Pontoons Are Strapped to USS Raleigh (CL-7)

USS Raleigh (CL-7) is kept afloat by a barge lashed alongside, after she was damaged by a Japanese torpedo and a bomb on December 7, 1941. The barge has salvage pontoons YSP-11, 12, 13 and 14 on board. Raleigh was moored in Berth F-12 at the time of the attack, on the west side of Ford Island. At 0756 two torpedoes were dropped about 300 yards from the ship. One hit the ship below the eighty pound armor belt and another passed about twenty-five yards ahead of the ship. The one which hit the ship caused immediate flooding of the two forward boiler rooms and the forward engine room. General Quarters was sounded at once, and the anti-aircraft battery went into action promptly. Men not at the guns were ordered to jettison weights on the port side, especially those high up on the ship. About 0900 the ship received a 550-pound (250-kilogram) bomb hit from an Aichi Type 99 D3Y dive-bomber. This was dropped from about 800 feet (244 meters) and passed through three decks and out the side of the ship. It exploded clear of the vessel on the harbor bottom at frame 112 and caused damage typical of a near-miss. Luckily the compartment, which held 3,500 gallons of aviation gasoline, was left intact. The ship counterflooded, but the construction of the ship was not favorable to a great deal of counterflooding as loss of buoyancy was more important than list. Due to defective hatches the main deck had some free water surface, which, added to that produced by the damage, was almost fatal. The jettisoning of topside weights and the reduction of free surface by pumping water from the main deck saved the ship. It certainly would have been lost if it had been at sea, as it developed negative stability. This was gradually overcome, partly by lashing an available barge alongside. The ship was almost lost even with moderate damage. The Commander Battleships commended the captain and crew for saving the ship by remedial actions. The ship's force and repair ships repaired most of the inside damage to the ship, after removing almost all of the fuel, oil, and water which were aboard. It was not until January 3, 1942 that the Navy Yard had Drydock Number One available. Then the Yard completed permanent repairs to the hull and bulkheads until undocking on February 14. Soon Raleigh departed on one engine for Mare Island where new engine parts were provided and electrical repairs made. After various patrols to the Solomons, Raleigh served in the Aleutians after 1943 for the rest of the war. She was scrapped in 1946.
Caption Written By: 
Rear Admiral Homer Wallin
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Archival Identifier: 
Date Photographed: 
Sunday, December 7, 1941
Pearl Harbor
United States of America