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Were there crewmen from other USN ships on USS Missouri when the Japanese surrendered?

Were there crewmen from other USN ships on USS Missouri when the Japanese surrendered?



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I have tried finding a list of the crewmen on the USS Missouri at the time of the signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender, or at least some general information about who was on the ship at that time, but nothing that I've found is really helpful. I'm wondering if, aside from some dignitaries and high-level officers from other militarizes or branches of the US military, if any non-Missouri crew were present on the ship? If some said they were present at the signing of the JIS, is there a way to verify this?


Almost certainly.

For example Admiral Bruce Fraser, the British signatory to the surrender document, hosted "notable allied leaders" on his flagship, HMS Duke of York, in ceremonies ancillary and supplementary to the surrender itself.

The British Pacific Fleet achieved its aim and ensured that a British admiral was present to sign the Japanese surrender document on board the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on 2 September 1945. He was there by right with his flagship, HMS Duke of York, close by allowing him to act as host to notable allied leaders.

The most likely means of transport from Duke of York to Missouri would have been by personal tender on the morning of Sep. 2 - the crewmen of which would have been entertained by the Missouri crew until Fraser was ready to depart again.

Most, if not all, senior naval officers with commands either ashore or on nearby vessels other than USS Missouri would most probably have been transported to Missouri in the same fashion on the morning of Sep. 2. Celebration notwithstanding, they weren't on holiday - they had commands to run and other tasks to execute. All such naval officers were probably hosting visiting officers, of a roughly equivalent rank, from other services or countries, who would have arrived with them that morning.


The U.S. Navy’s Iowa-Class: The Best Battleships Ever

Designed to intercept fast capital ships yet still capable of serving in a traditional battle alongside other U.S. Navy warships, the Iowa-class battleship successfully combined speed and firepower.

Unlike slower battleships, the class was constructed to travel with a carrier force – and even built to be able to transit the Panama Canal, which enabled the warships to respond to threats around the world.

Iowa-class Battleship: Origin Story

The largest and most powerful battleships built for the U.S. Navy, the Iowa-class were also the final battleships that entered service.

Well before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Navy saw that the clouds of war were on the horizon and that there would be a need for a “fast battleship” that could take on the increasing might of the Imperial Japanese Navy.

Part of a new breed of American warships, six of the fast capital ships was ordered, while four were eventually constructed– including the lead ship of her class, USS Iowa (BB-61) along with sister ships USS New Jersey (BB-62), USS Missouri (BB-63) and USS Wisconsin (BB-64). Two additional ships, planned Illinois (BB-65) and Kentucky (BB66), were laid but canceled with both hulls scrapped at the end of the war.

While speedy warships, also notable was the speed in which the four were completed. Iowa was laid down on June 6, 1940, and competed on February 22, 1943 – while the New Jersey was actually launched on December 7, 1942, just a year after the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor and completed on May 23, 1943. Even as the war highlighted the potential of aircraft carriers over the massive battle wagons, the battleships played a crucial role in the Pacific “island-hopping” campaign.

An aerial starboard side view of the Iowa class battleship WISCONSIN (BB-64) being towed past Norfolk Naval Base en route to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard at Portsmouth for ready reserve storage. The ship was moved from the Ship Intermediate Maintenance Facility when it was closed 30 September.

One Tough Battleship

Armed with a main battery of 16-inch guns that could hit targets nearly 24 miles away with a variety of artillery shells, the Iowa-class were among the most heavily armed U.S. military ships ever put to sea. The battleships’ main battery consisted of nine 16″/50 caliber Mark 7 guns in three-gun turrets, which could fire 2,700-pound (1,225 kg) armor-piercing shells some 23 miles (42.6 km). Secondary batteries consisted of twenty 5″/38 caliber guns mounted in twin-gun dual-purpose (DP) turrets, which could hit targets up to 9 miles (16.7 km) away.

Initially equipped with 40mm anti-aircraft guns, during the Cold War those were replaced with missiles, electronic-warfare suites and Phalanx anti-missile Gatling gun systems.

How the Iowa-class Battleships Made History

It was aboard the USS Missouri in September 1945 that the representatives from the Empire of Japan officially surrendered and ended World War II.

That could have been the end for the warships, and by the outbreak of the Korean War, only the USS Missouri remained on active duty. However, her three sisters were reactivated and provided naval gunfire support during the war. While the range of the 16-inch guns was limited to just 20 miles, the warships operated on both coasts doing tremendous damage to North Korean positions.

Following the war, all four ships were decommissioned – although USS New Jersey was briefly called up again during the Vietnam War.

Then in the 1980s when President Ronald Reagan called for a 600-ship U.S. Navy, all four of the ships were reactivated and upgraded with new combat systems that replaced many of the ships’ smaller five-inch guns with a launcher for Harpoon anti-ship missiles, 32 Tomahawk cruise missiles, and four Phalanx close-in weapon systems (CIWS).

An aerial port bow view of the battleship USS IOWA (BB 61) firing its No. 2 turret 16-inch 50-cal. guns off the starboard side.

It was a brief respite for the Iowa-class battleships, and both the lead warship and her sister New Jersey were in the process of being decommissioned when Missouri and Wisconsin were deployed to the Persian Gulf and took part in Operation Desert Storm. The two World War II battle wagons launched Tomahawk missiles at Iraqi targets. The naval fire missions were conducted to convince the Iraqi Army that the coalition forces would engage with an amphibious assault, tying up thousands of Iraqi units in Kuwait.

It was the last hurrah for the Iowa-class and marked the last time they’d fire their weapons in anger. Less than two years later in 1992, the sun finally set on the “age of the battleship,” and all four of the Navy’s largest vessels were converted to museum ships at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (USS Missouri) Los Angeles, California (USS Iowa) Norfolk, Virginia (USS Wisconsin) and Camden, New Jersey (USS New Jersey).

While converted into museums, yet otherwise not altered in any way that would impair their respective military ability, was because theoretically each could be reactivated for service if the need came. While it has been nearly 20 years, there have been calls for the venerable warships to return to the sea, but for now, their job is simply to help preserve the memories of the sacrifices made by those who served and to highlight the history of the American battleship.


Contents

1961 to 1964 Edit

Following a shakedown in the Western Atlantic, Kitty Hawk departed Naval Station Norfolk, Norfolk, Virginia on 11 August 1961. After a brief stop at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she embarked the Secretary of the Brazilian Navy for a demonstration during an exercise at sea with five Brazilian destroyers, the attack carrier rounded Cape Horn on 1 October. She steamed into Valparaíso, Chile on 13 October and then sailed two days later for Peru, arriving in Callao on 20 October where she entertained the President of Peru. At San Diego, Admiral George W. Anderson, Chief of Naval Operations, landed on her deck 18 November to witness antisubmarine demonstrations by Henry B. Wilson and Blueback, a Terrier missile demonstration by Topeka and air demonstrations by Kitty Hawk.

Kitty Hawk entered San Francisco Naval Shipyard on 23 November 1961 for alterations. Following operations out of San Diego, she sailed from San Francisco on 13 September 1962. Kitty Hawk joined the United States Seventh Fleet on 7 October 1962, relieving Midway as the flagship.

After participating in the Philippine Republic Aviation Week Air Show, Kitty Hawk steamed out of Manila Harbor on 30 November 1962, and welcomed Admiral Harry D. Felt, Commander in Chief, United States Pacific Fleet, for a demonstration of modern naval weapons on 3 December. The ship visited Hong Kong early in December and returned to Japan, arriving at Yokosuka on 2 January 1963.

In conjunction with Commander, Carrier Division Seven, Kitty Hawk carried out several exercises in January and February 1963. [6] On 4 January 1963, Operation Checkertail saw Kitty Hawk and three other attack aircraft carriers launch practice airstrikes against the Okinawa Air Defense Command. From 27 January – 2 February 1963, 'Picture Window III' saw 'foreign aircraft' intercepted and visually identified in the Northern Japan area. Though the official ship's papers released in 2011 do not identify the nationality, it is likely that the 'foreign aircraft' in question were from the Soviet Far Eastern Military District or Soviet Naval Aviation. From 16–19 February 1963, Exercise 'Red Wheel,' was conducted around Southern Japan also under the direction of Commander, Carrier Division Seven. It aimed to improve the United States Seventh Fleet's ability to conduct conventional and nuclear warfare while maintaining defense against air and submarine attack. It also aimed to evaluate the capability of 'the HUK [Hunter-Killer] Group' to protect two CVA Task Groups. During these exercises, the ship visited Kobe, Beppu and Iwakuni before returning to San Diego on 2 April 1963.

On 6 June 1963, President John F. Kennedy, with top civilian and military leaders, boarded Kitty Hawk to witness a carrier task force weapons demonstration off the California coast. Addressing the men of the task group from Kitty Hawk, President Kennedy told them that, as in the past, control of the seas still means security, peace and ultimate victory. He later wrote to president and Madame Chiang Kai-shek who had witnessed a similar demonstration on board Constellation: "I hope you were impressed as I was, on my visit to Kitty Hawk, with the great force for peace or war, which these mighty carriers and their accompanying escorts provide, helping to preserve the freedom of distant nations in all parts of the world."

LT Felix E. Templeton, of VF-114, flying a recently issued F-4B Phantom II, made the ship's 16,000th trap, in Aircraft No. 401, on 17 August 1963. [1]

Film director John Frankenheimer filmed shots for the movie Seven Days in May on board the vessel in 1963.

Following a series of strike exercises and tactics reaching along the California coast and off Hawaii, Kitty Hawk again sailed for the Far East. While approaching Japan, she learned an assassin had shot President Kennedy. Flags were at half mast as she entered Sasebo Harbor on 25 November 1963, the day of the President's funeral and, as senior ship present, she had the sad honor of firing memorial salutes. After cruising the South China Sea and ranging to the Philippines in readiness operations with the 7th Fleet, she returned to San Diego on 20 July 1964.

1965 to 1972 Edit

Kitty Hawk overhauled in Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, then trained along the western seaboard. She sailed from San Diego on 19 October 1965, for Hawaii thence to Subic Bay, Philippines, where she prepared for combat operations off the coast of Vietnam.

Kitty Hawk returned to San Diego in June 1966 for overhaul and training until 4 November 1966, when she again deployed to serve in waters of Southeast Asia. Scenes from the 1966 Walt Disney comedy Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N. were filmed aboard the warship.

Kitty Hawk arrived at Yokosuka, Japan on 19 November to relieve Constellation as flagship for Rear Admiral David C. Richardson, Commander Task Force 77. On 26 November, Kitty Hawk departed Yokosuka for Yankee Station via Subic Bay, and on 5 December, aircraft from Kitty Hawk began their around-the-clock missions over North Vietnam. About this time Kitty Hawk — already accustomed to celebrities as guests – entertained a number of prominent visitors: William Randolph Hearst Jr. Bob Considine Dr. Billy Graham Nancy Sinatra and John Steinbeck, among others. She remained in the Far East supporting the U.S. in Southeast Asia until departing Subic Bay on 28 May 1968. Steaming via Japan, the carrier reached San Diego on 19 June and a week later entered the naval shipyard at Long Beach for maintenance. Kitty Hawk returned to San Diego on 25 August and began a rigorous training program to prepare her for future action.

Kitty Hawk was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for exceptionally meritorious and heroic service from 23 December 1967 to 1 June 1968, which included the Tet Offensive, while participating in combat operations in Southeast Asia, and the Navy Unit Meritorious Commendation for exceptionally meritorious service from 15 January 1969 to 27 August 1969 while participating in combat operations in Southeast Asia and contingency operations in Northeast Asia. Both awards noted that the officers and men of the Kitty Hawk displayed undaunted spirit, courage, professionalism and dedication to maintain their ship as a fighting unit under the most arduous operating conditions to enable her pilots to destroy vital military targets in North Vietnam despite intense opposition and extremely adverse weather conditions.

Cruise: Nov 67 – Jun 68: Kitty Hawk had a fire in port Subic Bay, and went to general quarters for 51 hours. Had a plane crash on this cruise also, Jan 1968 lost Bill Reedy AO3 from "G" div. and two other men in that crash. Cruise: Nov 68 – Jun 69: After the cruise Kitty Hawk came back to San Diego for a month and then went to Puget Sound shipyard in Washington State Sept 1969 for dry dock.

On 12 October 1972 during the Vietnam War, Kitty Hawk was en route to her station in the Gulf of Tonkin when a race riot involving more than 200 sailors broke out. Nearly 50 sailors were injured in this widely publicized incident. [7] This incident resulted in a Congressional inquiry into discipline in the Navy.

1973 to 1977 Edit

From January through July 1973, Kitty Hawk changed home ports from San Diego to San Francisco. Kitty Hawk moved into dry dock on 14 January 1973, and work began to convert the ship from an attack (CVA) to a multi-mission carrier (CV). The "CV" designation indicated that Kitty Hawk was no longer strictly an attack carrier, in that anti-submarine warfare would also become a major role. Kitty Hawk became the first Pacific Fleet carrier to carry the multi-purpose "CV" designation. The conversion consisted of adding 10 new helicopter calibrating stations, installing sonar/sonobuoy readout and analysis center and associated equipment, and changing a large portion of the ship's operating procedures. One of the major equipment/space changes in the conversion was the addition of the Anti-Submarine Classification and Analysis Center (ASCAC) in the CIC area. ASCAC worked in close conjunction with the anti-submarine warfare aircraft assigned aboard Carrier Air Wing 11. During the yard period, the Engineering Department underwent a major change in its propulsion plant. The Navy Standard Oil (black oil) fuel system was completely converted to Navy Distillate Fuel. The Air Department added several major changes to the flight deck, including enlarging the jet blast deflectors (JBD) and installing more powerful catapults in order to handle the new Grumman F-14 Tomcat, which Kitty Hawk was standing by to receive for its next deployment. Enlarging JBD#1 meant the No. 1 Aircraft Elevator had to be redesigned, making Kitty Hawk the only carrier at the time having an aircraft elevator which tracked from the hangar deck to the flight deck angling out 6°. Kitty Hawk moved out of dry dock on 28 April 1973, and the next day, on her 12th birthday, was named a Multi-Purpose Aircraft Carrier (CV).

