immediate assistance


1121—The ship has stopped listing and is returning to even heel, list is now 31/2 degrees to port.

1247—Commenced pumping water out of compartments

1326—We now have power in the anchor windlass room.

1352—Commenced pumping out with more pumps.

1400—Stopped pumping oil and water from compartments.  Completed transferring casualties. 

1436—Continuing work on the compartments which are flooded.  We are again faced with a Red Alert.  Enemy bombers are again approaching the area.

1441—Red Alert

1600—Diver went over to make inspection of hull.

1610—Diver reports holes of 50 foot length on both sides of keel.

17571/2—Anchor aweigh.


- excerpted from General Quarters Narrative, USS Savannah, September 11, 1943, Salerno, Italy


One thing noticeable about the disaster was the immediate assistance we received from all the craft surrounding us at the time in spite of the possible danger to themselves.  Small Higgins boats were standing off ready to receive survivors if we should have to abandon ship.  Salvage tugs rushed to our rescue on the spot.  About four hours after the hit we received word that the ship would be able to get underway at 1800 and proceed to the Island of Malta for emergency repairs.  A more nervous crew although they didn’t show it at the time was waiting anxiously for that hour to come.  We were disabled temporarily, unmaneuverable and no anti-aircraft control or ammunition except for a few rounds in the ready boxes. We had about six red alerts sound while waiting to get underway but due to the fine fighter coverage received no further damage. We were really worried and scared for a while there because of the condition we were in. . .


- Richard Sharron, PHM2, USS Savannah, September 17, 1943