Pearl Harbor Attack

The battleship USS Tennessee BB-43 was the first of two Tennessee-class battleships. She was commissioned on June 3, 1920. and refitted in the 1930s. Amid rising tensions with Japan, the USS Tennessee was transferred to the Pacific Fleet base at Pearl Harbor. On December 7, 1941, she was moored next to the USS West Virginia Battleship and ahead of the USS Vestal, thus very near to the USS Arizona Battleship. In fact, she was just about where the USS Missouri Battleship is today. When the USS Arizona exploded, burning fuel oil was sprayed all over the rear deck of the USS Tennessee and combined with the oil leaking from the USS West Virginia. Amid fears that the fires could spread, the captain ordered her magazines flooded. Two armor-piercing bombs hit the USS Tennessee. One pierced a turret roof and exploded, destroying a gun. The second hit a gun barrel and exploded, spraying shrapnel everywhere. A fragment from this explosion killed the captain of the USS West Virginia. Like the USS Maryland, the USS Tennessee got off lightly, all things considered. Unfortunately, the USS Tennessee was pinned to her mooring quay by the sunken USS West Virginia and hemmed in on all sides. The USS Maryland was pinned in place by the USS Oklahoma, and behind her, the USS Arizona burned. She reached Puget Sound Naval Yard on December 29, 1941, and went in for a major refit. On May 22, 1943, the USS Tennessee rejoined the fleet. She fought through the Island-Hopping campaign providing naval gunfire support. She took part in the Battle of Surigao Strait. The last battleship-to-battleship fight in history. She was decommissioned on February 14, 1943. 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.

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. A small boat rescues a seaman from the 31,800 ton USS West Virginia burning in the foreground. Smoke rolling out amidships shows where the most extensive damage occurred. Note the two men in the superstructure. The USS Tennessee is inboard., Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID fsa.8e00810, PD-USGov

Underway in Puget Sound, Washington, on 12 May 1943, after modernization. Note the greatly increased beam that was one element of this work. Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives.

S. No. Name, Rank S. No. Name, Rank
1 Jesse L. Adams, Sea1c 4 Alfred W. Hudgell, BM1c
2 J. B. Delane Miller, Cox 5 Eugene O. Roe, Sea1c
3 Gerald O. Smith, SK1c