USS Kearny torpedoed! (10-17-41)

17.10, USS_Kearny_(DD-432)_circa_1940 V Norman

U.S. Navy log book (October 1941)

USS KEARNY

Date: Oct. 10, 1941
..............................................

0000 – 0410
Moored starboard side to VULCAN at berth V, Hvalfjordur, Iceland. Boiler No. 4 in use for auxiliary purposes. Ships present: Comtaskgroup 75 (SOPA) in IDAHO and various units of the United States and British Fleets.

0400 – 0800
No remarks

0800 – 1200
Mustered crew at quarters. Absentees: none. GREER got underway and left the port side.

0813
Cut boiler No. 4 in on main steam line

0838
Got underway from alongside of VULCAN. At various courses and speeds to anchorage near IDAHO to pick up liberty parties.

Standard speed 15 knots 143 RPM. Captain at the Conn. Navigator on the bridge

0905	
Anchored in Hvalfjordur, Iceland with 45 fathoms of chain to the port anchor.

0937	
SALINAS stood in and anchored.

0940	
SCHENCK stood in and anchored.

0951	
Got underway for Reykjavik, Iceland at various courses and speeds to conform to the channel.

Standard speed 15 knots 143 RPM. Captain at the Conn. Navigator on the bridge.

1033	
Passed through anti-submarine gate.

1122	
Anchored in Reyjavik, Iceland with 60 fathoms of chain to the port anchor

1130	
Let fires die out under Boiler No.4 and secured same

1145	
Two lighters came alongside for liberty party

1305	
Lighted fires under Boiler No. 2 and set safety valves

1559	
Let fires die out under Boiler No. 2 and secured same. Made daily inspection of magazines and smokeless powder samples; conditions normal

1610	
Lighted fires under Boiler No. 4

1640	
Cut in Boilers No. 3 & 4 in on main steam line

1701	
Made all preparations for getting underway

1710	
Underway from Reykjavik, Iceland to Hvalfjordur, Iceland; Captain at the Conn. Navigator on the bridge, standard speed 15 knots 143 RPM on various courses and speeds to conform to channel

1800	
passed through submarine net gate

1828	
Anchored in 11 fathoms of water with 75 fathoms of chain to the port anchor, in Hvalfjordur Bay, Iceland

1840	
Let fires die out under Boiler No. 4 and secured same

2000	
Ensign E.T. Brown (USNR) reported on board from LEARY for further transfer to VINCENNES
1 Like
USS KEARNY

Date: Oct. 11, 1941
..............................................

0000 – 0400
Anchored in Hvalfjordur, Iceland in 11 fathoms of water with 75 fathoms of chain to the port anchor. Ships present: Comtaskgroup 75 (SOPA) in IDAHO and various units of the United States and British Fleets

0400 – 0800		
No remarks

0800	
Mustered the crew on stations, Absentees: none

0830	
Lighted fires under Boiler No. 4

0900	
Cut in Boiler No. 4 on main steam line

0940	
Set Material Condition Baker

1000	
Made all preparations for getting underway

1027	
Underway from anchorage in Hvalfjordur Bay, Iceland in company with ComDesDiv 21 (OTC), GREER and DECATUR, Captain at the Conn. Navigator on the bridge, standard speed 15 knots 143 RPM on various courses and speeds to conform to channel to Reykjavik, Iceland

1038	
Took position in column astern of LIVERMORE, order of ships: LIVERMORE, KEARNY, DECATUR, GREER

1042	
Set condition Three, watch I

1110	
Passed through submarine net gate. Made daily inspection of magazines and smokeless powder samples. Conditions normal. Average steam 600 lbs. Average RPM 109

1215	
Anchored in Reykjavik, Iceland in 11 fathoms of water with 60 fathoms of chain to the port anchor. Ships present: Comdesron 27 in PLUNKETT (SOPA), LIVERMORE, BROOME, DECATUR and GREER

1218	
LIVERMORE anchored

1219	
DECATUR anchored

1500	
Made all preparations for getting underway, lighted fire under Boiler No. 4.

1510	
Cut Boilers No. 3 and 4 in on main steam line

1533	
Got underway in compliance with signal from Comdesron 27 in company with PLUNKETT, LIVERMORE, GREER and DECATUR, steering various courses and speed to conform to the channel. Standard speed 15 knots 143 RPM. Formed column on PLUNKETT

1535	
Engey Lighthouse abeam to starboard

1540	
Whistle buoy abeam to port - distance about 500 yards

1553	
Grotto light abeam to port distance about 2 miles. Average steam 600 lbs. Average RPM 109

1615	
Steamed on various courses and speeds to take screening station on Iceland unit of convoy

1725	
Passed Skagi Point on the port beam distance 7 miles

1835	
Darkened ship. Average steam 600 lbs. Average RPM 104.25

2000 – 2400
No remarks
2 Likes
USS KEARNY

Date: Oct. 12, 1941
..............................................

0000 – 0400
Steaming in company with Comdesdiv 27 (OTC) in PLUNKETT, LIVERMORE, GREER and DECATUR escorting convoy. Standard speed 15 knots 143 RPM. Steaming at 10 knots. Boilers No. 3 & 4 in use. Average steam 600 lbs. Average RPM 96

0400 – 0800		
Steaming as before. Average steam 600 lbs. Average RPM 90.9

0800	
Mustered the crew on stations. Absentees: none. Made daily inspection of magazines and smokeless powder samples. Conditions normal. Average steam 600 lbs. Average RPM 103.25

1200 – 1600		
No remarks

1732	
Steamed on various courses and speeds to search astern of convoy

1850	
Resumed screening station on convoy and steamed at 10 knots 93 RPM. Average steam 600 lbs. Average RPM 115.5

2000 – 2400		
No remarks
1 Like
USS KEARNY

Date: Oct. 13, 1941
..............................................

