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1462062504
ISBN-13:
9781462062508
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Daughters of Infamy: The Stories of the Ships That Survived Pearl Harbor

Daughters of Infamy: The Stories of the Ships That Survived Pearl Harbor

by David Kilmer

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Overview

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese Navy attacked the American Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawai’i. The perception remains that they succeeded in severely crippling the navy; however, nothing could be further from the truth.

Thanks to meticulous research, Daughters of Infamy puts this myth rest and shows that the vast majority of warships in the harbor suffered no damage at all. Former US Navy photographer David Kilmer provides documentation on each ship that survived the Pearl Harbor massacre. He records what happened the day of the attack, then traces the ships’ movements after December 7 and, in some cases, their destiny after the war. Contrary to popular belief, many met the enemy and helped to win the war in the Pacific.

Undoubtedly the first work to compile factual and informative data on nearly all the ships in Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, Kilmer’s in-depth record fills a scholarly void. His fascinating narrative on each ship adds another layer of expertise and provides a new perspective on a familiar event.



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781462062508
Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date: 11/18/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 544
File size: 3 MB

Read an Excerpt

Daughters of Infamy

The Stories of the Ships That Survived Pearl Harbor
By David Kilmer

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2011 David Kilmer
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4620-6252-2


Chapter One

USS Allen

SAMPSON CLASS DESTROYER DD-66 LAUNCHED: 1916

DECEMBER 7, 1941

By the standards of naval vessels, USS ALLEN was an old lady. She was a 25-year-old World War I era ship and the last of her class in existence. This day she was nested in between the ex USS BALTIMORE, C-3, on her starboard side and USS CHEW, DD-106, to her port. As old and out of place as she may have been, this old lady still had some fight in her.

General quarters was sounded just after the crew saw the first bombs dropped. By 0805 ALLEN's guns were responding to the attack. The #6 three-inch gun hit and brought down an enemy plane that crashed in some nearby hills. The starboard waist .50-caliber gun hit a plane, which exploded in mid-air and crashed between Ford Island and the USS DETROIT, CL-8, berthed at F-13 on the north shore of Ford Island.

This was ALLEN's only enemy engagement of the war and she suffered no damage and no casualties.

THE WAR

While other destroyers, only a year or two younger than ALLEN, where chosen to be refurbished and reborn into new roles and lives, ALLEN was deemed too old to go to war. She served out the war mostly in Hawai'i in anti-submarine patrols, escort duty and playing the enemy target for submarines training to go to war. She also made the occasional trip escorting ships to the west coast of the United States.

Japanese bombers sank the carrier USS YORKTOWN, CV-5, on June 7, 1942 during the battle of Midway. ALLEN was dispatched with other ships to assist in the transport of survivors, transferring 94 members of YORKTOWN's crew from other ships and returning them to Pearl Harbor. ALLEN made one trip to Midway in October of that same year as an escort vessel. She then resumed her regular duties in Hawai'ian waters.

FATE

The de-escalation from a wartime navy to a peacetime navy descended like the flash of a headsmen's axe. Within days of the Japanese surrender, ALLEN received her orders to sail to Philadelphia. Upon her arrival, in October, she was placed out of commission. She sat in reserve for barely a year and on November 1, 1946 her name was struck from the Navy's rolls. She was sold to the Boston Metals Company, of Baltimore, Maryland, for $12,094.25. At the time of her sale ALLEN was the oldest destroyer in the American Navy.

USS Antares

GENERAL STORES SHIP AKS-3 LAUNCHED: 1919

DECEMBER 7, 1941

The waters off the entrance to Pearl Harbor were very busy on the morning of December 7, 1941. At approximately 0630 ANTARES spotted what it believed to be a submarine conning tower 1500 yards off her starboard quarter. ANTARES had a barge in tow and was waiting to rendezvous with a tug to transfer the towline and then enter the harbor. ANTARES' captain, Commander Lawrence C. Grannis, signaled the USS WARD, on patrol duties outside the harbor entrance, and informed her of the intruder. Several minutes later a PBY Catalina from Patrol Squadron 14 spotted the submarine from the air and dropped smoke floats to mark its position.

Little did the crew of ANTARES know, but they had ringside seats to the first sea battle of World War II between the Empire of Japan and the United States of America. Those on deck watched as WARD came on hard, firing two shots and dropping four depth charges, to expertly sink the mini-sub.