After much needed upgrades and modifications to Kitty Hawk ' s systems, she departed Hunters Point navy shipyards in San Francisco to begin "sea trial" exercises and then made a short three-day layover in Pearl Harbor for some crew R&R. She then departed for the South China Sea. However while en route, during routine maintenance to the ship's fuel oil systems in the No. 1 machinery room on 11 December 1973, a flange gasket failed in one of the fuel transfer tubes of JP5 that pass through Number 1 engine room. Jet fuel was sprayed, atomized, and ignited and the ship went to General Quarters for nearly 38 hours. Due to the massive amounts of thick black smoke the crew was ordered topside to flight deck until the fire could be controlled and smoke cleared. Because two and then three of the ship's four propulsion systems had to be shut down during the fire, Kitty Hawk began list to about 7 degrees portside and as a result many of the aircraft were moved starboard in an attempt to balance the ship until the fire was finally brought under control and two propulsion systems restored. Kitty Hawk then headed toward the Philippines where she ported in Subic Bay until the ship's damage could be assessed and repairs could be made, but there would be three days of waiting before reaching port. Six enlisted sailors died in the fire: FR Michael Deverich, FR Linn Schambers, FR Kevin Johnson, FA Alan Champine, Samuel Cardenas and FA Joseph Tulipana. Thirty-four sailors were treated for smoke inhalation and several minor injuries and one sailor for a broken wrist reported. The bodies of those men who died in the fire were escorted home by members of their respective Divisions for burial.

As a result of the deaths of the six crew members, on 10 January 1974 an investigation was ordered by Rear Admiral Donald C. Davis, Commander of Carrier Group 1 and Senior Officer on board Kitty Hawk designated as his flagship. Although initial reports lay blame to one of the six men who perished in the tragic fire, upon conclusion of the investigation filed by the Department of the Navy, Commander Seventh Fleet, several opinions on causes were noted within the investigation which included but not limited to the Fourth Endorsement on Captain Kenneth L. Shugart, USN. The investigative report of 10 January 1974, section 3, paragraph 3 stated "The replacement of the defective gasket in the strainer cover assembly by Fireman Apprentice Kevin W. Johnson (deceased) reflected, in the words of the investigating officer, poor judgment and unsound maintenance practices." Further "Fireman Apprentice Johnson was therefore negligent in the performance of his duties." However, in consonance with the investigating officer, the opinion is expressed that under the circumstances, the maintenance deficiencies noted herein constitute simple, rather than culpable, negligence."

In light of the efforts made by all six navy personnel, FA Cardenas, Champine and Tulipana, and FR Deverich, Schambers and Johnson assigned to the machinery room on 11 December 1973, who all died during the suppression efforts, "It has administratively been determined each were posthumously awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for their heroic devotion to duty in fighting the fire which is the subject of this investigative report." [8]

Kitty Hawk stayed busy throughout the mid-1970s with numerous deployments to the Western Pacific and involvement in a large number of exercises, including RIMPAC in 1973 and 1975. Kitty Hawk departed San Diego on 8 March 1976, and on 12 March entered dry dock at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington, to commence a US$100 million complex overhaul, scheduled to last just more than 12 months. This overhaul configured Kitty Hawk to operate with the F-14 and S-3A "Viking" aircraft in a total CV sea control mode. This included adding spaces for storage, ordnance handling and maintenance facilities for the two aircraft. Also included in the work package were more efficient work areas for airframes and a repair facility for ground support equipment and the addition of avionics support capability for the S-3. The ship also replaced the Terrier Surface-to-Air missile system with the NATO Sea Sparrow system, and added elevators and modified weapons magazines to provide an increased capability for handling and stowing the newer, larger air-launched weapons. Kitty Hawk completed the overhaul in March 1977, and departed the shipyard 1 April of that year to return to San Diego. After a six-month pre-deployment workup, Kitty Hawk departed NAS North Island 25 October 1977 [9] for another Western Pacific Ocean deployment and returned 15 May 1978.

1979 to 1998 Edit

In May 1979, the ship teamed up with Carrier Air Wing 15 (CVW-15) [10] for another Western Pacific deployment. Her duties included search and assistance operations to aid refugees in small boats fleeing the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

During that deployment, Kitty Hawk also offered contingency support off the coast of Korea following the assassination of Republic of Korea President Park Chung Hee. The deployment was then extended two-and-a-half months to support contingency operations in the North Arabian Sea during the Iran hostage crisis. For their actions in the region, Kitty Hawk and CVW-15 were awarded the Navy Expeditionary Medal.

Kitty Hawk had a cameo appearance in the 1980 movie The Final Countdown, standing in for Nimitz. On her way home from her Western Pacific deployment, Kitty Hawk was filmed entering Pearl Harbor with the crew manning the rails as the ship passed the USS Arizona Memorial. (At the time of the filming, Nimitz was still an Atlantic Fleet, vice Pacific Fleet, aircraft carrier.) Kitty Hawk returned to San Diego in late February 1980 and was also awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation and the Naval Air Force Pacific Battle Efficiency "E" Award as the best carrier in the Pacific Fleet.

In April 1981, Kitty Hawk left San Diego for her thirteenth deployment to the Western Pacific. Following the cruise, the crew was awarded the Navy Expeditionary Medal and the Humanitarian Service Medal for the rescue of Vietnamese refugees in the South China Sea.

In January 1982, Kitty Hawk returned to Bremerton for another year-long overhaul. Following the comprehensive upgrade and a vigorous training period with Carrier Air Wing 2, Kitty Hawk deployed in 1984 as the flagship for Battle Group Bravo. Kitty Hawk logged more than 62,000 mi (100,000 km) on this deployment and remained at "Station Gonzo" in the north Arabian Sea for more than 60 consecutive days.

In March 1984, Kitty Hawk participated in "Team Spirit" exercises in the Sea of Japan. The Soviet Victor-class nuclear attack submarine K-314 shadowed the task group. On 21 March 1984, at the end of the Sea of Japan part of the exercise, K-314 surfaced directly in front of Kitty Hawk, time was 22:05, too dark and far too close for Kitty Hawk to see and avoid the resulting collision, with minor damage to the aircraft carrier, and significant damage to the Soviet submarine. At the time of the accident, Kitty Hawk is estimated to have carried several dozen nuclear weapons, and K-314 probably carried two nuclear torpedoes. Kitty Hawk was thereafter considered the first antisubmarine carrier weapon and a red submarine was painted on her island near the bridge but was ordered removed upon return to home port North Island San Diego, CA. [11] [12]

Kitty Hawk went to the U.S. Naval Base at Subic Bay in the Philippines for repairs. A piece of one of K-314 ' s propellers was embedded in Kitty Hawk ' s bow, as were some chunks of the Soviet anechoic coating, from scraping along the side of the submarine. The result was something of an "accidental" intelligence coup for the U.S. Navy.

The ship returned to San Diego on 1 August 1984. Seven months later, Kitty Hawk was awarded another Battle Efficiency "E" Award.

In July 1985, Kitty Hawk and CVW-9 deployed again as flagship for Battle Group Bravo. Kitty Hawk and CVW-9 combined to set a standard for operations, completing their second consecutive fatality-free deployment.

In August 1985, People Magazine printed an article stating that Kitty Hawk's missiles and jet parts were illegally smuggled into Iran, at that time considered a hostile nation, as revealed by Kitty Hawk's Petty Officer Robert W Jackson. [13] Later, the FBI arrested 7 suspects involved in this smuggling scheme, [14] an event related to what was later known as the Iran-Contra scandal.

CVW-9 crews logged more than 18,000 flight hours and 7,300 arrested landings while Kitty Hawk maintained her catapults and arresting gear at 100 percent availability.

In 1986, during pre-cruise exercises, one Airman was killed during flight operations when he was struck by an aircraft while checking "elongs" during a launch.

Kitty Hawk bid farewell to San Diego on 3 January 1987, as the ship departed her home port of 25 years and set out on a six-month world cruise. During the circumnavigation, Kitty Hawk and CVW-9 again showed their commitment to safety by conducting a third fatality-free deployment . Kitty Hawk spent 106 consecutive days on station in the Indian Ocean and was again awarded the Navy Expeditionary Medal and the Meritorious Unit Commendation for its service. The world cruise ended at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard on 3 July. Six months later, Kitty Hawk began a Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) overhaul. Kitty Hawk emerged from the yards on 2 August 1990. The overhaul was estimated to have added 20 years of service to the ship. The Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department was also awarded the Air Forces, US Pacific Fleet Departmental Excellence Award, the Black "E" for this deployment.

With the return of CVW-15 to its decks, Kitty Hawk began its second deployment around "the Horn" of South America to her original home port of San Diego on 11 December 1991, performing Gringo-Gaucho with the Argentine Naval Aviation during the transit.

On 1 August 1992, Kitty Hawk was appointed as Naval Air Force Pacific's "ready carrier." The ship embarked Commander, Cruiser-Destroyer Group 5 Commander, Destroyer Squadron 17 and CVW-15 for three months of work-ups before deploying to the Western Pacific on 3 November 1992. While on deployment, Kitty Hawk spent nine days off the coast of Somalia supporting U.S. Marines and coalition forces involved in Operation Restore Hope. In response to increasing Iraqi violations of United Nations sanctions, the ship rushed to the Persian Gulf on 27 December 1992. Just 17 days later, Kitty Hawk led a joint coalition offensive strike against designated targets in southern Iraq.

Kitty Hawk set sail on her 17th deployment 24 June 1994, with the goal of providing a stabilizing influence operating in the Western Pacific during a time of great tension in the Far East, particularly concerning North Korea. This would be the last cruise for VA-52 flying the A-6E SWIP Intruder. During the cruise, the Carrier led the first ASW persecution of both the Han Class and Oscar II Class Submarine [15] (Most likely the Oscar II was K-442 [16] ). During the ASW hunt of the Han Class Submarine of the PLA Navy, a standoff ensured between the United States and PRC leading to several PLAAF fighter aircraft flying near Kitty Hawk's S-3 Viking ASW aircraft from VS-37. Eventually both sides backed down. [17]

In 1995, Kitty Hawk embarked airwing transitioned to CVW-11, marking a change to a single F-14 squadron, and 3 F/A-18 squadrons. [18]

Kitty Hawk began her 18th deployment, this time with CVW-11, in October 1996. During the six-month underway period, the ship visited ports in the Persian Gulf and Western Pacific. The carrier made a rare visit to Hobart, Tasmania as well as being only the second carrier to ever stop in Manama, Bahrain. [18] Kitty Hawk returned to San Diego 11 April 1997, immediately beginning a 15-month, $110 million overhaul, including three months in dry dock in Bremerton, from January to March 1998.


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Mark Karvon
grew up in the Chicago area. From an early age he was interested in drawing. In High School his course work included electives in architectural design and mechanical drawing. Upon graduating, he attended college and studied aeronautical engineering for a short time.

In the early 1990's Mark befriended the world renowned marine artist Charles Vickery. Through their friendship and Charles's guidance, Mark's drawing skills improved and he began to explore other media including oil painting. Not only was Charles instrumental in teaching Mark about composition and the finer points of creating art, but he also offered much wisdom regarding life in general. They remained good friends until Charles passed away in 1998.

Some of Mark's early commissioned works include small illustrations for advertisements in a local newspaper and portrait work for friends and associates. From 1996 to 1997 he worked under commission for the Illinois Railway Museum creating original works depicting many of the locomotives in the museum's collection.

In 1999 Mark moved to North Carolina with his wife and children. Since that time Mark's portfolio has continued to grow through ongoing commissioned paintings, drawings and technical illustrations for industrial and commercial clients as well as private collectors.

Mark's work is collected by veterans, corporate clients, the armed services and art connoisseurs around the world. His work hangs in public and private collections worldwide.

Don Stratton
About the Signatory: On December 7th, Don Stratton was at his battle station in the port side 5-inch gun director near the bridge on the U.S.S. Arizona During the attack seaman Stratton was rescued by crew members from the U.S.S. Vestal which had been moored alongside the Arizona.

The Calm Before The Storm by Robert Taylor
Overall Print Size: 33 1/2" x 22 1/4"
Includes companion print The Way We Were - Pearl Harbor, Sunday 7th December 1941
Edition size of 600
S/N by Artist and Five (5) Arizona crewmen:

Ships: USS Arizona - USS Vestal

Dawn had broken to reveal another glorious day in paradise, and on board the USS Arizona and the repair ship USS Vestal alongside, the crew were taking it easy. All next week they would be hard at work preparing for sea, but today was Sunday, and that meant light duties. But within the hour out of nowhere, Japanese carrier-based aircraft would descend upon the unsuspecting Naval base. As the crews register bright red circles on their wings, the blood froze in their veins. They realized that hell had come to Pearl Harbor!

Then, just before 08.10hrs, the unthinkable happened. A bomb from a Nakajima B5N Kate high-altitude bomber penetrated the ship&rsquos armor plated deck and exploded in the forward magazine. Within seconds a cataclysmic blast ripped through the Arizona, devastating the mighty ship which would burn for two days, taking with her the lives of nearly twelve hundred men.

In tribute to all those who lost their lives at Pearl Harbor on that infamous day Robert Taylor has created his poignant new landmark painting. The Arizona has since become the focal point for the memorial at Pearl Harbor and this moving piece portrays this proud ship as those who survived would surely like to remember her - in all her glory prior to the attack.

Also included is the Companion Print The Way We Were - Pearl Harbor, Sunday 7th December 1941. Reproduced directly from Roberts working drawing, this outstanding companion print is issued with every edition of The Calm Before The Storm, creating a fitting commemorative collectors edition for the 70th Anniversary of this historic event.

Signed by Artist and Five (5) crew who were aboard USS Arizona that day.

  • Quartermaster 3c LOUIS CONTER USN
  • Seaman 1c LONNIE COOK USN
  • Seaman 1c CLEARDON HETRICK USN
  • Lieutenant Commander JOSEPH LANGDELL USNR
  • Chief Warrant Officer EDWARD WENTZLAFF USN (companion print)

USS Arizona 1/426 Kit
Plastic Ship Model Kit.
This proud ship remains synonymous with America's entry into WWII. 1,177 men went down with her on December 7, 1941. Detailed plastic kit includes positionable guns and turrets. 17" long, 133 pieces,
skill level 2.


