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|98k||c. 1941, probably off San Diego, CA
National Archives photo 19-N-24615
|Naval Historical Center|
Pearl Harbor 7 December 1941
In the early morning of 7 December 1941 Condor was on routine minesweeping patrol duty offshore near the island of Oahu.
At about 0345 men of her crew spotted a submarine in the restricted waters near the entrance to Pearl Harbor. Condor's skipper signalled to the destroyer Ward [DD 139], which was also on patrol close by, giving the Condor's position and what they had seen.
As the Condor was only equipped for minesweeping, and the Ward was armed with guns and depth charges, she proceeded into Pearl Harbor as their patrol duty time was over. The anti-submarine nets in the channel had been opened for the Condor as she was scheduled to come in at that hour.
The USS Ward responded to the message from the Condor by speeding to the area named but could not locate the submarine. Both the Condor and the Ward considered the idea that one of their own submarines might be in the restricted area by error. The Ward went to battle stations anyway but found nothing.
In the daylight at about 0700, the Ward sighted a submarine and again went to battle stations. They sank the midget Japanese submarine near the Pearl Harbour channel entrance and the commanding officer of the Ward sent the following tense message to the commandant of the 14th Naval District in Pearl Harbor.
"We have attacked, fired upon, and dropped depth charges upon a submarine operating in defensive sea area."
Neither the text nor the implications of this message were distributed to the fleet in time to warn them of the impending Japanese attack.
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