US Navy Report of Japanese Raid on Pearl Harbor, Enclosure E, USS St. Louis (1)

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10 Dec 1941

CL49/A16-3/U.S.S. St. Louis10-cjg
c/o Fleet Post Office,
Pearl Harbor, T.H.
December 10, 1941.

From: The Commanding Officer
To: The Commander Cruisers, Battle Force.
Subject: U.S.S. St. Louis' Operations 7-10 December 1941.

  1. As soon as the air raid commenced on December 7th the ship went to General Quarters and opened fire with the 1.1 and .50 calibre machine gun batteries and at the same time commenced clearing away the interferences in the 5" mounts caused by yard work then in progress.
  2. At the same time all preparations for getting underway were made and steam raised in six boilers. Two boilers were out of commission due to routine cleaning. These boilers were put back in commission and were on the line at 0400 on December 8th.
  3. The 5" battery was soon in operating condition and enemy planes were taken under fire.
  4. The ship got underway at 0931 with boiler power for twenty-nine knots and stood out of the south channel.
  5. When just inside entrance buoy No. 1 two torpedoes were fired at this ship from a distance of approximately 2,000 yards on the starboard beam. The torpedoes, although running shallow, struck the shoal inside buoy No. 1 and exploded, no damage to this vessel resulting. An object near the origin of the torpedo tracks was taken under fire by the 5" battery but no hits were observed. This object was not positively identified as a submarine periscope.
  6. The vessel cleared the channel at twenty-five knots and zig-zagged on a southerly course with intention of locating and attacking the enemy carrier which was reported as being to the south of Pearl Harbor.
  7. After clearing the harbor entrance buoys the Montgomery was ordered to act as a screen and later the Phelps also.
  8. While standing to the southern this vessel formed an attack group with the destroyers Phelps, Blue, Lamson, and Montgomery. Shortly after, the Montgomery was detached a it signaled that it had been ordered to make a sweep for magnetic mines in the channel. The St. Louis, Phelps, Blue and Lamson remained in company until they joined Commander Destroyers, Battle Force at 1321.
  9. At 1130 when in position latitude 20°-56'-30", longitude 157°-52'-00" a despatch was received stating that the enemy carrier and four escort vessels was in a position bearing due west of this vessel, distance thirty miles. Course was accordingly changed to 270 with the intention of intercepting and speed of twenty-five knots maintained.
  10. At 1210 when in latitude 20°-51'-00", longitude 158°-03'-00" a despatch was received from Cincpac to attack enemy vessel south of Barbers Point.
  11. Course was changed to the northward for the purpose of intercepting and attacking.
  12. At 1252 this vessel was ordered to join the Detroit which was sighted shortly thereafter bearing about 000.
  13. At 1321 this vessel and its accompanying destroyers joined Commander Destroyers, Battle Force in the Detroit and operated thereafter until entrance in Pearl Harbor as a unit of Task Force One under his command.
  14. The following amounts of ammunition were expended:
    (a) 5"/38 207 rounds
    (b) 1.1 3,950 rounds
    (c) .50 cal. 12,750 rounds
  15. This vessel was hit by machine gun bullets or shell fragments, but the exact number has not yet been determined. However, no appreciable damage was sustained. The most serious being a hit on the port catapult launching cable which severed a few strands. Temporary repairs have been made to the cable and it will be replaced at the earliest opportunity.
  16. At the time of the raid this vessel's four VGS planes were shore-based at the Naval Air Station, Ford Island and their condition is not known at this time.
  17. Upon getting underway the port gangway and both quarter booms were on the fantail where work was being done on them. As it was feared that a bomb or shell hit might cause them to jam one of the after turrets they were jettisoned.
  18. For the same reason and the added reason that hands were not available to handle it the starboard gangway was also jettisoned.
  19. As soon as opportunity offered both anchor chains were unbent and struck below and the inflammable stores, paint, and etc., were jettisoned.
  20. The Commanding Officer wishes particularly to commend the prompt and willing action of the Commanding Officers of the Montgomery, Phelps, Blue, and Lamson in joining this vessel to form an attack group.
  21. The Commanding Officer has nothing but the highest praise for the performance of duty of all officers and men attached to this vessel. When General Quarters was sounded during the raid all hands proceeded promptly and without confusion to their battle stations and performed to the entire satisfaction of the Commanding Officer.
  22. Such officers as could rejoined the ship during the raid and were able to proceed to sea with it. Lieutenant (Junior grade) Charles A. Crutze of the Staff of Commander Cruisers, Battle Force was on board at the time General Quarters was sounded and proceeded at once to Central Station where he performed the duties of First Lieutenant and Damage Control Officer until the ship's regularly assigned First Lieutenant and Damage Control Officer arrived on board.


Copy to:
Comdesbatfor ww2dbase

United States National Archives, Modern Military Branch

Added By:
C. Peter Chen

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