The Torpedoing of the U.S.S. Kearny
OCTOBER 17, 1941


Watch Time Entry
0 to 4StatusSteaming on course 090 (T) at convoy speed of about 7 knots, standard pedd 15 knots, 143 RPM, in company with ComTaskGroup 4.1.4 in PLUNKETT, Comdesdiv 21 in LIVERMORE, DECATUR and four british Corvettes and one British destroyer escorting an eastward bound convoy. Steaming under Boilers Nos 1 & 3 with a split engineering plant. Ship darkened and in Condition of Readiness III, Material condition Afirm set. On station off port quarter of convoy, patrolling station. Captain on the bridge
0000Ship of convoy, bearing 070 relative, distance about 1200 yards, was struck by torpedo and burned brilliantly. Called all hands to General Quarters. Changed speed to 15 knots, 143 RPM and commenced swinging ship to port, conducting embarrassing barrage with depth charges in accordance with convoy doctrine
0002Dropped 600 lb. depth charge
0006Steadied ship on 240 (T) and changed speed to 10 knots, 93 RPM to avoid collision with British Corvette. Shortly thereafter with full left rudder, resumed swinging ship to port to parallel convoy course and take further action as necessary
0010A torpedo struck the ship amidship on the starboard side abreast of No. 1 fireroom below the waterline. A torpedo wake was seen crossing the bow and another was seen crossing the stern. The explosion of torpedo striking the ship caused the following casualties among the ships company:
The immediate inspection of the ship by the heads of the departments determined the following material damage sustained:
The following is as nearly possible an account of steps taken and the order in which they were taken to bring the ship under control and get underway, apprise Task Unit Commander of ship's predicament, and maintain the fighting powers of the ship at the highest possible efficiency
0013Two white Very pistol shells were discharged to inform the surrounding vessels that this vessel had been torpedoed
0015The Captain went aft to the Secondary Conn.
0020Regained steering control by hand steering and headed ship into the wind and away from the vicinity of the convoy by order of the Executive Officer Conning from Secondary Control
0022Stopped port engine
0025H.M.S. BADDECK challenged and KEARNY replied, using a battle lantern
0040Way was gotten on the ship by use of the port engine and the after fireroom which were still operative, and an approximate westerly course was established at about three knots
0041Radio communication was reestablished in emergency radio. A message was sent to comTaskGroup 4.1.4 stating that we had been torpedoed but were able to proceed slowly
0100Captain took Conn. and set course approximately North at a speed of about 5 knots which the engine was by then giving; zigzagging ship as much as possible
0103Received orders from ComTaskGroup 4.1.4 to proceed to the nearest port
0115Regained electric control and shifted from hand steering to power steering in steering engineroom. About this time, the starboard engine was started on back pressure from the after fireroom and speed gradually increased to about 8 knots
0130Established telephone connection between Secondary Conn, engineroom, and steering aft by jumper leads
0150Shifted steering control to Secondary Conn. and continued on northerly course at about 8 knots
4 to 8StatusSteamed as before on course 010 (T) at 8 knots (starboard engine 70 RPM, port engine 98 RPM)
0721Increased speed gradually to 10 knots (starboard engine 90 RPM, port engine 98 RPM). During watch, star shell illumination was visible periodically bearing about 150 (T)
8 to 120800Mustered crew by signature. Absentees: (killed in action). zigzagging on northerly course at about 10 knots
0921Sighted ship bearing 045 relative
0955Changed course to 020 (T) and dropped 5 turns on both engines
0955Changed speed to 89 RPM starboard engine, 95 RPM port engine
12 to 161415Sighted GREER bearing 218 (T), distance about 17 miles
1550GREER formed anti-submarine screen ahead
1552Changed time zone to zero time
16 to 201610Secured from Condition of Readiness III and set regular sea watch
1622Sighted MONSSEN on port bow

"Oct 1941, Monssen DD-436 was in port Iceland, one of the 2 fire-rooms torn down for repairs when they learned of the Kearny being torpedoed. My father remembered that the Admiral (who?) ordered the Monssen out to assist Kearney to Iceland. They found Kearny listing, but underway on its own and escorted it in. He remembers Kearny crewmen stating they took 3 fish."
--written by Steve Miller, for his father
Raymond P. Miller soundman 3/c U.S.S. MONSSEN.
1640Stopped all engines
1645Lt.(jg) R.W. Rommel (MC), USNR, accompanied by pharmacist's mate first class Perkins, came aboard from MONSSEN with medical supplies
1657Changed speed to 10 knots (93 RPM)
20 to 24No Remarks

October 16
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