About twenty minutes later, the tugboat USS KEOSANQUA, AT38, arrived and the two crews set about to transfer the towline. During this process the crew spotted Japanese planes headed for Pearl. The aerial attack had begun inside the harbor, but it soon spilled out onto the open seas when an enemy plane strafed ANTARES, causing insignificant damage and no causalities. The towline transfer continued even under fire, with bombs dropping around both vessels, the captain in his after action reported stated that, "Men disconnecting the tow and others on exposed stations were calm and steady." These explosions may very well have been improperly fused antiaircraft ordinance being fired from inside the harbor. At 0835 the transfer was completed and ANTARES departed the area. Originally intending to sail into Pearl Harbor after completion of her mission, Commander Grannis deemed it impractical to sail an unarmed ship smack into the middle of a war. Nor was it safe to sail aimlessly about the waters outside the harbor so ANTARES made for the safety of Honolulu Harbor to the east, where she moored at berth 5-A at 1146.

THE WAR

Like many other ships, ANTARES, underwent modifications after December 7th. She would no longer be an unarmed and defenseless ship, receiving two five-inch guns, four three-inch guns and eight 20-millimeter anti-aircraft machine guns. This lady may not have had teeth, but she at least now had some sharp claws.

After being armed and running some trials, she finally loaded her holds and headed out to war arriving in Pago Pago, Samoa on May 31, 1942. For the next three years ANTARES performed her job as a floating warehouse, following the fleet wherever she was needed to supply any and all ships with whatever was needed to meet the enemy. She easily fell into the routine of the backwaters of war, supplying the fleet for a time, then off to a port for repairs and maintenance then back to the States to resupply and then return to the fleet in the south Pacific to start the cycle anew. Her journeys took her crew to exotic places with exotic names like, Tongatabu, Noumea, Tulagi, Ulithi and Kerama Retto. In March 1943 ANTARES helped salvage the stores ship USS DELPHINUS, AF-24, which had run aground on Garanhua Reef, off New Caledonia.

In May 1945 she was supplying ships in support of operations on Okinawa. Completing this mission she was ordered to Saipan and then on to Pearl Harbor, which she set sail for alone, on June 25, 1945.

Even now, with the war over in Europe and only weeks left of war in the Pacific, ANTARES' captain, Lieutenant Commander N. A. Gansa, USNR, maintained his war footing keeping sharp-eyed lookouts at their stations. It's a good thing that he did. Maybe it was training or experience or just plain common sense, but a lone supply ship with no escorts is a tempting target for marauding submarines. Three days later, around 400 nautical miles north east of Truk, at 1329, the lookouts sighted what appeared to be a periscope at a perilously close one hundred yards away. The eye at the other end of that periscope belonged to, Lt. Cdr. Sugamasa Tetsuaki, the commanding officer of the Japanese submarine, I-36. Certainly elated at the sight of an escortless supply ship the Japanese skipper let loose at least one torpedo. Captain Gansa received word of the torpedo in the nick of time and ordered a hard to starboard outmaneuvering the Long Lance torpedo. Lookouts then sighted a "kaitan", a kamikaze torpedo, piloted by Lt. (j.g.) Ikebuchi Nobuo. Against a sub and a manned torpedo the lumbering supply ship would appear to have had little chance.

Gansa immediately commenced a zigzag pattern and ordered her guns to open fire. The #2 three-inch gun found its target scoring a direct hit on the kaitan, which promptly sank. The aft five-inch gun fired on the periscope to the stern where the submarine appeared to be surfacing. Some five-inch rounds from ANTARES and perhaps the sight of the destroyer USS SPROSTON, DD-577, responding to ANTARES' call for help, convinced the sub otherwise. It submerged. ANTARES finally arrived at Pearl Harbor eleven days later on July 9, 1945.

ANTARES made one last trip to the western Pacific, stopping at Ulithi and ending up on Okinawa on the 14th of August, the same day the Japanese surrendered.

FATE

After the war, ANTARES returned to the Far East where she remained for nine months in support of the occupation of both China and Korea, maintaining those duties through April, 1946. In May, she began in activation chores in San Francisco and then sailed to Mare Island Naval Shipyard, where she was decommissioned on August 2, 1946. On September 25th her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register. One year later, on September 18, 1947 she was sold to Kaiser and Company to be scrapped.

USS Argonne

TENDER AG-31 BUILT: 1920

DECEMBER 7, 1941

ARGONNE was berthed at the north end of 1010 dock alongside the minesweeper USS TERN, AM-31, when the attack began. Just three minutes into hostilities, ARGONNE's crew was fighting back with three-inch guns and .50 caliber machine guns. Being a tender and lightly armed, the Japanese planes paid little or no attention to her. However, with the newborn war raging in confusion around him, Marine Corps Corporal Alfred Schlag was paying attention to the Japanese planes. Manning one of the .50 caliber machine guns, Schlag took aim at a bomber as it passed by 1010 dock and knocked it down, scoring ARGONNE's first and as it would turn out, only kill of World War II.

