During World War II, when a ship sustained battle damage or any other type of mishap occurred (e.g., collision, running aground, explosion, fire, heavy weather damage), a War Damage Report was required. At the first opportunity, a follow-up, detailed, preliminary shipboard inspection/damage assessment at sea of the affected space(s) was conducted for a required, descriptive War Damage Report. This report was to be signed by those officers performing the inspection assessment and the commanding officer. The requirement was to report date, time, and location or area of operations; personnel casualties (name, rate/rank, branch, and service number); a brief description of damage; and mission impact. If the complete damage analysis assessment could not be conducted and completed at sea while underway, a more detailed inspection would had to be conducted at anchor in a safe harbor or in port.
U.S. Navy War Damage Reports
On smaller ships (e.g., DDs, DDEs, LPAs, AOs, ARSs, AEs, LSDs, LSTs), the formal inspection was conducted by the Assistant Damage Control Officer (ADCO/DCA) (1st Lieutenant), Chief Engineer and Executive Officer. The appropriate department heads--deck, medical, gunnery/weapons, supply and operations--were required to assist in the inspection of damaged spaces under their cognizance to provide systems data descriptions/mission impact for the report. The inspection team was assisted by two yeomen and one photographer, who would create the report in accordance with existing fleet instructions. In some cases, where the ship remained operational after sustaining damage, flag staffs would embark in ships in their squadron to conduct the War Damage Report Inspection Assessment, as smaller ship's crews were overwhelmed with the tempo of operations and maintaining the ship at sea. In those cases, every hour was crucial to those crewmembers after battle damage. If a significant number of the crew had been lost, remaining crewmembers were needed for standing watches--there was no one else qualified (or who could qualify) to steam the plant--and preparing the ship for another possible encounter with the enemy. The threat was continuous, as long as the ship remained in the War Zone of Naval Operations in WWII.
On larger ships such as Flag Ships (e.g., BBs, CVs, CAs, and CVEs), this formal inspection was conducted by embarked staff officers. These officers were assisted as required by the ship's company, including the ADCO/DCA (1st Lieutenant), Chief Engineer and Executive officer, and appropriate department heads, such as air, deck, medical, gunnery/weapons, supply, communications and operations. The inspection team was assisted by three or four yeoman and two photographers, who would create the report in accordance with existing fleet instructions.
The results of formal inspections were submitted immediately by a top-priority, classified message to the Navy Department for immediate review, Fleet Readiness Assessment, and appropriate actions, with a serial number assigned and dated. Distribution was according to existing directives and filing.
No. Title HTML Summary of War Damage to US BBs, CVs, CA, and DDs: 17Oct41-7Dec42 X x Summary of War Damage to US BBs, CVs, CA, and DDs: 8Dec42-7Dec43 X - Summary of War Damage to US BBs, CVs, CA, DDs, and DEs: 8Dec42-7Dec43 X x Summary of War Damage to US BBs, CVs, CA, DDs, and DEs: 8Dec43-7Dec44 X x Structural Repairs in Forward Areas During World War II x 1 USS Honolulu (CL-48) Bomb Damage: Pearl Harbor, 7Dec41 x 2 USS Oglala (CM-4) Torpedo & Bomb Damage: Pearl Harbor, 7Dec41 - 3 USS Saratoga (CV-3) Torpedo Damage: 11Jan42 - 4 USS Helena (CL-50) Torpedo & Bomb Damage: Pearl Harbor, 7Dec41 X 5 USS Enterprise (CV-6) Bomb Damage: 1Feb42 - 6 USS Helm (DD-388) Bomb Damage: Pearl Harbor, 7Dec41 - 7 USS Shaw (DD-373) Bomb Damage: Pearl Harbor, 7Dec41 x 8 USS Neches (AO-5) Loss in Action: Off Pearl Harbor, 23Jan42 X x 9 USS Raleigh (CL-7) Torpedo & Bomb Damage: Pearl Harbor, 7Dec41 - 10 USS Chester Bomb Damage: Marshall Is., 1Feb42 - 11 USS Curtiss (AV-4) Bomb Damage: Pearl Harbor, 7Dec41 - 12 USS Vestal (AR-4) Bomb Damage: Pearl Harbor, 7Dec41 - 13 USS Cassin (DD-372) Bomb Damage: Pearl Harbor, 7Dec41