0000 – 0400
Steaming in company with Comdesron 27 (OTC) in PLUNKETT, LIVERMORE, GREER and DECATUR escorting 2 ship convoy on course 171 (T). Standard speed 15 knots 143 RPM steaming at convoy speed of 10 knots. Boilers No. 3 & 4 in use. Ship darkened and in Material Condition Baker. Condition of Readiness III watch set. Average steam 600 lbs. Average RPM 97.5

0753	
Changed course and convoy course to 051 (T). Average steam 600 lbs. Average RPM 93.5

0800	
Mustered the crew on stations. Absentees: none

0857	
Changed course to 030 (T)

0930	
Formed scouting line

1015	
Steaming on various courses and speeds to investigate two ships sighted

1030	
Ships identified as KLIPPAREN and STIGIHOLM, Swedish registry on approx. course 210 (T) speed about 10 knots

1035	
Steaming on various courses and speed to rejoin scouting line and take position

1115	
Sighted the convoy bearing 350 (T)

1130	
Steaming on various courses and speeds to take up position in day cruising disposition on flank of convoy

1140	
Changed course and speed to that of convoy: Course 212 (T) / Speed 8.5 knots 98 RPM. Average steam 600 lbs. Average RPM 112.6

1200 – 1600
Made daily inspection of magazines and S.P. samples; conditions normal. Average steam 600 lbs. Average RPM 88

1700	
Changed time to zone plus one time

1741	
Darkened ship. Average steam 600 lbs. Average RPM 78.25

2000	
Convoy changed course to 242 (T)

2300	
Convoy changed course to 212 (T). Average steam 600 lbs. Average RPM 74.
2 Likes
USS KEARNY

Date: Oct. 14, 1941
..............................................

0000
Steaming in company Comdesron 27 (OTC) in PLUNKETT, LIVERMORE, GREER, and DECATUR escorting ON-24 on course 212 (T), standard speed 15 knots (143 RPM), steaming at convoy speed about 8 knots, Boilers Nos. 3 & 4 in use. Ship darkened and in Material Condition B. Readiness Condition III watch set

0040
Convoy changed course to 192 (T)

0100
Set clocks back .5 hour to zone plus 1.5 time. Average steam 600 lbs. Average RPM 74

0400
No remarks. Average steam 600 bs. Average RPM 96

0800
Mustered the crew on stations. Absentees: none

0808
Lighted fires under Boiler No. 1

0845
Sighted three white rockets on the starboard bow, evidently fired from the center of the convoy. Made preparations for depth charge attack but no further evidence of enemy activity developed

0918
Cut Boiler No. 1 in on auxiliary steam line

0927
Cut Boiler No. 1 in on main steam line

0940
Let fires die out under boiler No. 4 and secured same

1000
Convoy changed speed to 9 knots. Made daily inspection of magazines and smokeless powder samples. Conditions normal. Average steam 600 lbs. average RPM 93

1205
Convoy changed course to 208 (T). Average steam 600 lbs. Average RPM 82

1601
Steamed on various courses and speeds to search astern of convoy

1725
Resumed screening station on convoy

1900
Changed course to 179 (T). Average steam 600 lbs. Average RPM 103

2000 – 2400
No remarks. Average steam 600 lbs. Average RPM 92
2 Likes
USS KEARNY

Date: Oct. 15, 1941
..............................................

0000 – 0400
Steaming in company with Comdesron 27 (OTC) in PLUNKETT, Comdesdiv 21 in LIVERMORE, Greer and DECATUR escorting convoy ON-24 on course 179 (T). Standard speed in knots 143 RPM. Steaming at convoy speed of 10 knots 93 RPM. Boilers Nos. 1 & # in use. Ship darkened and in Material Condition Baker. Condition of Readiness II set Average steam 600 lbs. Average RPM 104.9

0420
Started patrolling station

0650
Set Condition of Readiness III. Average steam 600 lbs. Vaerage RPM 101.5

0800
Held muster on stations. Absentees: none

1100
Changed course to 199 (T)

1130
Changed course to 219 (T). Made daily inspection of magazines and smokeless powder samples. Conditions normal. Aveage steam 60 lbs. Average RPM 104

1210
Convoy changed corse to 242 (T)

1350
Investigated sound contact at 080 (T). Not comfirmed

1457
Strange ship sighted bearing 205 (T) distant 10.5 miles on opposite course, speed 12 knots, reported same to escort Commander and challenged. Vessel did not show her call

1540
Steaming on various courses and speed in investigation of various sound contacts. Not confirmed. Average steam 600 lbs. Average RPM 102.3

1604
Search abandoned, steering various courses and speeds to resume station

1635
Started patrolling on station

1727
Darkened ship

1810
Ceased patrolling station and took night station

1900
Convoy changed sourse to 212 (T)

1945
Set Condition of Readiness II. Average steam 600 lbs. Average RPM 95.25

2115
Steamed on various courses and speed to form column astern of PLUNKETT in accordance with signal. PLUNKETT ahead of convoy

2210
Steamed on course 277 (T) at 5 knots 43 RPM in column formation astern of PLUNKETT

2230
Changed course to 190 (T)

2250
Changed course to 040 (T). Ships formed in column in following order: PLUNKETT, KEARNY, LIVERMORE, DECATUR and GREER

2330
Changed course to 212 (T) and speed to 10 knots 93 RPM. Convoy on port beam. Plunkett left formation and proceeded to head of convoy. Average steam 600 lbs. Average RPM 115.75
1 Like
USS KEARNY

Date: Oct. 16, 1941
..............................................

