Sub sighting before Pearl Harbor attack

Discussion in 'War Against Japan' started by Dog_Father, Dec 17, 2009.

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  1. Dog_Father

    Dog_Father Member

    0342 Minesweeper CONDOR sights periscope off Honolulu Harbor.. notifies patrol destroyer WARD to investigate. WARD does not detect sub.

    0630 Destroyer WARD again notified of submarine sighting this time by supply ship ANTARES off Pearl Harbor entrance...Navy patrol plane (PBY) dispatched

    0645 WARD opens fire on target hitting conning tower...as she closes in drops depth charges..air attack by PBY follows.

    0653 WARD'S commander Captain Outerbridge sends message to Commandant 14th Naval District: "We have attacked, fired upon and dropped depth charges upon submarine operating in defensive sea area".

    0715 Capt. Outerbridge's attack message, delayed in decoding is delivered to duty officer, 14th Naval District, and to Admiral Kimmel's duty officer

    Events according to Pearl Harbor Timeline (www.2marine.com/DLST)

    So is the first time a message about the sub sighting is sent to base at 0653?
    If so, who dispatched the PBY, that also attacked the sub with depth charges?

    How much difference, did the 22 min delay, in message decoding make?
    I would think it would have made some. I thought I read some place that at
    first, the sub sighting was not believed, but I could be wrong on that.
     
  2. red devil

    red devil Senior Member

    This is the first time I have ever heard of the PBY attack. I know the Ward attacked and radioed it in, to be dismissed as 'fanciful' and no further action taken.
     
  3. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer Pearl Harbor Myth Buster

    This is the first time I have ever heard of the PBY attack. I know the Ward attacked and radioed it in, to be dismissed as 'fanciful' and no further action taken.
    The PBY dropped a bomb on the sub and a smoke marker.

    The Ward's report was taken seriously. One destroyer was sortied immediately to help her. Another was ordered to get ready to sortie on orders. Kimmel was informed and proceeded to his headquarters to oversee the investigation.

    As for any delay caused by the coding, delay in what? The fleet was not going to battle stations because of a sub outside the harbor. The Army fighters were not going to scramble because of a submarine.
     
  4. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

  5. Dog_Father

    Dog_Father Member

    I'm just trying to figure out, who reported, when they reported. Who dispatched the PBY, and from what report, was the decision to dispatch
    the PBY made.

    This document (WARD'S ATTACK ON MIDGET SUB), doesn't make
    that clear. Did Captain Outerbridge, report twice, or was all this being monitored by the Naval Radio Station at Bishop's Point?
     
  6. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    No mention of an aircraft attack on the sub in this report from the first link posted: Japanese Midget Submarine

    History

    The discovery of the midget submarine confirms the account radioed to naval command at Pearl Harbor at 6:45 am on Dec. 7, 1941 . A Japanese submarine was shot through the conning tower and then depth charged trying to enter Pearl Harbor behind the USS Antares. The crew of the attacking USS Ward , an older style four stack destroyer, saw the midget sub lifted out of the water by depth charges after firing the fatal shot from its four inch side gun. The Ward's crew were Naval reservists from St. Paul, Minnesota. Unfortunately, Naval command in Pearl Harbor ignored the Ward's report and the aerial attack began at 8 am. At the Pearl Harbor investigation, some question was made of the accuracy of the Ward's report. The Ward is now vindicated. The Ward itself was later targeted by the Japanese and sunk in a kamikaze attack, ironically on Dec. 7, 1944, in the Philippines.


