U.S. Navy Action Report of the U.S.S. Neosho

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

December 1941



USS Neosho
Serial 711



December 11, 1941





The Commanding Officer.


The Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet.


Raid on Pearl Harbor, T.H., December 7, 1941


(a) Your 102102.


1).  In accordance with reference (a) the following report is submitted:


At 0755, December 7, 1941, the U.S.S. Neosho was moored, starboard side to, in Berth F-4, Naval Air Station, Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, T.H., having just finished delivering aviation gasoline.


About 0758 Japanese dive bomber planes were observed bombing the Naval Air Station.  General Quarters was sounded at 0800 and the battery of three 3"-23 caliber A.A. and one 5"-51 caliber guns was manned immediately and ordered to open fire and fire at will as enemy targets came in range.  No fifty caliber Machine Guns were used as they had not been received on board.


Opened fire on Japanese planes at 0805 when in range.  Fuses were set on firing against dive bombers (3.2 sec.). Immediate preparations for getting underway was ordered.  Underway at 0842 after chopping lines to bollards on piles off each end of dock as no assistance was available for casting them off.  In backing away from the dock the Neosho barely cleared the USS Oklahoma which had capsized to port.  Proceeding during the third wave of the attack to Berth M-3, Merry Point engaging the enemy enroute as opportunity presented.  At 0930 moored in berth M-3, astern the USS Castor to await instructions from Commander Base Force, Neosho having gotten underway from Berth F-4 without orders in order to clear the way for the USS Maryland in the event that the latter desired to move.  At 1136 discontinued firing, enemy having retired.  Expended 171 rounds of 3"-23 caliber A.A.


At 0912 Neosho hit enemy plane which is believed to have crashed since it disappeared from view in an obvious side slip at low altitude.  At least two enemy torpedo planes were observed headed directly towards this ship while underway with apparent object of battleships a targets.  It is believed that our fire deflected, or at least forced these planes away from their objectives for they were seen to change course radically to the right without dropping their torpedoes.


Own damage - None, although several bombs fell close to the stern jarring the ship appreciably, but no leakage has been noted.


2).  The conduct of the officers and men attached to the USS Neosho and that of the passengers on board for transportation from, and to, the United States was outstanding and worthy of highest praise.  It is a matter of interest that (37.5%) of the men attached to this ship have come from the Training Station within the past nine months, and that all the gunnery personnel are stationed in exposed positions.  The Gunnery discipline of the battery was excellent, as was the discipline of the ship control, repair parties, and Engineering personnel.



[Captain, U.S.S. Neosho]


Table of Contents:

U.S.S. Neosho (AO-23)

U.S.S. Neosho (AO-23) Home Page


SECTION 1:  Background

Specifications of the U.S.S. Neosho

Photo Gallery of the U.S.S. Neosho

The Four U.S.S. Neoshos


SECTION 2:  Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941)


Prelude to War:  Conflict in the Far East

Bill Leu's Early Years

The U.S.S. Neosho at Pearl Harbor

Interview of Bill Leu:  The Attack on Pearl Harbor

>  U.S. Navy Action Report:  U.S.S. Neosho


SECTION 3:  Battle of the Coral Sea (1942)


The Battle of the Coral Sea:  Summary

Battle Action:  April 30 - May 4, 1942

Battle Action:  May 5 - May 7, 1942

Battle Action:  May 8, 1942

The Ordeal of the U.S.S. Neosho

May 7, 1942:  The Japanese Attack

May 8, 1942:  Waiting for Rescue

May 9, 1942:  Fading Hope

May 10, 1942:  Neosho Sighted

May 11, 1942:  Rescue

The Battle of the Coral Sea (continued)

List of Survivors and Casualties

U.S.S. Neosho:  Survivors and Casualties

U.S.S. Sims:  Survivors and Casualties

Interview of Bill Leu:  The Battle of the Coral Sea

U.S. Navy Action Reports:  Battle of the Coral Sea

Action Report of U.S.S. Neosho

Action Report of U.S.S. Sims

Action Report of U.S.S. Helm

Other Ships at the Battle of the Coral Sea

The U.S.S. Sims (Neosho's Escort)

The U.S.S. Henley (Neosho's Rescuer)

The U.S.S. Helm (Rescued Life Raft)

Battle of the Coral Sea Scrapbook

Honolulu Newspaper:  May 8, 1942

S.F. Examiner Article:  July 10, 1942


SECTION 4:  Aftermath


President Bush's 1991 Speech at Pearl Harbor

Seattle Times Article:  Bill Leu at Pearl Harbor

John S. Phillips, Captain of the U.S.S. Neosho

U.S.S. Neosho Veteran's Forum

Fireman Third Class, Bill Leu

Jack Rolston and the Tragic "Raft of 68"

Links, Sources and Further Information

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