tv Pearl Harbor Deck Logs CSPAN December 23, 2016 8:30pm-9:01pm EST
happened here. to a japanese pilot named senji abe when asked what it might mean to him, he said perhaps it's a warning to all who come here to never repeat the mistakes of world war ii. i suspect the visitors who come here on a daily basis take their own message. but here the oil still weeps and the ship in many ways still lives. >> you can watch this and other american artifacts programs at any time by visiting our website, c-span.org/history. yesterday, december 7th, 1941, a date which will live in
infa infamy. >> to mark the 75th anniversary of the attack on pearl harbor, we visited the national archives in college park, maryland, to see a selection of five u.s. navy deck logs from that day. the logs are routine written records of activities and observations on naval ships. but they were anything but routine on the day of infamy. >> i am cris carter. i'm an archivist as the national archives in college park, maryland. and today we're going to look at the deck logs of various ships that were located at pearl harbor during the attack. a deck log is a recording of all the activities that occurred on the ship in a 24-hour period. this could include any injuries to sailors, any sailors coming on and off the ship. anything according to the ship at the time. so in this instance, the attack on pearl harbor. we're going to first look at the
"uss chew." one of the older destroyers. it's a world war i-era destroyer. it had four stacks. four smoke stacks. and it was a little slower than the contemporary destroyers at the time which we'll look at some of those. the "uss chew" after the attack was used primarily in an escort role for convoys and things of that nature. so this is what the officers on board wrote on december 7th. starting at around 6:00 in the morning, they received ten gallons of milk and 4 1/2 gallons of ice cream which was recorded on board. and they brought this on board. and interestingly enough, the next entry located on this deck log is 7:57 which states suffered surprise air attack by japanese torpedo.
sound general quarters and manned antiaircraft battery. nice juxtaposition between peace time and then war breaking out. at 8:11, they mention that they continued the attack by japanese bombers and dive bombers. for instance, what ended up happening, the three-inch anti-aircraft guns scored a direct hit on one dive bomber demolishing the plane in midair. was observed by the executive officer and various members of the crew. two other probable hits were scored. one in the tail assembly of a dive bomber. >> would they have written this that day? >> most likely not. most likely a lot of these recollections occurred after the fight. at the time, they would have been reporting some of the incidents occurring, but they were a little preoccupied at the time trying to fight back and things like that. for a lot of these records, a lot of these were probably
recorded after the fact. some deck logs, this one, not include, will write down the number of casualties who was killed, who was wounded. those would not be collected until the end of the attack. >> do you know whose job it was to write these things down? >> yes. the officer on watch is typically the one who does this. it's not the executive officer, the captain. in this case lieutenant commander. so typically an ensign or lieutenant junior grade or lieutenant depending on the type of ship was the one responsible for writhe the entries in the deck log. this is the "uss alwin." one of the more modern destroyers at the time of the attack. this ship is notable because it set sail with only four officers on board. all four were ensigns, roughly
the equivulent of a second lieutenant in the army. the most experienced of them had only eight years of experience. so they actually kind of set sail without any tugs, any pilots on board to help them set sail. and they managed to make it out of the harbor and were patrolling for a day or two until they finally came back in the harbor and picked up everyone else, including their captain. one fun thing about the deck log is it actually mentions that the captain was trying to catch up to the ship as it was setting sail. but according to the orders of the commander of the destroyer squadron, they were not to pick up any paermg paermg passenge setting sail. ultimately was not able to until a day or two later. one entry of note in here, it actually does mention there was some damage because of the
attack because at 0900, according to the deck log, bomb exploded on port quarter. throwing the stern against a buoy. and that's all they mentioned in their brevity, but obviously, there wasn't enough damage for them not to be able to set sail because they ultimately set out and were outside patrolling looking for any other japanese submarines that might have attacked. >> do they have any other mention of the attack? >> let's see here. we have at 9:03, they opened fire with a main battery of machine guns on dive bombers coming over ford island. according to the deck log, they shot down one plane which fell on the "uss curtis." one thing a lot of the deck logs at the time will mention, they will mention either the "arizona" burning or blowing up because that was a notable occurrence at the time. for instance, in here, it mentions that the "arizona" seen burning from stern to stern followi ining explosion. this is shortly after the start