USS Downes (DD-375) Bomb Damage: Pearl Harbor, 7Dec41
x 14 USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) Bomb Damage: Pearl Harbor, 7Dec41 - 15 USS Kearny (DD-432) Torpedo Damage: N. Atlantic, 17Oct41 x 16 USS Lexington (CV-2) Loss in Action: Coral Sea, 8May42 X - 17 USS Nevada (BB-36) Torpedo and Bomb Damage: Pearl Harbor, 7Dec41 x 18 USS Salinas (AO-19) Torpedo Damage: N. Atlantic, 30Oct41 x 19 USS Saratoga (CV-3): Torpedo Damage, 11 January 1942 x 20 USS Wakefield (AP-21) Bomb Damage: Singapore, 30Jan42 X - 21 USS California (BB-44) Torpedo and Bomb Damage: Pearl Harbor, 7Dec41 x 22 USS Tennessee (BB-43) Bomb Damage: Pearl Harbor, 7Dec41 x 23 USS Yorktown (CV-5) Bomb Damage: Coral Sea, 8May42 - 24 USS Boise (CL-47) Gunfire Damage: Savo Island, 11-12Oct42 x 25 USS Yorktown (CV-5) Loss in Action: Midway, 4-7Jun42 X - 26 USS San Francisco (CA-38): Gunfire Damage, Battle of Guadalcanal, 13Nov42 X x 27 USS Capella (AK-13) Torpedo Damage: Narragansett Bay, R.I., 9Apr42
USS Alhena (AKA-9) Torpedo Damage: S. Pacific, 29Sep42
x 28 USS O'Brien (DD-415) Torpedo Damage and Loss: S. Pacific, 15Sep42 & 19Oct42 x 29 USS Quincy (CA-30), USS Astoria (CA-34), USS Vincennes (CA-44)
Loss in Action: Savo Island, 9Aug42
X x 30 USS Hornet (CV-8) Loss in Action: Santa Cruz, 26Oct42 x 31 USS Erie (PG-50) Torpedoing and Loss: Curaçao, 12Nov-5Dec42 x 32 USS Joseph Hewes (APA-22), Edward Rutledge (APA-24), Hugh L. Scott (AP-43), Tasker H. Bliss (AP-42) & Electra (AKA-4) Torpedoed off Fedala, 12-15Nov42 x 33 USS Sterrett (DD-407) Gunfire Damage: Guadalcanal, 13Nov42 X - 34 USS Marblehead (CL12) Bomb Damage: Java Sea, 4Feb42 X - 35 USS Portland (CA-33) Gunfire and Torpedo Damage: Guadalcanal, 13Nov42
USS Pensacola (CA-24) Torpedo Damage: Lunga Point, Guadalcanal, 30Nov42
x 36 USS Chester (CA-27) Torpedo Damage: Solomons, 20Oct42
USS Minneapolis (CA-36) Torpedo Damage: Lunga Point, Guadalcanal, 30Nov42
X x 37 USS Chicago (CA-29) Loss in Action: Guadalcanal, 29-30Jan43 X - 38 USS New Orleans (CA-32) Torpedo Damage: Lunga Point, Guadalcanal, 30Nov42 X x 39 USS Wasp (CV-7) Loss in Action: S. Pacific, 15Sep42 X - 40 USS Alchiba (AKA-6) Torpedo Damage: Solomons, 28Nov & 7Dec42 X x 41 USS Northampton (CA-26) Loss in Action: Lunga Point, Guadalcanal, 30Nov42 x 42 USS Salt Lake City (CA-25) Gunfire Damage: Bering Sea, 26Mar43 X x 43 USS Helena (CL-50) Loss in Action: Kula Gulf, Solomons, 6Jul43 X - 44 USS Savannah (CL-42) Bomb Damage: Gulf of Salerno, Italy, 11Sep43 - 45 USS Liscome Bay (CVE-56): Loss in Action: Gilbert Is., 24Nov43 X x 46 LST's Bomb, Torpedo, Surface Fire Damage: 16Jun43-7Dec43 - 47 USS Chincoteague (AVP-24) Bomb Damage: Santa Cruz Is., 17Jul43 x 48 USS Birmingham (CL-62) Torpedo and Bomb Damage: Solomons, 8Nov43 x 49 USS Block Island (CVE-21) Loss in Action: S. Atlantic, 29May44 X x 50 Destroyer Report: Torpedo & Mine Damage and Loss in Action, 17Oct41-7Dec44 x 51 Destroyer Report: Gunfire, Bomb and Kamikaze Damage, 17Oct41-15Aug45 X x 52 USS Independence (CVL-22) Torpedo Damage: Tarawa, 20Nov43;
USS Denver (CL-58) Torpedo Damage: Treasury Is., 13Nov43
x 53 USS Houston (CL-81) Torpedo Damage: Off Formosa, 14-16Oct44 x 54 USS Canberra (CA-70) Torpedo Damage: Formosa, 13Oct44 x 55 USS Reno (CL-96) Torpedo Damage: Off Luzon, 3Nov44 - 56 USS Franklin (CV-13) Kamikaze Damage: Formosa, 13Oct44;
Kamikaze Damage: Formosa, 13Oct44;
Bomb Damage: Luzon, 15Oct44;
Kamikaze Damage: Samar, 30Oct44;
Bomb Damage: Honshu, 19Mar45
X 57 USS South Dakota (BB-57) Gunfire Damage: Battle of Guadalcanal, 14-15Nov42 X x 58 Submarine Report: Depth Charge, Bomb, Mine, Torpedo and Gunfire Damage Including Losses in Action 59 USS Enterprise (CV-6) All Damages: 7Dec41-2Sep45 x 60 Escort Carriers: Gunfire, Bomb and Kamikaze Damages and Losses X x 61 USS North Carolina (BB-55) Torpedo Damage: Solomons, 15Sep42 x 62 USS Princeton (CVL-23) Loss in Action: Leyte Gulf, 24Oct44 X x ?? USS Randolph (CV-15) Bomb Damage: Ulithi, 11Mar45 X - War Damage to British Naval Vessels: Summary of Damage by Bombs to 2Sep41 X - HMS Ilex: Bomb Damage, 15 June 1941 x HMS Hermione: Loss by Torpedo, 16 June 1942;
HMS Naiad: Loss by Torpedo, 11 March 1942