0000
Steaming in company with Comdesron 27 (SOPA) in PLUNKETT, LIVERMORE, DECATUR, and GREER on various courses and speeds concentrating on PLUNKETT, Boilers Nos. 1 & 3 in use, standard speed 15 knots (143 RPM)

0025
Formed column on on PLUNKETT, KEARNY second ship in column, on course 014 (T) steaming at standard speed

0035
Changed speed to 20 knots (194 RPM)

0100
Changed speed to 25 knots (253 RPM)

0212
Changed course to 009 (T). GREER fell astern and did not join column. Average steam 600 lbs. Average RPM 222

0614
Formed a scouting line with PLUNKETT guide. KEARNY on port beam of guide distant three miles. Scouting course 009 (T), speed 23 knots (228 RPM)

0632
Changed time to zone plus 1.5 time

0723
Passed close aboard to a floating life-jacket, part of a Jacob's ladder and a plank about 8 ft. long

0725
Changed speed to 20 knots (194 RPM)

0755
Changed speed to 23 knots (228 RPM). Average steam 600 lbs. Average RPM 197

0800
Mustered crew on stations, no absentees

0923
Changed scouting course to 037 (T)

1100
Changed scouting course to 117 (T)

1109
Changed speed to 28 knots to close on PLUNKETT

1128
Changed course to 103 (T)

1130
Sighted convoy bearing 150 (T)

1133
Started steering various courses at various speeds taking escort station on convoy

1155
On station on port quarter of convoy, on course 037 (T), steaming at convoy speed of about 6.5 knots. Started patrolling station. made daily inspection of magazines and smokeless powder samples. Conditions normal. Average steam 600 lbs. Average RPM 240

1205
Set Readiness Condition III watch

1430
Set clocks back .5 hr. to zone plus 2 time. Average steam 600 lbs. Average RPM 82

1611
Steamed on various courses and speeds to search astern of convoy

1628
Dropped five 600 lb. depth charges

1642
Darkened ship

1658
Resumed screening station on convoy and steamed on course 009 (T), at 6.5 knots (61 RPM)

1935
Changed course to 054 (T)

1950
Changed course to 090 (T). Average steam 600 lbs. Average RPM 80

2010
Ship of convoy bearing about 080 relative struck by torpedo. All hands called to General Quarters

2015
Fired a starshell barrage from #4 gun in accordance with convoy doctrine

2020
Changed speed to 15 knots (143 RPM), commenced swinging left to drop depth charges

2022
Dropped 600 lb depth charge from port racks with 200 ft. setting

2030
Changed speed to 10 knots (93 RPM)

2038
Fired starshell barrage from #4 gun to illuminate port quarter

2055
Secured from General Quarters. Set Condition of Readiness III, the ship remaining in Material Condition Afirm

2131
Ship bearing about 065 relative struck by torpedo and burned instantaneously. Called all hands to General Quarters. swung the ship in a circle and carried out depth charge barrage in accordance with convoy doctrine

2150
Secured from General Quarters. Set Condition of Readiness III, the ship remaining in Material Condition Afirm. Resumed station on port quarter of convoy, patrolling station

2215
Sighted red rocket bearing about 210 true on starboard quarter. average steam 600 lbs. Average RPM 79.25

Report of U-568 (October 16, 1941)

U-568

Date: October 16, 1941
..............................................

Shot on steamer 4000 to 3 it fan, position of 84 travel 6 sm. E. of 1500, 2 hits after 1 min. 28 seconds.

Because of very bright horizon and sea lights (run spells were 300 to 400 mtr. to see) shot at large steamer sinks fast over the tail. It uses violent L.g. shooting, me forces something abzustaffeln.

Drawer after, the escort course comes into rains from view, since follow-up does not bring anything, accumulates I on escort course course, and when I am to about 4000 m at its Bb. - Siete.

Dipped FT escort course into view Qu 6661, enemy controls nordoestl. Course pinpointing character of U-553

FT enemy is to 4414 noerdl. Course U-568.

Alarm before destroyer, achterer Feger, which arises with position of O from the rear. S-device to hear, stops temporarily. Emerged. No feeling. Rain rw. 30 degrees.

U-boat in view, which herlaeft before us, apparent U-553. Alarm before Sunderland alarm. Emerged. Impact after.
2 Likes

U.S. Navy log book (October 1941)

USS KEARNY

Date: Oct. 17, 1941
..............................................

0000
Steaming 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

0000
Ship 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

0002
Dropped 600 lb. depth charge

0006
Steadied 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

0010
A 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: 
KILLED: CURTIS, L. A. (WT1c), GAJEWAY, H. A. (WT1c), DOBNIKAR, L. (F1c), CALVERT, G. A. (F1c), LARRIVIERE, S. G. (F1c), STOLTZ, I. W. (F1c), WADE, R. B. (F3c), CAMP, F. A. (SC1c), LAFLEUR, L. (PhM2c), YOUNG, H. T. (MM2c), PYLE, D. F. (Sea2c). INJURED: Lieut-Comdr. A. L. DANIS, USN, Ensign H. LYMAN, FRONTAKOWSKI, L. (CBM), KURTZ, S. R. (TM3c), SALVATORE, C. (F2c), GREEN, J. (MAtt1c), JONES, J. R. (Sea2c), HIGGINS, C. I. (MM1c), HINTON, H. D. (Sea2c), DICKINSON, J. G. (QM1c), HALL, G. R. (FC1c), BOBE, L. T. (Sea2c), FRIEDMAN, H. (CRM), DOW, A. H. (RM3), TUNKS, L. E. (Sea1c), BERNHARDT, F. F. (Msmth1c), MANN, C. E. (CTM), PHILLIPS, A. (Sea2c), TWEEDY, F. H. (MM1c), PIERRON, J. A. (BM2c), EVANS, J. R. (Sea2c), SCHMIDLING, C. J. (FC2c).

