Pearl Harbor Attack

The USS Downes (DD-375) was a Mahan-class destroyer. She was commissioned on January 15, 1937, as part of a new breed of destroyers. As with all destroyers built under the Washington Naval Treaty, she was limited to 1,500 tons displacement. These “treaty destroyers” were meant to take advantage of the technological advancements that occurred in the 20s and 30s. They were also meant to counter the more advanced destroyers of other nations, especially Japan. Prior to this, the US Navy had been reliant on the aging destroyers that had been built during and after WWI. The USS Downes was in drydock next to her sister USS Cassin. They shared the same drydock with the USS Pennsylvania Battleship. The drydock was well away from battleship row. During the Japanese attack on December 7, a Japanese bomb struck between Cassin and Downes damaging both. Fuel fires broke out even as the crew fought ferociously to defend their ships. The drydock was flooded to try to put out the fires, but they ended up just spreading the oil-based fires. When the ammunition started to explode, both ships were abandoned. The USS Downes was damaged beyond repair, and the USS Downes was decommissioned on June 20, 1942. But like a phoenix from the flames, she was reborn. Her machinery was salvageable, and they were taken to Mare Island Navy Yard, where they built a new ship around the machinery of the old USS Downes. This new ship was almost the same as other Mahan-class destroyers, and her old hull number of DD-375 was reused. Recommissioned on November 15, 1943, she went on to fight in the rest of the Pacific War, finally being decommissioned for the last time on December 17, 1945.

Below is a list of the personnel killed on December 7, 1941. Please view the list to learn the names of those who lost their lives on that day.

The U.S. Navy destroyers USS Cassin (DD-372) (capsized, right) and USS Downes (DD-375) (left) in Drydock No. 1 at the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard on 7 December 1941, immediatly following the Japanese attack. Both ships had been severely damaged by bomb hits and the resulting fires. In the background, also in Drydock No. 1, is USS Pennsylvania (BB-38), which had received relatively light damage in the raid. Note her CXAM-1 radar., USN, Official U.S. Navy photograph NH 64482, PD-USGov

Downes (DD375). Starboard side, underway, Unknown author or not provided, National Archives and Records Administration, cataloged under the National Archives Identifier (NAID) 513025, PD-USGov

S. No. Name, Rank S. No. Name, Rank
1 James E. Bailey, RM3c 7 Benjamin L. Brown, Sea2c
2 Marvin J. Clapp, SC3c 8 Thomas W. Collins, F3c
3 Edward C. Daly, Cox 9 Albert J. Hitrik, F2c
4 George E. Jones, Rm3c 10 John A. Marshall, WT2c
5 Nolan E. Pummill, MM2c 11 William H. Silva, Sea2c
6 Perry W. Strickland, Sea1c 12 James Vinson, F3c