Pearl Harbor, T.H.
December 13, 1941.
From: Commanding Officer. To: The Commandant, Fourteenth Naval District.
(1) Commander Destroyer Division EIGHTY.
(2) Commander Inshore Patrol.
Subject: Sinking of a Japanese Submarine by U.S.S. Ward.
- While patrolling Pearl Harbor Entrance on Sunday, December 7, 1941, the U.S.S. Ward attacked an unidentified submarine in the Restricted Area off the Harbor.
The facts are as follows:
- At 0637 the Officer-of-the-Deck said, "Captain come on the bridge". A conning tower with periscope of submarine was visible. She was apparently headed for Pearl Harbor trailing the U.S.S. Antares. The Antares was standing toward the channel entrance towing a lighter.
- At 0640 the attack was started. The Ward bore down on the submarine while accelerating from 5 to 25 knots.
- At 0645 the Ward opened fire with No. 1 and 3 guns and began dropping depth charges. One shot was fired from each gun. The shot from No. 1 gun missed, passing directly over the conning tower. The shot from No. 3 gun fired at a range of 560 yards or less struck the submarine at the waterline which was the junction of the hull and conning tower. Damage was seen by several members of the crew. This was a square positive hit. There was no evidence of ricochet. The submarine was seen to heel over to starboard. The projectile was not seen to explode outside the hull of the submarine. There was no splash of any size that might results from an explosion or ricochet.
- Immediately after being hit the submarine appeared to slow and sink. She ran into our depth charge barrage and appeared to be directly over an exploding charge. The depth charges were set for 100 feet.
- The submarine sank in 1200 feet of water and could not be located with supersonic detector. There was a large amount of oil on the surface where the depth charges exploded.
- The attack was made at 0645 which was before Pearl Harbor was bombed by Japanese planes.
- A dispatch by voice transmission was sent to Commandant, Fourteenth Naval District at 0645 which stated:
"We have attacked, fired upon, and dropped depth charges on a submarine operating in defensive sea areas."
- The performance of duty by the officers and men during this attack was in accordance with the traditions of this service.
Appearance of submarine: Cylindrical tube about 80 feet long with small oval shaped conning tower. It had no deck. it was painted dark green and was covered with moss indicating that it had been at sea for a considerable period.
Behavior during attack: In spite of the five minute run from the time of sighting and time of attack, the submarine apparently did not see or detect the Ward. It was making from 8 to 10 knots and was apparently bent on following the Antares into port. Exact distances are not known but at the time of the first shot the range was not more than 100 yards and for the second shot the range was 50 yards or less. The submarine passed very close to our stern.
Pearl Harbor, T.H.
December 23, 1941.
From: Commanding Officer. To: Commander Destroyer Division EIGHTY. Subject: Attacks on Submarines, report of.
- The following is a summary of attacks made upon submarines by this vessel between the dates of 7 and 17 December 1941.
DATE TIME SUMMARY NO. OF CHARGES 12-7-41 0640 Fired 2 shells at and dropped 4 depth charges on enemy submarine on surface. Sank submarine. See Commanding Officer, U.S.S. Ward Letter of 13 December 1941 to Commandant, 14th Naval District 4 12-7-41 0705 Dropped 5 depth charges on sonic contact. Sighted black oil bubble 300 yards astern after attack. 5 12-7-41 0840 Dropped 2 depth charges on sonic contact. Results unknown. 2 12-7-41 1020 Dropped 3 depth charges on sonic contact. Observed oil on surface. Dropped 2 more depth charges on sonic contact under oil slick. No further contact. 5 12-7-41 1127 Dropped 4 depth charges on sonic contact. Sighted heavy oil slick on surface after attack. 4 12-8-41 0619 Dropped 5 depth charges on sonic contact. Results unknown. Dropped 4 more charges on sonic contact after circling to verify first attack. 9 12-8-41 0655 Dropped 2 depth charges on sonic contact. Observed heavy oil slick on surface. 2 12-8-41 1349 Dropped 4 depth charges on sonic contact. Results unknown. 4 12-9-41 1158 Dropped 6 depth charges on sonic contact, indicated by smoke bomb from patrol plane. Circled for second attack. Dropped 6 more charges. Contacts were excellent. Large air bubble came to surface. Heavy oil slick in bombed area was seen. Plane also dropped depth charges. 12 12-10-41 0033 Dropped 4 depth charges on sonic contact. Results unknown. 4 12-10-41 1728 Dropped 6 depth charges on sonic contact. Heavy oil on surface 6 12-10-41 2115 Dropped 4 depth charges on sonic contact. Results unknown. 4 12-11-41 1514 Dropped 4 depth charges on sonic contact. Results unknown. 4 12-11-41 1547 Dropped 6 depth charges on sonic contact. Considerable oil on surface. 6 12-11-41 1637 Dropped 6 depth charges on plane indication and sonic contact. Heavy oil slick on surface. 6 12-11-41 1920 Dropped 6 depth charges on sonic contact. Results unknown. 6 12-16-41 Dropped 8 depth charges on sonic contact. Seventh charge brought up a large air bubble accompanied with a quantity of oil. 8 12-17-41 1648 Dropped 8 depth charges on patrol plane indication. Results unknown. 8 12-17-41 2012 Dropped 8 depth charges on sonic contact. Contact was made at 1500 yards. Ranging was not stopped in order to listen for screw noises. Bearing was practically steady. Sound operator reported that it might be a surface ship at 800 yards the ship was 15° wide. Contact was clear and positive. Went ahead full speed. At 200 yards slowed to 15 knots. 10 seconds later dropped 8 depth charges at 4 second intervals. Charges set alternately for 50 and 100 feet. The seventh charge sent up a double column of water in a "V" shape which rose 25 higher than any other column. All charges exploded. No contact could be made after the attack. 8
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