California

From HNSA:
B-39 was decommissioned on 1 April 1994 and sold to Finland. She made her way from there through a series of sales to Vancouver Island in 1996 and to Seattle, Washington, in 2002 before arriving in San Diego, California, on 22 April 2005 and becoming an exhibit of the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

Maritime Museum of San Diego
1306 N. Harbor Drive
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 234-9153
Fax: (619) 234-8345
Email: [email protected]
http://www.sdmaritime.org/

USS Dolphin (AGSS-555)

Maritime Museum of San Diego
1306 N. Harbor Drive
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 234-9153
Fax: (619) 234-8345
Email: [email protected]
http://www.sdmaritime.org

From HNSA:
Dolphin was built as a diesel-electric, deep-diving, research and development submarine. It can carry scientific payloads of over 12 tons, a considerably greater capacity than any other deep diving research vessel. The submarine has internal and external mounting points, multiple electronic hull connectors, and up to 10 equipment racks for project use. Her larger size also provided greater power and on board research personnel than any other deep diving platform. During her 44 year career, she tested advanced submarine structures, sensors, weapons, communications, and machinery systems. Much of her work is still classified.

USS Hornet (CV-12)

From HNSA:
The eighth Hornet (CV-12) had an extraordinary combat record in WW II, engaging the enemy in the Pacific in March 1944, just 21 months after the laying of her keel and the shortest shakedown cruise in Navy history (2 weeks). For eighteen months, she never touched land. She was constantly in the most forward areas of the Pacific war – sometimes within 40 miles of the Japanese home islands. Her pilots destroyed 1,410 enemy aircraft and over one million tons of enemy shipping. Her planes stopped the Japanese super-battleship Yamato and played the major part in sinking her. She launched the first strikes in the liberation of the Philippines, and in Feb. 1945, the first strikes on Japan since the Doolittle raid in 1942.

USS Iowa (BB-61)

Pacific Battleship Center
Berth 87
250 South Harbor Blvd.
San Pedro, CA 90731
http://pacificbattleship.com

SS Jeremiah O’Brien

SS “Jeremiah O’Brien”, Pier 45, Fisherman’s Wharf, SF

From HNSA:
Jeremiah O’Brien is the last un-altered Liberty. The ship is a product of an emergency shipbuilding program of World War II that resulted in the construction of more than 2,700 Liberty ships. Designed as cheap and quickly built simple cargo steamers, the Liberty ships formed the backbone of a massive sealift of troops, arms, material, and ordnance to every theater of the war. Jeremiah O’Brien made wartime voyages between the east coast, Canada, and the United Kingdom, to South America, Australia, and the Philippines.

SS Lane Victory

U.S. Merchant Marine Veterans of WWII
Berth 46
P.O. Box 629
San Pedro, California 90733-0629
(310) 519-9545
Fax: (310) 519-0265
Email: [email protected]
http://www.lanevictory.org/

USS LCI(L)-1091

Foot of Commercial Street, Eureka, CA.
(707) 442-9333

USS LCS(L)(3)-102

Mare Island
Waterfront Ave and A St.
Vallejo, CA 94592
(415) 661-9279
[email protected]
http://www.mightymidgets.org/

Steam Yacht Medea

Maritime Museum of San Diego
1306 N. Harbor Drive
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 234-9153
Fax: (619) 234-8345
Email: [email protected]
http://www.sdmaritime.org

From HNSA:
Steam Yacht Medea was built for William Macalister Hall of Torrisdale Castle, Scotland, who used her mainly for social occasions and hunting excursions around the islands and lochs of western Scotland. In 1917 the French Navy purchased her. Renamed Corneille, she spent the remainder of World War I as a convoy escort for French sailing ships.

USS Midway (CV-41)

USS Midway Museum
910 N. Harbor Drive
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 544-9600
Fax: (619) 544-9188
http://www.midway.org

USS Pampanito (SS-383)

From HNSA:
A World War II fleet submarine, Pampanito earned six battle stars for her service in the Pacific, sinking five vessels totalling 27,332 tons. Her biggest day came on September 12, 1944, when she and two other submarines surprised an 11-ship convoy and sank seven vessels. Later, Pampanito rescued 73 Allied prisoners of war who had been carried aboard the enemy transports.

Pier 45, Fisherman’s Wharf
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 775-1943
Fax: (415) 441-0365
Email: [email protected]
http://www.maritime.org/sub

PBR Mark II

Mare Island Historic Park Foundation
328 Seawind Dr.
Vallejo, CA 94590
(707) 557-1538
Email: [email protected]
http://www.mareislandhpf.org

Maritime Museum of San Diego
1306 N. Harbor Drive
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 234-9153
Fax: (619) 234-8345
Email: [email protected]
http://www.sdmaritime.org

Maritime Museum of San Diego
1306 N. Harbor Drive
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 234-9153
Fax: (619) 234-8345
Email: [email protected]
http://www.sdmaritime.org

USS Potomac (AG-25)

Potomac Association
540 Water Street
P.O. Box 2064
Oakland, CA 94604-2064
(510) 627-1215 (Monday – Friday)
(510) 627-1502 (24-hour info line)
Fax: (510) 839-4729
http://www.usspotomac.org

From HNSA:
Completed in October 1934 as the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Electra, the ship was taken over by the Navy in November 1935, and renamed USS Potomac in January 1936. She served as President Franklin Roosevelt’s presidential yacht from 1936 to the time of his death in April 1945. President Roosevelt spent many delightful hours on her decks cruising the Potomac River near Washington. He cruised nearly 50 times per year in the years preceding World War II.

PTF-26

Liberty Maritime, PTF-26
1272 Grand River Drive
Sacramento, CA 95831
(916) 393-2221
Fax (916) 393-2223
Email: [email protected]
http://libertymaritime.com/

From HNSA:
PTF-26, “Liberty“, was the last PTF built. PTFs, Fast Patrol Boats, were the Vietnam War version of the famous WW II PT Boats. They were heavily armed near-coastal gunboats, used mostly by Special Forces. PTF-26 is also the last of only four Osprey-Class PTFs, the bigger, aluminum-hulled brother to the Nasty-Class boats.

SS Red Oak Victory

SS Red Oak Victory
1337 Canal Blvd., Berth 6A
Richmond, CA 94804
(510) 237-2933
FAX: (510) 235-7259
http://www.ssredoakvictory.com/index.htm

Lightship Relief (WAL-605, then WLV-605)


5. Lt. James “Jimmy” Carter Jr. (1977-1981)

Carter, the fifth consecutive Navy veteran to become president, grew up in rural Georgia. He received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1943, after two years of study at Georgia colleges. He graduated in June 1946 with a commission as an ensign, thanks to accelerated wartime training.

“From the time I was five years old, if you had asked me, ‘What are you going to do when you grow up?’ I would have said, ‘I want to go to the Naval Academy, get a college education, and serve in the U.S. Navy,'” Carter explained during an interview for his Nobel Prize for Peace in 1991.

Midshipman James Earle Carter. (Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum)

Carter spent two years on ships — USS Wyoming (E-AG 17) and USS Mississippi (E-AG 128) — before applying for submarine duty. He reported to USS Pomfret (SS 391) in Pearl Harbor in late 1948, just in time to participate in a simulated war patrol to the western Pacific and the Chinese coast in January 1949.

Carter was getting involved in the new, nuclear-powered submarine program when his father died in 1953. In fact, he was in charge of the crew that was helping build USS Seawolf (SSN 575) and the nuclear power plant that later became a prototype. After his father’s death, Carter resigned his commission as a lieutenant and returned to Georgia to manage the family peanut business.


Naval Engagements in the War of 1812

USS Constitution defeating HMS Guerriere in the War of 1812 US Navy History and Heritage Command

Naval combat in the Age of Sail, which lasted from the 16th to mid-19th century, may seem strange to the modern eye. Sailing ships were virtually floating villages, with the largest ships of the line armed with more artillery than some armies. Because of a ship’s dependence on the wind for propulsion, combat often resembled a deadly dance between combatants, which could disintegrate into a bloody close-range brawl.

It is important to understand the different types of warship that plied the waves during this period, which applies to both the American Revolution and War of 1812. The largest naval vessels were the ships of the line and often classified by the British rating system: first-rate, second-rate, and third-rate. These slow and heavily armed ships would form the core of a battle line and exchange fire with their similarly sized adversaries.

The third-rate formed the backbone of many navies, especially the British, and usually mounted seventy-four guns on three decks, with a crew of up to 700 men. The largest, first-rates, were massive in terms of size and firepower. The most famous example, HMS Victory, Admiral Nelson’s flagship at Trafalgar, mounted 104 cannon, firing a broadside weight of 1,148 pounds, and needed a crew of 800 to fight and sail.

During the American Revolution and War of 1812, the large fleet battles of Europe were rare, with combats between smaller Frigates, Sloops, and Brigs far more common. These ships were not designed to fight on the line, but were used as “cruisers” because of their speed, maneuverability, and range. They were often allowed to cruise independently, searching for enemy targets of opportunity, or attached to large fleets as scouts, pickets, and couriers. Many of the most famous actions of both wars were duels between these smaller, yet deadly, ships.

USS Constitution vs. HMS Guerriere, August 19, 1812, 400 miles SE of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

USS Constitution was one of the “original six” frigates ordered in 1794. Knowing that the fledgling US Navy could not match the European powers on the water, these ships were designed to be faster, hardier, and fire a heavier broadside than their European counterparts enabling them to overpower similarly sized ships and evade the larger ships of the line. Constitution, considered a heavy frigate, mounted forty-four guns with a crew of 450. HMS Guerriere, captured from the French in 1806, was a British fifth-rate frigate, with thirty-eight guns and a crew of 272.

On August 19, 1812 at two PM, early in the War of 1812, Constitution, with Captain Isaac Hull in command, sighted an unknown ship on the horizon and decided to investigate. Previously, the Constitution had tangled with the large British fleet, including Guerriere and her Captain James Richard Dacres, but managed to escape. Both ships recognized each other at the same moment, and cleared their decks for combat.

Initially, Guerriere fired a broadside that fell short, turned into the wind and ran, occasionally yawing to fire a broadside at the pursuing Constitution. During this forty-five minute chase, a cannonball bounced harmlessly off the Constitution, earning her the enduring nickname “Old Ironsides.” When Constitution closed the gap to a few hundred yards, Captain Hull ordered extra sail to quickly cover the final distance. Guerriere did not mirror this maneuver, and both ships closed to “half pistol-shot,” point-blank range, and began exchanging broadsides.

For fifteen minutes, both ships hammered each other, but the heavier guns and stronger hull of Constitution proved highly effective. Guerriere lost her mizzenmast, which fell overboard and acted like a large rudder, pulling the ship around. Taking advantage of Guerriere’s immobility, Constitution crossed to the vulnerable front of the enemy ship, and delivered a punishing broadside, raking Guerriere from stem to stern, causing the Guerriere’s mainmast to also fall. The Constitution came about and raked her foe again, but during this maneuver, both ships became entangled. Boarding parties were formed on both ships, but were unable to cross the tangled rigging and bowsprit in the heavy seas.

The ships remained tangled, exchanging cannon and musket fire, until they rotated and broke free. Guerriere attempted to set sail and flee, but her masts and rigging were so heavily damaged this proved impossible. Constitution managed to disengage briefly and make repairs to her rigging, before moving to bear down on Guerriere once again. Sensing that his ship would not survive another assault, Captain Dacres, who was wounded by a musket ball, signaled his surrender by ordering a cannon fired in the opposite direction of Constitution. Hull ordered a Lieutenant rowed to the enemy ship to investigate, who asked if Guerriere was surrendering, to which Dacres responded, “Well, Sir, I don’t know. Our mizzen mast is gone, our fore and main masts are gone – I think on the whole you might say we have struck our flag.”

On the American side, casualties and damage was light, with seven killed and seven wounded. The British, however, suffered dramatically, with fifteen killed, seventy-eight wounded, and the remaining 257 captured. Captain Hull refused to accept Dacres sword of surrender, honoring his gallantry and a battle well fought.

Hull attempted to salvage Guerriere and tow her to port, but, despite working all night to save the ship, the damage was too extensive and he instead ordered the sinking ship burned. Wanting to provide the Americans with a morale boost, Hull sailed to Boston to deliver the news, which was received with great enthusiasm.

USS United States vs. HMS Macedonian, October 25, 1812, near Madeira.

USS United States was the first of the “original six” commissioned under the Naval Act of 1794. She was a heavy frigate, mounting forty-four guns with a crew of 450. HMS Macedonian was a new addition to the Royal Navy, commissioned in 1810. She was a thirty-eight gun fifth rate frigate, and had a complement of 306.

United States, under the command of Captain Stephen Decatur, sailed from Boston in early October on a long Atlantic cruise searching for British merchant shipping and warships. At dawn on October 25, near the island of Madeira off the North African coast, the United States spotted a ship and identified it as Macedonian, with Captain John Surman Carden in command, en route to its West Indies station. Both ships cleared for action and closed the distance. Decatur wanted to keep the British warship at range, using his heavier twenty-four pounders to disable the ship before closing to finish the job.

Around 9 AM after exchanging initial broadsides, the United States’ second volley destroyed Macedonian’s mizzen topmast and gave the maneuver advantage to the American frigate. United States took up position on Macedonian’s rear quarter, a highly vulnerable area for the British ship, and proceeded to hammer the hapless vessel. By noon, the United States had reduced Macedonian to a dismasted, floating hulk. When Decatur closed for another broadside, Carden struck his colors and surrendered.

The aftermath revealed a one-sided battle, with the heavier guns and longer range of the American frigate proving devastating. Macedonian had over 100 round shot lodged in her hull alone, and suffered forty-three killed and seventy-one wounded: thirty percent casualties. The United States had seven killed and five wounded. United States delivered seventy broadsides, while Macedonian replied with only thirty.

The two former combatants lay alongside each other for two weeks so that Macedonia could be repaired to a sailing state. Decatur sailed back to the United States with his prize, arriving in Newport, Rhode Island, on December 4. HMS Macedonian was then bought and commissioned into the United States Navy, serving as USS Macedonian. Decatur and his crew were lauded for their spectacular victory, and praised by the public, congress, and President Madison.

USS Chesapeake vs. HMS Shannon, June 1, 1813, Boston Harbor.

With the War of 1812 progressing into its second year, the United States had acquired a string of naval victories, seriously damaging British morale and perceived naval superiority. With this in mind, Captain James Lawrence had finished refitting USS Chesapeake in Boston Harbor, and was eager to sail out and engaged the British. Chesapeake was smaller than her sisters Constitution and United States, rated as a thirty-eight gun frigate, with a crew of 379. Shannon, commanded by Captain Phillip Broke, was of the same size and armament, but had her crew reduced to 330 after capturing a number of merchantmen.

