Saturday, December 7, 2019

TheList 5161

The List 5161 TGB

To All,

I hope that you all have a great weekend. 17 full days until Christmas. 3 weekends for the procrastinators.



This day in Naval History

Dec. 6

1861—During the Civil War, the side-wheel steam cruiser Augusta, commanded by Cmdr. Enoch G. Parrott, captures British blockade runner Cheshire off South Carolina.

1917—During World War I, German submarine U-53 torpedoes and sinks USS Jacob Jones (DD 61) off England with the loss of 64 lives. U-53's commanding officer, Hans Rose, in a rare gesture, reports the 38 survivors' drift location to the American base in Queenstown, Ireland.

1941—USS Decatur (DD 341), in Task Unit 4.1.4, while on escort duty with convoy ONS 39, carries out a depth charge attack on a suspicious contact in the North Atlantic.

1941—President Franklin D. Roosevelt sends a letter to the Japanese emperor reminding the Japanese leader of their country's long-standing relationship and his concern about developments occurring in the Pacific area.

1943—USS Raven (AM 55) rescues 16 survivors from U.S. tanker Touchet, which was sunk by German submarine U 193 three days earlier. The entire merchant complement of 50 men survived but 10 of the 30-man armed guard are lost with the ship.

1959—Cmdr. Lawrence E. Flint, Jr., piloting a McDonnell F4H-1 Phantom II powered by two GE J-79 engines, betters the existing world altitude record by reaching 98,560 feet above Edwards Air Force Base, CA. The previous record of 94,658 feet was reached in the USSR by a TU-431 jet.

Dec. 7

§ 1796—In his eighth annual message to Congress, President George Washington urges Congress to increase naval strength.

§ 1941—In one of the defining moments in U.S. history, the Japanese attack the U.S. Pacific Fleet and nearby military airfields and installations at Pearl Harbor, HI, and remove the U.S. Navy's battleship force as a possible threat to the Japanese Empire's southward expansion. The U.S. is brought into the World War II as a full combatant.

§ 1941—During the attack on Pearl Harbor, Capt. Mervyn Sharp Bennion, commanding officer of USS West Virginia (BB 48), with concern only in fighting and saving his ship, strongly protests against being carried from the bridge. For devotion to duty and courage during the attack, Bennion is awarded the Medal of Honor.

§ 1941—Chief Aviation Ordnanceman John William Finn mans a .50-caliber machine gun mounted on an instruction stand in an exposed section of the parking ramp, while under heavy enemy machine-gun strafing fire. While painfully wounded, he continued to man the gun and return the enemy's fire throughout the enemy strafing and bombing attacks. He was at last persuaded to leave his post to seek medical attention after being specifically ordered to do so. After receiving first-aid, the chief returned to the squadron area and actively supervised the rearming of returning planes. Chief (later Lieutenant) Finn earned the Medal of Honor that day for his extraordinary heroism, distinguished service, and devotion above and beyond the call of duty during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor.

§ 1941—Ensign Francis C. Flaherty remains in his turret, holding a flashlight so the remainder of the turret crew could see the escape, thereby sacrificing his own life. For devotion to duty and courage during the Pearl Harbor attack, Flaherty is awarded the Medal of Honor.

§ 1941—Lt. Cmdr. Samuel Glenn Fuqua rushes to the quarterdeck of USS Arizona, where a large bomb hits and penetrates several decks, and the explosion starts a severe fire and also stuns and knocks him down. Upon coming to, he begins to direct the firefighting and rescue efforts. A tremendous explosion forward appears to make the ship rise out of the water, shudder and settle down by the bow. Flames envelope the forward part of the ship and spread, as wounded men pour out of the ship to the quarterdeck. Despite the mayhem, Fuqua keeps calm under pressure and continues to direct the firefighting efforts so that the wounded could be taken from the ship, and in so doing inspires everyone who sees him. Realizing that the ship cannot be saved and that he was the senior surviving officer aboard, he orders the crew to abandon ship. Fuqua remains on the quarterdeck until satisfied that all personnel that could be had been saved, after which he leaves the ship with the last boatload.

