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T 0755 on the morning of December the
seventh, I94I, the PENNSYLVANIA
was sitting in drydock in the Pearl Harbor
Navy Yard. Her screws had been removed
from their shafts and were resting on the bot-
tom of the dock. She had been scheduled to
leave the dock on the sixth and berth at Ten
Ten Dock, immediately adiacent, but delays
had been encountered, those delays probably
saved the ship.
It was a normal quiet Sunday morning, and
there was little activity aboard. The watch
had iust been set and thechaplain was mak-
ing preparations for the eight o'clock mass on
the quarterdeck. Virtually all of the ship's
company were aboard. In view of the exist-
ing conditions general over night liberty had
not been granted.
. THE ATTACK
Suddenly and with complete surprise, Jap-
anese dive bombers and torpedo bombers
roared out of the high overcast. The PENN-
SYLVANIA was one of the first ships in the
harbor to open fire. Her .50 caliber machine
gun crews had their guns in action even be-
fore General Quarters was sounded.
Jap planes tried repeatedly to torpedo the
caisson of the drydock but never succeeded.
If they had, a wall of water would have swept
into the drydock, causing incalculable dam-
age to the PENNSYLVANIA. The ship and the
surrounding dock areas were strafed severely,
and a medium bomb struck the starboard side
of the boat deck, and burst inside casement
9. The crew of the 5"f5I was wiped out. The
destroyers CASSIN and DOWNES, iust for-
ward of the PENNSYLVANIA in the drydock,
were hit and seriously damaged. The intensity
of the fires in the DOWNES caused her fuel
oil tanks to explode with further extensive
damage. The torpedoes on her deck were
armed with warheads, and at least two of
these went off with a mighty roar, sending
flames more than I00 feet high and shower-
ing that section of the harbor with metal frag-
ments. A portion of a torpedo tube weighing
nearly I000 pounds was blown onto the fore-
castle of the PENNSYLVANIA ,and the battle-
ship's bow was pockmarked by fragments.
At 0945, almost two hours from the time
it had begun, the raid ended. The damage in
Pearl Harbor was appalling, although it might
have been worse. The ARIZONA, the PENN-
SYLVANIA'S sister ship, was smashed beyond
hope of salvage. The OKLAHOMA was cap-
sized. The WEST VIRGINIA and CALIFORNIA
were resting on the bottom, and the NEVADA
had been beached. Of the eight battleships
in the harbor only the PENNSYLVANIA, TEN-
NESSEE, and MARYLAND had received minor
damage. Our light forces had fared better.
Three light cruisers had suffered moderate
damage, but three other light cruisers and
three heavy cruisers had gone untouched.
Three destroyers were heavily damaged.
Not quite two weeks later the PENNSYL-
VANIA'stood out of Pearl Harbor. She spent
Christmas underway and arrived in San Fron-
cisco on the 29th. The damage caused by the
one bomb hit at Pearl Harbor was repaired,
and the four 3'ff50's 'on the boat deck were
replaced with I.I 's.
Throughout the greater part of I942 the
PENNSYLVANIA served in Task Force I, con-
sisting of seven OBB's, and carried the Task
Force Commander, Vice Admiral W. S. Pye.
From February through July the task force
operated out of, though sometimes at con-
siderable distance from, San Francisco.
- NIMITZ COMES ABOARD
On April third Capt. C. M. Cooke was re-
lieved as Commanding Officer of the PENN-
SYLVANIA by Capt. T. S.' King, II. In July
Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Commander in
Chief of the Pacific Fleet, was awarded the
Distinguished Service Medal by the Com-
mander in Chief, United States Fleet, Ernest
J. King, in a brief ceremony on the quarter-
deck ofthe PENNSYLVANIA in San Francisco.
Task Force I entered Pearl Harbor in mid-
August. Except for a couple of practices, the
PENNSYLVANIA sat at Fox-3, next to Ford
Island, from then until the last days of Sep-”