The Royal Navy’s crew’s had suffered during the Napoleonic Wars, and were not of the same quality that they used to be, with this in mind Lawrence expected to overpower Shannon despite their equal size and armament. The Shannon’s crew and Captain, however, were not average British sailors. Broke was a superlative officer, and a master of naval gunnery, who drilled his crew into an excellent force. Lawrence, on the other hand, had some experienced crewmen, but many had not fought together or onboard Chesapeake before.

Chesapeake sailed out to meet Shannon on June 1, 1813, and sighted her adversary around five PM. With the Chesapeake bearing down on them, Broke offered his simple gunnery philosophy to his crew, “Throw no shot away. Aim every one. Keep cool. Work steadily. . . . Don’t try to dismast her. Kill the men and the ship is yours.” After months at sea, Shannon was shabby compared to the newly refitted Chesapeake, which gave Lawrence even more confidence in his attack.

The two Captains opted to hold their fire until they could exchange broadsides, making the engagement as much a duel between gentlemen as a duel between warships. At six PM, at a range of thirty-five meters, both sides opened fire. Immediately the methodical, accurate, fire of the British crew took its toll on the American ship, with her forward gun crews suffering badly. The Americans, however, steadily returned fire and inflicted some damage.

Realizing that his ship was moving too quickly and would overtake Shannon, Lawrence ordered a reduction in speed. During this maneuver, the accurate British fire swept the Chesapeake’s quarterdeck, killing the helmsmen and disabling the wheel. The Chesapeake was able to land addition hits on the Shannon and swept her forecastle with carronade fire. Finally, a shot carried away Chesapeake’s topsail halyard, causing her to lose all forward momentum and leaving her dead in the water.

The Chesapeake’s rear left quarter was caught by the Shannon’s anchor, and the British lashed their ship to their adversary and prepared to board. Caught at an angle where her guns could not fire on the British ship, and where the Shannon could fire into her vulnerable stern and rake the ship, the Chesapeake was in grave danger. Sensing his opponent’s weakness, Broke ordered his men to board. At the same time, Lawrence also decided to board his opponent, but his order was lost in the maelstrom and only a few Americans followed their captain.

Before Lawrence could lead his men into the enemy ship, he was stuck by a musket ball and mortally wounded. As he was being carried below he called out the now famous, “Tell the men to fire faster! Don’t give up the ship!” With all but one American officer wounded the British faced little organized resistance when Brock led his highly organized crew aboard. While the Americans resisted, and even managed to push the British back at one point, there was little hope. Even though Brock himself was badly wounded by a cutlass to the head, and the British boarding party was stranded when the two ships separated, American resistance had effectively ceased. The close-range and brutal engagement had lasted a mere fifteen minutes.

Both sides suffered heavily, Chesapeake lost forty-eight killed, ninety-nine wounded with the rest captured, Shannon twenty-three men killed, and fifty-six wounded. In terms of gunnery, the Chesapeake had been soundly beaten. The British sailed their first major prize of the war to Halifax and were greeted jubilantly. USS Chesapeake was recommissioned HMS Chesapeake. Captain Lawrence was buried with full military honors, with six Royal Navy officers acting as pallbearers. Brock, though initially not expected to survive his wound, returned to Britain a hero, given a Baronet, and knighted. Though disabled, he continued his career as a gunnery instructor.

In terms of casualties compared to number of men engaged, the engagement between Chesapeake and Shannon had not only been the bloodiest in the War of 1812, but one of the bloodiest in the entire Age of Sail. For comparison purposes, Chesapeake and Shannon suffered more casualties in fifteen minutes than HMS Victory suffered during the entire Battle of Trafalgar.

Capture of USS President, January 15, 1815, New York Harbor

As the War of 1812 progressed, and the British realized the danger of the American heavy frigates, they dedicated more and more naval assets to blockading the American coast. In addition, the British strictly prohibited their ships from challenging the American frigates one-on-one. After numerous attempts to run the British blockade, Commodore Stephen Decatur transferred his command to President, one of the forty-four gun heavy frigates, which was trapped in New York by a British squadron of four ships commanded by Commodore John Hayes.

On January 13, with a blizzard raging that blew the British ships off their station, Decatur decided to break out of New York Harbor. Unfortunately, the harbor channel had not been well marked, and President grounded on the bar. For two hours, with high winds and heavy seas, President struggled on the bar, suffering heavy damage to her hull and rigging. The winds prevented Decatur from returning to port forcing the damaged President to sea.

After the storm cleared the British, realizing that the Americans may have attempted a breakout, took up positions to intercept any American ships. At dawn on January 14, British ships spotted President and immediately moved to engage. Decatur turned his ship downwind in an attempt to escape, even lightening President by throwing unnecessary items overboard, but the damage sustained in the harbor proved disastrous.

With the British frigates Majestic, Endymion, Tenedos, and Pomone all giving chase, a running battle ensued, with both sides trading fire and the British steadily closing. By nightfall Endymion was able to close the gap, and poured devastating fire into President’s vulnerable rear quarter. A quick maneuver by Decatur laid both ships alongside one another, trading broadsides. The Americans targeted the British rigging to hasten their escape from the remaining British vessels, while the British gunners pounded the President’s hull.

At 8 PM, Decatur struck his colors and Endymion stopped to make hasty repairs to her rigging. Seeing the British stopped but not launching any boats, none were seaworthy, Decatur hoisted his sails and attempted to escape at 8:30. Endymion was under sail by 9, and Pomone and Tenedos had caught up. Two rapid broadsides from Pomone finally decided the issue, and Decatur again struck his colors.

In the engagement President lost twenty-four men killed, fifty-five wounded and the rest of her crew of 447 captured, while the Endymion, the only British vessel to suffer casualties, lost eleven killed and fourteen wounded. Soon after the engagement the War of 1812 ended, thus ending the frigate duels of the Atlantic.


Were there crewmen from other USN ships on USS Missouri when the Japanese surrendered? - History

Posted on 12/07/2005 12:50:27 AM PST by bd476

DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Pearl Harbor Raid, 7 December 1941
Overview and Special Image Selection

The 7 December 1941 Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor was one of the great defining moments in history. A single carefully-planned and well-executed stroke removed the United States Navy's battleship force as a possible threat to the Japanese Empire's southward expansion. America, unprepared and now considerably weakened, was abruptly brought into the Second World War as a full combatant.

Eighteen months earlier, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had transferred the United States Fleet to Pearl Harbor as a presumed deterrent to Japanese agression. The Japanese military, deeply engaged in the seemingly endless war it had started against China in mid-1937, badly needed oil and other raw materials. Commercial access to these was gradually curtailed as the conquests continued. In July 1941 the Western powers effectively halted trade with Japan. From then on, as the desperate Japanese schemed to seize the oil and mineral-rich East Indies and Southeast Asia, a Pacific war was virtually inevitable.

By late November 1941, with peace negotiations clearly approaching an end, informed U.S. officials (and they were well-informed, they believed, through an ability to read Japan's diplomatic codes) fully expected a Japanese attack into the Indies, Malaya and probably the Philippines. Completely unanticipated was the prospect that Japan would attack east, as well.

The U.S. Fleet's Pearl Harbor base was reachable by an aircraft carrier force, and the Japanese Navy secretly sent one across the Pacific with greater aerial striking power than had ever been seen on the World's oceans. Its planes hit just before 8AM on 7 December. Within a short time five of eight battleships at Pearl Harbor were sunk or sinking, with the rest damaged. Several other ships and most Hawaii-based combat planes were also knocked out and over 2400 Americans were dead. Soon after, Japanese planes eliminated much of the American air force in the Philippines, and a Japanese Army was ashore in Malaya.

These great Japanese successes, achieved without prior diplomatic formalities, shocked and enraged the previously divided American people into a level of purposeful unity hardly seen before or since. For the next five months, until the Battle of the Coral Sea in early May, Japan's far-reaching offensives proceeded untroubled by fruitful opposition. American and Allied morale suffered accordingly. Under normal political circumstances, an accomodation might have been considered.

However, the memory of the "sneak attack" on Pearl Harbor fueled a determination to fight on. Once the Battle of Midway in early June 1942 had eliminated much of Japan's striking power, that same memory stoked a relentless war to reverse her conquests and remove her, and her German and Italian allies, as future threats to World peace.



Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

A Japanese Navy Type 97 Carrier Attack Plane ("Kate") takes off from a carrier as the second wave attack is launched. Ship's crewmen are cheering "Banzai"

This ship is either Zuikaku or Shokaku.

Note light tripod mast at the rear of the carrier's island, with Japanese naval ensign.



Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph


Torpedo planes attack "Battleship Row" at about 0800 on 7 December, seen from a Japanese aircraft.

Ships are, from lower left to right: Nevada (BB-36) with flag raised at stern Arizona (BB-39) with Vestal (AR-4) outboard Tennessee (BB-43) with West Virginia (BB-48) outboard Maryland (BB-46) with Oklahoma (BB-37) outboard Neosho (AO-23) and California (BB-44).

West Virginia, Oklahoma and California have been torpedoed, as marked by ripples and spreading oil, and the first two are listing to port.

Torpedo drop splashes and running tracks are visible at left and center.

White smoke in the distance is from Hickam Field. Grey smoke in the center middle distance is from the torpedoed USS Helena (CL-50), at the Navy Yard's 1010 dock.

Japanese writing in lower right states that the image was reproduced by authorization of the Navy Ministry.

The Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941

The road to war between Japan and the United States began in the 1930s when differences over China drove the two nations apart. In 1931 Japan conquered Manchuria, which until then had been part of China. In 1937 Japan began a long and ultimately unsuccessful campaign to conquer the rest of China. In 1940, the Japanese government allied their country with Nazi Germany in the Axis Alliance, and, in the following year, occupied all of Indochina.

The United States, which had important political and economic interests in East Asia, was alarmed by these Japanese moves. The U.S. increased military and financial aid to China, embarked on a program of strengthening its military power in the Pacific, and cut off the shipment of oil and other raw materials to Japan.

Because Japan was poor in natural resources, its government viewed these steps, especially the embargo on oil as a threat to the nation's survival. Japan's leaders responded by resolving to seize the resource-rich territories of Southeast Asia, even though that move would certainly result in war with the United States.

The problem with the plan was the danger posed by the U.S. Pacific Fleet based at Pearl Harbor. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, commander of the Japanese fleet, devised a plan to immobilize the U.S. fleet at the outset of the war with a surprise attack.

The key elements in Yamamoto's plans were meticulous preparation, the achievement of surprise, and the use of aircraft carriers and naval aviation on an unprecedented scale.

In the spring of 1941, Japanese carrier pilots began training in the special tactics called for by the Pearl Harbor attack plan.

In October 1941 the naval general staff gave final approval to Yamamoto's plan, which called for the formation of an attack force commanded by Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo. It centered around six heavy aircraft carriers accompanied by 24 supporting vessels. A separate group of submarines was to sink any American warships which escaped the Japanese carrier force.

Nagumo's fleet assembled in the remote anchorage of Tankan Bay in the Kurile Islands and departed in strictest secrecy for Hawaii on 26 November 1941. The ships' route crossed the North Pacific and avoided normal shipping lanes.

At dawn 7 December 1941, the Japanese task force had approached undetected to a point slightly more than 200 miles north of Oahu.

At this time the U.S. carriers were not at Pearl Harbor. On 28 November, Admiral Kimmel sent USS Enterprise under Rear Admiral Willliam Halsey to deliver Marine Corps fighter planes to Wake Island. On 4 December Enterprise delivered the aircraft and on December 7 the task force was on its way back to Pearl Harbor. On 5 December, Admiral Kimmel sent the USS Lexington with a task force under Rear Admiral Newton to deliver 25 scout bombers to Midway Island. The last Pacific carrier, USS Saratoga, had left Pearl Harbor for upkeep and repairs on the West Coast.

At 6:00 a.m. on 7 December, the six Japanese carriers launched a first wave of 181 planes composed of torpedo bombers, dive bombers, horizontal bombers and fighters. Even as they winged south, some elements of U.S. forces on Oahu realized there was something different about this Sunday morning.

In the hours before dawn, U.S. Navy vessels spotted an unidentified submarine periscope near the entrance to Pearl Harbor. It was attacked and reported sunk by the destroyer USS Ward (DD-139) and a patrol plane.

At 7:00 a.m., an alert operator of an Army radar station at Opana spotted the approaching first wave of the attack force. The officers to whom those reports were relayed did not consider them significant enough to take action.

The report of the submarine sinking was handled routinely, and the radar sighting was passed off as an approaching group of American planes due to arrive that morning.

The Japanese aircrews achieved complete surprise when they hit American ships and military installations on Oahu shortly before 8:00 a.m. They attacked military airfields at the same time they hit the fleet anchored in Pearl Harbor.

The Navy air bases at Ford Island and Kaneohe Bay, the Marine airfield at Ewa and the Army Air Corps fields at Bellows, Wheeler and Hickam were all bombed and strafed as other elements of the attacking force began their assaults on the ships moored in Pearl Harbor.

The purpose of the simultaneous attacks was to destroy the American planes before they could rise to intercept the Japanese.

Of the more than 90 ships at anchor in Pearl Harbor, the primary targets were the eight battleships anchored there. seven (Sic)were moored on Battleship Row along the southeast shore of Ford Island while the USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) lay in drydock across the channel. Within the first minutes of the attack all the battleships adjacent to Ford Island had taken bomb and or torpedo hits.

The USS West Virginia (BB-48) sank quickly. The USS Oklahoma (BB-37) turned turtle and sank. At about 8:10 a.m., the USS Arizona (BB-39) was mortally wounded by an armorpiercing bomb which ignited the ship's forward ammunition magazine.

The resulting explosion and fire killed 1,177 crewmen, the greatest loss of life on any ship that day and about half the total number of Americans killed. The USS California (BB-44), USS Maryland (BB-46), USS Tennessee (BB-43) and USS Nevada (BB-36) also suffered varying degrees of damage in the first half hour of the raid.

There was a short lull in the fury of the attack at about 8:30 a.m. At that time the USS Nevada (BB-36), despite her wounds, managed to get underway and move down the channel toward the open sea. Before she could clear the harbor, a second wave of 170 Japanese planes, launched 30 minutes after the first, appeared over the harbor. They concentrated their attacks on the moving battleship, hoping to sink her in the channel and block the narrow entrance to Pearl Harbor.

