-103-A. Much of deck and overhead plating of A-103-A wrecked, holed and torn. This hit apparently accounted for all underwater body damage and damage to stores from resultant flooding of fore part of ship. Bulkhead 9 leaky at bounding angles. Blast damage upward wrecked deck and hatches in A-201-A. Structural damage in A-104-A apparently limited to vicinity frame 15 includes deck and longitudinal bulkheads. W.T. Hatch from A-204-T to A-104-AA and W.T. Door to A-205-E buckled from blast. 

Superstructure: 

Minor damage to foremast structure, holes in secondary forward and shield around forward .50 cal. machine gun station. 

Damage from flooding. 

No structural damage is known to have occurred from flooding, but due to above described damage and intentional flooding of magazines forward of frame 24, paint stowage and gasoline stowage, there was about 1000 tons of water in the forward part of the ship and most stores therein were ruined by flooding, which also caused further damage to electrical circuits. 

Corrective Action. 

Boundaries of damaged area being made watertight: 

From Keel up bulkhead 90, First Platform Deck to bulkhead 15, Second Platform Deck to bulkhead 20, thence to keel. 

This will leave compartments A-1-V, A-2-V, A-103-A, A-104-A and A-201-A as one large open compartment capable of being isolated from the rest of the ship at the above boundaries by watertight bulkheads, decks, hatches and doors. 

Repair work is on a basis of making the shell tight with patches, replacing major structural strength members which were damaged, principally in A-1-V and A-103-A, and obtaining the watertight envelope described in subparagraph A(3)(a) above. Much other structural work beyond the capacity of the ship's force is required to place that section of the ship in condition for its designated use. It is considered that, barring additional damage to the shell, what water the ship may take on completion of repair work this date can be controlled by the secondary drainage pumps forward. 

In the event that the 5 compartments listed in subparagraph A(3)(b) above become flooded there will be introduced into the ship about 530 tons of water, resulting in increased mean draft of about 5 inches, trimming the head down about 28 inches and the stern up about 15 inches. 

ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT 

ITEM DAMAGE STATUS OF REPAIRS 

No. 1 and No. 2 Torpedo Air Compressor Electric motor and starting panel wiring insulation damaged. Bearing journals and cylinders walls corroded. H.P. air gauges inoperative. Motors and panels are in Navy Yard. Mechanical end is being repaired in place. Gauges are in Navy Yard. 

Degaussing Cable "A" Coil Cut on port side. Damaged on Stbd. side. Port side due for replacement 18 December 1941. Stbd. side 19 December 1941. 

Light and power wiring in vicinity of bomb hits. Wiring broken, insulation damaged. Main and second deck wiring restored. Approximately 2 to 3 days to complete repairs. 

Eight submersible pumps Burnt out during pumping operations. Seven have been repaired to date. 

Twelve spare armatures. Insulation damaged. Navy Yard baking out. Six completed. 

No. 1 and No. 2 Diesel oil pump motor and starting panel. Insulation damaged. Navy Yard is repairing. 

Diesel Oil Purifier motor. Insulation damaged. Navy Yard is repairing. 

RADAR - - - - - Estimated completion four (4) more days. 

GUNNERY DEPARTMENT 

Turret I 

Six inch piece knocked out of coaming of gun port, starboard side. Hole gouged out of third hoop, left gun (gouge 2 inches by 1 inch). 

No. 8, 5"/25 cal. A.A. Gun. 

Bomb fragment hit rammer cylinder just forward of slide and dented cylinder to such extent that rammer piston could not slide through. (Rebored by Navy Yard and replaced). 

Right lens of Spot I glass shattered by machine gun bullet or bomb fragment. (Repaired by Medusa). 

SUPPLY DEPARTMENT 

Total cost of stores and provisions lost - $8778.92. 

COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT 

ITEM DAMAGE STATUS OF REPAIRS 

Antennae Forestay antenna feeding into 2 antenna trunks destroyed. Being replaced by ship's forces. 

Windows (Flag Bridge) Broken by gunfire. Being replaced as expeditiously as possible. 

NAVIGATION DEPARTMENT 

Four (4) windows broken in Pilot House (believed by own gunfire due to not being housed). 

MEDICAL DEPARTMENT 

Although no actual loss was sustained during the action, the following were expended as a result of furnishing to survivors from damaged ships: 

Sheets 103 

Blankets 64 

Pajama coats 62 

Pajama trousers 65 

[signed] [Capt.] D.C. GODWIN. [USN]

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BB46/P15/0f10/

(3018)  

UNITED STATES PACIFIC FLEET

BATTLESHIPS, DIVISION FOUR

U.S.S. Maryland   

Pearl Harbor, T.H.