The immediate inspection of the ship by the heads of the departments determined the following material damage sustained:
* No. 1 fireroom was destroyed and flooded.
* Fwd. bulkhead of fwd. engineroom was so weakened as to require immediate and extensive shoring.
* After bulkhead of the Plotting Room was damaged but the compartment, although waist deep in water and oil was not completely open to the sea.
* Apart from the compartments in the immediate vicinity of the explosion, the watertight integrity of the ship was maintained.
* After recovering from the list caused by the shock of the explosion, she assumed a good position and little sluggishness was noted.
* All watertight doors and hatches and fittings were checked and apparantly maintained their integrity.
* Forward of the explosion, the battle lighting circuit was still operative but general heating and lighting were gone.
* Visual communications were possible only by battle lanterns, as searchlights, blinker guns and yardarm blinkers, were either demolished or inoperative.
* All gunnery control from the director was lost as the wiring was demolished and the computer and I.C. board were badly damaged.

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

0013
Two white Very pistol shells were discharged to inform the surrounding vessels that this vessel had been torpedoed

0015
The Captain went aft to the Secondary Conn.

0020
Regained 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

0022
Stopped port engine

0025
H.M.S. BADDECK challenged and KEARNY replied, using a battle lantern

0040
Way 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

0041
Radio 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

0100
Captain 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

0103
Received orders from ComTaskGroup 4.1.4 to proceed to the nearest port

0115
Regained electric control and shifted from hand steering to power steering in steering engine room. About this time, the starboard engine was started on back pressure from the after fireroom and speed gradually increased to about 8 knots

0130
Established telephone connection between Secondary Conn, engineroom, and steering aft by jumper leads

0150
Shifted steering control to Secondary Conn. and continued on northerly course at about 8 knots

0200 – 0721
Steamed as before on course 010 (T) at 8 knots (starboard engine 70 RPM, port engine 98 RPM)

0721
Increased 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)

0800
Mustered crew by signature. Absentees: 11. zigzagging on northerly course at about 10 knots

0921
Sighted ship bearing 045 relative

0955
Changed course to 020 (T) and dropped 5 turns on both engines

0955
Changed speed to 89 RPM starboard engine, 95 RPM port engine

1415	
Sighted GREER bearing 218 (T), distance about 17 miles

1550	
GREER formed anti-submarine screen ahead

1552	
Changed time zone to zero time

1610
Secured from Condition of Readiness III and set regular sea watch

1622
Sighted MONSSEN on port bow

1640
Stopped all engines

1645
Lt.(jg) R.W. Rommel (MC), USNR, accompanied by pharmacist's mate first class Perkins, came aboard from MONSSEN with medical supplies

1657
Changed speed to 10 knots (93 RPM)

1700 – 2400	
No remarks

Report of U-568 (October 17, 1941)

U-568

Date: Oct. 17, 1941
..............................................

L.G.'s all around. Be north of the escort course.

Detonating Leunch of garnet must run somewhat, there corvette in approx. 200 mtr. runs along afterwards to the east, around further to come forward is quite at the end of the escort course because of direct over me, where several Bewacher apparent strive corvettes for shipwrecked ones of a tanker and a freighter.

Leg evaporating must evade to several Bewachern and corvettes, which shoot themselves with abset over to apparent horohen and then into the Horchpeilung L. Viererfaecher on destroyers, de me with the Ranst feln again and again into those. Kommit traverses.

Position on the right of 86 degrees of travel 9 sm, E 2000. Meet after 1 min. 39 seconds. Destroyer breaks along TSO apart and sinks very fast American A or D class. 2 chimneys. Run on parallel course with and after. ski that must evade to corvettes thereby.

Stb. Korvetts with few travel into view on me comes ahead. To tricks off and go with A.k. corvette follows into oa 800 mtr.

Distance in the wake and is not to be shaken off. As it suddenly begins to rain, decides I to go and abzu turn with the travel down, since wake lights up very brightly. Use however nothing, the corvette comes up to ôonheran, from time to time a depth charge throws and shoots with the bug cannon (6 shot).

Make the tail torpedo as corvette in wake with position of O is situated again exactly loosely. Fehlschu alarm, since I do not get away over water and distance becomes slowly smaller.

Tricks still in dipping after Stb. over to turn then on lo m hard after BB.. With T=40 4 Wabos behind us are situated. Go without through-oscillating to T=90 m corvette returns and throws again 5 wabos, which are appropriate rather well uebur for the boat. No failures. Corvette stops, but no s. device. Boat can be kept good, comes once up to depth = to 98 mtr. however with 5 degrees stern-heavyness and H.f. again T=85 m.

Intend to emerge as soon as possible again must thereby still wait since two further Bewacher with s. device auchen. Take the vehicles figure eight out. At emigrating the bearings I notice that they lost me and dip with L.f. on duration 3/4 hour about.

In approx. 3000 to 4000 are are still 2 corvettes in view, which morsen eagerly. I blow out and flow after southeast. Escort course no more in view. Impact to to the east.
2 Likes

U.S. Navy Department (October 17, 1941)

Navy Department
News Release

NAVY DEPARTMENT
For Immediate Release
October 17, 1941

USS KEARNY torpedoed; no casualties reported; ship proceeding under own power

The Navy Department announced that the USS KEARNY (DD-432), destroyer, was torpedoed this morning while on patrol duty about 350 miles south and west of Iceland.

No casualties to personnel were indicated in dispatches received by the Navy Department.

Despite the damage received, the ship is able to proceed under her own power.

The USS KEARNY is under command of Lieutenant Commander A. L. Danis, U.S. Navy.

The ship is one of the Navy’s newest destroyers. She was laid down in 1939 and completed in 1940. This ship has a standard displacement of 1630 tons. The ship is 341 feet long and has a 36-foot beam. She is armed with the standard 5-inch battery of her class.

No other details are available to the Navy Department at this time.

- LIEUTENANT COMMANDER ANTHONY LEO DANIS, USN -

LCDR Danis was born February 1, 1899 at Woonsocket, RI. In 1918, he was appointed midshipman to the Naval Academy from ND. After graduation he was assigned to Destroyer Squadrons of the Atlantic Fleet and later to the Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, RI, for temporary duty under instruction in torpedoes.

