The sinking sun glowed red from a blue-green, cloud-fleeced sky. A soft cooling trade wind rolled gently down the steep green slopes of the Koolau range of Oahu. Commander J. P. Jones, Jr., commanding the U.S.S. Sharpshooter, grinned comfortably as he saw the last lines passed in berthing his ship in Pearl Harbor. Commander Jones was a fine naval officer and a fine figure of a man. He had a smart ship and a smart crew. He had just returned from ten days of fleet maneuvers. It had been hard work; dawn to dusk; dusk to midnight; little sleeping; quick thinking; fast action; sun, wind, and salt. Now he was tired, but happy. His ship had merited a “well done” and he knew it.
Jones entered his cabin and sat down to check his mail before going ashore for some well-earned recreation. The first of the letters, neatly sorted and stacked by his yeoman, engaged his attention:
United States Fleet, Destroyers, Battle Force, Flotilla XXX
USS TUSCARORA, Flagship
Pearl Harbor, T.H.,
January 23, 1940.
From: Commander Destroyer Flotilla XXX.