§ 1941—Chief Boatswain Edwin Joseph Hill leads his men of the line-handling details of USS Nevada to the quays, casts off the lines and swims back to this ship. Later, while on the forecastle attempting to let go the anchors, he is blown overboard and killed by the explosion of several bombs. Chief Hill earned the Medal of Honor that day for his distinguished conduct in the line of his profession, extraordinary courage, and disregard of his own safety during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor.

§ 1941—Ensign Herbert C. Jones organizes and leads a party in supplying ammunition to the antiaircraft battery of the USS California after the mechanical hoists were put out of action. Jones is then fatally wounded by a nearby bomb explosion and when two men attempt to take him from the area which was on fire, he refuses to let them, saying, in words to the effect, "Leave me alone! I am done for. Get out of here before the magazines go off."

§ 1941—Rear Adm. Isaac C. Kidd immediately goes to the bridge and as the commander of battleship division one, he courageously performs his duties as Senior Officer Present Afloat until his flagship, USS Arizona, blows up from magazine explosions and he is killed by a direct bomb hit on the bridge.

§ 1941—As the mechanized ammunition hoists are put of action in USS California, Chief Radioman Thomas James Reeves, on his own initiative, in a burning passageway, assists in the maintenance of an ammunition supply by hand to the antiaircraft guns until he is overcome by smoke and fire, resulting in his death.

§ 1941—As his station in the forward dynamo room aboard the USS Nevada becomes almost untenable due to smoke, steam, and heat, Lt. Cmdr. Donald Kirby Ross forces his men to leave the station and performs all the duties himself until blinded and unconscious. Upon being rescued and resuscitated, he returns and secures the forward dynamo room and proceeds to the aft dynamo room where he is again rendered unconscious by exhaustion. Again recovering consciousness, he returns to his station where he remained until directed to abandon it.

§ 1941—As the compartment in which the air compressor is located aboard USS California begins to flood, as a result of torpedo hit, the crew decides to evacuate the compartment, but Machinist's Mate 1st Class Robert R. Scott refuses to leave, saying words to the effect, "This is my station and I will stay and give them air as long as the guns are going."

§ 1941—USS Utah begins to capsize as a result of enemy bombing and torpedoing. Chief Watertender Peter Tomich remains at his post in the engineering plant until he sees that all boilers are secured and all of the crew in the fire room have left their stations, and by so doing loses his life.

§ 1941—Captain Franklin Van Valkenburgh, commanding officer of USS Arizona, gallantly fights his ship until his death, when a direct bomb hits on the bridge and the ship blows up from magazine explosions.

§ 1941—Seaman 1st Class James Richard Ward remains in his turret, holding a flashlight so the remainder of the turret crew could see the escape, thereby sacrificing his own life. For devotion to duty and courage during the Pearl Harbor attack, Ward is awarded the Medal of Honor.

§ 1941—Aboard USS Vestal, moored to USS Arizona, Commander Cassin Young proceeds to the bridge and takes personal command of the 3-inch antiaircraft gun. The forward magazine of Arizona explodes and the blast blows Cmdr. Young overboard. He swims back to his ship, which is afire in several places, settling, and taking on a list. Despite severe enemy bombing and strafing at the time, and having been blown overboard, he calmly moves the ship to an anchorage distant from Arizona, which is a blazing inferno with oil afire on the water between the two ships. Young subsequently beaches Vestal upon determining that such action was required to save his ship.

§ 1941—While at the side of his Captain on the bridge, Cook 3rd Class Dorris Miller, despite enemy strafing and bombing and in the face of a serious fire, assists in moving his Captain, who had been mortally wounded, to a place of greater safety, and later mans and operates a machine gun directed at enemy Japanese attacking aircraft until ordered to leave the bridge. For distinguished devotion to duty, extraordinary courage and disregard for his own personal safety during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Miller is awarded the Navy Cross.

§ 1944—The 7th Fleet forces land the 77th Army Infantry Division on the shore of Ormoc Bay. Kamikazes attack the Task Force, damaging several U.S. Navy ships. USS Ward (APD 16) is scuttled after being hit by a kamikaze.