In 1926 he reported to the Naval Academy for a post graduate course in aerology. He was ordered to NAS Lakehurst, NJ in 1930 for duty involving flying under instruction. In 1931 he was ordered to duty in connection with fitting out the USS AKRON (ZRS-4) and on board when commissioned. He was attached in 1933 to the USS MACON (ZRS-5) with additional duty in 1934 as aerological officer, NAS Sunnyvale, CA. In 1935 he served aboard the USS SARATOGA (CV-3) and later on the USS MINNEAPOLIS (CA-36). He was ordered to NAS San Diego in June of 1937 as aerological officer, later reporting to the Bureau of Aeronautics, Washington, DC, and in November of the same year was commissioned Lieutenant Commander. In March of 1938 he was ordered to Oslo, Berlin, Paris, and London for visits to meteorological and hydrographic activities.

In May 1940 Commander Danis was ordered to duty in connection with fitting out of the USS KEARNY (DD-432) and on board in command when commissioned. He was selected for the rank of Commander by the board which convened in August of 1941.
2 Likes

The Pittsburgh Press (October 17, 1941)

U.S. DESTROYER TORPEDOED
German submarine blamed

Warship heading for port; Navy indicates there were no casualties

17.10, USS_Kearny_(DD-432)_circa_1940 V Norman
The USS Kearny (DD-432) in 1940. U.S. Navy photograph.

Washington, Oct. 17 (UP) –
The USS Kearny, one of the United States Navy’s newest destroyers, was damaged by a torpedo today in the first successful attack on an American naval ship in the Atlantic since the European war started.

The attack, according to the Navy Department’s brief announcement, occurred 350 miles south and west of American-defended Iceland.

The preliminary Navy dispatches indicated that there were no casualties.

Fullscreen capture 10162020 11112 PM.bmp

At the time of the attack, the Kearny was on patrol duty, carrying out its assignment in the North Atlantic Patrol which is under President Roosevelt’s orders to shoot Axis submarines, warplanes or surface raiders on sight in American defensive waters. The sealanes to Iceland are considered American defensive waters.

The Navy did not identify the attacker, but officials believed it was undoubtedly a German submarine.

On Sept. 4, a German submarine attacked the USS Greer with torpedoes in the same general area, but missed.

The text of the Navy’s announcement follows:

The Navy Department announced that the USS KEARNY, destroyer, was torpedoed this morning while on patrol duty about 350 miles south and west of Iceland.

No casualties to personnel were indicated in dispatches received by the Navy Department.

Despite the damage received, the ship is able to proceed under her own power.

The USS KEARNY is under command of Lieutenant Commander A.L. Danis, U.S. Navy.

The ship is one of the Navy’s newest destroyers. She was laid down in 1939 and completed in 1940. This ship has a standard displacement of 1630 tons. The ship is 341 feet long and has a 36-foot beam. She is armed with the standard 5-inch battery of her class.

No other details are available to the Navy Department at this time.

Despite damage, the Navy said, the Kearny was able to proceed under her own power.

It was not indicated whether she would seek the shelter of harbor in Iceland, or Greenland, or would cross the North Atlantic to a base in this country or Canada.

Names and home addresses of the Kearny’s crew may not be available until tomorrow.

On Sept. 4, the Greer, notified of the presence of a German submarine by a British patrol plane, followed the submarine. During the course of this observance, the submarine fired two torpedoes and the Greer counterattacked with depth bombs. Although the action occurred over a period of hours, neither warship was hit.

At the time of the Greer incident, ships of the U.S. Atlantic Patrol were under orders just to report the presence of Axis warships which they encountered, and not to attack unless they were attacked first.

But on Sept. 11, President Roosevelt directed the Navy to shoot on sight all Axis warships or planes found in American defensive waters. So far as has been revealed, today’s attack on the Kearny was the first engagement in which an American warship has been involved since those orders were issued.

The German government has declared the area around Iceland and as far west as the shores of Greenland a war zone where vessels of any description are subject to destruction. The United States does not recognize this zone.

The first naval report did not state the extent of the damage to the Kearny. Officials said they expected further details later today.

It was pointed out that the torpedoing occurred only this morning, and there has been little time for the commander of the destroyer to make a full report. He is expected, however, to give a complete account to his superiors as soon as possible.

Since the American Atlantic Patrol was given orders to shoot on sight, there has been a marked decline in German sinkings in the North Atlantic, according to both United States and British authorities.

American and British merchantmen, as well as those of other friendly nations, are being convoyed by American patrols as far as Iceland. From that island, ships en route to Britain would have to be convoyed by the Royal Navy, which is enabled by the shortened line to concentrate more warships for this duty.

Although the Kearny was the first United States warship to be damaged by hostile action in the Atlantic since the war started, American-owned merchant ships have not been so fortunate.

Three U.S.-owned freighters carrying supplies to Iceland have been sunk in the waters between Greenland and Iceland.

The three ships were sailing under the Panamanian flag. They were the SS Sessa, on Aug. 17; the SS Montana, on Sept. 11, and the Pink Star, on Sept. 19. The Pink Star sinking occurred after Mr. Roosevelt issued his “shoot-on-sight” orders.

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Kearny within American zone, Roosevelt says

Hyde Park, NY, Oct. 17 (UP) –
President Roosevelt said today that the USS Kearny was clearly within the American defensive zone when torpedoed this morning.

The President said the Navy is operating under its regular orders as far as retaliation against the assailant is concerned.

That statement seemed to imply that since the attack occurred within the defensive zone, other American naval units are under “shoot-on-sight” orders in the hunt for the attacking submarine.

Silent on details

Mr. Roosevelt, who was informed of the attack within three minutes of his arrival here, would not say specifically, however, what the orders were. He was asked whether orders had been issued similar to those extended last month after the submarine attack on the destroyer Greer. These orders were to “hunt down the marauder.” He replied merely that the Navy in this case is operating under its regular orders.

