USS PYRO AE-1
USS PYRO AE-1
USS PYRO AE-1
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Colorado Pearl Harbor Survivors, Dave Wilson (right) Wayne Martin, Carl Galvin George Richard (left).
California Pearl Harbor Survivors John Finn, Medal of Honor, Pearl Harbor Attack.
Artwork by Vargas
Donald Green (left) USS Pyro AE-1, Washington State Pearl Harbor Survivors
Arthur Herriford, (center) President National Pearl Harbor Survivors Association Inc.
Texas & Other State Pearl Harbor Survivors
Survivor of sinking of USS Indianapolis
Pennsylvania Pearl Harbor Survivor
Jon Sinatra (right) and Johnny Sinatra readies for parade march
Memorial Day Parade 2008. Colorado Chapters 1-2-3-4. Pearl Harbor Survivors ride in style in 6 Model A vehicles.
General Sal Vallano speaks at the Colorado State Capitol for the dedication of the Pearl Harbor Survivors memorial there.
Jon and Nikki Sinatra, Memorial Day Parade - 2007
Nikki Sinatra and friends giving a wave and distributing candy to the Memorial Day crowd - 2010
- COLORADO CHAPTERS -
Denver Mile High Chapter #1 (click)
Pueblo Steel City Chapter #2
Western Slope Chapter #3
Pikes Peak Chapter #4
Memorial Day Parade 2007
National Pearl Harbor Survivors Association
THE BEGINNING; The eleven founding members of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association held their first reunion December 7, 1958 in Gardena, California. FIRST ROW, L to R: GEORGE W. HAINES JR., SAM KRONBERGER.
RAYMOND J. LE BER, MARK FERRIS, JAMES C. TANEYHILL. SECOND ROW, L to R: CLARENCE E. BONN, ED KRONBERGER, ROBERT S. KRONBERGER, ED STEFFA, GEORGE SCHAFFER, LEWIS P. SMITH.
ATTACK ON USS PYRO BY ENEMY SUBMARINE 14 DECEMBER 1941
December 11, 1941: Orders were received and the USS Pyro proceeded unescorted to San Francisco. Before dawn on 14 December, while on passage to the United States, the ship was attacked when two torpedoes were sighted passing close aboard from astern. A submarine surfaced shortly afterward 600 yards astern and was taken under fire from the ship's aft 5" guns. The submarine quickly dived and no-hit was scored. Patrol Wing Two from the Naval Air Station at Pearl Harbor was dispatched to the site and a report on the incident was written. The report also shows that a tanker was torpedoed and sunk 45 miles off of Kahuku Point, an hour and twenty minutes after the Pyro's encounter with a sub. Also within the report, it is stated that on December 11, just off of the big island of Hawaii, that a large submarine was sighted and that it may be a fuel supply ship for small ones (midget subs) or that it may have even been carrying one (see report below at 1625 hrs.)
The report states (above), that at 4:24 pm, a large submarine was sighted and that it was either a fuel supply ship or it may have been carrying a midget sub. The sighting took place on December 11, 3 miles off Kaiwi Point (about 23 miles SE of the entrance to Pearl Harbor. Japanese military records show that the mother sub I-16 was to remain in the area off of the island of Lanai for their midget sub HA-16. Patrol Wing Two states that a large submarine was seen heading south (toward Lanai) at a high rate of speed from Kaiwi Point and that she may have been carrying a midget sub. Records show that the I-16 mother sub departed Lanai, for Kwajalein on December 12. Military records also reveal that there were full-sized submarines outside of the Pearl Harbor entrance on December 7. Within a Congressional Investigation regarding the Pearl Harbor Attack, Ensign N.F. Asher, the commanding officer of the destroyer USS Blue, credits his ship in sinking 2 enemy submarines just outside of Pearl Harbor during the attack. The U.S. Navy reports there were 20 subs outside of Pearl Harbor. It is unclear exactly how long the submarines all stayed in the area but the USS Pyro was reported to have been attacked by an enemy submarine on December 14. Just 11 days later following the attack on the Pyro,on December 25, a Japanese submarine was sighted off of Redondo Beach, California. The Air Corps and Navy responded and dropped several bombs. Following the bombing, newspaper headlines announced "Army Flyer Sinks Coast Raider, Air Filled With Debris As Nippon Submarine Is Destroyed."
What happened to the I-16's midget sub HA-16? On December 11, Patrol Wing Two reported seeing a large submarine possibly carrying a midget sub just SE of Pearl Harbor at the time the I-16 was ord. ered to leave the area. From the testimony of Admiral Bloch to the Commission to Investigate the Japanese Attack of Dec. 7, 1941, on Hawaii, the admiral states that the gate to the entrance of Pearl Harbor was ordered closed at 8:40 am on December 7. The gate was left open in order for ships to escape the attack to open seas. The HA-16 midget sub entered the harbor and had launched her 2 torpedo's into Battleship Row by at least 8:10 am, this gave the sub at least 30 minutes or more to exit the harbor before the gate was closed. The midget subs that attacked Pearl Harbor traveled at a speed of 19 knots, or 23.5 mph. From the location of her 2nd torpedo launch, just off the bow of the Arizona, and according to the map captured from the HA-19, the sub had to travel 7 miles to exit past the gate. At 19 knots, this would take about 20 minutes.