§ 2017—Rear Adm. Matthew J. Carter, deputy commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, presented the Bronze Star Medal with V device for valor to Joe Ann Taylor, the daughter of Chief Boatswain's Mate Joseph L. George. Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer had previously authorized the award for George's heroic achievement while serving aboard the repair ship USS Vestal (AR 4) Dec. 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor.

Dec. 8

§ 1846—While commanded by Lt. Raphael Semmes, the brig Somers is chasing a blockade runner off Vera Cruz when it is caught in a sudden storm. Capsized by the heavy winds, it quickly sinks with the loss of more than 30 of her crew. In recent years, her wreck has been discovered and explored by divers.

§ 1941—After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States declares war on Japan.

§ 1941—USS Wake (PR 3), a river gunboat moored at Shanghai, surrenders to the Japanese. During WWII, Wake is the only U.S. Navy vessel to be captured by the enemy intact.

§ 1942—Eight PT boats (PT 36, PT 37, PT 40, PT 43, PT 44, PT 48, PT 59, and PT 109) turn back eight Japanese destroyers attempting to reinforce Japanese forces on Guadalcanal.

§ 1943—USS Sawfish (SS 276) sinks Japanese transport Sansei Maru southeast of Chi Jima. Also on this date, TBFs sinks Rabaul-bound fishing boats No. 3 Yusho Maru, No.7 Fukuri Maru, No.2 Takatori Maru, and No.1 Hoko Maru.

§ 1967—President Lyndon B. Johnson signed legislation to create the Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps of the Department of the Navy. The law established active-duty attorneys as a distinct professional group, and it ushered in a new era of legal administration within the Navy.

Thanks to CHINFO

Executive Summary:

• At USNI's Defense Forum Washington 2019, Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly discussed the force structure needed to support Distributed Maritime Operations.

• CNO Adm. Mike Gilday stated that large-scale fleet exercises in summer 2020 will involve information warfare and tactical cyber teams, reports USNI News.

• Multiple outlets reported on the christening of the future USS John F. Kennedy and USS Mobile scheduled for Saturday.

• Multiple outlets covered USS Columbia shipyard shooting in Hawaii and small boat collision near Kodiak, Alaska.

Today in History December 6


Christopher Columbus lands on the island of Santo Domingo in search of gold.


Phi Beta Kappa, the first scholastic fraternity, is founded at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg.


The majority of Napoleon Bonaparte's Grand ArmeƩ staggers into Vilna, Lithuania, ending the failed Russian campaign.


Union General George G. Meade leads a foraging expedition to Gunnell's farm near Dranesville, Virginia.


President Abraham Lincoln orders the hanging of 39 of the 303 convicted Indians who participated in the Sioux Uprising in Minnesota. They are to be hanged on December 26.


The monitor Weehawken sinks in Charleston Harbor.


The 13th Amendment is ratified, abolishing slavery.


Jack McCall is convicted for the murder of Wild Bill Hickok and sentenced to hang.


Thomas A. Edison makes the first sound recording when he recites "Mary had a Little Lamb" into his phonograph machine.


Lieutenant Thomas E. Selfridge flies a powered, man-carrying kite that carries him 168 feet in the air for seven minutes at Baddeck, Nova Scotia.


The Bolsheviks imprison Czar Nicholas II and his family in Tobolsk.


Ireland's 26 southern counties become independent from Britain forming the Irish Free State.


Benito Mussolini threatens Italian newspapers with censorship if they keep reporting "false" information.


American Ambassador Davis says Japan is a grave security threat in the Pacific.


France and Germany sign a treaty of friendship.


Britain agrees to send arms to Finland, which is fighting off a Soviet invasion.


President Franklin D. Roosevelt issues a personal appeal to Emperor Hirohito to use his influence to avoid war.


The United States extends a $3 billion loan to Great Britain to help compensate for the termination of the Lend-Lease agreement.


Florida's Everglades National Park is established.


The "Pumpkin Spy Papers" are found on the Maryland farm of Whittaker Chambers. They become evidence that State Department employee Alger Hiss is spying for the Soviet Union.