    Regards
    Tom
     
  7. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer Pearl Harbor Myth Buster

  8. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer Pearl Harbor Myth Buster

    No mention of an aircraft attack on the sub in this report from the first link posted: Japanese Midget Submarine

    History

    The discovery of the midget submarine confirms the account radioed to naval command at Pearl Harbor at 6:45 am on Dec. 7, 1941 . A Japanese submarine was shot through the conning tower and then depth charged trying to enter Pearl Harbor behind the USS Antares. The crew of the attacking USS Ward , an older style four stack destroyer, saw the midget sub lifted out of the water by depth charges after firing the fatal shot from its four inch side gun. The Ward's crew were Naval reservists from St. Paul, Minnesota. Unfortunately, Naval command in Pearl Harbor ignored the Ward's report and the aerial attack began at 8 am. At the Pearl Harbor investigation, some question was made of the accuracy of the Ward's report. The Ward is now vindicated. The Ward itself was later targeted by the Japanese and sunk in a kamikaze attack, ironically on Dec. 7, 1944, in the Philippines.


    Regards
    Tom
    Check Ward's deck log.
     
  9. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer Pearl Harbor Myth Buster

    I'm just trying to figure out, who reported, when they reported. Who dispatched the PBY, and from what report, was the decision to dispatch
    the PBY made.

    This document (WARD'S ATTACK ON MIDGET SUB), doesn't make
    that clear. Did Captain Outerbridge, report twice, or was all this being monitored by the Naval Radio Station at Bishop's Point?
    ADMIRAL HEWITT. Will you identify those exchanges of messages? Will you
    identify the messages on the radio log?

    CAPTAIN OUTERBRIDGE. Yes, sir. The Executive Officer was on the bridge
    at the time. We made the attack and we dropped depth charges in front of
    the submarine. The first report was, "We have dropped depth charges upon
    sub operating in defensive sea area." I thought, "Well, now, maybe I had
    better be more definite," because we did fire and if we said we fired,
    people would know it was on the surface, because saying it was a sub and
    dropping depth charges, they may have said it might have been a
    blackfish or a whale. So I said, "We have attacked fired upon and
    dropped depth charges upon submarine operating in defensive sea area,"
    so they would feel, well, he shot at something. We sent the message at
    0653, the second one.
    WARD'S ATTACK ON MIDGET SUB
     
  10. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer Pearl Harbor Myth Buster

    No mention of an aircraft attack on the sub in this report from the first link posted: Japanese Midget Submarine

    History

    The discovery of the midget submarine confirms the account radioed to naval command at Pearl Harbor at 6:45 am on Dec. 7, 1941 . A Japanese submarine was shot through the conning tower and then depth charged trying to enter Pearl Harbor behind the USS Antares. The crew of the attacking USS Ward , an older style four stack destroyer, saw the midget sub lifted out of the water by depth charges after firing the fatal shot from its four inch side gun. The Ward's crew were Naval reservists from St. Paul, Minnesota. Unfortunately, Naval command in Pearl Harbor ignored the Ward's report and the aerial attack began at 8 am. At the Pearl Harbor investigation, some question was made of the accuracy of the Ward's report. The Ward is now vindicated. The Ward itself was later targeted by the Japanese and sunk in a kamikaze attack, ironically on Dec. 7, 1944, in the Philippines.


    Regards
    Tom
    Sorry, my bad. Here's the info on the PBY.

    0700
    Plane 14P-1 sank enemy sub. 1 mile off P. H. Entrance. FORCES UNDER COMMAND OF PATWING TWO (COMTASKFOR 9) disposed as follows:
    Patron 21 Midway: Patron 11, 12, 14, Kaneohoe; Patron 21, 22, 23, 24 Pearl Harbor. WRIGHT enroute from P. H. For Midway. Condition of readiness B-5. (50% aircraft on 4 hours notice). Specific duty assignments required 6 planes from Patron 14, 24, and 12 to be ready for flight on 30 minutes notice. Total number of planes ready for flight or in the air in 4 hours or less: 72. At time first bomb dropped 14 patrol aircraft were in the air (7 on search from Midway), 58 ready for flight in 4 hours or less. Nine undergoing repairs.
    (It was the "consolidated" deck log. Not Ward's.)
    NARRATIVE OF EVENTS OCCURRING DURING JAPANESE AIR RAID ON DECEMBER 7, 1941
     
  11. Dog_Father

    Dog_Father Member

    Looks to me like time was wasted coding and then decoding. Why didn't they just make a phone call, as soon as they heard about a sub trying
    to enter the channel?

