previous post next post  

0755AM, December 7, 1941

Air Raid Pearl Harbor. This is no drill. Hosting provided by FotoTime Hosting provided by FotoTime Hosting provided by FotoTime Hosting provided by FotoTime Hosting provided by FotoTime Hosting provided by FotoTime Hosting provided by FotoTime Hosting provided by FotoTime Hosting provided by FotoTime Hosting provided by FotoTime Hosting provided by FotoTime Hosting provided by FotoTime Hosting provided by FotoTime Hosting provided by FotoTime Hosting provided by FotoTime Hosting provided by FotoTime Hosting provided by FotoTime

Casualties
USA : 218 KIA, 364 WIA.
USN: 2,008 KIA, 710 WIA.
USMC: 109 KIA, 69 WIA.
Civilians: 68 KIA, 35 WIA.
TOTAL: 2,403 KIA, 1,178 WIA.
-------------------------------------------------
Battleships USS Arizona (BB-39) - total loss when a bomb hit her magazine.
USS Oklahoma (BB-37) - Total loss when she capsized and sunk in the harbor.
USS California (BB-44) - Sunk at her berth. Later raised and repaired.
USS West Virginia (BB-48) - Sunk at her berth. Later raised and repaired.
USS Nevada - (BB-36) Beached to prevent sinking. Later repaired.
USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) - Light damage. USS Maryland (BB-46) - Light damage.
USS Tennessee (BB-43) Light damage.
USS Utah (AG-16) - (former battleship used as a target) - Sunk.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cruisers
USS New Orleans(CA-32) - Light Damage..
USS San Francisco(CA38) - Light Damage.
USS Detroit(CL-8) - Light Damage.
USS Raleigh (CL-7) - Heavily damaged but repaired.
USS Helena(CL-50) - Light Damage.
USS Honolulu(CL-48) - Light Damage..
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Destroyers
USS Downes (DD-375) - Destroyed. Parts salvaged.
USS Cassin - (DD-37 2) - Destroyed. Parts salvaged.
USS Shaw (DD-373) - Very heavy damage.
USS Helm (DD-388) - Light Damage. -
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Minelayer USS Ogala (CM-4) - Sunk but later raised and repaired.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Seaplane Tender USS Curtiss (AV-4) - Severely damaged but later repaired.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Repair Ship USS Vestal (AR-4) - Severely damaged but later repaired.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Harbor Tug USS Sotoyomo (YT-9) - Sunk but later raised and repaired.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Aircraft 188 Aircraft destroyed

But in the end, it came down to this:
Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu signs the Instrument of Surrender on behalf of the Japanese Government, ending World War II.
Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu signs the Instrument of Surrender on behalf of the Japanese Government, ending World War II.
USS Missouri, moored astern of USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor.. The Instrument of Surrender of the Empire of Japan was signed on the deck of Missouri   Missouri's hull is sometimes bathed in the blood of Arizona - that dark streak running from the Arizona memorial to the "Mighty Mo" is bunker oil, still leaking from Arizona after all these years.After.  The <em>USS Missouri</em>, moored astern of the <em>USS Arizona</em>.  The Instrument of Surrender of the Empire of Japan was signed on the deck of the <em>Missouri</em>.
Text of the Instrument of Surrender:

We, acting by command of and on behalf of the Emperor of Japan, the Japanese Government and the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters, hereby accept the provisions in the declaration issued by the heads of the Governments of the United States, China, and Great Britain 26 July 1945 at Potsdam, and subsequently to by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which four powers are hereafter referred to as the Allied Powers.
We hereby proclaim the unconditional surrender to the Allied Powers of the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters and of all Japanese Armed Forces and all Armed Forces under Japanese control wherever situated.

We hereby command all Japanese forces wherever situated and the Japanese people to cease hostilities forthwith, to preserve and save from damage all ships, aircraft, and military and civil property, and to comply with all requirements which may be imposed by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers or by agencies of the Japanese Government at his direction.

We hereby command the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters to issue at once orders to the commanders of all Japanese forces and all forces under Japanese control wherever situated to surrender unconditionally themselves and all forces under their control.

We hereby command all civil, military, and naval officials to obey and enforce all proclamations, orders, and directives deemed by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers to be proper to effectuate this surrender and issued by him or under his authority; and we direct all such officials to remain at their posts and to continue to perform their non-combatant duties unless specifically relieved by him or under his authority.