Vanguard TV3 explodes on the launch pad, thwarting the first US attempt to launch a satellite into Earth's orbit.


Adrian Kantrowitz performs first human heart transplant in the US.


Hells Angels, hired to provide security at a Rolling Stones concert at the Altamont Speedway in California, beat to death concert-goer Meredith Hunter.


Pakistan severs diplomatic relations with India after New Delhi recognizes the state of Bangladesh.


US House of Representatives confirms Gerald Ford as Vice-President of the United States, 387–35.


A Provisional IRA unit takes a couple hostage in Balcombe Street, London, and a 6-day siege begins.


Democrat Tip O'Neill is elected speaker of the House of Representatives. He will serve the longest consecutive term as speaker.


The Babri Mosque in Ayodhya, India, is destroyed during a riot that started as a political protest.


NASA reveals photographs from Mars Global Surveyor that suggest the presence of water on the red planet.


The Truth about Pearl Harbor

Captain Harold K. Strunk, U.S. Navy, Retired

To understand the 'why' of Pearl Harbor, we need to revisit what was going on in Europe in the days leading up to the attack. World War One ended with victors, but no winners. Germany had failed in their quest to expand their borders and the British and the Germans lost an entire generation of young men. In the first day of the Battle of the Somme, Britain lost 21,000 men killed. Not wounded, Killed. We entered the war four years after it began and the Brits called us "Johnny Come Latelys". Yet we lost 117,000 young men who are buried all over Western Europe.

At war's end, the Treaty of Versailles was so punitive to the Germans that it sowed the seeds for the rise of Adolph Hitler and World War Two. For years the Germans were preparing to take over all of Western Europe, building a war machine to carry out a Blitzkrieg. In 1938, Germany invaded the Sudetenland and in 1938 annexed Austria. One year later he added Czechoslavakia. Then in September of 1939 Hitler invaded Poland which forced France and Britain to enter the war. Nine months later the German Army drove the British and the French armies into the sea at Dunkirk. Prime Minister Churchill called for everyone who could sail a boat across the English Channel to go and rescue our soldiers. Thousands responded. Personally I believe Hitler let them escape hoping that Great Britain would remain neutral. It seemed that all Hitler wanted was Continental Europe. With all of Western Europe under German occupation, in June of 1941, Hitler turned East and broke the Non-aggression Pact he had signed with Josef Stalin and invaded the Soviet Union.

Hitler kept the pressure on the British with his wolf pack of submarines sinking almost every supply ship that tried to reach England. They were clearly in trouble. With that, Churchill needed to get the United States into the war in Europe to come, once more, to Britain's rescue. His pressure on President Roosevelt never let up.


However, the mood in America was not what you might imagine. Adolph Hitler was Time Magazine's Man of the Year in 1938. Hitler awarded his highest civilian honor, The Order of the Golden Eagle, to Henry Ford who had built a factory for him. Our Ambassador to England, Joe Kennedy, was openly praising Hitler. So was Charles Lindberg. And the Duke and Dutchess of Windsor were such an embarrassment to Prime Minister Winston Churchill that he had them banished to Bermuda. Standard Oil of New Jersey was fueling German U-boats and tankers at Tenerife in the Canary Islands and Rockefeller's Chase Bank was one of Hitler's banks.

In the 'thirties I lived in a section of New York City that was entirely German. American Germans filled Madison Square Garden in a rally supporting Hitler. And needless to say, they were rooting for Max Schmeling when he fought Joe Louis at the Garden.

Roosevelt's problem was that he had promised while campaigning in August, 1941, that no American boys would be sent again to fight in European wars. Europe was always at war. And Roosevelt knew that Germany was not going to attack us. They wanted us to be neutral. After all, Hitler had seen the Americans in combat before. He had been a corporal in World War I and had been awarded Germany's highest medal, the Iron Cross for heroism.

However, President Roosevelt knew of a way. Germany had signed a pact with Italy and Japan. War with one was war with all. So the plan evolved to force Japan to attack us. The American public was very isolationist in those days, so it would have to be something that would enrage us and take us into war.