On orders from the harbor control tower, the USS Nevada (BB-36) beached herself at Hospital Point and the channel remained clear.

When the attack ended shortly before 10:00 a.m., less than two hours after it began, the American forces has paid a fearful price. Twenty-one ships of the U.S. Pacific Fleet were sunk or damaged: the battleships USS Arizona (BB-39), USS California (BB-44), USS Maryland (BB-46), USS Nevada (BB-36), USS Oklahoma (BB-37), USS Pennsylvania (BB-38), USS Tennessee (BB-43) and USS West Virginia (BB-48) cruisers USS Helena (CL-50), USS Honolulu (CL-48) and USS Raleigh (CL-7) the destroyers USS Cassin (DD-372), USS Downes (DD-375), USS Helm (DD-388) and USS Shaw (DD-373) seaplane tender USS Curtiss (AV-4) target ship (ex-battleship) USS Utah (AG-16) repair ship USS Vestal (AR-4) minelayer USS Oglala (CM-4) tug USS Sotoyomo (YT-9) and Floating Drydock Number 2.

Aircraft losses were 188 destroyed and 159 damaged, the majority hit before the had a chance to take off. American dead numbered 2,403. That figure included 68 civilians, most of them killed by improperly fused anti-aircraft shells landing in Honolulu. There were 1,178 military and civilian wounded.

Japanese losses were comparatively light. Twenty-nine planes, less than 10 percent of the attacking force, failed to return to their carriers.

The Japanese success was overwhelming, but it was not complete. They failed to damage any American aircraft carriers, which by a stroke of luck, had been absent from the harbor. They neglected to damage the shoreside facilities at the Pearl Harbor Naval Base, which played an important role in the Allied victory in World War II.

American technological skill raised and repaired all but three of the ships sunk or damaged at Pearl Harbor (the USS Arizona (BB-39) considered too badly damaged to be salvaged, the USS Oklahoma (BB-37) raised and considered too old to be worth repairing, and the obsolete USS Utah (AG-16) considered not worth the effort).

Most importantly, the shock and anger caused by the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor united a divided nation and was translated into a wholehearted commitment to victory in World War II.

Source: Department of Defense. 50th Anniversary of World War II Commemorative Committee. Pearl Harbor: 50th Anniversary Commemorative Chronicle, "A Grateful Nation Remembers" 1941-1991. Washington: The Committee, 1991.

The press, however, questioned American propaganda claims about so-called destruction of the "Japanese air craft carriers" at Midway, leading eventually to American surrender after the overwhelming casualties taken at the botched effort to take Tarawa.

It's obvious you're trying to add on some kind of a dissenting "yes, but. " response to this thread, which is actually about remembering Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941.

It's unclear why you would want to try to steer the thread in that direction.

Another day America will never forget.

Only at our own peril will we forget this day.

What they truly neglected to damage was the oil tank farms. Had they achieved that, they would have brought the US Pacific Fleet to a standstill. After the war, when asked why they did not take out the tank farms during the first 2 raids, a former Japanese pilot replied that oil tanks were not selected targets for the first 2 attacks. I believe these were selected targets of a 3rd attack which was cancelled by the Japanese.
Never awaken a sleeping giant powered by dinosaurs (fossil fuel).

From this day to the ending of the world.

But we in it shall be remembered .

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers

For he that today sheds his blood for me

May they rest in peace and in God's good grace.

I read it less as a "yes, but" and more as a "yes, and". as in "yes. and look at how different things are today". It's unclear why you would want to try to steer the thread in that direction.

I think (s)he's pointing out that Japan/Germany found few "useful idiots" here in the states to fight their battles for them. but that there is no shortage today.

I don't think it was dissention, I think it was an attempt to frame this historical moment in the terms and mentality of today's press. Would Howard Dean have come out and said that victory over the Japanese is "just plain wrong" and unachievable? I don't see it as steering, just adding another dimension to the discussion and serving as another reminder of what they were fighting and dying for then, as well as today. Hopefully we can rediscover that 'can-do' attitude that made the Greatest Generation so great. God Bless those who died 64yrs ago, as well as those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the WOT. May they never be forgotten.


Reports by Survivors of Pearl Harbor Attack

Source: Wallin, Homer N. Pearl Harbor: Why, How, Fleet Salvage and Final Appraisal. (Washington DC: Government Printing Office, 1968): 297-327.

Note: Some of these accounts are copies of enclosures attached to the action reports of individual ships.

USS Arizona

Lieutenant Commander S. G. Fuqua wrote as follows:

I was in the ward room eating breakfast about 0755 when a short signal on the ship's air raid alarm was made. I immediately went to the phone and called the Officer-of-the-Deck to sound general quarters and then shortly thereafter ran up to the starboard side of the quarter deck to see if he had received word.

On coming out of the ward room hatch on the port side, I saw a Japanese plane go by, the machine guns firing, at an altitude of about 100 feet.

As I was running forward on the starboard side of the quarter deck, approximately by the starboard gangway, I was apparently knocked out by the blast of a bomb which I learned later had struck the face plate of #4 turret on the starboard side and had glanced off and gone through the deck just forward of the captain's hatch, penetrating the decks and exploding on the third deck.

When I came to and got up off the deck, the ship was a mass of flames amidships on the boat deck and the deck aft was awash to about frame 90. The anti-aircraft battery and machine guns apparently were still firing at this time. Some of the Arizona boats had pulled clear of the oil and were lying off the stern.

At this time I attempted, with the assistance of the crews of #2 and #4 turrets to put out the fire which was coming from the boat deck and which had extended to the quarter deck. There was no water on the fire mains. However, about 14 C02s were obtained that were stowed on the port side and held the flames back from the quarter deck enabling us to pick up wounded who were running down the boat deck out of the flames.

I placed about 70 wounded and injured in the boats which had been picked up off the deck aft and landed them at the Ford Island landing. This was completed about 0900 or 0930. Not knowing whether the Captain or the Admiral had ever reached the bridge, I had the Captain's hatch opened up, immediately after I came to, and sent officers Ensign G. B. Lennig, USNR. and Ensign J. D. Miller, USN down to search the Captain's and Admirals cabins to see if they were there.

By this time the Captain's cabin and Admiral's cabin were about waist deep in water. A search of the two cabins revealed that the Admiral and Captain were not there. Knowing that they were on board I assume that they had proceeded to the bridge. All personnel but 3 or 4 men, turrets #3 and #4, were saved.

About 0900, seeing that all guns of the anti-aircraft and secondary battery were out of action and that the ship could not possibly be saved, I ordered all hands to abandon ship.

From information received from other personnel on board, a bomb had struck the forecastle, just about the time the air raid siren sounded at 0755. A short interval thereafter there was a terrific explosion on the forecastle, apparently from the bomb penetrating the magazine.

Approximately 30 seconds later a bomb hit the boat deck, apparently just forward of the stack, one went down the stack, and one hit the face plate of #4 turret indirectly. The commanding officer of the USS. Vestal stated that 2 torpedoes passed under his vessel which was secured alongside the Arizona, and struck the Arizona.

The first attack occurred about 0755. I saw approximately 15 torpedo planes which had come in to the attack from the direction of the Navy Yard. These planes also strafed the ship after releasing their torpedoes.

Shortly thereafter there was a dive bomber and strafing attack of about 30 planes. This attack was very determined, planes diving within 500 feet before releasing bombs, about 0900. There were about twelve planes in flight that I saw.

The personnel of the anti-aircraft and machine gun batteries on the Arizona lived up to the best traditions of the Navy. I could hear guns firing on the ship long after the boat deck was a mass of flames. I can not single out one individual who stood out in acts of heroism above the others as all of the personnel under my supervision conducted themselves with the greatest heroism and bravery.


"Remember Dec. 7th!" Poster by Allen Saalburg, published by the Office of War Information, 1942. The quotation is from the conclusion of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

Radioman's Mate Third Class, G. H. Lane wrote as follows:

When the attack started on December 7, 1941, it was just before 0800 and I was on the forecastle of the USS. Arizona. I saw torpedo planes, with the rising sun insignia under their wings, attacking ships ahead of us. General alarm was then sounded and we were all told to seek cover.

I went aft to the aviation workshop and helped wake men who were still sleeping there and closed battle ports in the optical shop. The order came for all hands not assigned to anti-aircraft batteries to go to the third deck. I started for the third deck but just then General Quarters was sounded. I came back and started for my General Quarters station which is a repair station (patrol five).

We were hit aft and also in one or two other places on the ship. Word came, "Fire in the Executive Officer's Office." Hurst, Bruns, Wentzlaff, and I manned a fire hose and went on the quarterdeck to connect it and fight the fire aft on the quarterdeck where the bomb had lilt us.

Lieutenant Commander Fuqua was at his post on the quarterdeck where the bomb had hit us, I was on the nozzle end of the hose and told Hurst and Bruns to turn on the water. They did, but no water came.

I turned around to see if the hose had any kinks in it and at that time there was an explosion which knocked me off the ship. I was taken aboard the Nevada where I was brought to my senses in a casemate (no. 3). I had been in the water because I was soaked with oil.

The Nevada was underway and I helped handle powder for the 5 inch gun. When the Nevada was hit in the dry dock channel, the gun was put out and the ship was afire. I helped get wounded aft and fought fire until I was choked by smoke and fumes. They sent me from the Nevada to the Solace where I was put to bed and cuts and bruises treated.

I couldn't see either until my eyes were washed out and treated. I was released from the Solace December 10, and was sent to Receiving Barracks where Mr. Fuqua told me to rejoin the aviation unit at Ford Island. I saw no signs of fear on the ship. Everyone was surprised and pretty mad.

Corporal B. C. Nightingale of the U.S. Marine Corps wrote as follows:

At approximately eight o'clock on the morning of December 7, 1941, I was leaving the breakfast table when the ship's siren for air defense sounded.

Having no anti-aircraft battle station, I paid little attention to it. Suddenly I heard an explosion. I ran to the port door leading to the quarter deck and saw a bomb strike a barge of some sort alongside the Nevada, or in that vicinity.

The marine color guard came in at this point saying we were being attacked. I could distinctly hear machine gun fire. I believe at this point our anti-aircraft battery opened up. We stood around awaiting orders of some kind. General Quarters sounded and I started for my battle station in secondary aft.

As I passed through casement nine I noted the gun was manned and being trained out. The men seemed extremely calm and collected. I reached the boat deck and our anti-aircraft guns were in full action, firing very rapidly.

I was about three quarters of the way to the first platform on the mast when it seemed as though a bomb struck our quarterdeck. I could hear shrapnel or fragments whistling past me.

As soon as I reached the first platform, I saw Second Lieutenant Simonsen lying on his back with blood on his shirt front. I bent over him and taking him by the shoulders asked if there was anything I could do. He was dead, or so nearly so that speech was impossible. Seeing there was nothing I could do for the Lieutenant, I continued to my battle station.

When I arrived in secondary aft I reported to Major Shapley that Mr. Simonson had been hit and there was nothing to be done for him. There was a lot of talking going on and I shouted for silence which came immediately.

I had only been there a short time when a terrible explosion caused the ship to shake violently. I looked at the boat deck and everything seemed aflame forward of the mainmast. I reported to the Major that the ship was aflame, which was rather needless, and after looking about, the Major ordered us to leave.

I was the last man to leave secondary aft because I looked around and there was no one left. I followed the Major down the port side of the tripod mast. The railings, as we ascended, were very hot and as we reached the boat deck I noted that it was torn up and burned.

The bodies of the dead were thick, and badly burned men were heading for the quarterdeck, only to fall apparently dead or badly wounded.

The Major and I went between No. 3 and No. 4 turret to the starboard side and found Lieutenant Commander Fuqua ordering the men over the side and assisting the wounded. He seemed exceptionally calm and the Major stopped and they talked for a moment. Charred bodies were everywhere.

I made my way to the quay and started to remove my shoes when I suddenly found myself in the water. I think the concussion of a bomb threw me in. I started swimming for the pipe line which was about one hundred and fifty feet away.

I was about half way when my strength gave out entirely. My clothes and shocked condition sapped my strength, and I was about to go under when Major Shapley started to swim by, and seeing my distress, grasped my shirt and told me to hang to his shoulders while be swam in.

We were perhaps twenty-five feet from the pipe line when the Major's strength gave out and I saw he was floundering, so I loosened my grip on him and told him to make it alone.

He stopped and grabbed me by the shirt and refused to let go. I would have drowned but for the Major. We finally reached the beach where a marine directed us to a bomb shelter, where I was given dry clothes and a place to rest.


Sailor's cap from the U.S.S. Arizona

Aviation Machinists Mate, First Class D. A. Graham wrote as follows:

On hearing the explosions and gun reports, Wentzlaff, E., A.O.M.2/c, came in saying we were being attacked and bombed by Jap planes. The air raid siren sounded, followed by the General Quarters alarm. I stepped outside the shop and started to my general quarters station on the quarterdeck, shouting "Let's go."

It seemed as though the magazines forward blew up while we were hooking up the fire hose, as the noise was followed by an awful "swish' and hot air blew out of the compartments, There had been bomb hits at the first start and yellowish smoke was pouring out of the hatches from below deck. There were lots of men coming out on the quarterdeck with every stitch of clothing and shoes blown off, painfully burned and shocked.

Mr. Fuqua was the senior officer on deck and set an example for the men by being unperturbed, calm, cool, and collected, exemplifying the courage and traditions of an officer under fire. It seemed like the men painfully burned, shocked, and dazed, became inspired and took things in stride, seeing Mr. Fuqua, so unconcerned about the bombing and strafing, standing on the quarterdeck.

There was no "going to pieces" or "growing panicky" noticeable, and he directed the moving of the wounded and burned men who were on the quarterdeck to the motor launches and boats. He gave orders to get the life rafts on #3 barbette down, supervised the loading of the wounded and burned casualties, assisted by Ensign J. D. Miller who set a very good example for a younger officer by being cool, calm, and collected.

The signal gang, quartermasters, and all hands on the bridge went up-- as the signal men were trying to put out a fire in the signal rack and grabbing signal flags out to hoist a signal, the whole bridge went up, flames enveloping and obscuring them from view as the flames shot upward twice as high as the tops.

A bomb hit on the starboard side of the after 5 inch guns and anti-aircraft gun, and got most of the marine crew and anti-aircraft crews. It seemed as though one bomb hit the port after the anti-aircraft crew and came down through the casemate and Executive Officer's office.