    Source: Pearl Harbor Attack: Patrol Wing (PBY) Two Action Report

    A narrative of events of the day follows:

    0700 14-P-1 sank enemy submarine one mile off Pearl Harbor entrance.
    0715 Message coded and transmitted to base.
    0735 Message and decoded and information received by Staff Duty Officer.
    0737 Message relayed to Operations Officer.
    0740 Relayed by telephone to Staff Duty Officer of Commander-in-Chief.
    0750 Search plan drafted by Operations Officer.
    0757 First bomb dropped near VP-22 hangar.
    0758 Message ordered broadcasted to all ships present quote "AIR RAID PEARL HARBOR X THIS IS NO DRILL" unquote (An identical message was sent by CinCPac).
    0800 Search plan transmitted by radio and telephone (Received by some of the planes in the air at 0805).
     
  12. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer Pearl Harbor Myth Buster

    DogFather, were you in the military ever? Because jumping the chain of command is not a good idea. Beside, the actions of the man on the scene certainly indicated that there was no urgency.
     
  13. Dog_Father

    Dog_Father Member

    DogFather, were you in the military ever? Because jumping the chain of command is not a good idea. Beside, the actions of the man on the scene certainly indicated that there was no urgency.

    I was never in the military. I finished high school, in the post Viet Nam
    era and the military was just not well thought of, at least at that time.
    My mother served as nurse in the WAC (womens army corp) and my
    father was a navy pilot (trained on a SBD Dauntless), but never was in
    combat. The war ended while on his way to the PTO. :D

    That grin is from my father, who was glad he never had to go to war!
     
  14. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer Pearl Harbor Myth Buster

    I was never in the military. I finished high school, in the post Viet Nam
    era and the military was just not well thought of, at least at that time.
    My mother served as nurse in the WAC (womens army corp) and my
    father was a navy pilot (trained on a SBD Dauntless), but never was in
    combat. The war ended while on his way to the PTO. :D

    That grin is from my father, who was glad he never had to go to war!
    Pass a salute along to him for me. I was USN '69-'89.

    I'm sure he can tell you that bucking the chain of command was a really bad idea on a good day. Lt. (later Lt. Cmdr.) Kaminsky did what he was supposed to do with the message from Ward, and that was the right thing to do, because the Staff Officer was supposed to know where everybody was at. If Kaminsky had tried to chase people down it would have taken longer to get everything in motion than it did. Twenty five minutes is still pretty fast for a Sunday morning, and that fact was a reason it was chosen for the attack.
     
  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    DogFather, were you in the military ever? Because jumping the chain of command is not a good idea. Beside, the actions of the man on the scene certainly indicated that there was no urgency.

    To be fair I can think of a few times where I went economically jumping. I think of a female sub that wasn't worth cat shit and most of her Troop openly took the piss when the seniors weren't around.

    I suspect it happened shed loads of times during WW2 where a NCO/SNCO, Junior/Senior Officer wasn't up to much and he was bypassed.
     
  16. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer Pearl Harbor Myth Buster

    To be fair I can think of a few times where I went economically jumping. I think of a female sub that wasn't worth cat shit and most of her Troop openly took the piss when the seniors weren't around.

    I suspect it happened shed loads of times during WW2 where a NCO/SNCO, Junior/Senior Officer wasn't up to much and he was bypassed.
    I've done it myself, but it's different when you skip a sub lieutenant and a commander. The back channel communications system works in some settings, not good in others, and you run a risk of getting slapped down when you do it.

    For more on Kaminsky's thinking, see his testimony, Transcript pages 1722-1738 in http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/congress/Vol01.pdf

    (Transcript page numbers are the text in square brackets, not the page numbers at the top of the page, btw.)
     

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