( 0225 )
|U.S.S. PRUITT (DM22)||drc
Pearl Harbor, T.H.
December 10, 1941.
|To:||Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet.|
|Via:||(1) The Commander Mine Division ONE.|
(2) The Commander Minecraft, BATTLE FORCE.
|Subject:||Engagement With Japanese Planes During Air Raid on pearl Harbor, T.H., December 7, 1941.|
|Reference:||(a) Article 712, U.S. Navy Regulations, 1920.|
At 0853 on December 7, 1941, the U.S.S. Pruitt was moored at berth 18, Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, undergoing routine navy yard overhaul. The U.S.S. Sicard and U.S.S. Ontario moored to port in that order. All machinery and armament disabled for overhaul. Duty section and duty officer on board, and remainder of crew berthed at Receiving Ship barracks.
At 0753 a group of 10 low flying planes came in from a southerly direction and bombed the hangars on the north end of Ford Island. Japanese insignia was plainly visible on all planes. At 0801 battleships were attacked by dive bombers and torpedo palnes. At 0815 high altitude level bombing attack launched on battleships. Attacks continued in this area until about 1130 with heaviest attack on Pearl Harbor by dive bombers and horizontal bombers at 0907. Three low flying Japanese fighter planes were shot down in the immediate vicinity of this vessel apparently by small caliber weapons.
The initial surprise of the attack passed quickly and all personnel began arming themselves with all available small arms in the ready locker. The only arms immediately available were .30 caliber machine guns, Browning automatic rifles, service rifles, and service pistols. Within an incredibly short time men were equipped and firing at low flying attacking planes. Fire hoses were led out and men not armed were organixzed in ttwo fire-fighting parties, one forward and one aft. Steel helmets nd gas masks were removed from stowage and distrivbuted. Work was started on assembly of .50 caliber machine guns and steps taken to have 3"/23 anti-aircraft gun hoisted on board by the Navy Yard. The navy Yard distributed small caliber ammunition and a working party from this vessel was sent to the ammunition depot to procure 3"/23 anti-aircraft ammunition.
All personnel conducted themselves in a very creditable manner. They quickly grasped the seriousness of the situation and proceeded to carry out their duties with a minimum of confusion. The duty officer, Ensign A.A. Richards, D-V(G), U.S.N.R., supervised the initial preparations in a very efficient manner, and the following men displayed outstanding courage and leadership under fire:
Men who could be spared were sent to the U.S.S. New Orleans and the U.S.S. Cummings at nearby berths to assist in th eoperatio of their anti-aircraft batteries. Verbal reports indicate that these men performed valuable services in connection with the duties assigned them.