After the big explosion and "swish," the men painfully burned and wounded, dazed beyond comprehension, came out on the quarterdeck. I had to stop some of them from entering the flames later on and directed them over to the starboard side of the deck to the gangway for embarking, encouraging them to be calm.

The Vestal, tied up alongside the port side, did not seem to get hit hard and started to get underway, so I stood by to cast off lines on the quarterdeck portside and cast off their bow lines as the Lieutenant Commander on her wanted to save the line to tie up to one of the buoys. Assisted by a seaman from #4 turret, we rendered the bow line around and cast her off.

Then getting the small life raft on #3 turret barbette port side off and over the port stern, the water and oil being on deck, and the ship settling fast, we got orders to embark in the motor boat at the starboard stern quarter, Lieutenant Commander Fuqua and a few others still being aboard.

We landed at BOQ landing, Ford Island. Smith, B.M.2c, USN, boat coxswain, made many trips for wounded and burned men being delivered by Lieutenant Commander Fuqua, still on board.

Courage and performance of all hands was of the highest order imaginable, especially being handicapped by adverse conditions and shipmates being blown up alongside them.

There was no disorder nor tendency to run around in confusion. The coolness and calm manner of Lieutenant Commander Fuqua and Ensign J. D. Miller instilled confidence in the surviving crew.

Arizona was the most heavily damaged of all the vessels in Battleship Row, suffering three near-misses and two direct-hits from 800-kg bombs dropped by high-altitude Kates.

The last bomb to strike her penetrated her deck starboard of turret two and detonated within a 14-inch powder magazine. The resulting massive explosion broke the ship in two forward of turret one, collapsed her forecastle decks, and created such a cavity that her forward turrets and conning tower fell thirty feet into her hull.

She was a total loss. Never seriously considered a candidate for salvage, her top-hamper was removed in 1942 and she remains where she sank to this day, a tomb for 1,102 men who died with her.

George Bush is fishing with his kids. He gets out of the boat and walks across the water to shore.


Going Ashore: Naval Operations in Casco Bay During World War II (Part IV)

(This is the fourth and final installment in a series of blog posts covering the various operations conducted in Maine during WWII. Click to read Parts I, II, and III of George Stewart’s blog series about Casco Bay during WWII. To read all other post by George, go HERE.)

This post is a continuation of the description of historical naval events that occurred in Casco Bay, Maine, during World War II. It includes a discussion of the postwar events that occurred in the bay between 1946 and 1947, plus photos of some of the historic ships that visited the bay during the war years.

The map of the area showing the basic geography and the major coastal defense facilities that appeared in Part I is repeated here for clarity. In general, the major afloat facilities including mooring, buoys, and anchorages were located on Long and Chebeague Islands with access to the open ocean by way of the gate in the anti-submarine net located in Hussey Sound, between Peaks and Long Island. Access to naval support activities in Portland was all by watercraft with trips up to approximately three to six miles. Downtown Portland also served as a “liberty port” for sailors whose ships were moored or anchored in the bay.

There are few records that cover the immediate postwar period in the bay. When the war ended, a rapid de-mobilization took place. Many ships that served during the war were decommissioned, although a significant number of these would return to service for the Korean War in 1951. Additionally, many of the ships that served in the Atlantic were transferred to the Pacific in 1945. By December 27, 1945, DESLANT consisted almost entirely of new Sumner and Gearing class destroyers, many of which were commissioned too late for significant wartime service. By this time, most shakedown and refresher training for East Coast-built ships was being conducted at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where it would remain up into the 1990s.

The U.S. Navy considered making further use of the bay after the war. The bay had a number of disadvantages due to its remote location, the lack of suitable docking facilities, weather, and other concerns. There were naval shore side facilities in Portland, but waterfront facilities for mooring ships were very limited due to lack of space. During the war, ships were required to anchor or moor out in the bay. This made it necessary to provide transportation to and from Portland by ferryboats, often under rather unpleasant circumstances (as shown in the following illustration below):

Although Narragansett Bay had some of the same disadvantages, they essentially went away after the destroyer piers in Coddington Cove at Newport were completed. In retrospect, the disestablishment of the facilities in Casco Bay was probably the proper move.

In 1946, the Navy directed the Long Island Fuel Annex to be utilized for emergency refueling only. In 1962, it was placed in a caretaker status. Finally, in 1967, it was declared surplus and sold.

A total of 770 ships are on record as visiting Casco Bay between January 1941 and 1 January 1947. Destroyers and destroyer escorts comprised 480 of these ships. An additional 140 ships could have visited the bay during the aforementioned period, although it is not specifically stated in their histories. A total of 46 ships on the list were later wartime losses. Some historically significant ships that visited the bay during the war years are discussed in the following paragraphs.

BATTLESHIPS – A total of 15 battleships appear on the database. Five are still in existence as museum ships.

  • USS Texas (BB 35) – Museum ship in San Jacinto, Texas.
  • USS North Carolina (BB 55) – Museum ship in Wilmington, North Carolina.
  • USS Massachusetts (BB 59) – Museum ship in Fall River, Massachusetts.
  • USS Iowa (BB61) – Museum ship in San Pedro, California.
  • USS New Jersey (BB 62) – Museum ship at Camden, New Jersey.

USS Iowa (BB 61) visited Casco Bay for operational training in 1943. During that period, the ship ran aground when passing through Hussey Sound between Peaks and Long Island. Later that year, she carried President Roosevelt to and from a conference in Teheran. In 1944, the ship was transferred to the Pacific. Iowa saw active service in the Atlantic from 1984-1990. During that period, she suffered a major explosion in Turret #2 with the loss of forty-nine lives. Iowa is now serving as a museum ship in San Pedro, California.

CARRIERS – Since the bulk of the action involving carriers occurred in the Pacific during the war, only three carriers are on record as having visited Casco Bay. An additional five escort carriers (CVE) appear in the database.

  • USS Ranger (CV 4) – First ship designed from keel up as a carrier.
  • USS Yorktown (CV 5) – Sunk in Pacific in 1942.
  • USS Wasp (CV 7) – Sunk in Pacific in 1942.

USS Ranger (CV 4) was the first ship designed from the keel up as a carrier. She entered service in 1934. It visited Casco Bay in 1941 as part of the Neutrality Patrol. Ranger returned in 1943 prior to supporting the invasion of North Africa. For much of the war, this was the only large carrier assigned to the Atlantic Fleet. Ranger was transferred to the Pacific in 1944.

CRUISERS – A total of twenty-two cruisers appear in the database.

  • USS Augusta (CL 31) – Carried FDR to meeting with Churchill at Placentia Bay for signing of Atlantic Charter in 1941.
  • USS Juneau (CL 52) – Sunk in the Pacific in 1942.

USS Juneau (CL 52) performed training exercises in Casco Bay shortly after entering service in 1942 after which it was transferred to the Pacific shortly thereafter. A torpedo off Guadalcanal sank her on 13 November 1942. This was the famed ship that the five Sullivan brothers served aboard. All were lost at sea. This incident resulted in modifications to the military “Sole Survivor” policy to prevent a reoccurrence.

DESTROYERS – A total of 263 destroyers are listed in the database. Of these, forty-seven 47 were “Four Pipers” (also referred to as “Flush Deckers”) of the Wickes and Clemson classes. These ships were carryovers from the World War I era having entered service right after the end of the war. The largest single group was the destroyers built between 1934 and 1942, with 116 ships encompassing ten different classes on the list. These ships can be recognized by their raised forecastles and in the pre-war classes, portholes in the sides. The list also includes sixty Fletcher Class ships built between 1942 and 1943 and thirty-nine Sumner and Gearing Class ships built between 1944 and 1945. These ships reverted to the “Flush Deck” configuration. Some historic ships on the list include:

  • USS Greer (DD 145) – Involved in first incident with U-Boat in 1941.
  • USS Reuben James (DD 245) – First US ship loss during war in 1941.
  • USS Hobson (DD 464) – Sunk in collision with USS Wasp in 1952.
  • USS Kearney (DD 432) – Torpedoed while on Neutrality Patrol in 1941.
  • USS Niblack (DD 424) – First action with a U-Boat in 1941.
  • USS Thompson (DD 627) – Served as the setting for The Caine Mutiny.
  • USS Charles Ausburne (DD 570) – Flagship of famous “ Little Beaver Squadron” under Capt Arleigh Burke.
  • USS Spence (DD 512) – Sunk in a typhoon in Pacific in 1943.
  • USS Gyatt (DD 712) – Converted into world’s first guided missile ship in 1956.

USS Reuben James (DD 245) was a Clemson Class destroyer built in 1920. The ship served on Neutrality Patrol where she was sunk by a torpedo off Argentia on 23 October 1941 before the US entered the war. The last stop before she sank was Casco Bay. Rueben James was the first US ship loss of World War II.

USS Kearney (DD 432) was a Gleaves Class destroyer that entered service in 1940. Kearney was torpedoed while on neutrality patrol prior to outbreak of war in October 1941. She returned to duty and served as convoy escort and patrols in support of invasions of Italy and Southern France. She was sent to the Pacific in 1945.

USS Charles Ausburne (DD 570)

USS Charles Ausburne (DD 570) was a Fletcher Class Destroyer built in Orange, Texas. She entered service in 1943 and underwent shakedown training in Casco Bay. Shortly thereafter, she was transferred to the Pacific and served as the flagship of the famous “Little Beaver” Squadron under future Chief of Naval Operations Arliegh Burke.

DESTROYER ESCORTS – Next to the destroyers, the destroyer escorts formed the second largest groups of ships to visit Casco Bay during the war. There are 223 ships on the list that visited the bay between 1944 and 1945. Those ships represented five different ship classes. USS Tills (DE 748) was mentioned in the first part of the blog series. It appears that virtually every East Coast built DE visited the bay for shakedown or ASW training at one time or another. The majority of these ships served in the Atlantic on convoy escort, ASW patrols, and as members of hunter-killer groups. A number of them were assigned to naval reserve training duties after the war. Some historically prominent ships that appear on the list include:

  • USS Farquhar (DE 139) – Last ship to sink a U-Boat in 1945.
  • USS Stewart (DE 238) – Museum ship in San Jacinto, Texas.
  • USS Vance (DE 387) – Involved in book, The Arnheiter Affair.
  • USS Mason (DE 529) – First naval vessel with predominantly black crew.
  • USS Edward H. Allen (DE 531) – Rescued survivors from liner Andrea Doria sinking in 1956.

USS Stewart (DE 238) was built in Houston, Texas. The ship entered service in 1943. During the war, Stewart performed duties as a convoy escort and on ASW patrols in the Atlantic. It was transferred to the Pacific in 1945. The ship now serves as a museum ship in Galveston, Texas. In 2007, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. She is mentioned in a separate blog on this website. Stewart is one of only two World War II-built destroyer escorts still in existence.

REPAIR/COMMAND SHIPS

  • USS Denebola (AD 12) – DESLANT flagship from 1941-1944.
  • USS Yosemite (AD 19) – DESLANT flagship from 1946-1969. Served until 1994.
  • USS Vulcan (AR 5) – First USN ship with female crewmembers in 1978.
  • USS Alcor (AG 34) – DESLANT flagship in 1944-1945.
  • USS Biscayne (AGC 18) – DESLANT flagship in early 1946.

USS Yosemite (AD 19) was a Dixie Class destroyer tender built in Tampa, Florida. The ship entered service in 1944. Yosemite was initially assigned to wartime duties in the Pacific. However, it was transferred to Casco Bay in 1946 where it assumed duties as the COMDESLANT Flagship during the period where the base was closing down. In 1947, the ship was transferred to Newport, Rhode Island where she continued to serve as the DESLANT flagship until 1969. Yosemite was to remain in active service as a destroyer tender on the East Coast and in the Mediterranean until decommissioned in 1994 after fifty years of continuous service.

MINESWEEPERS – There are thirty-six minesweepers in the database. Most were in Casco Bay for shakedown and ASW training. Unlike their post war counterparts that were (and are) of wooden hull construction, World War II minesweepers had steel hulls.

SUBMARINES – Thirty-three submarines appear on the list. The majority were home ported in New London and provided to COMDESLANT for ASW training purposes. They were generally of obsolescent types built between 1918 and 1926. Two of them were captured Italian subs used for training purposes during the latter part of the war.

The S-25 was built in 1923 and transferred to Great Britain and later to Poland. Allied Escorts later mistakenly sank the submarine off Norway in 1942.

PATROL VESSELS – Seventeen of the thirty-eight patrol vessels that appear on the list were Tacoma Class Patrol Frigates (PF). These vessels entered service between 1944 and 1945, too late to have a significant impact on the war. Many wound up being sold to foreign navies. Others were converted yachts (PY) that were used as flagships. Some historically significant vessels on the list include:

  • USS Eagle (PE 56) – Sunk by U-853 off Cape Elizabeth in 1945.
  • USS Vixen (PG 53) – Converted yacht. Served as CINCLANTFLEET flagship in 1942-1944.
  • USS Zircon (PY 16) – Converted yacht. Served as CINCLANTFLEET flagship in 1944-1945.
  • USS Mizpah (PY 29) – Converted yacht. Served as DESLANT flagship in 1945.

The USS Eagle (PE 56) was a World War I-built patrol vessel. It was one of sixty “Eagle Boats” built under a plan initiated by Henry Ford in a shipyard on the River Rouge near Detroit, Michigan in 1918-1919. PE 56 was one of only seven of the vessels that saw service in World War II. She was torpedoed off Cape Elizabeth, right outside Portland Harbor by U-853. However, there is still some debate as to whether or not she was torpedoed or sunk by an internal explosion.

COAST GUARD – During World War II, the Coast Guard served as an integral part of the Navy. A total of fifty-one Coast Guard vessels appear on the list. A number of these vessels had very long service lives. Two remain on display as museum ships. Note that Coast Guard light ships were taken off station during the war and used for other purposes. The list includes seven Treasury Class cutters, several of which served into the 1980s. Some historic vessels include:

  • USCG Ingham (WPG 35) – Museum ship in Charleston, South Carolina.
  • USCG Taney (WHEC 37) – Museum ship in Baltimore, Maryland.
  • USCG Nantucket (LV 112) – Nantucket light ship – Served as an examination ship in Portland during the war.
  • USCG Portland (LV 90) – Portland light ship.