No further comment on this attack on an American destroyer may be expected from him, Mr. Roosevelt said, until the Navy has established all the facts in the case. He added, however, that he has no information to indicate that there were any casualties in the torpedoing of the Kearny.

Mr. Roosevelt was asked:

Would you describe this latest attack as another act of piracy?

Facts awaited

It remains for the Navy to establish the facts in the case, he replied.

Mr. Roosevelt had received the information of the attack only a short time before his press conference. Arriving by special train from Washington, he had motored to Hyde Park House and within three minutes of his arrival was talking by long distance telephone to Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox. Mr. Knox, he said, gave him all details the Navy had up to that time.

Mr. Roosevelt was silent on all questions bearing on the relations of this country with Japan.

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Kearny’s skipper

A. L. Danis
Lt. Cmdr. A. L. Danis is in charge of the USS Kearny which was torpedoed this morning off the coast of Iceland.

Commander survived dirigible crash

Washington, Oct. 17 (UP) –
Lt. Cmdr. A. L. Danis, skipper of the torpedoed destroyer USS Kearny, is a survivor of the crash of the Navy dirigible Macon in the Pacific, Feb. 12, 1935.

Commander Danis, a native of this city, is 42 years old. He graduated from the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., in 1918, and served aboard another dirigible, the Akron. But he was not aboard her when she crashed off the New Jersey coast.

He has commanded the Kearny since it was placed in service in 1940.

A destroyer the size of the Kearny normally carries a crew of about 200 men. The Kearny is a two-stacker, low swung and speedy. In addition to its five 5-inch guns, it carries 10 smaller guns, and an equal number of 21-inch torpedo tubes.

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Germany lacks Kearny reports

Berlin, Oct. 17 (UP) –
A German spokesman said today that he had no information of the torpedoing of the U.S. destroyer Kearny and that no German reports on the matter have been received thus far.


London, Oct. 17 (UP) –
British naval sources said today they were without information regarding the torpedoing of the USS Kearny but that it was to be:

…expected in the last day or two that something like this would happen.

British newspapermen questioned their American colleagues as to the probable American reaction, particularly whether the incident might lead to an American declaration of war against Germany.

Informed British quarters suggested that the Kearny torpedoing might increase American sentiment for more active participation in the war although it was pointed out that the increase in U.S. Navy patrol activity in the North Atlantic was bound to lead to such incidents.

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Avenge attack, Senator says in Kearny case

Pepper calls assault ‘piratical’; incidents expected, Nye says

Washington, Oct. 17 (UP) –
Senator Claude Pepper (D-FL) asserted today that the attack on the U.S. destroyer Kearny should be avenged by the Navy with a policy of “two sinkings for each assault.”

Mr. Pepper described the incident as one more in a “chain of piratical assaults” upon American vessels which should spur the United States to:

…redouble our purpose to clear the oceans of this kind of interference.

Senator Gerald P. Nye (R-ND) said such incidents “are to be expected” in view of the administration’s foreign policy. He said:

If the Kearny was up to what we know the Greer was up to, then the whole matter will be different from the case the interventionists will undoubtedly try to make out.

He was referring to the attempted German submarine attack on the American destroyer Greer Sept. 4. A subsequent Navy report revealed that the Greer had “trailed” the submarine for three hours and 28 minutes before the attack took place.

Rep. Warren G. Magnuson (D-WA), a member of the House Naval Affairs Committee, said:

A few more of these incidents and the United States Navy is going to clean out the whole ocean of these submarines.

Senator Styles Bridges (R-NH), who has supported the administration’s foreign policy, said the attack:

…indicates Hitler’s defiance of our policy of clearing the seas and it is just one more act that further complicates an already complicated situation.

Other comments:

Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn:

This justifies the statements that many of us have been making, that the United States is in danger of attack. Certainly this is an attack on the United States since it was committed against an American warship.

House Democratic Leader John W. McCormack:

This appears to be part of the broad effort of the Axis to put the squeeze on the United States. The Japanese Cabinet falls one day preparatory to creation of a more belligerent government and an American ship is attacked in the Atlantic the next, perhaps for the purpose of inducing us to move more of our fleet into the Atlantic.

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U.S. Navy log book (October 1941)

USS KEARNY

Date: Oct. 18, 1941
..............................................

0000 – 0730	
Steaming on base course 352 (T), enroute Reykjavik, Iceland at a speed of about 10 knots (93 RPM), standard speed 15 knots (143 RPM) in company with GREER and MONSSEN. Boilers Nos. 3 & 4, all engines in use. boilers Nos. 1 & 2 disabled by torpedo explosion. Control in Secondary Conn. Captain and Executive Officer in secondary Conn, O.O.D. on bridge. ship darkened and in Material Condition Baker. 93 RPM

0731	
Changed course to 010 (T). Average steam 600 lbs. Average RPM 94

0800
Mustered crew on stations. Absentees: none.

0803	
Sighted three Navy patrol planes, bearing about 230 relative, elevation about 50 ft.

0817
Stopped all engines

0830
Changed speed to 2/3, 10 knots (93 RPM). made daily inspection of magazines and smokeless powder samples. Conditions normal. Average steam 600 lbs. Average RPM 93

1400
Set clocks ahead 1 hour to zone plus 1 time

1510
Received blood plasma and medical equipment by messenger line from MONSSEN. Average steam 600 lbs. Average RPM 93

1600
Set clocks ahead 1 hour to G.C.T.

1944
Darkened ship. Average steam 600 lbs. Average RPM 93

2000 – 2400
No remarks. Average steam 600 lbs. Average RPM 93
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The Pittsburgh Press (October 18, 1941)

Sub’s attack upon destroyer spurs search

Vessel believed limping to port in Iceland with radio silent

Washington, Oct. 18 (UP) –
The U.S. Navy today was engaged in an air and sea hunt for the submarine which torpedoed and damaged the new 1,630-ton destroyer Kearny while it was on patrol 350 miles southwest of Iceland.