December 11, 1941. 

From: The Commanding Officer.   

To: The Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet.   

Subject: Meritorious Conduct -- Enemy Action, December 7, 1941 -- report of.  

Though the conduct of all hands aboard this vessel during the air raid on the morning of Sunday, December 7, 1941, could be classified as meritorious, outstanding was the action of Leslie Vernon Short, seaman first class, U.S.N., Service No. 242-29-54, enlisted September 25, 1940, at Garden City, Kansas, and whose present home address is Noel, Missouri. 

Short, a machine gun striker 22 years old, truly demonstrated the spirit of men behind the Navy guns. Though he had not been called to duty at his gun station, upon seeing our country being attacked he immediately manned a machine gun, opened fire on two approaching torpedo planes, downing the first one and injuring the second. 

Short's action is best described by his own statement: 

"After breakfast on Sunday morning, I came to Group "A" Machine Gun Station to write some letters home and address some Christmas cards. Suddenly I noticed planes diving on the Naval Air Base nearby. At first I thought they were our planes just in mock diving practice attack but when I saw smoke and flames rise from a building, I looked closer and saw that they were not American planes. I broke out ammunition nearby, loaded my machine gun and opened fire on two torpedo planes coming in from the east which had just dropped two torpedoes. Flames and smoke burst from the first plane I aimed at, and it veered off to the left falling toward the hospital. I think I also hit the second plane which I aimed at immediately after shooting at the first one but by then I was so busy that I cannot say for sure". 

[signed]

D.C. GODWIN.

CC: Combatships.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

HEADING COMMANDER BATTLE FORCE

U.S. NAVAL MESSAGE  

DESTROY BY BURNING 

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151900 CONFIDENTIAL MAILGRAM 151900 

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YOUR MAILGRAM 11310 OF DECEMBER 1941 X FIRST ATTACK WAS DIVE BOMBING OF HANGERS ON FORD ISLAND AT ZERO SEVEN FIFTY X SIX PLANES FROM SE PASSED DIRECTLY OVER SHIP AT AN ALTITUDE OF ABOUT TWO THOUSAND FEET X RISING SUN INSIGNIA CLEARLY VISIBLE X DIVING ANGLE TWENTY TO THIRTY DEGREES PULLING OUT AT ABOUT FIVE HUNDRED FEET X SECOND WAS TORPEDO ATTACK ON BATTLESHIPS FROM PORT BEAM AT ZERO SEVEN FIFTY-FIVE X NO ACCURATE OBSERVATIONS ON NUMBER AND METHOD DUE TO POSITION OF SHIP INBOARD OF OKLAHOMA X APPEARS THAT OKLAHOMA WAS HIT FIRST AND CALIFORNIA LAST X DIVE BOMBING AND STRAFING ATTACKS BY FORTY TO FIFTY PLANES ON ALL SHIPS UNTIL ABOUT ZERO EIGHT THIRTY X DIVE ANGLE APPROXIMATELY FORTY DEGREES X ATTACKS WERE MADE BY INDIVIDUAL PLANES FROM VARIOUS DIRECTIONS X AFTER LULL OF TEN TO FIFTEEN MINUTES CONTINUED UNTIL ABOUT ZERO NINE THIRTY X BOMBS FROM DIVE BOMBERS SMALL OR INTERMEDIATE CALIBER X AT ABOUT ZERO NINE HUNDRED HORIZONTAL BOMBING ATTACK CAME IN CONSISTING OF TWO GROUPS OF SIX PLANES EACH AT ALTITUDE OF ABOUT ELEVEN THOUSAND FEET X ONE GROUP CAME FROM ABOUT TWO HUNDRED DEGREES TRUE OTHER FROM ABOUT ONE FIFTY TRUE X BOMBS DROPPED WERE HEAVY CALIBER X HOLES INDICATE STRAFERS USED FIFTY CALIBER AND THIRTY CALIBER X NO EVIDENCE OF HITS BY LARGE CALIBER BUT OBSERVERS CLAIM FIRE FROM SOME PLANES INDICATE LARGER CALIBERS USED X OCCASIONAL DEFLECTION OF TRACER FROM PLANE SHOT AT INDICATES POSSIBLE ARMORING OF VULNERABLE PARTS

MAILGRAM DATE RECEIVED : 16 DEC '41 (GCT) JF/F 

CWO 

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FROM: ACTION TO: INFO TO: 

USS MARYLAND

151900 CINCPAC COMBATFOR

COMBATSHIPS 

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 09:01:34 EST 2018