ARGONNE received no casualties to her crew and suffered only insignificant minor damage during the attack. Her captain, Commander F. W. O'Connor, reported that his crew was "assisting to get wounded from damaged ships, taking bodies from the water and assisting with repair facilities to full capacity" during and after the attack.

THE WAR

ARGONNE was the flagship for Admiral William L. Calhoun, Commander, Base Force, Pacific Fleet and remained so, in Pearl Harbor, until the spring when a permanent land headquarters was established.

Her first mission of the war, in April 1942, was to sail to Canton Island and assist with the salvage of the troopship President Taylor, which had run aground, after which ARGONNE returned to Pearl Harbor. She stayed there for two months then returned to Canton Island in July to deliver cargo there and at Suva Harbor, Fiji.

ARGONNE arrived in Noumea, New Caledonia on July 27, 1942. On August 1st, she once more became a flagship when Vice Admiral Robert L. Ghormley, Commander, South Pacific Force and South Pacific Area came on board. Two months later Ghormley was relieved by Vice Admiral William F. "Bull" Halsey, Jr. Halsey kept his command on board until the spring of 1943 when he shifted his command to shore, citing the hopeless inadequacies of the ship for his growing staff and responsibilities.

ARGONNE eventually arrived at Purvis Bay, Florida Island, on August 13th after short trips to Auckland, New Zealand and Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides where she had loaded men from Carrier Aircraft Service Unit 14. USS SELFRIDGE, DD-357, was tended to by ARGONNE during her stay in Purvis Bay, which ended in November 1943. Another stint of tender and salvage duties followed in the Russell Islands until late April, 1944. Assigned to Service Squadron (ServRon) 10, ARGONNE set sail for Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands where she serviced the fleet until she moved once again in August.

At that time ARGONNE settled in at Seeadler Harbor, Manus Island, in the Admiralty chain. Here again she became a floating headquarters as Captain S. B. Ogden supervised the operations of ServRon 10.

On November 10, 1944, ARGONNE's captain, Commander T. H. Escott was standing outside his cabin talking with his executive officer when, without warning a massive explosion slammed them both to the deck. It took several moments to recover from the shock and get back on their feet. When they did they scanned the harbor to determine what had happened. A quick look made it abundantly clear. USS MOUNT HOOD, AE-11, an ammunition ship, only 1,100 feet away had blown up. It had disintegrated. The damage from the initial explosion included ruptured water and steam pipes, a shattered searchlight and five antennas that had been blown away by the blast. Only seconds later, what was left of MOUNT HOOD literally came raining down upon the harbor and ARGONNE. Pieces of metal fell from the sky like a meteor shower. Over two hundred pieces, some weighing up to 150 pounds crashed down onto the ship. At the end of the day ARGONNE had two men dead, two missing and twelve injured.

Repairs were quickly made and in less than a month ARGONNE was once again at work, arriving at Kossol Roads in the Palaus on December 15th. While there ARGONNE was once again a victim of a nearby accident. A Landing Craft Vehicle, Personnel, (LCVP) attempting to dock, carelessly rammed the depth charge racks of a sub-chaser, SC-702, that was moored alongside ARGONNE. The collision dislodged one of the depth charges, which fell into the water and exploded, lifting ARGONNE "several inches" out of the water. Damage was restricted to unsecured gear flying about in forward compartments and no casualties were reported. She was repaired and remained in the Palaus servicing the fleet until she arrived at Leyte in the Philippines on February 15, 1945. She remained there until June 14th when she sailed for the Marshall Islands. She spent the last two months of the war in the Western Pacific servicing ships of the fleet.

FATE

After the surrender ARGONNE continued to serve in the western Pacific supporting occupation forces in Japan for a short time. She returned to the United States after participating in "Magic Carpet" service, the effort to bring service men home as soon as possible. Her last port of call was Mare Island Naval Shipyard where she was decommissioned on July 15, 1946. She was transferred to the Naval Maritime Commission two weeks later and was struck from the Naval Rolls on August 28, 1946. She was finally sold for scrap to the Boston Metals Corporation on August 14, 1950.

Ash

ALOE CLASS NET LAYER YN-2 LAUNCHED: 1941

DECEMBER 7, 1941

ASH was barely six months old when she arrived at Bishop Point, Hawai'i, August 20, 1941 and began tending to the anti-submarine nets protecting Pearl Harbor. Three quiet months passed before war started there. Like many ships that day, she fired at the enemy but she claimed no hits or kills. She suffered no damage or casualties. The first day of the war was her only day to see action. She never fired another shot in anger.

THE WAR

ASH spent the duration of the war tending the nets at Pearl Harbor. She was commissioned AN-7 on December 20, 1942 and operated at Pearl Harbor until May 11, 1946 when she sailed for San Francisco.