While military secrecy surrounding the operations to avenge the first American warship casualty in the current war, the Navy awaited a further report from the Kearny to clear up details of the encounter. The destroyer was limping to an undisclosed port, perhaps in Iceland.

There was only a terse announcement from the Navy yesterday that the ship had been torpedoed and damaged, apparently without casualties among her 13 officers and 177 men.

Radio probably silenced

Whether the destroyer attempted to sink the U-boat with her battery of five-inch guns and depth charges and other pertinent details were still a mystery.

Officials were confident, however, that Lt. Cmdr. A. L. Danis, the 42-year-old skipper of the destroyer, would forward all details of the episode as quickly as possible. They assumed the had ordered the radio silenced until he could reach port safely to prevent a possible second attack.

Observers believed, however, that the Navy, smarting under the episode, was doing everything possible to capture or destroy the submarine, presumably German, under President Roosevelt’s recent edict to “shoot on sight” any Axis marauders entering our defensive areas.

Authorized Berlin quarters said the Kearny incident “came at a very opportune moment for Roosevelt and his fellow warmongers,” although neutral observers said it was a coincidence that the torpedoing occurred on the day the House of Representatives voted to arm merchant ships. A German spokesman said no submarine report had been received but the Nazi mystery radio voice interrupted a London news broadcast last night to claim that a British submarine torpedoed the Kearny.

Within American zone

Mr. Roosevelt said in Hyde Park, NY, that the Kearny was clearly within the American defense zone when the torpedoing occurred and that the Navy is under regular orders to hunt down marauders. But he withheld further comment pending a complete report from the Navy.

The attack brought a cry for quick revenge in Congress. Senator Claude Pepper (D-FL) demanded “two sinkings for each assault” and House leaders associated the incident with Adolf Hitler’s attempt to create new tension in the Far East so that the United States may not concentrate its naval forces in either ocean.

Senator Gerald P. Nye (R-ND) and other non-interventionists said the President’s “shoot” orders had invited suich attacks.

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U.S. Navy Department (October 19, 1941)

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The USS Kearny (DD-432) in port at Reykjavik, Iceland. USS Monssen (DD-436) is alongside. Note the torpedo hole in Kearny’s midships starboard side. Official U.S. Navy photograph.

Casualties onboard the USS Kearny

The Western Union telegram sent on the evening of October 19, 1941:

The Navy Department deeply regrets having to inform you that your son is reported missing as a result of the torpedoing of the USS Kearny. At present the Department has nothing but bare facts but will inform you when further information is available.

C. W. NIMITZ
Chief of the Bureau of Navigation

Killed in action

Name Rate Battle Station
Curtis, Luther Asle WT1c No. 1 Fireroom
Gajeway, Herman August WT1c No. 1 Fireroom
Dobnikar, Louis WT2c No. 1 Fireroom
Calvert, George Alexander F1c No. 1 Fireroom
Larriviere, Sidney Gerald F1c No. 1 Fireroom
Stoltz, Iral William F1c No. 1 Fireroom
Wade, Russell Burdick F3c No. 1 Fireroom
Camp, Floyd Andrew SC1c Enroute to Battle Station
Lafleur, Lloyd PhM2c Enroute to Battle Station
Young, Harry Tull MM2c Enroute to Battle Station
Pyle, Dwight F. Sea2c Enroute from Battle Station

Injured

Name Rate Injuries
Danis, Anthony Leo Commanding Shock and deafness of both ears.
Lyman, Henry Ensign Shock.
Frontakowski, Leonard CBM Multiple wounds, multiple contusions, first and second degree burns of neck, hip right leg and ankle. Fracture of finger. Condition serious.
Kurtz, Samuel Robert TM3c Compound fracture of both ankles. Multiple third degree burns; contusion of left shoulder and pelvis. Condition critical.
Salvatore, Carmine F2c Shock and hemorrhage of left ear, laceration above left eye, undetermined fracture of skull.
Green, Julius MAtt1c Shock.
Jones, John Rider Sea2c Shock.
Higgins, Chester Irving MM1c Shock and deafness of both ears.
Hinton, Henry Donour Sea2c Undetermined fracture of right ribs, deafness.
Dickinson, Josiah George QM1c Shock.
Hall, Gerald Ransom FC1c Contusion, right thigh.
Bobe, Louis Thomas Sea2c Contusion of back, shoulders, and right leg.
Friedman, Hyman CRM Contusion of right ankle.
Dow, Albert Havelock RM3 Contusion of left hand.
Tunks, Leland Esley Sea1c Contusion of left lumbar region.
Bernhardt, Frank Francis Msmth1c Deafness of both ears.
Mann, Clarence Edward CTM Contusion of chest.
Phillips, Alvin Sea2c Contusion of right hip.
Tweedy, Fred Howard MM1c Contusion of right arm.
Pierron, John Alden BM2c Laceration to forehead.
Evans, John R. Sea2c Contusion of right thigh.
Schmidling, Charles Jentz FC3c Contusion of right thigh.
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The Pittsburgh Press (October 20, 1941)

Berlin calls it ‘staged’ –
11 lives lost in torpedoing of destroyer

10 Kearny crew members injured; ship puts into port

Washington, Oct. 20 (UP) –
There is only “one chance in a million” that the 11 missing members of the crew of the U.S. destroyer Kearny survived the torpedo blast that wounded 10 of their shipmates, naval officials believed today.

The destroyer, one of the Navy’s newest, was torpedoed Friday by a submarine which the Navy said was "undoubtedly German,’ and has now safely reached an undisclosed port.

Official statements from Berlin today charged that the torpedoing of the Kearny was “staged” by President Roosevelt in an attempt to force conflict with Germany. The Nazi disclaimed all knowledge of the attack.