USCG Duane (WPG 33) was a Treasury Class Cutter that entered service in 1936. She remained on active service until 1985. The ship is shown above in its wartime and peacetime configurations. Duane was based in Portland from 1978-1985.

A large number of service craft were based in Casco Bay during the war in order to provide the necessary services to ships moored out in the bay.

The vessel shown above entered service as the Casco Bay Lines steamer SS Aucocisco in 1897. The ship’s functions were to carry passengers and freight to the various islands in the bay. In 1942, the U.S. Navy took it over and re-named her USS Green Island (YFB 32). During WWII, she served as a ferryboat based in Portland to and from naval vessels moored or anchored out in the bay. Along with its sister vessel the Penobscot Bay steamer North Haven (YAG 12), Green Island served as a large “liberty boats”. A trip down the bay covered distances up to six miles from Portland and included multiple stops, often under unpleasant weather conditions. The steamer was coal fired. After the war, Green Island was returned to Casco Bay Lines where it continued to serve under its original name of Aucocisco until 1952. I rode it to and from Peaks Island a number of times in the post war era.

The above photo shows the area in Casco Bay where the moorings and anchorages were located at it appears today. This photo was taken from the Northern end of Peaks Island in 2005.

REFERENCES: The following references were used in preparation for the presentations delivered at museums in the Portland area in 2006 and 2009.

  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships Online (DANFS)
  • NAVSOURCE Photo Archives
  • The Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in World War II
  • U.S. Naval Historical Center (Now the Naval History and Heritage Command)
  • U.S. Naval Institute
  • United States Coast Guard
  • Naval Vessel Register
  • Hyper War, U.S. Navy in World War II, Ships of the U.S. Navy, 1940-1945
  • Dreadnoughts to Greyhounds: Ships of the US Navy (Casco Bay)
  • U.S. Coast Guard Cutter List
  • Casco Bay Online, World War II, Joel W. Eastman
  • Eastern Sea Frontier War Diary

PUBLICATIONS

  • Jane’s Fighting Ships of World War II, Crescent Books, 1992 Reprint
  • Conway’s All the World’s Fighting Ships, 1947-1982, Part I, US Naval Institute
  • U.S. Destroyers, Revised Edition, Friedman, US Naval Institute Press,2004
  • United States Navy Destroyers of World War II, Blandford Press, 1983
  • Allied Escort Ships of World War II, Elliot, Naval Institute Press, 1977
  • History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, Samuel Elliot Morison, Castle Books, 2001 Reprint
  • The Two Ocean War, Samuel Elliot Morison,1963
  • Tin Cans: The True Story of the Fighting Destroyers of World War II, Theodore Roscoe, US Naval Institute, 1953
  • The Defeat of the German U-Boats, Syrette, University of South Carolina Press, 1994
  • The Naval War Against Hitler, Donald Mcintyre, 1971
  • The Casco Bay Islands, 1850-2000, Kimberly E. MacIsaac, Arcadia Publications, 2004

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15 Comments

I was wondering if you could help me track down some historical info around Casco Bay in the days immediately after V-E day in WWII. All my Google searches have come up empty. Here’s the story that was told to me when I was very young (I’m 60 y.o. now.)
My uncle was an enlisted man on board a Destroyer Escort (name unknown) stationed off Casco Bay. 2 days after V-E day, about 3 miles off Outer Green Island, they got a sonar contact and proceeded to put 2 depth charges into the water. After they went off, up came a German U-Boat which they captured.
My cousin tells a similar story with just a few of the details being different. But in all my Google searches I couldn’t come up with any U-Boat capture or surrender story which matched the details of this one. It’s like we have a mystery U-Boat story here and everybody loves a mystery.
Now if this was all I had to go on, we could write it off as some fanciful tall tale from long ago. But here’s the amazing detail which proves there is some truth to it. I’ve got evidence. This is how the story, as told to me, continued.:There were 3 Nazi flags on board that U-boat. They were the marine version, the one with the Iron Cross in the upper left hand corner. One flag (supposedly) went to an Admiral from Portland, a second to an Admiral from Boston and a third went somewhere else. To make a long story, short, one of those U-boat flags has passed into our family and we still have it. Not me, personally, I don’t have it and I haven’t seen it in years but I know it exists because when I was in 2nd grade, way back in the day, I was allowed to take it to school with me and it was my Show and Tell” exhibit that day. That’s not something you’d forget or mess up.
So here are the questions I have. 1) If the story is true, then why isn’t there any evidence or accounts of this remarkable story? 2) Maybe the flag came from one of the 4 U-boats that surrendered at Portsmouth, NH in the days following V-E day? Perhaps. But then why do we have this amazing story about the capture and how does one explain how my uncle, an enlisted man who was only 20 y.o. at the time, get possession of the flag? Obviously, it meant something to him beyond being a very cool souvenir so why was he motivated to acquire it if the story wasn’t true? (Again, there are more details of the whole story I have left out.)
Until I am persuaded otherwise, I’m going to go with this story as it was told to me by my uncle (unfortunately, he died a long time ago.) That means, we’ve got a mystery U-boat on our hands. But there has to be some kind of paperwork in the archives of the Navy because captured U-Boats don’t just disappear.
If you could help me solve this mystery, I’d be much appreciative.
Thanks,

I did a lot of research when I was putting together my presentation including books and web sites but I never came across this incident. An obvious place to start is uboat.net. It gives comprehensive lists of captured and surrendered U-Boats but does not give much detail. I expect that you may have already visited this site. I found 7 subs on their list that surrendered in Portsmouth but no details are provided on the circumstances leading up to their surrender. Subs on the list included U-2513, U-234, U-873, U-805, U-1228, U-1406, and U-505. I suspect that it was one of these but I have not been able to pin it down. I will keep looking.

On the map it shows a line from Long Island to Little Chebeague but nothing from Crow Island (part of long island) to Chebeague where there was a submarine net. Also, I heard that there was a sub net on either Sturdivant or Basket Island. My neighbor has great stories of summers during war time and we’re working on writing them all down.

I am looking for a sailor stationed in Portland Maine in 1944. His name is James Edward Staten. He was from the state of Texas and he was there in the middle of 1944. Any information would be appreciated.

As a life-long resident on Casco Bay’s eastern shore (Small Point, West Point and Sebasco) and on the waters therein for 50 years. For 10 years I worked one small trawler (“Dragger”) named “Jackie B.”, which according to rumor started out as a 45 footer, but was cut in half amidships about 1940, and 10 feet was added to her waist making her a fast (16+ knots) albeit very limber, 55′ LOA by 13′ w by 7-1/2 draft vessel with a Gray Marine 671 w/ a 2 to 1 reduction.
Being thus improved she was supposedly then used as a”sub-chaser” designed to harass but I suspect otherwise unable to attack these enemy intruders, instead to either drive them off or keep them busy until a true sub-killer could be called in to intervene.
Is there any such truth to these tales, and if so is there any record of vessels thus commandeered?
Would there be any photos of same.

When putting together my Casco Bay database of ship visits I found one record of a vessel that met the description. It was the converted fishing trawler Ave Maria which was assigned to the First Naval District. It performed anti submarine patrols between Boston and Portland between 1942 and 1944. The source for this information was the account of a crew member on the USS Boyd. I will look further into this and see if I can come up with any more information concerning this subject.
George Stewart

Interesting information. Thanks. Between 1940 and 1943 I lived on Greenwood Street on Peaks Island. I was 3 when we moved there in 1940. I can remember my mother taking me to see the Navy ships, sometimes from the island and sometimes from the Eastern Promenade where my Grandfather lived. Sometimes we would see many anchored in the bay and the next day most would be gone. We would also see them when taking the boat to Portland. We also spend a lot of time on the beach between Peaks Island and Cushing Island and seem to remember a submarine net between the islands that on occasion was opened by a small boat. Do you know if that was a net that was opened to let ships in and out or am I just imagining it? Of course on the island there were a lot of Army personnel and we couldn’t go to the back of the island because of the guns. For kids it was great fun to live there at that time. Later I served as a Sonarman on destroyers out of Newport. USS Power DD-839 most of the time with a short time on USS Daly DD-519.

Peter, I remember you. My parents were Malcolm and Dottie Kennedy. We lived at 15 Oak Ave., about 60-80 yards away from you on Greenwood. I was born in 1936, a year before you, and was in Sub-Primary (Kindergarten) when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. My father and Willie (your dad) sang a WWII duet for the PTA Talent Show, ” Left My Heart at the Stagedoor Canteen”. I have a picnic photo of you and me.

Hi Peter. You are not going to believe our connections. My grandparents, Harry & May Wallace lived on Greenwood Street in the big house on your right as you went up the hill. That is where my mother grew up and I spent my summers when I was a kid. I was born in 1935 and I remember the war years very clearly. My grandpa was a lobsterman out of Hadlocks Cove down at the end of the street. Once the net was in place he had to do all of his lobstering inside the net. Another problem was oil soaked beaches from ships being sunk offshore. I do not remember type of gate in the net. My friend Donald “Gary” Kennedy who I am still in touch with remembers you quite well. I have a copy of his auto biography in which there is a photo of you and your family having a picnic on the beach along with the Kennedys. My Uncle Harry, who drove Army boats during the war, was the next owner of your house on Greenwood Street. I grew up in Massachusetts and my parents retired to the island in 1959. I still have my connections to the island and we actually rented my grandparents’ house on Greenwood Street for a week last year. If you give me some contact information I can give you a lot more details.


Were there crewmen from other USN ships on USS Missouri when the Japanese surrendered? - History

Timeline of Events
1941-1945

1941

December 7, 1941 - Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, Hawaii also attack the Philippines, Wake Island, Guam, Malaya, Thailand, Shanghai and Midway.
December 8, 1941 - U.S. and Britain declare war on Japan. Japanese land near Singapore and enter Thailand.
December 9, 1941 - China declares war on Japan.
December 10, 1941 - Japanese invade the Philippines and also seize Guam.
December 11, 1941 - Japanese invade Burma.
December 15, 1941 - First Japanese merchant ship sunk by a U.S. submarine.
December 16, 1941 - Japanese invade British Borneo.
December 18, 1941 - Japanese invade Hong Kong.
December 22, 1941 - Japanese invade Luzon in the Philippines.
December 23, 1941 - General Douglas MacArthur begins a withdrawal from Manila to Bataan Japanese take Wake Island.
December 25, 1941 - British surrender at Hong Kong.
December 26, 1941 - Manila declared an open city.
December 27, 1941 - Japanese bomb Manila.

1942

Map of the Japanese Empire at its peak in 1942.

January 2, 1942 - Manila and U.S. Naval base at Cavite captured by the Japanese.
January 7, 1942 - Japanese attack Bataan in the Philippines.
January 11, 1942 - Japanese invade Dutch East Indies and Dutch Borneo.
January 16, 1942 - Japanese begin an advance into Burma.
January 18, 1942 - German-Japanese-Italian military agreement signed in Berlin.
January 19, 1942 - Japanese take North Borneo.
January 23, 1942 - Japanese take Rabaul on New Britain in the Solomon Islands and also invade Bougainville, the largest island.
January 27, 1942 - First Japanese warship sunk by a U.S. submarine.
January 30/31 - The British withdraw into Singapore. The siege of Singapore then begins.
February 1, 1942 - First U.S. aircraft carrier offensive of the war as YORKTOWN and ENTERPRISE conduct air raids on Japanese bases in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands.
February 2, 1942 - Japanese invade Java in the Dutch East Indies.
February 8/9 - Japanese invade Singapore.
February 14, 1942 - Japanese invade Sumatra in the Dutch East Indies.
February 15, 1942 - British surrender at Singapore.
February 19, 1942 - Largest Japanese air raid since Pearl Harbor occurs against Darwin, Australia Japanese invade Bali.
February 20, 1942 - First U.S. fighter ace of the war, Lt. Edward O'Hare from the LEXINGTON in action off Rabaul.
February 22, 1942 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders General MacArthur out of the Philippines.
February 23, 1942 - First Japanese attack on the U.S. mainland as a submarine shells an oil refinery near Santa Barbara, California.
February 24, 1942 - ENTERPRISE attacks Japanese on Wake Island.
February 26, 1942 - First U.S. carrier, the LANGLEY, is sunk by Japanese bombers.
February 27- March 1 - Japanese naval victory in the Battle of the Java Sea as the largest U.S. warship in the Far East, the HOUSTON, is sunk.
March 4, 1942 - Two Japanese flying boats bomb Pearl Harbor ENTERPRISE attacks Marcus Island, just 1000 miles from Japan.
March 7, 1942 - British evacuate Rangoon in Burma Japanese invade Salamaua and Lae on New Guinea.
March 8, 1942 - The Dutch on Java surrender to Japanese.
March 11, 1942 - Gen. MacArthur leaves Corregidor and is flown to Australia. Gen. Jonathan Wainwright becomes the new U.S. commander.
March 18, 1942 - Gen. MacArthur appointed commander of the Southwest Pacific Theater by President Roosevelt.
March 18, 1942 - War Relocation Authority established in the U.S. which eventually will round up 120,000 Japanese-Americans and transport them to barb-wired relocation centers. Despite the internment, over 17,000 Japanese-Americans sign up and fight for the U.S. in World War II in Europe, including the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the most decorated unit in U.S. history.
March 23, 1942 - Japanese invade the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal.
March 24, 1942 - Admiral Chester Nimitz appointed as Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific theater.
April 3, 1942 - Japanese attack U.S. and Filipino troops at Bataan.
April 6, 1942 - First U.S. troops arrive in Australia.
April 9, 1942 - U.S. forces on Bataan surrender unconditionally to the Japanese.
April 10, 1942 - Bataan Death March begins as 76,000 Allied POWs including 12,000 Americans are forced to walk 60 miles under a blazing sun without food or water toward a new POW camp, resulting in over 5,000 American deaths.
April 18, 1942 - Surprise U.S. 'Doolittle' B-25 air raid from the HORNET against Tokyo boosts Allied morale.
April 29, 1942 - Japanese take central Burma.
May 1, 1942 - Japanese occupy Mandalay in Burma.
May 3, 1942 - Japanese take Tulagi in the Solomon Islands.
May 5, 1942 - Japanese prepare to invade Midway and the Aleutian Islands.
May 6, 1942 - Japanese take Corregidor as Gen. Wainwright unconditionally surrenders all U.S. And Filipino forces in the Philippines.
May 7-8, 1942 - Japan suffers its first defeat of the war during the Battle of the Coral Sea off New Guinea - the first time in history that two opposing carrier forces fought only using aircraft without the opposing ships ever sighting each other.
May 12, 1942 - The last U.S. Troops holding out in the Philippines surrender on Mindanao.
May 20, 1942 - Japanese complete the capture of Burma and reach India.
June 4-5, 1942 - Turning point in the war occurs with a decisive victory for the U.S. against Japan in the Battle of Midway as squadrons of U.S. torpedo planes and dive bombers from ENTERPRISE, HORNET, and YORKTOWN attack and destroy four Japanese carriers, a cruiser, and damage another cruiser and two destroyers. U.S. loses YORKTOWN.
June 7, 1942 - Japanese invade the Aleutian Islands.
June 9, 1942 - Japanese postpone further plans to take Midway.
July 21, 1942 - Japanese land troops near Gona on New Guinea.
August 7, 1942 - The first U.S. amphibious landing of the Pacific War occurs as 1st Marine Division invades Tulagi and Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.
August 8, 1942 - U.S. Marines take the unfinished airfield on Guadalcanal and name it Henderson Field after Maj. Lofton Henderson, a hero of Midway.
August 8/9 - A major U.S. naval disaster off Savo Island, north of Guadalcanal, as eight Japanese warships wage a night attack and sink three U.S. heavy cruisers, an Australian cruiser, and one U.S. destroyer, all in less than an hour. Another U.S. cruiser and two destroyers are damaged. Over 1,500 Allied crewmen are lost.
August 17, 1942 - 122 U.S. Marine raiders, transported by submarine, attack Makin Atoll in the Gilbert Islands.
August 21, 1942 - U.S. Marines repulse first major Japanese ground attack on Guadalcanal.
August 24, 1942 - U.S. And Japanese carriers meet in the Battle of the Eastern Solomons resulting in a Japanese defeat.
August 29, 1942 - The Red Cross announces Japan refuses to allow safe passage of ships containing supplies for U.S. POWs.
August 30, 1942 - U.S. Troops invade Adak Island in the Aleutian Islands.
September 9/10 - A Japanese floatplane flies two missions dropping incendiary bombs on U.S. forests in the state of Oregon - the only bombing of the continental U.S. during the war. Newspapers in the U.S. voluntarily withhold this information.
September 12-14 - Battle of Bloody Ridge on Guadalcanal.
September 15, 1942 - A Japanese submarine torpedo attack near the Solomon Islands results in the sinking of the Carrier WASP, Destroyer O'BRIEN and damage to the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA.
September 27, 1942 - British offensive in Burma.
October 11/12 - U.S. cruisers and destroyers defeat a Japanese task force in the Battle of Cape Esperance off Guadalcanal.
October 13, 1942 - The first U.S. Army troops, the 164th Infantry Regiment, land on Guadalcanal.
October 14/15 - Japanese bombard Henderson Field at night from warships then send troops ashore onto Guadalcanal in the morning as U.S. planes attack.
October 15/17 - Japanese bombard Henderson Field at night again from warships.
October 18, 1942 - Vice Admiral William F. Halsey named as the new commander of the South Pacific Area, in charge of the Solomons-New Guinea campaign.
October 26, 1942 - Battle of Santa Cruz off Guadalcanal between U.S. And Japanese warships results in the loss of the Carrier HORNET.
November 14/15 - U.S. And Japanese warships clash again off Guadalcanal resulting in the sinking of the U.S. Cruiser JUNEAU and the deaths of the five Sullivan brothers.
November 23/24 - Japanese air raid on Darwin, Australia.
November 30 - Battle of Tasafaronga off Guadalcanal.
December 2, 1942 - Enrico Fermi conducts the world's first nuclear chain reaction test at the University of Chicago.
December 20-24 - Japanese air raids on Calcutta, India.
December 31, 1942 - Emperor Hirohito of Japan gives permission to his troops to withdraw from Guadalcanal after five months of bloody fighting against U.S. Forces