FATE

She was berthed at Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California until November 1, 1946 when she left for Vancouver, Washington where she was placed out of commission on December 13, 1946. ASH was struck from the Navy rolls on September 1, 1962, having been in "reserve" until that time. The Maritime Administration took possession of her and placed her in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, ("mothball fleet"), at Olympia, Washington. Like many of her Pearl Harbor sisters she was eventually sold for scrap, in her case, to the I. D. Logan Company, on May 14, 1971.

USS Avocet

LAPWING CLASS MINE SWEEPER / SEAPLANE TENDER AVP-4 LAUNCHED: 1918

DECEMBER 7, 1941

AVOCET was tied up at berth F-1 on the southwest side of Ford Island when Japanese bombs started falling only a few hundred yards away. General quarters was sounded, joining the chorus of claxons announcing the same alert on ships throughout the harbor. The responding crew bringing ammunition to the guns were witness to the attack unfolding before them. A Nakajima "Kate" flew in low over the harbor and let loose a torpedo at USS CALIFORNIA, BB-44, only two berths away. As the torpedo hit, rocking the battleship, the "Kate" pulled up and away. AVOCET's starboard gun crew let fly a round striking the torpedo plane which promptly turned into a ball of fire, crashing across the channel near the naval hospital.

As the attack continued her guns fired continuously but scored no more hits. A flight of Kate bombers came into view and dropped their loads, which were probably intended for CALIFORNIA. The bombs all missed their target and fell into the empty berth between AVOCET and CALIFORNIA. All five of the bombs plowed into the muddy bottom of the harbor, but none exploded.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Daughters of Infamy by David Kilmer Copyright © 2011 by David Kilmer. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents

Contents

Dedication....................ix
Acknowledgements....................xi
Foreword....................xv
Preface....................xvii
USS Allen....................3
USS Antares....................5
USS Argonne....................8
Ash....................12
USS Avocet....................14
USS Aylwin....................17
USS Bagley....................23
USS Blue....................29
USS Bobolink....................33
USS Breese....................36
USS Cachalot....................39
USS California....................41
USS Case....................48
USS Cassin....................53
USS Castor....................57
Cheng-Ho....................59
USS Chew....................61
Cinchona....................63
USS Cockatoo....................65
USS Condor....................67
USS Conyngham....................69
USS Crossbill....................74
USS Cummings....................76
USS Curtiss....................80
USS Dale....................86
USS Detroit....................90
USS Dewey....................94
USS Dobbin....................99
USS Dolphin....................101
USS Downes....................105
USS Farragut....................111
USS Gamble....................115
USS Grebe....................119
USS Helena....................121
USS Helm....................127
USS Henley....................133
Hoga....................138
USS Honolulu....................141
USS Hulbert....................146
USS Hull....................149
USS Jarvis....................155
USS Keosanqua....................160
USS MacDonough....................162
Manuwai....................167
Marin....................169
USS Maryland....................170
USS Medusa....................178
USS Monaghan....................182
USS Montgomery....................190
Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron #1....................193
USS Mugford....................196
USS Narwhal....................201
USS Neosho....................207
USS Nevada....................213
USS New Orleans....................221
Nihoa....................227
Nokomis....................229
USS Oglala....................231
USS Ontario....................236
Osceola....................238
USS Patterson....................239
USS Pelias....................246
USS Pennsylvania....................248
USS Perry....................253
USS Phelps....................258
USS Phoenix....................264
USS Preble....................269
USS Pruitt....................272
USS Pyro....................275
USS Rail....................279
USS Raleigh....................281
USS Ralph Talbot....................286
USS Ramapo....................291
USS Ramsay....................293
Reedbird....................295
USS Reid....................297
USS Rigel....................302
USS Sacramento....................305
USS San Francisco....................307
USS Schley....................320
USS Selfridge....................324
USS Shaw....................330
USS Sicard....................336
USS Solace....................339
USS Sotoyomo....................345
USS St Louis....................347
USS Sumner....................358
USS Sunnadin....................360
USS Swan....................362
USS Tangier....................364
USS Tautog....................367
USS Tennessee....................370
USS Tern....................376
USS Thornton....................379
USS Tracy....................382
USS Trever....................385
USS Tucker....................389
USS Turkey....................392
USS Vestal....................394
USS Vireo....................399
Wapello....................403
USS Ward....................405
USS Wasmuth....................413
USS West Virginia....................415
USS Whitney....................425
USS Widgeon....................428
USS Worden....................430
USS Zane....................435
USS Arizona....................443
USS Oklahoma....................450
USS Utah....................456
The Japanese....................463
Damage Roster....................475
Fate of Pearl Harbor Ships by Year....................477
Glossary & Hull Designations....................483
Bibliography....................493

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