West Virginia (BB-48) took seven torpedoes
and two bombs. She was abandoned, on fire, settling to the harbor
bottom on an even keel. She returned to the fleet in July 1944.
Only Nevada (BB-36) of the eight battleships at Pearl Harbor that day
was both able to build steam and maneuver, she took multiple hits and
was intentionally beached to prevent her sinking in the channel. All the destroyers and cruisers able to maneuver headed to open sea.
Japanese mini-subs waited in ambush.
Five mini-subs had been brought from Japan with orders to penetrate the harbor if possible, otherwise to sink the leaving ships. One is known to have succeeded in entering the harbor and fired his two torpedoes, both of which missed. One is known to have fired his two torpedoes at USS St. Louis as she exited the channel,which exploded on a hidden reef. One min-sub was sunk by USS Ward on anti-sub patrol an hour before the air strike. One ran aground with the sub commander captured. And one mini-sub is unaccounted for.
With dozens of destroyers suddenly at sea, the Japanese submarine force that surrounded the Hawaiian Islands was made ineffectual. Driven to hide on the bottom, they could not recover any of the mini-sub crews. Which was pro-forma anyway, they were called "special attack" which is a euphemism for suicide missions.
The first air attack lasted from 7:51 a.m. (Wheeler), 7:55 (Hickem) to 8:25. There was a lull until the second wave arrived to attack from about 9:02 to 9:30. The last damage assessment plane left by 10:00. Adm Nagumo decided that he had been fortunate, that the risk of damage to his ships and planes was greater than the potential damage to smaller ships that were now at sea and not the sitting ducks that the battleships had been. He decided to withdrawal with his mission of sinking the battle fleet having been accomplished.
Monday morning quarterbacks like to point out that a third strike, by returned first strike aircraft, if directed at the oil tank farm could have wiped out the fuel supplies that would have forced the US fleet to withdrawal back to the West Coast. They say Adm Nagumo did not realize the importance that every drop of fuel to Hawaii had to be brought in by tanker, that the storage tanks were all above ground, and that the 30 Japanese submarines could have sunk our tanker fleet. Well, as I said, these observations were made too late -- to be of aid to either side.
Other points. There were civilian fuel supplies that could be mobilized. The submarines were not under Naguma's control. His assignment was to sink the US fleet, not make lots of burning smoke on shore. He had lost 9 airplanes in the first attack against a sleeping target, and 20 planes in the second attack which had accomplished less damage primarily because the task had been mostly accomplished by his first strike. Aircraft were damaged during the attacks (30 discarded on landing of 111 hit) and a third strike may have left him vulnerable to attack by the pursuing US fleet which included two carriers at sea, possibly a third, each armed with 80 aircraft.
The Rape of Nanking was the taking of 200,000-300,000 civilian lives with the capture of the Chinese capital in Dec 1937. Men were used for bayonet targets, woman of all ages were targeted for other uses. Yvonne's mother was right in anticipating similar atrocities against whites of conquered territories as was soon seen in the British and Dutch colonies in the western Pacific..
Most reports place the Japanese mini-sub commander as an Ensign. The nine who died were posthumously elevated two ranks. The one captured was not so honored and his image did not appear with the nine who died.
I was in Pearl Harbor at the time of the attack. A convoy was made up in February to transport military dependents to San Francisco. My mother, sister and myself were on one of those ships, U.S. Grant. I was only eleven at the time.I was aboard the Lurline on that trip and was 8 years old. I didn't remember the names of the other ships, if I ever knew them, so I enjoyed your account -- especially the tale about the Japanese POW. The Lurline was, indeed, a luxury ship -- meant for 1,000 people, I think, but the Navy crammed 3,000 people on her, so it was far from luxurious. (That's the story I've grown up with; I can't vouch for its authenticity -- of much else from when I was 8 years old!)
Two cabins down from us was Lt.Sakamaki, the sub commander captured in the grounded mini sub. He was being taken back for interrogation. As the cabins faced on to the deck, everyone left their doors open during the day. I saw the prisoner several times. He was guarded around the clock. He was very aware of his dishonor. Each day he was allowed a walk on the deck during which he was surrounded by so many guards he disappeared in a well of khaki. It seems they were afraid he would jump overboard and commit suicide. While he was in his cabin, the guards stayed outside the door. During one of these periods when he had relative privacy, he burned his cheeks with a cigarette, the only means available to him to punish himself.
There was a little girl aboard that somehow became acquainted with the prisoner. The guards allowed her to visit him once in awhile. He wrote her name for her in Japanese, which suggests he knew at least a little English.
I did not see Lt. Sakamaki removed from the ship nor do I know where he was taken. I am sorry I can't tell you more, but the prisoner was kept away from the civilians. All his activities, including meals, took place in his cabin.
Yvonne Her story at Pearl Harbor