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The light cruiser, Omaha class No. 8, Detroit was laid down by the Bethlehem Company, Quincy, on 10 November 1920 and completed in July 1923. Her displacement was 7,050 tons, length overall 555 feet and beam 55 feet. Her armament was 10 6-inch guns, eight 3-inch guns and originally eight anti-aircraft machine guns, but that might have been increased by 1941, and she had six torpedo tubes. Her complement was 458 men. On 7 December she was the most north-easterly of the line of four ships off the north-western shore of Ford Island and the flagship of Rear Admiral Milo Draemel, commander of the Battle Force destroyers. At 0800 hours a torpedo from a Kate passed astern of Detroit and plunged harmlessly into the mud of Ford Island's shore. The ship astern, Raleigh, was hit by another torpedo. Draemel was establishing control of his destroyers and at 0840 he gave the order to put to sea. Amongst others, Blue responded immediately. Detroit's anti-aircraft gunners claimed a kill at 0905 when Lieutenant Suzuki's aircraft crashed aboard Curtiss. At much the same time two bombs exploded off Detroit's port quarter. At 1010 she got under way, her captain, Captain J. L. Wiltse on the bridge. At 1015 Admiral Husband E. Kimmel (Kimmel, Husband E.) ordered all cruisers to remain in harbour, so Detroit moored again, but then, at 1155, Kimmel ordered them to sea to report to "Comtaskforce One" under Draemel and at 1200 his flagship was clear of the harbor. Draemel's force was small, with Phoenix and St Louis in addition to a few destroyers including Blue - scarcely a threat to a Japanese fleet. He therefore ordered them to join Vice Admiral William F. Halsey's (Halsey, William F.) Task Force Eight and the carrier Enterprise. Before they could do so a false alarm took them towards Barbers Point in search of invading Japanese. Finding nothing, they joined Halsey.

See also: Blue; Curtiss; Ford Island; Halsey, William F.; Kate; Phoenix; Raleigh; St Louis