USS Pennsylvania (BB-38), USS Cassin (DD-375) and USS Cassin (DD-372) in Pearl Harbor Navy Yard After the Japanese Attack

The wrecked destroyers USS Downes (DD-375) and USS Cassin (DD-372) in Drydock One at the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, soon after the end of the Japanese air attack. Battleship USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) is astern, occupying the rest of the drydock. When the Japanese raiders arrived over Pearl Harbor, Fleet Flagship Pennsylvania was in Pearl Harbor Navy Yard's largest drydock and therefore was beyond the reach of the torpedoes that inflicted such devastation on four of the fleet's other heavy ships. Though bombers of the second wave attacked her, Pennsylvania was directly hit only once, by a 550-pound (250-kilogram) bomb that struck amidships, putting some of her five-inch guns out of action but generally causing only minor damage to the heavily-constructed ship. Also in the drydock, side-by-side ahead of Pennsylvania, the destroyers Cassin and Downes were not nearly so lucky. Several bombs hit on or near them, puncturing their thin hulls with fragments, releasing fuel oil and starting major fires that badly strained their structure. They were further damaged by exploding ammunition and the detonation of one of Downes's torpedoes, which blew a large hole in her midships port side. Finally, when the drydock was partially flooded as a precaution against an attack on its entrance caisson, Cassin came partially afloat and capsized against her consort. The fires caused additional, but superficial, damage to Pennsylvania's bow, and the two destroyers were almost completely wrecked.The torpedo-damaged cruiser USS Helena (CL-50) is in the right distance, beyond the crane. Visible in the center distance is the capsized USS Oklahoma (BB-37), with USS Maryland (BB-46) alongside. Smoke is from the sunken and burning USS Arizona (BB-39), out of view behind Pennsylvania. USS California (BB-44) is partially visible at the extreme left. This image has been attributed to Navy Photographer's Mate Harold Fawcett (January 13, 1917 - June 5, 1999) who was wounded in the knee during the attack. These photos were suppressed until December 1942.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
National Archives and Records Ad
Archival Identifier: 
Date Photographed: 
Sunday, December 7, 1941
Pearl Harbor
United States of America