We hereby undertake for the Emperor, the Japanese Government, and their successors to carry out the provisions of the Potsdam Declaration in good faith, and to issue whatever orders and take whatever action may be required by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers or by any other designated representative of the Allied Powers for the purpose of giving effect to that declaration.

We hereby command the Japanese Imperial Government and the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters at once to liberate all Allied Prisoners of War and civilian internees now under Japanese control and to provide for their protection, care, maintenance, and immediate transportation to places as directed.

The authority of the Emperor and the Japanese Government to rule the State shall be subject to the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, who will take such steps as he deems proper to effectuate these terms of surrender.

Signed at TOKYO BAY, JAPAN at 09.04 on the SECOND day of SEPTEMBER, 1945

Mamoru Shigemitsu
By Command and in behalf of the Emperor of Japan and the Japanese Government

Yoshijirō Umezu
By Command and in behalf of the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters

Accepted at TOKYO BAY, JAPAN at 0908 on the SECOND day of SEPTEMBER, 1945, for the United States, Republic of China, United Kingdom and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and in the interests of the other United Nations at war with Japan.

Douglas MacArthur
Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers

C.W. Nimitz
United States Representative

Hsu Yung-Ch'ang
Republic of China Representative

Bruce Fraser
United Kingdom Representative

Kuzma Derevyanko
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Representative

Thomas Blamey
Commonwealth of Australia Representative

L. Moore Cosgrave
Dominion of Canada Representative

Jacques Leclerc
Provisional Government of the French Republic Representative

C.E.L. Helfrich
Kingdom of the Netherlands Representative

Leonard M. Isitt
Dominion of New Zealand Representative
 

9 Comments

USS Oklahoma sunk while under tow to Long Beach to be salvaged.  Not in Pearl. 
 
There is an excellent book on the extraordinary post attack salvage operation ar Pearl.
Resurrection -Salvagiong the Battle Fleet at Pear Harbor by Daniel Madsen. Naval Institute Press, 2003.
Dad
 

It's been a real pain in the butt with the satellite to get this post up, so I may just be more frustrated and therefore sensitive about your comment than I should be, DJ.  But - that's all you've got to say?  You want to quibble over whether or not Oklahoma sunk at Pearl, or in the Pacific on her way to the west coast?

Okay.

I stand by what I wrote.  And I acknowledge that you, too, are correct.

But, by my reckoning, any ship that capsized at her mooring, stayed that way, her bottom showing, for well over a year, and then took an enormous months-long salvage effort to right her and make her (mostly) watertight, before they could even *think* about towing her to the west coast, counts as "sunk" by any reasonable use of the word.

When your keel is in the air, and your superstructure rests in the mud, as a ship, I'm thinking that meets the definition of... 'sunk."

In fact, I think the Navy is on my side.  Here's the quote from the Navy's own historical site :
 

In 1940, Oklahoma's base was shifted from the U.S. west coast to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. She was at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked on 7 December 1941. Moored outboard of USS Maryland (BB-46), she was hit by a great number of Japanese Type 91 aerial torpedoes. With her port side torn open over much of its length, Oklahoma rapidly rolled over and sank to the harbor bottom, with the loss of over 400 of her crew. Many of the men trapped in her upturned hull were cut free through the intense efforts of Sailors and civilian Navy Yard employees.

During 1943, Oklahoma was the subject of a massive salvage undertaking, involving turning her upright, patching her damages and refloating her. She was drydocked late in the year to be stripped of guns and other equipment and repaired sufficiently to make her relatively watertight. Too old and badly damaged to be worth returning to service, Oklahoma was formally decommissioned in September 1944. She was sold for scrapping in December 1946, but sank while under tow from Hawaii to California in May 1947.
 

More detail like this follows...
 

The righting and refloating of the capsized battleship Oklahoma was the largest of the Pearl Harbor salvage jobs, and the most difficult. Since returning this elderly and very badly damaged warship to active service was not seriously contemplated, the major part of the project only began in mid-1942, after more immediately important salvage jobs were completed. Its purpose was mainly to clear an important mooring berth for further use, and only secondarily to recover some of Oklahoma's weapons and equipment.

