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In Reply Refer to No.
U.S.S. HORNET (CV-8) OF12-Mn
CONFIDENTIAL Care of Postmaster
New York, New York.
12 June 1942

From: The Commanding Officer.
To  : The Chief of the Bureau of Ships.
Via : The Commander Carriers, PACIFIC FLEET.
Subject: U.S.S. HORNET (CV-8) - Report of Damage to Ship's Structure by Machine Gun Fire.
Reference: (a) BuShips Conf. ltr. C-EF12/A9(374) C-S81-3 C-EN28/A2-11 of October 28, 1941.
  (A) through (M) Photographs Showing Firing Position and Damage to Structure.

     1.        On Thursday, June 4, 1942, during operations near Midway Island, an F4F-4 type airplane landing on this ship accidentally fired its .50 caliber machine guns. Projectiles were steel jacketed type, every third round a tracer. The firing was done from about frame 143, approximately 15 feet inboard from the starboard side of flight deck.

(This was aircraft 3-F-24 from VF-3 (USS Yorktown CV-5) piloted by Ensign Daniel Sheedy. He had been wounded during the battle and there are eye-witness accounts that the controls to safe the guns had been shot out, but as the aircraft was pushed overboard after his landing no official determination was made. Not mentioned in this report is that five sailors from Hornet were killed and twenty others wounded in this accident. One of those killed was Lt. Royal R. Ingersoll II, son of Admiral Royal E. Ingersoll and grandson of Rear Admiral Royal R. Ingersoll.)

     2.        A ship's photographer took a picture of the plane as it was firing and it is forwarded herewith as enclosure (A). Enclosure (B) shows a general view of the area damaged taken from the approximate position of the plane and on this picture are marked the reference letters of other enclosures which show close-ups of the damage. The following is a description of the material damage to the ship:

Enclosure (C): No. 3 1.1" Mount. Two projectiles struck the 30# STS splinter protection shield on its outer edge and glanced off. A projectile struck the elevation gear bracket (cast steel), passed through and broke off the end of the site elevation gear (steel) and broke the retaining nut (steel). Range about 115 feet.

Enclosure (D): After bulkhead of 1.1" clipping room, C-0301-M. Three projectiles struck the 30# STS plate (two on rivets) making indentations from 1/4 to 5/8 inches deep. These appeared to be tracer slugs. A fourth projectile passed through the coaming of the top edge of the clipping room. Range about 132 feet.

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CONFIDENTIAL 12 June 1942.
Subject:   U.S.S. HORNET (CV8) - Report of Damage to Ship's Structure by Machine Gun Fire.

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Enclosure (E): Airplane Crane. One or more projectiles tore through the cables on the inboard side of the crane and passed on to strike the pelorus stand (F) and starboard 36 inch searchlight (G). There were three holes in the fifth web (20# plate) and one hole in the sixth web (15# plate) from the base of the crane. The sixth web was also battered slightly due to being struck by the projectiles that passed through the fifth web. Range about 140 feet.

Enclosure (F): Base of after atarboard pelorus stand. One projectile entered base of stand but did not pass through the other side (evidently a tracer bullet). Range about 160 feet.

Enclosure (G): Starboard 36 inch searchlight, after cover. Projectile penetrated plate and slightly frayed the aperture device (which was later repaired by filing the edges) but did not damage the mirror. Range about 180 feet.

Enclosure (H): After Battle Lookout station. Projectile passed through vertical antenna. Another projectile not shown passed through 40# STS at the top of lookout station, passed through the angle of the stiffener inside and ricocheted off the overhead. Range about 145 feet. One projectile struck the aide of the after 5 inch director tower making an indentation about one quarter of an inch deep.

Enclosure (I): After bulkhead of Secondary Control Station, B-0605-C. There are three projectile holes in this bulkhead, (30# STS). There are six other places where projectiles struck: but did not penetrate. Of the three that passed through the bulkhead, one pasaed through the webbing of the stiffener of the doorway at frame 104 port in Secondary Conn, while the two others passed into the antenna trunk on the forward port side of the compartment severing the antenna.

Enclosure (J): Interior Secondary Control Station booth showing holes through sheathing made by projectlies described under (I).

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CONFIDENTIAL 12 June 1942.
Subject:   U.S.S. HORNET (CV8) - Report of Damage to Ship's Structure by Machine Gun Fire.

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Enclosure (K): Interior Secondary Control Station showing where projectiles describeded in (I) passed into antenna trunks. These made indentations about one eighth inch deep in the thirty pound STS plate which forms the forward boundary of this station.

     2. (SIC. 3.)        The Navy Yard, Pearl Harbor, will be requested to examine the projectile holes made and check the material in the thirty and forty pound STS plates involved since the lack of protection thus demonstration is a matter of considerable concern to the ship.



   NYd. Pearl.
   SupCon.Newport News Va.


















-Click to Enlarge- 
  Enclosure A Enclosure (A)
Ensign Daniel Sheedy's 3-F-24 from CV-5 Yorktown's VF-3 fires as he lands on Hornet after being wounded in battle over the Japanese fleet at the Battle of Midway
 Enclosure B Enclosure (B)
View of the rear of Hornet's island, with damaged areas mentioned in the report marked with the corresponding enclousure letter.
 Enclosure C Enclosure (C)
#3 1.1" Anti-aircraft gun, immediately aft of the island.
 Enclosure D Enclosure (D)
After bulkhead of 1.1" clipping room for #3 1.1" Anti-aircraft gun, also visible in Enclosure (C).
 Enclosure E Enclosure (E)
Base of the jib on the airplane crane aft of the island.
 Enclosure F Enclosure (F)
 Enclosure G Enclosure (G)
 Enclosure H Enclosure (H)
 Enclosure I Enclosure (I)
 Enclosure J Enclosure (J)
 Enclosure K Enclosure (K)
 Enclosure L Enclosure (L)
 Enclosure M Enclosure (M)

National Archives & Records Administration, San Francisco Branch
Record Group 181, Pearl Harbor Navy Yard Genneral Correspondence, 1941-45

Transcribed by RESEARCHER @ LARGE. Formatting & Comments Copyright R@L.

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