Roosevelt came into possession of an eight point memorandum written on 7 October 1940 by Navy LCDR Arthur McCollum to the Office of Naval Intelligence. Implementation of these eight points would provoke Japan to attack us. It was economic strangulation.


McCollum had grown up in Japan and spoke Japanese fluently. He knew the Japanese people well.

So President Roosevelt then set our course in history. There are those that still say that we never broke the Japanese codes. Listen closely to this…fact is, the Japanese diplomatic and naval codes were being broken years before Pearl Harbor. All Tokyo diplomatic messages intended for Japanese missions in America passed through the RCA radio communications systems. Voice telephone service to and from Japan went through American Telephone and Telegraph offices near Market Street in San Francisco. Radio messages for Japanese merchant marine vessels originated in San Francisco at Globe Wireless.

On New Year's Day, January 1, 1941 Navy Chief Radioman O.C. Coonce at Station CAST, Corregidor, intercepted the Japanese Navy's

5-Number code detailing the move of Japanese naval forces into French Indo China. On April 22nd, Radioman Leroy Lankford intercepted messages indicating the formation of a new fleet placing all ten of

Japan's aircraft carriers under the command of MI KI 99, his code name, aboard the Carrier Akagi. With radio direction finders they located the carrier and reported its location to Washington. Further they determined that MI KI 99 is VADM Chuichi Nagumo.

On May 1st the Japanese Navy changed its code to Yobidashi Fugo HYOO 8. It changed every radio address in the Japanese Navy. They felt this would protect the security of their warships and senior officers.

Ten days later, Station CAST identified the new call sign of the Akagi as

HA MI 9. Using radio direction finders they located Akagi at the Sasebo Naval Base on Kyushu.

On June 20th, VADM Nagumo was detected in radio communications with the flagship of Japan's submarine force, Katori.

By August, 1941 six Navy Radio Stations were intercepting Japanese messages usually operating on 6775 kilocycles. They are Station CAST on Corregidor, Station VICTOR in American Samoa, Station KING in


Dutch Harbor, Alaska, Station TARE at Point St. George, California, Station HYPO on Hawaii, and Station X which is still classified to this

day but believed to be the British-owned Makay Radio and Telegraph station at Half Moon Bay, California.

On average, the Navy was intercepting four or more messages a day.

Then on November 25th, ADM Isoroku Yamamoto ordered the Carrier Task Force to open hostilities with the United States Fleet in Hawaii.

On November 26th, 1941, Japan's First Air Fleet under the command of Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo departed Hitokappu Bay with orders to attack Pearl Harbor on 8 December 1941 (Tokyo time).

On December 1st, Elliot Okins, the watch supervisor at Station HYPO in Hawaii intercepted a message to Commander in Chief, Combined Fleet and Commander in Chief, China Fleet and from Chief, Navy General Staff. That was top Admiral Osami Nagano. When decoded it read:

1. It has been decided to enter into a state of war between the Imperial Government on one side, and the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands during the first part of December.

2. The C in C Combined Fleet will destroy the enemy forces and air strength in the eastern seas at the same time will meet any attack by the enemy fleet and destroy it.

3. The C in C Combined Fleet will, in cooperation with the Commander of the Southern Army, speedily capture and hold important American and British bases in Eastern Asia and then Dutch bases.

4. C in C Combined Fleet will in case of necessity cooperate with the operations of China Area Fleet.

5. The time for activating the movements of forces in accordance with preceding articles will be given at a later order.

6. Execution of details will be as directed by Chief of the Naval General Staff.

Admiral Nagano's orders were followed immediately. Admiral Yamamoto transmitted, "Climb Mount Niitaka", the Start- the- War message in Japan's Naval Code.


By 4 December Station CAST on Corregidor had identified and located by radio direction finders the carriers Akagi, Zuikaku, and Hiryu.

The fleet was also heard and being tracked by stations in Dutch Harbor, Seattle, Samoa and San Diego.

Even the steamship SS Lurline heard them as she steamed between San Francisco and Hawaii. They were also picking up messages between Nagumo and Admiral Yamamoto. Feeling that their codes were secure, they were careless. There were 31 ships within the fleet and they were often heard as they steamed across the deserted Northern Pacific Ocean toward Hawaii.