The first task was turning Oklahoma upright. During the latter part of 1942 and early 1943, an extensive system of righting frames (or "bents") and cable anchors was installed on the ship's hull, twenty-one large winches were firmly mounted on nearby Ford Island, and cables were rigged between ship and shore. Fuel oil, ammunition and some machinery were removed to lighten the ship. Divers worked in and around her to make the hull as airtight as possible. Coral fill was placed alongside her bow to ensure that the ship would roll, and not slide, when pulling began. The actual righting operation began on 8 March and continued until mid-June, with rerigging of cables taking place as necessary as the ship turned over.

To ensure that the ship remained upright, the cables were left in place during the refloating phase of the operation. Oklahoma's port side had been largely torn open by Japanese torpedos, and a series of patches had to be installed. This involved much work by divers and other working personnel, as did efforts to cut away wreckage, close internal and external fittings, remove stores and the bodies of those killed on 7 December 1941. The ship came afloat in early November 1943, and was drydocked in late December, after nearly two more months of work.

Once in Navy Yard hands, Oklahoma most severe structural damage was repaired sufficiently to make her watertight. Guns, some machinery, and the remaining ammuniton and stores were taken off. After several months in Drydock Number Two, the ship was again refloated and moored elsewhere in Pearl Harbor. She was sold to a scrapping firm in 1946, but sank in a storm while under tow from Hawaii to the west coast in May 1947.

This page features views related to the salvage of USS Oklahoma following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
 

Since she was decommissioned in 1944, and didn't sink for the second time until 1947 - I think I'm safe in counting USS Oklahoma as sunk, for all practical naval purposes and conventional uses of the term, on December 7, 1941.

 
West Virginia sank upright. Nonetheless, people were trapped in her, too; most famously a few guys who stayed alive for a couple of weeks in an in-accessible compartment, judging by the marked-up calendar they left. What a way to go. [Jtg shudders.]
 
P.s. Reminds me of the last scene in "The Bedford Incident" when the old U-boot captain makes haste to go out on deck before the torpedo hits. Wants to die in the daylight, he does.
 
Thanks for your post. Yes, I know it was a lot of effort, effort well directed and appriciated.

I've posted a link to here from my home forum. There will be a few there that will appricate it also. Sadly not many, for most can not even appriciate the service and deaths of those of us in later wars, nor the present one.

Sad but true.

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA
 
Found this article that is topical -- and the kid is semi-local to Castle Argghhh!, too!  13 year old boy organizes Pearl Harbor Veterans' reunion.  Good job young Quinn!
 
Papa Ray! Good to see you back!
 
There are lessons to be learned from the Pearl Harbor attack that are relevant to today.

1. The ships in harbor were "known" to be safe. It had been proven by testing that the harbor was too shallow for air dropped torpedoes and the air wings close by the harbor were plenty security from bomb drop attack. This was well understood by all in command at that AO.

Air attack against the harbor could not be successfully conducted. That was accepted as true fact. It was wrong.

2. The only real potential threat was sabotage to the air fleet. That is why the air craft were parked in straight lines. Easier to guard them. There was no real threat from air attack. Any air attack would have plenty advance notice due to the fact that no battle fleet could approach Hawaii without detection. That was wrong.

3. The accepted wisdom of the time was that any potential threat from a hostile enemy could be rode out by adopting a standard defensive format until after the initial storm front passed by. That was wrong.

We find much of that same wrongness in much of the discussion in this day regarding potential enemy threat. It's not the way we'd do it, so it can't be done. It's not convenient to us so it's a problem that can be waited out. We can weather the storm if we just go defensive.

This is often stated in dismissive ridicule of a nuke or atomic threat by sneeringly mocking "cave tech". The same level of tech that was available when the first atomic bombs were made, and the more destructive nukes of the '50s and '60s. Very pre-nano tech. No need to design for ICMB delivery since a cargo container can easily hold the mass of such a munition. And, if such a munition is loaded aboard a container vessel, all the radiological screening post docking wont help at all. A bomb detonated in a major harbor while still aboard ship would be plenty devastating.

There is no such thing as long term defense for national security. While defensive measures are an important part, a nation under threat can't Maginot Line up and be safe. All defenses can be either subverted, countered, gone around or broken down. It only takes time and will.