Military records show, that by the year 1960, four of the five midget subs had been found. Those records also show that from 2 of those subs their nose and tail were removed and dumped outside of the harbor. On September 5, 2000, The Hawaiian Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL) discovered a nose, the main body, and the tail of a midget sub in the Defensive Sea Area outside of the harbor. Since then, it has been assumed that that sub was scuttled by her crew in the West Loch and that the crew escaped. It has also assumed that the sub was later discovered and removed from the West Loch following an explosion there at the ammunition depot and along with other debris, the sub was dumped outside of the harbor where it was then found in 2000. The U.S. Navy documented and photographed 4 of the midget subs found from the attack at Pearl Harbor beginning in 1941. Admiral Nimitz states in a Congressional Report, that a 1000 pound torpedo (midget sub torpedo) was recovered in Battleship Row. So why would the Military not record any information regarding the 5th sub had it been discovered in or around Pearl Harbor? If the HA-16 midget sub escaped pearl Harbor sometime prior to the I-16 mother sub's departure from the Hawaiian Islands, then possibly the midget sub found by HURL on September 5, 2000, could be either the HA-16 midget sub that went missing at Diego Suarez Bay in May of 1942 or the HA-20 that also was launched along with HA-16 at Diego Suarez against the British Fleet. The HA-20 was beached after it had fired its 2 torpedos at the British Fleet, its two crew members were killed in a firefight by Royal Marines shortly thereafter. Was the HA-16 recovered at Diego Suarez with a figure 8 net cutter still on its nose, and then returned to Pearl Harbor? It was reported that one of the HA-16's crew was found washed up on a beach near Diego Suarez shortly following their launching against the British Fleet. It is probable that there are record(s) of the return of one of those subs if that happened. But it is also possible that the Navy would not have announced it to the public as being a midget sub from the 7 December attack as they have the other 4 midget subs.
On January 10, 2010, PBS aired: Killer Subs in Pearl Harbor. The show highlighted the midget sub discovered by HURL. Imperial Japanese Navy Petty Officer Kichiji Dewa was aboard the I-16 mother sub the night HA-16 was launched into battle at Pearl Harbor and was a guest on the PBS program. Also a guest on the program was Admiral Kazuo Ueda. The Admiral was the senior surviving midget submariner from the war. No one knows the whole context of the Japanese midget subs better than the admiral. Admiral Ueda said that he had his doubts about that sub being the HA-16. He said he did not think that it was midget sub number 5, but one that was damaged and dumped by American forces during the war. Why would he say that unless the HA-16 had escaped out of Pearl Harbor? Go Okumoto is a Japanese expert in the identification of Japanese midget submarines and was also a guest on the show. He verified that the 3 pieces located by HURL were from a midget sub that was launched into Pearl Harbor on December 7. The U.S. Navy had in their possession already 2 midget subs early on in the war; the HA-19 recovered near Bellows Field on December 8, and the sub that launched her torpedos and was sunk by the USS Monahan during the attack. So what interest would the Navy have with another midget sub as they had already dumped 2 of them early on in the war? The limited remains of the HA-20 midget sub were found about two weeks after the attack at Diego Suarez sitting upright on a reef within an area of volatile surf. According to historian/author Kimata Jiro, a recent NHK documentary showed the aft section only remained (now completely submerged) in the same location. It is reported that the I-16 was never located and if not, it may very well still be within 12 mile launch into Diego Suarez Bay now ????
If the I-16 was scuttled in the West Loch, on Dec. 7, then it sat there in shallow water for 3 years and was never noticed. During the cleanup of the West Loch in 1944, following the explosion, the cleanup was photographed and as much as I wanted to see a midget sub among the debris in all of those images, it just was not there. The map captured from the HA-19 midget sub, shows only a sliver of the West Lock. The coarse plotted around the main channel for the midget subs to follow does show a stopping point at ??????????? and possibly that is where the message sent regarding the success of the attack took place. A second message was also sent that a sub was unable to navigate and it is probable that that message was sent by the HA-19 who's gyroscope had failed.
On May 30, 1942 at night I-16 launches her Type A Midget Submarine under the command of Lt. Katsusuke Iwase with PO2C Kozo Takada for an attack against Diego-Suarez Bay (Antsiranana Bay). When the midget submarine fails to return it is declared missing
in 1951, a midget sub was spotted on the seabed just outside of the harbor by the research ship "Pioneer". It is said that it was then quickly and quietly removed by the Navy and dumped. The U.S. Navy did not release this information and if it was a legitimate find, then there should be at least another nose and a tail of a midget sub in the dumping ground. The nose and tail that were removed from the midget sub and dumped were from the midget sub that was sunk by the USS Monahan. It was reported that that sub was buried as backfill at Pearl Harbor. In 1966, author Walter Lord published his book Day of Infamy. Along with other pictures of the Pearl Harbor attack, he included a photo of the midget sub being buried minus its nose and tail. The center section of the sub does not appear to be the center section of the sub sunk by the Monahan.