1943

January 2, 1943 - Allies take Buna in New Guinea.
January 22, 1943 - Allies defeat Japanese at Sanananda on New Guinea.
February 1, 1943 - Japanese begin evacuation of Guadalcanal.
February 8, 1943 - British-Indian forces begin guerrilla operations against Japanese in Burma.
February 9, 1943 - Japanese resistance on Guadalcanal ends.
March 2-4 - U.S. victory over Japanese in the Battle of Bismarck Sea.
April 18, 1943 - U.S. code breakers pinpoint the location of Japanese Admiral Yamamoto flying in a Japanese bomber near Bougainville in the Solomon Islands. Eighteen P-38 fighters then locate and shoot down Yamamoto.
April 21, 1943 - President Roosevelt announces the Japanese have executed several airmen from the Doolittle Raid.
April 22, 1943 - Japan announces captured Allied pilots will be given "one way tickets to hell."
May 10, 1943 - U.S. Troops invade Attu in the Aleutian Islands.
May 14, 1943 - A Japanese submarine sinks the Australian hospital ship CENTAUR resulting in 299 dead.
May 31, 1943 - Japanese end their occupation of the Aleutian Islands as the U.S. completes the capture of Attu.
June 1, 1943 - U.S. begins submarine warfare against Japanese shipping.
June 21, 1943 - Allies advance to New Georgia, Solomon Islands.
July 8, 1943 - B-24 Liberators flying from Midway bomb Japanese on Wake Island.
August 1/2 - A group of 15 U.S. PT-boats attempt to block Japanese convoys south of Kolombangra Island in the Solomon Islands. PT-109, commanded by Lt. John F. Kennedy, is rammed and sunk by the Japanese Cruiser AMAGIRI, killing two and badly injuring others. The crew survives as Kennedy aids one badly injured man by towing him to a nearby atoll.
August 6/7, 1943 - Battle of Vella Gulf in the Solomon Islands.
August 25, 1943 - Allies complete the occupation of New Georgia.
September 4, 1943 - Allies recapture Lae-Salamaua, New Guinea.
October 7, 1943 - Japanese execute approximately 100 American POWs on Wake Island.
October 26, 1943 - Emperor Hirohito states his country's situation is now "truly grave."
November 1, 1943 - U.S. Marines invade Bougainville in the Solomon Islands.
November 2, 1943 - Battle of Empress Augusta Bay.
November 20, 1943 - U.S. Troops invade Makin and Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands.
November 23, 1943 - Japanese end resistance on Makin and Tarawa.
December 15, 1943 - U.S. Troops land on the Arawe Peninsula of New Britain in the Solomon Islands.
December 26, 1943 - Full Allied assault on New Britain as 1st Division Marines invade Cape Gloucester.

1944

January 9, 1944 - British and Indian troops recapture Maungdaw in Burma.
January 31, 1944 - U.S. Troops invade Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands.
February 1-7, 1944 - U.S. Troops capture Kwajalein and Majura Atolls in the Marshall Islands.
February 17/18 - U.S. Carrier-based planes destroy the Japanese naval base at Truk in the Caroline Islands.
February 20, 1944 - U.S. Carrier-based and land-based planes destroy the Japanese base at Rabaul.
February 23, 1944 - U.S. Carrier-based planes attack the Mariana Islands.
February 24, 1944 - Merrill's Marauders begin a ground campaign in northern Burma.
March 5, 1944 - Gen. Wingate's groups begin operations behind Japanese lines in Burma.
March 15, 1944 - Japanese begin offensive toward Imphal and Kohima.
April 17, 1944 - Japanese begin their last offensive in China, attacking U.S. air bases in eastern China.
April 22, 1944 - Allies invade Aitape and Hollandia in New Guinea.
May 27, 1944 - Allies invade Biak Island, New Guinea.
June 5, 1944 - The first mission by B-29 Superfortress bombers occurs as 77 planes bomb Japanese railway facilities at Bangkok, Thailand.
June 15, 1944 - U.S. Marines invade Saipan in the Mariana Islands.
June 15/16 - The first bombing raid on Japan since the Doolittle raid of April 1942, as 47 B-29s based in Bengel, India, target the steel works at Yawata.
June 19, 1944 - The "Marianas Turkey Shoot" occurs as U.S. Carrier-based fighters shoot down 220 Japanese planes, while only 20 American planes are lost.
July 8, 1944 - Japanese withdraw from Imphal.
July 19, 1944 - U.S. Marines invade Guam in the Marianas.
July 24, 1944 - U.S. Marines invade Tinian.
July 27, 1944 - American troops complete the liberation of Guam.
August 3, 1944 - U.S. And Chinese troops take Myitkyina after a two month siege.
August 8, 1944 - American troops complete the capture of the Mariana Islands.
September 15, 1944 - U.S. Troops invade Morotai and the Paulaus.
October 11, 1944 - U.S. Air raids against Okinawa.
October 18, 1944 - Fourteen B-29s based on the Marianas attack the Japanese base at Truk.
October 20, 1944 - U.S. Sixth Army invades Leyte in the Philippines.
October 23-26 - Battle of Leyte Gulf results in a decisive U.S. Naval victory.
October 25, 1944 - The first suicide air (Kamikaze) attacks occur against U.S. warships in Leyte Gulf. By the end of the war, Japan will have sent an estimated 2,257 aircraft. "The only weapon I feared in the war," Adm. Halsey will say later.
November 11, 1944 - Iwo Jima bombarded by the U.S. Navy.
November 24, 1944 - Twenty four B-29s bomb the Nakajima aircraft factory near Tokyo.
December 15, 1944 - U.S. Troops invade Mindoro in the Philippines.
December 17, 1944 - The U.S. Army Air Force begins preparations for dropping the Atomic Bomb by establishing the 509th Composite Group to operate the B-29s that will deliver the bomb.

1945

January 3, 1945 - Gen. MacArthur is placed in command of all U.S. ground forces and Adm. Nimitz in command of all naval forces in preparation for planned assaults against Iwo Jima, Okinawa and Japan itself.
January 4, 1945 - British occupy Akyab in Burma.
January 9, 1945 - U.S. Sixth Army invades Lingayen Gulf on Luzon in the Philippines.
January 11, 1945 - Air raid against Japanese bases in Indochina by U.S. Carrier-based planes.
January 28, 1945 - The Burma road is reopened.
February 3, 1945 - U.S. Sixth Army attacks Japanese in Manila.
February 16, 1945 - U.S. Troops recapture Bataan in the Philippines.
February 19, 1945 - U.S. Marines invade Iwo Jima.
March 1, 1945 - A U.S. submarine sinks a Japanese merchant ship loaded with supplies for Allied POWs, resulting in a court martial for the captain of the submarine, since the ship had been granted safe passage by the U.S. Government.
March 2, 1945 - U.S. airborne troops recapture Corregidor in the Philippines.
March 3, 1945 - U.S. And Filipino troops take Manila.
March 9/10 - Fifteen square miles of Tokyo erupts in flames after it is fire bombed by 279 B-29s.
March 10, 1945 - U.S. Eighth Army invades Zamboanga Peninsula on Mindanao in the Philippines.
March 20, 1945 - British troops liberate Mandalay, Burma.
March 27, 1945 - B-29s lay mines in Japan's Shimonoseki Strait to interrupt shipping.
April 1, 1945 - The final amphibious landing of the war occurs as the U.S. Tenth Army invades Okinawa.
April 7, 1945 - B-29s fly their first fighter-escorted mission against Japan with P-51 Mustangs based on Iwo Jima U.S. Carrier-based fighters sink the super battleship YAMATO and several escort vessels which planned to attack U.S. Forces at Okinawa.
April 12, 1945 - President Roosevelt dies, succeeded by Harry S. Truman.
May 8, 1945 - Victory in Europe Day.
May 20, 1945 - Japanese begin withdrawal from China.
May 25, 1945 - U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff approve Operation Olympic, the invasion of Japan, scheduled for November 1.
June 9, 1945 - Japanese Premier Suzuki announces Japan will fight to the very end rather than accept unconditional surrender.
June 18, 1945 - Japanese resistance ends on Mindanao in the Philippines.
June 22, 1945 - Japanese resistance ends on Okinawa as the U.S. Tenth Army completes its capture.
June 28, 1945 - MacArthur's headquarters announces the end of all Japanese resistance in the Philippines.
July 5, 1945 - Liberation of Philippines declared.
July 10, 1945 - 1,000 bomber raids against Japan begin.
July 14, 1945 - The first U.S. Naval bombardment of Japanese home islands.
July 16, 1945 - First Atomic Bomb is successfully tested in the U.S.
July 26, 1945 - Components of the Atomic Bomb "Little Boy" are unloaded at Tinian Island in the South Pacific.
July 29, 1945 - A Japanese submarine sinks the Cruiser INDIANAPOLIS resulting in the loss of 881 crewmen. The ship sinks before a radio message can be sent out leaving survivors adrift for two days.
August 6, 1945 - First Atomic Bomb dropped on Hiroshima from a B-29 flown by Col. Paul Tibbets.
August 8, 1945 - U.S.S.R. declares war on Japan then invades Manchuria.
August 9, 1945 - Second Atomic Bomb is dropped on Nagasaki from a B-29 flown by Maj. Charles Sweeney -- Emperor Hirohito and Japanese Prime Minister Suzuki then decide to seek an immediate peace with the Allies.
August 14, 1945 - Japanese accept unconditional surrender Gen. MacArthur is appointed to head the occupation forces in Japan.
August 16, 1945 - Gen. Wainwright, a POW since May 6, 1942, is released from a POW camp in Manchuria.
August 27, 1945 - B-29s drop supplies to Allied POWs in China.
August 29, 1945 - The Soviets shoot down a B-29 dropping supplies to POWs in Korea U.S. Troops land near Tokyo to begin the occupation of Japan.
August 30, 1945 - The British reoccupy Hong Kong.
September 2, 1945 - Formal Japanese surrender ceremony on board the MISSOURI in Tokyo Bay as 1,000 carrier-based planes fly overhead President Truman declares VJ Day.
September 3, 1945 - The Japanese commander in the Philippines, Gen. Yamashita, surrenders to Gen. Wainwright at Baguio.
September 4, 1945 - Japanese troops on Wake Island surrender.
September 5, 1945 - British land in Singapore.
September 8, 1945 - MacArthur enters Tokyo.
September 9, 1945 - Japanese in Korea surrender.
September 13, 1945 - Japanese in Burma surrender.
October 24, 1945 - United Nations is born.

The History Place - World War II in the Pacific - Selected Battle Photos

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