First Shots at Pearl Harbor The first shots in anger were fired by a US destroyer. The first ship sunk on December 7th, 1941, was Japanese. My 2003 post on Pearl Harbor Day: Infamy. It includes the USS Ward’s (DD 139) after action report. Here is the Ward’s #3 Gun crew: "A Shot for Posterity -- The USS Ward's number three gun and its crew-cited for firing the first shot the day of Japan's raid on Hawaii. Operating as part of the inshore patrol early in the morning of December 7, 1941, this destroyer group spotted a submarine outside Pearl Harbor, opened fire and sank her. Crew members are R.H. Knapp - BM2c - Gun Captain, C.W. Fenton - Sea1c - Pointer, R.B. Nolde - Sea1c - Trainer, A.A. De Demagall - Sea1c - No. 1 Loader, D.W. Gruening - Sea1c - No. 2 Loader, J.A. Paick - Sea1c - No. 3 Loader, H.P. Flanagan - Sea1c - No. 4 Loader, E.J. Bakret - GM3c - Gunners Mate, K.C.J. Lasch - Cox - Sightsetter." (quoted from the original 1942-vintage caption) This gun is a 4"/50 type, mounted atop the ship's midships deckhouse, starboard side. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.