All coded radio intercepts were copied and were routed to Station US in Washington, DC to be decrypted. Only they could decode the intercepted number and letter groups.

When these messages were decoded, there were only thirty-six individuals cleared to read them. Among them was the President, Secretary of State Cordell Hull, Secretary of War Henry Stimson, Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox, Army Chief of Staff General George Marshall, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Harold R. Stark, Director of Naval Intelligence Captain William S. Anderson, Commander US Army Forces Philippines General Douglas MacArthur, Lt Commander Joseph J. Rochefort Commander US Navy Radio Station HYPO at the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, Lieutenant John Lietwiler commander US Navy Radio Station CAST Corregidor, Captain William A. Heard, Far Eastern Division, Office of Naval Intelligence, Washington, DC, Rear Admiral Richmond K. Turner, Navy War Plans Officer, Washington, DC, Commander Arthur McCollum, head of Far East Section, Office of Naval Intelligence, Washington, DC, Lt Commander Edwin Layton, Pacific Fleet Intelligence Officer at Pearl Harbor, Agnes Meyer Driscoll, Chief Civilian Cryptanalyst for the US Navy, Washington, DC, and Colonel William Friedman, US Army Cryptanalyst, Washington, DC.


These were the only people who received the decoded messages that the Japanese Fleet was on its way to attack Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941.

The commanders on Hawaii, Admiral Kimmel and General Short were NOT on that list. Let me repeat that. The two commanders who most needed the information were kept in the dark.

The message that would tell them to expect an attack was sent Routine Priority, not Flash, and arrived after the attack.

Many, including LCDR Rochefort and LCDR Layton reported to Admiral Kimmel., yet they stood by, lips sealed, and watched as their commanders took all the blame. Franklin Delano Roosevelt needed a surprise attack to get us into the war, and with this, he got it.

So, yes, Roosevelt knew, as did many other high-ranking officers and officials. What was needed was a surprise attack to enrage the American people. The attack on Pearl Harbor did just that. Within days, the German Parliament declared war on the United States. We were now free to go to Britain and Europe's aid.

Contributing to the success of the Japanese attack was something going on within the Navy as well as the Army Air Corps. There were the Battleship Admirals and there were the Station Keepers. When the warlords came into port, they expected the base to be ready for them. Then there was this Army aviator, BGEN Billy Mitchell, who in 1925 had demonstrated that an airplane could sink a battleship. The navy didn't think much of it, but the Japanese did.

Mitchell's insubordination brought a Court Martial and he was reduced in rank to a Colonel and retired. To the day he died he told all that would listen that the future was in airplanes and aircraft carriers. It is pleasing to note that four months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, it was the sixteen B-25 bombers named after Billy Mitchell that launched from the USS Hornet that bombed mainland Japan.


There are many who believe that the sailors were asleep that Sunday, December 7th. After all, there had been a Big Band competition all week at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and US Navy Band Number 22 of the USS Arizona was a leading contender. But on that morning, all the bandsmen were dressed in their whites and on the fantail ready to play

the Star Spangled Banner at 8 AM. Then at 7:55 the attack began and boatswains mates yelled down the hatches, "Battle stations, this is no drill."

The twenty-one bandsmen's battle station was below decks in the magazine. They would pass up the gunpowder bags to the big guns above. My friend Molly Kent's brother Clyde was one of them. When the Arizona was hit the powder magazine exploded and nothing was left of them. Twenty-four hundred sailors, marines and soldiers died that morning.

Blame was quickly assigned to Admiral Husband Kimmel and General Walter Short. They were Discharged for Dereliction of Duty, reduced in rank, and discharged in disgrace from the service they loved so well.

They demanded a Court Martial to clear their names. But a Military Court Martial would bring out the facts, so it was not to be.

Years ago our Congress voted to exonerate Admiral Kimmel and General Short and restore them to their four-star rank, but no president has signed the order, even though the truth is clear.

So, still in the minds of many, the myth of a surprise attack lives on.


1 comment:

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