Pearl Harbor Attack

The USS Utah BB-31 was a Florida-class battleship commissioned on August 31, 1911. During WWI, she served with Battle Division 6, guarding the western approaches against German incursions. As a result of the London Naval Treaty of 1930, She was converted to a radio-controlled target ship and was given the designation of AG-16. In 1940 she was equipped for anti-aircraft gunnery training. She was moored off of Ford Island on the opposite side of the Island from Battleship Row. She was aft of the light cruiser USS Raleigh. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, she was at first rejected as a target. However, six torpedo bombers thinking that she was a battleship, launched torpedoes at her. One hit the USS Raleigh, and two hit the USS Utah. The torpedo hits caused massive flooding. She began to list, and the crew abandoned ship. One man remained aboard to keep the power on as long as possible to allow other crew members to escape. Chief Watertender Peter Tomich would posthumously receive the Medal of Honor for his actions. A total of 58 officers and men were killed on the USS Utah. Salvage attempts, such as with the USS Oklahoma, were attempted but were unsuccessful. As she did not obstruct a berth and she had no military value, her wreck was left in place. As the remains of those who died aboard her were never recovered, she is designated a war grave. A memorial was dedicated to her on Ford Island near her wreck. Please view the list to learn the names of those who lost their lives on that day.

US battleship en:USS Utah (BB-31) after conversion into a target ship., US Navy photographer,, PD-USGov

The U.S. Navy target ship USS Utah (AG-16, ex BB-31) capsizing off Ford Island, during the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (USA), 7 December 1941, after being torpedoed by Japanese aircraft. Photographed from USS Tangier (AV-8), which was moored astern of Utah. Note colours half-raised over fantail, boats nearby, and sheds covering Utah´s after guns., U.S. Navy, Official U.S. Navy photo 80-G-266626 from the U.S. Navy Naval History and Heritage Command, PD-USGov

S. No. Name, Rank S. No. Name, Rank
1 William D. Arbuckle, Sea2c 30 Joseph Barta, F3c
2 Rudolph P. Bielka, Lt. Comdr 31 Virgil C. Bigham, Sea1c
3 John E. Black, Lt. (jg) 32 John T. Blackburn, F1c
4 Pallas F. Brown, Sea2c 33 William F. Brunner, F3c
5 Feliciano T. Bugarin, OC2c. Killed by “friendly fire” aboard Argonne 34 Kenneth L. Lynch, Sea2c
6 John G. Little III, Lt. (jg) 35 Elmer H. Ulrich, F3c
7 George V. Chestnutt, Jr., Sea2c 36 Lloyd D. Clippard, Sea2c
8 Joseph U. Conner, F1c 37 John R. Crain, F1c
9 Michael W. Villa, F3c 38 Vernard O. Wetrich, FC1c
10 Glen A. White, F1c 39 Peter Tomich, CWT (PA)
S. No. Name, Rank S. No. Name, Rank
11 David L. Crossett, Sea1c 40 Billy R. Davis, F2c
12 Leroy Dennis, Sea2c 41 Douglas R. Rieckhoff, SM1c
13 William H. Dosser, Sea2c 42 Vernon J. Eidsvig, Sea1c
14 Melvyn A. Gandre, QM1c 43 Kenneth M. Gift, BM2c
15 Charles N. Gregoire, Sea2c 44 Herold A. Harveson, Lt. (jg)
16 Clifford D. Hill, Sea2c 45 Emery L. Houde, Bkr2c
17 David W. Jackson, Ens 46 Leroy H. Jones, Sea1c
18 William A. Juedes, SC2c 47 John L. Kaelin, Y3c
19 Eric T. Kampmeyer, GM3c 48 Joseph N. Karabon, F1c
20 William H. Kent, Sea1c 49 George W. LaRue, GM3c
S. No. Name, Rank S. No. Name, Rank
21 William E. Marshall, Jr., Sea2c 50 Rudolph M. Martinez, EM3c
22 Charles O. Michael, Lt. Comdr 51 Marvin E. Miller, Sea2c
23 Donald C. Norman, Sea2c 52 Orris N. Norman, F2c
24 Edwin N. Odgaard, EM2c 53 Elmer A. Parker, CSK (PA)
25 Forrest H. Perry, SC3c 54 James W. Phillips, Sea1c
26 Walter H. Ponder, MM1c 55 Frank E. Reed, SF3c
27 Ralph E. Scott, Sea1c 56 Henson T. Shouse, F1c
28 George R. Smith, Matt1c 57 Robert D. Smith, Sea1c
29 Joseph B. Sousley, Sea2c 58 Gerald V. Strinz, F3c