On July 10, 1943, the USS Halford (DD-480) entered in through the opened anti-submarine net into Pearl Harbor in the Territory of Hawaii. The net closed behind us. We were there for three and a half months of testing for our seaplane as a means to scout the enemy. We anchored in the harbor. In order to get ashore, we used whale boats. The USS Halford had two whale boats, one on each side.
Salvage operations were still being done in Pearl Harbor on the USS Oklahoma (BB-37), the USS Utah (BB-31), and the USS Arizona (BB-39). The USS Arizona was too badly damaged to be raised. Eventually, a memorial was built above it called the USS Arizona Memorial. They later tried to raise the USS Utah, but couldn’t so it is still in Pearl Harbor. The USS Oklahoma had been raised and was moved into dry dock in 1944. After being decommissioned and sold for scrap, the USS Oklahoma sunk in a storm while being towed on May 17, 1947, more than 500 miles out of the Territory of Hawaii.
In later July 1943, testing was interrupted for escort duty which sent us to Nouméa, New Caledonia. On August 1, 1943, the USS Halford (DD-480), the USS Converse (DD-509) and the USS Boyd (DD-544) escorted both the USS Indiana (BB-58) and the HMS Victorious (R38) back to Pearl Harbor. A Japanese two-man submarine was on the USS Indiana's fantail (back end). The two Japanese prisoners were on the HMS Victorious. The USS Halford screened for submarines to New Caledonia and on the way back. We entered Pearl Harbor seven days later to resume testing.
|USS Indiana (BB-58), a South Dakota-class battleship|
|HMS Victorious (R38), a British Illustrious-class aircraft carrier|
The British Aircraft Carrier HMS Victorious was loaned to the United States in December 1942 due to the USS Hornet (CV-8) being sunk and the USS Enterprise (CV-6) being badly damaged at the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands which left the U.S. with only the USS Saratoga (CV-3) in the Pacific. On July 25, 1943, HMS Victorious was recalled home. Two carriers of the new Essex-class arrived at Pearl Harbor well ahead of schedule.
The above is as best as I can recollect/remember.