of the attack. so the next ship we'll look at is the "uss monahan." another destroyer similar to the "aylwin." so the "monahan" is notable because during the time of the attack, one of the japanese midget submarines was able to successfully penetrate pearl harbor. it was sighted by the monahan who then proceeded to ram a submarine and drop two depth charges to sink the submarine. >> so where were they located physically? >> so the destroyers that we've mentioned so far, they all were located in the northeastern portion of the harbor itself because that's where they stored most of the -- that's where they docked most of the destroyers. the battleships were, as most
people know, docked along ford island. they were on the southeastern section of the harbor itself. >> and in general, why were all these ships in hawaii? >> all these ships were in hawaii itself because there had been war warnings recently. we were aware that more likely than not, we were going to end up fighting the japanese. as a way to convince them not to attack us, we had our forward elements of the pacific fleet stationed in pearl harbor itself. so actually the main portion of the fleet. eight battleships and three aircraft carriers of the pacific fleet were all based in pearl harbor at the time. fortunately for us, our aircraft carriers were out and about doing various missions at the time of the attack. we're not present at the time of the attack. relatively unscathed because of
it. >> at 8:39, the deck log said sighted enemy submarine. at 8:40, it says headed for submarine at flank speed to ram. passed over submarine. dropped two depth charges which exploded at depth. observed one torpedo track on the starboard beam. and then unfortunately for them at 8:43 they back engined emergencies as they struck the dredge on the other side of the harb. and actually they do record a little bit of the damage that occurred to the ship, but they were still able to get under way and were another one of the destroyers that were stationed outside of pearl harbor to protect against any possible submarine attack. most entries are arranged in four-hour time blocks. and so each officer who is in charge of the watch at that time block would typically sign the entry they wrote up. one we were just reading from
was j.e.w. an ensign of the u.s. navy. with the "monahan" it did not make it to the end of the war. but it was not sunk in enemy action. it actually succumbed to a typhoon in december of 1944. and unfortunately sunk somewhere in the pacific ocean. then "uss chew" that had been used for convoy action. the all win was also used in the pacific ocean. as more of a -- they were stationed with the fleet itself and served as protection from submarines and aircraft attack. >> next we move to the "uss maryland" a battleship located at pearl harbor at the time of the attack. maryland was lucky in that it actually did not suffer a lot of damage during the attack. and part of the reason for that
is they were in board the "uss oklahoma" meaning the only way the japanese could hit the "uss maryland" was via aerial bombs. whereas the "oklahoma" had to suffer air bombardment and torpedo attack. so luckily for he "maryland" the oklahoma" soaked up most of the torpedoes and was one of the two battleships we ultimately lost through the course of the battle because the "oklahoma" ended up capsizing, completely flipped over. if you see any images of the hull of the ship during pearl harbor, that's the ship. >> and people are watching this and wondering why aren't we reading the deck logs from the "oklahoma" or" arizona." >> so, unfortunately, we do not have the deck logs from the" uss arizona" or "uss oklahoma" because both were considered
sunk at the time of the battle. "arizona" most likely either blew up or got burned up in the beginning of the attack, whereas the "oklahoma" as it flipped over, they weren't able to recover the deck log itself because at the time they were a little more concerned with saving as many men as they could. actually the same thing with the "west virginia" as well. the "west virginia" even though we ultimately raised the ship from the bottom, at the time of the attack, since it was docked right next to the "uss arizona" a lot of the oil from the "uss arizona" floated down and there was a lot of flame rising up around the "west virginia" which led to it being abandoned" until we were able to quench the flames and go back and reflip the ship. now the notable thing about the deck log for the "uss maryland" is at the time, it appears that a lot of the radio transmissions
went through the "uss maryland." a lot of these radio transmissions were recorded in the deck log itself. what that ultimately means is a lot of the confusion that was occurring at the time of the attack notably, we have no idea where the japanese were at the time or what they were planning on doing next. kind of lends itself from the deck log itself. for instance, at 12:01, it's recorded that parachute troops were reported landing at barber's point and enemy tankers were reported four miles off of the coast of oahu. now as most people know, that was not the case, but at the time, they weren't sure if this air attack was a prelude to something bigger. if they were going to launch an invasion of oahu itself to completely knock out the navy base. but as we know, that was not the case. another entry of note is at 11:43, as a part of the further