Disclosure of the casualties – the first bloodshed among Navy personnel since President Roosevelt ordered the Navy to “shoot on sight” any Axis raiders in American “defensive” waters – was made in a brief Navy Department announcement.

Relatives notified

It was the first report from the Kearny since the initial cryptic statement Friday that it had been torpedoed and damaged, but was making port under its own power. Then it was believed that the 13 officers and 177 men are safe.

The report issued last night disclosed that, in addition to the 11 missing, eight of whom were firemen or water tenders, one man was critically injured, another seriously wounded and eight others suffered minor injuries.

The official announcement listed the 11 only as “missing” but it added a grim note that their “next of kin” as well as those of the seriously wounded had been notified.

Almost no hope

Officials said privately there was almost no possibility that the 11 sailors would be found alive. They believe they were either blown into the sea, or their bodies are in a sealed bulkhead which may have been closed to shut out water after the explosion.

The official statement said:

The Navy Department today announced that the USS Kearny, destroyer attacked by a submarine, undoubtedly German, early Friday morning, has reached port.

Dispatches received from the ship report 11 members of the crew missing, one man critically injured, one man seriously injured and eight men who received minor injuries, but who are in no danger.

Damage unannounced

The announcement then listed the names of the missing and seriously injured men, and concluded:

The men seriously and critically injured have been transferred to the hospital.

The next of kin of the missing and the two critically and seriously injured have been notified by the Navy Department.

The communiqué gave no details on the destroyer’s damage, how the incident occurred or where the damaged ship was docked. Those details probably will be clarified in subsequent reports by Lt. Comdr. A. L. Danis, Washington, DC, commander of the Kearny.

May be in Iceland

It appeared that the torpedo hit forward and plunged into the engine room. It was noted that eight of the missing were members of the engine crew. A destroyer of the Kearny class has two engine rooms, each of which can be sealed by watertight compartments.

Some experts speculated that the Kearny may have reached port in Halifax, Nova Scotia, or along our own northeastern seaboard where adequate repair facilities are available.

Others believe Commander Danis might have decided to go to Iceland because of its proximity despite the fact that repair facilities are not extensive there. He would attempt, these quarters believe, to make the nearest port if the ship were in danger of sinking and if the condition of the crew warranted quickest medical aid.

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Berlin says Kearny incident was staged

Berlin, Oct. 20 (UP) –
Official press statements reported today that one of two British destroyers sunk last week by German submarines was apparently a former American warship but charged that the torpedoing of the USS Kearny was “staged” by President Roosevelt in an attempt to force conflict with Germany.

The official news agency, describing the submarine attack that was credited with sinking 10 merchantmen and two destroyers en route to Britain, said that the second destroyer:

…was apparently of the so-called Churchill class, former American ships sold to Britain.

Several of the American destroyers traded to Britain have previously been reported sunk or damaged.

The ship was sent to the bottom after a battle that lasted three days and three nights, the agency said. It added that both of the destroyers were sunk in daylight when they suddenly loomed up through the mist and rain:

…in front of the torpedo tubes of the submarines.

German sources have insisted that they had no knowledge of any attacks on the Kearny.

Propaganda Minister Paul Joseph Goebbels’ newspaper, Der Angriff, asserted that:

The Kearny incident was staged by Roosevelt himself and Congress reacted in the desired manner. Roosevelt needed that torpedo shot damned badly.

The Völkischer Beobachter, Adolf Hitler’s newspaper, said:

The official [American] announcement was a stinking lie from the first to the last syllable.

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Völkischer Beobachter (October 20, 1941)

The North American people – victims of a war conspiracy
Roosevelt stages new "torpedoing"

Vienna, Oct. 19 –

The means with which Roosevelt worked in order to achieve the largest possible majority for the renewed mutilation of the Neutrality Act, which we reported on yesterday, emerges from the report that, immediately before the vote on the amendment of the Neutrality Act and the armament of merchant ships, the Navy Department spread the news that the new U.S. destroyer Kearny had been torpedoed 350 miles southwest of Iceland.

The official announcement was a stinking lie from the first to the last syllable. If at first one could still assume that it might have been a British torpedo – based on the famous pattern of the Athenia case – this possibility disappeared due to the supplementary notification from the Naval Office in Washington that the ship “drove on under its own steam” after it was torpedoed, and that there were no dead or wounded. The assertion that a destroyer, that is, a small, completely unprotected craft, had no crew losses at all when hit by a torpedo and that it remained seaworthy is so stupid that it can only be explained with the bottomless Jewish insolence that is common in the Roosevelt House. Equally crude is the claim that news of the “torpedoing” of the Kearny was to have arrived just a few hours before the decisive vote in the House of Representatives in Washington.

It speaks volumes that the notorious Boston smear radio station announced the following immediately after the vote:

The House accepted the challenge of the Nazi submarine – it agreed to arm U.S. merchant ships.

The connection between this latest Roosevelt hoax and the vote on the Neutrality Act is so palpable that even the semi-official American news agency Associated Press points out that:

…the message arrived at the moment the House of Representatives was preparing to vote on the revocation of the Neutrality Act.

Roosevelt’s parliamentary buffoons caught the Kearny case immediately. For example, the President of the House of Representatives Rayburn stated:

If an American ship is attacked, it is a direct attack on the U.S.A. itself.

We are now curious to see whether Congress will also investigate the Kearny case after the parliamentary investigation into the equally fictitious “submarine attack” on the destroyer Greer has belied Roosevelt’s accounts. The committee came to the conclusion that it was actually the American destroyer and not the German submarine that attacked – a sensation that has even caused papers like the New York Times to make highly critical comments about Roosevelt’s news policy.

The chairman of the New York local branch of the America First Committee goes further and explains the alleged torpedoing of the U.S. destroyer Kearny that this was another case that was fabricated for warmongering purposes. The North American people are the victims of a conspiracy to plunge them into war. The war party secretly prayed that a U.S. vessel with a flag and crews would be sunk in order to raise the war fever.

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