continuation of the confusion, the "maryland" writes, report received. any troops wearing blue coveralls with red emblems. not only did they think they were attacking we knew what they dressed like. i'm just -- the confusion at the time, they had no idea what was going on. they were trying to send out planes to find where the enemy carriers were but unfortunately as the japanese made sure to destroy as many of the planes as they could before we could have them take off. we didn't have many search planes available at the time. and ultimately when we did think, we figured out where the japanese carriers were. we ended up going 180 degrees in the wrong direction because apparently with radio contacts, when you receive it, it's either one way or it's the exact opposite. we assumed instead of them being
to the northwest they were to the southeast. we sent one of our carriers down that way to scout to try to foond their carriers but, of course, they weren't there. we didn't find them which in the long run was probably a good thing because we would have been outnumbered two carriers to six. that would not have ended well and that would have not have ended well for "midway" because we needed all the carriers we had at the time to succeed in that battle. >> what's the first indicator on this log that something is going wrong? >> let's see here. we have, according to this deck log, 7:50, japanese planes commenced bombing attack on yard by dive bombers. at 7:52, the "uss maryland" sounded general quarters. and shortly thereafter, the "maryland" records that the "oklahoma" which is the ship right next to it, was hit by an unknown number of torpedoes. they arranged the deck logs in four-hour time chunks. so the first time chunk, it's
0400 to 0800. the next time chunk is where the main attack itself is located. so the 0800 to 1200 chunk. so i mentioned here, the commanding officer is restored. commence getting up steam to try to get under way. at 8:05 they open fire with one one-inch battery and the 50 caliber machine gun. they are trying as hard as they could to get into the attack, but as it was a surprise attack it took them a little bit of time. at 8:10, the "uss oklahoma" listed the port until lying on starboard side with keel showing. took steering and engine control. 8:38, stood by all lines. 8:39, all ready boxes refill. ready boxes at this time were the boxes that they put on the ammunition in. this was considered the ready ammunition they could use for
all the various weapons they had on board. at 8:40, received report that an enemy submarine was in pearl harbor. presumably, probably the submarine the "monahan" saw rammed and ultimately depth charged. which is kind of interesting because they must have received that via radio transmission because since they're on the opposite side of ford island they shouldn't have been able to physically see that. and then one of the next entries is 8:57, the "uss nevada" getting under way which was the first battleship and ultimately the only battleship that got under way during the time of the attack. 8:58, the "uss west virginia" settling. fire appearing on or near the "uss tennessee." 8:59, the "uss california" listing to port. at 0900, open fire with remaining anti-aircraft batteries. at 9:09, received one, possibly
two bomb hits on a midship's line. about frame ten, details report of damage to be given later. and about three near misses on each side and ahead of the bow. at 9:14, received report of large number of enemy bombers over pearl. at 9:24, torpedo air compressor reported out of commission. lost air pressure on port five-inch .25 caliber battery. at the same time a burning enemy plane fell on the "uss curtis." at 9:25, recommenced firing. at 9:28, slight firearm -- receives report that rear admiral anderson came aboard. lull in the attack. 9:36, phelps standing up. additional japanese submarines reported inside and outside of pearl harbor.
9:40, "uss west virginia" abandoning ship. .50 caliber machine magazines flooded. at 9:43, covered with flaums from burning oil on the water. 9:45, received reports that enemy plays -- enemy planes massing south of pearl harbor. 9:47, received from commander in chief pacific that all battleships remain in pearl harbor until further orders as the channel was probably mined. at 9:49, patrol bombers taking off. at 9:50, one of the ships sank alongside the 1010 dock. at 9:55, fire under control around quarter deck. 10:05, "uss solace" under way. "uss shaw" floating in dry dock engulfed in flames. commenced firing on enemy aircraft. which probably wasn't the case
because all the enemy aircraft at the time were gone. so that was probably a fanphant sighting. 10:12, commenced pumping. 10:22, at 10:22, floating dry dock sinking, explosions on the uss shaw. at 10:29, report of casuals, one officer reported dead, one listed wounded. you can see the confusion as parachute troops reported near barber's point. at 10:45, submarine reported at barber's point. at 10:40, explosion on the uss west virginia. at 10:44, uss california settling. u.s. submarine sighted. at 10:14, commence fighting from the enemy portside.
to the next page. at 11:37, parachute troops reported landing, and enemy troops with red emblems sighted. and personnel requested to assist the uss oklahoma. >> so the parachute was -- >> most likely a lot of historians believe we were able to get some planes into the air. some of them were shot down and it's presumed that some of those parachutes were reports of our pilot actually coming down. so most likely, that is probably what it was but for certain no japanese troops landed at the time of the attack. we'll take a look at the us s
arvada, part of the reason, the officer on watch ordered a second boiler to come on line to make it a little easier to transition between having one boiler on line for the next -- he was actually just doing it for efficiency's sake. so the uss arvada was built initially around world war i and was modernized in the continuing period. as i mentioned the uss nevada had actually gone under way but as the second attack was coming in, the only large vessel under way, the japanese planes tended to focus on that ship in
particular. so there were a lot of near misses, actual hits, and it looked like the ship potentially had gone down. so the admirals at the time said okay, instead of having this ship potentially blocking this ship to the harbor thereby presenting other ships to get out we'll order it to beach itself. so we have it quartered in here at 9:05, received signals at the commander in the battle force not to prepare out of harbor. they stopped engines, at 9:07, was actually where they received a hit of a bomb on forecastle, killing an individual by the name of hill who was blown overboard. and at 9:10, they were reported as grounding the bow of the
ship, and channel bouy, at 9:15, they reported the captain was on board. this whole time the captain was not on board issuing orders. which was actually normal at the time, it was sunday, at the time of peace, the week before had been the main war warning. and so everyone at the time was expecting nothing to occur, and if anything was to occur they expected it to happen in the philippines, because that was significantly closer to japan and therefore it was more of a threat. but as you know unfortunately that did not happen. they ended up attacking the philippines. at least seven or eight hours later and ultimately securing that sometime in 1942. actually a notable thing about the uss nevada, at the time of
the attack they were raising morning colors. and as this was one of the larger ships they actually had a whole band playing the national anthem. and at the time of the attack, the ships -- the japanese planes were trying in trying to stop the band playing the song and they actually played the song throughout the entire attack and it was not until they were done with the entire song that they ended up going into their stations. some of this was actually reflected in the log itself as of 0800, they made morning colors with guard of the day and bugle, at 8:01, the japanese fleet participated in the attack on pearl harbor. so as it was actually beached it took a while before they were able to get to it. but in february of 1942, our repair crews actually refloated
the ship and were able to do minor repairs to it, basically enough to have it fill out. they sent it to the west coast to get finalized repairs and to kind of update the armament, mostly indicating anti-aircraft batteries and things of that nature. what was most notable, it served in d-day off the coast of normandy and provided shell reports. it was noted as being sent about 17 miles inland -- >> how many ship logs do we have from pearl harbor? >> approximately 90? because i believe they're around 90 ships at the time. including combat and auction --
auxiliaries. we do not have the ones that were destroyed at the time of attack. >> from your point of view, what is the value in preserving documents like this? >> definitely, it's valuable at the very least just from the first hand accounts that we received. from the uss nevada and uss maryland you can just see at the time the chaos that was occurring. we kind of get an idea of what some people were thinking at the time, what the ships were doing at the time. how we were responding to the attack. and other things of that nature. so for historians, this is a very useful tool just to kind of get an idea, in the instance saying what was happening at the attack on pearl harbor, other folks who may be interested. historians who could see who was located on the ship at the time, who may have passed away and things like that. for instance on here for the
nevada, pretty much the logged entry that they have is at 11:30 p.m., they lighted fires underneath boiler number 6, upon completion of overhaul, due to flooding and that is pretty much the last story they had on that particular day. >> can you tell us about how they were saved and how you know where to find them? >> of course, so they're located in one of our stacks. they're arranged in five or ten-year chunks. they're under by months. and so if you want to come here, just talk to our reference path. and you can ask them, we would like a certain month for a certain ship. and if we have that log we'll be able to provide it for you. >> how far back in history do these things go and do they still do them now? >> so the deck logs we have here
at the national archives, we have the 1943 deck logs, we have them back to 1941, the navy is still creating deck logs for the fo fo foreseeable future. >> this weekend on american history tv on c-span3, saturday afternoon just before 5:00 eastern, architectural historian barry louis talks about the construction of the manhattan bridge, why they needed the bridge and why the transportation changed at the turn of the 20th century. >> when the brooklyn bridge was open it did not put the ferries out of business. they were still running at capacity.
ultimate in the mid-'90s, the city of brooklyn had reached a million people. >> then at 8:00, on lectures in history. >> and that is the real sort of interesting thing about country music is that it's the music of poor white people. people who were privileged to be white and i'll talk about that in a second, but also people who are under-privileged in terms of their economic status. >> and how the origins were impacted on country music. then sunday afternoon at 4:00, a real american. a tangle of state and local problems created evidence that this crusade of society against its greatest enemies may be slow or worse level off and fade. this was the climate, the