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The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal

The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, sometimes referred to as the Third and Fourth Battles of Savo Island, the Battle of the Solomons, The Battle of Friday the 13th, or, in Japanese sources, as the Third Battle of the Solomon Sea, took place from 1 !1" Novem#er 1$% , and &as the decisive en'a'ement in a series of naval #attles #et&een (llied )primarily *nited States+ and Imperial Japanese forces durin' the months,lon' Guadalcanal campai'n in the Solomon Islands durin' -orld -ar II. The action consisted of com#ined air and sea en'a'ements over four days, most near Guadalcanal and all related to a Japanese effort to reinforce land forces on the island. The #attle is especially noted for the deaths of the *.S. Navy/s only t&o admirals to #e killed in action durin' a surface en'a'ement in the &ar. The si0,month Guadalcanal campai'n #e'an on 1 (u'ust 1$% , &hen *.S. forces landed on Guadalcanal, Tula'i, and the Florida Islands in the Solomon Islands, at the time a colonial possession of Great Britain. The landin's &ere meant to prevent the Japanese usin' the islands as #ases from &hich to threaten the supply routes #et&een the *.S. and (ustralia, and to secure them as startin' points for a campai'n to neutrali2e the ma3or Imperial Japanese military #ase at 4a#aul and support of the (llied Ne& Guinea campai'n. The Japanese had occupied Tula'i in 5ay 1$% and #e'an constructin' an airfield on Guadalcanal in June 1$% . By ni'htfall on 6 (u'ust, the 11,777 (llied troops secured Tula'i, the near#y small islands, and a Japanese airfield under construction at 8un'a 9oint on Guadalcanal )later renamed :enderson Field+. (llied aircraft operatin' out of :enderson &ere called the ;<actus (ir Force; )<(F+ after the (llied code name for Guadalcanal. To protect the airfield, the *.S. 5arines esta#lished a perimeter defense around 8un'a 9oint. (dditional reinforcements over the ne0t t&o months increased the num#er of *.S. troops at 8un'a 9oint to more than 7,777 men. In response, the Japanese Imperial General :ead=uarters assi'ned the Imperial Japanese (rmy/s 11th (rmy, a corps,si2ed command #ased at 4a#aul and under the command of 8ieutenant,General :arukichi :yakutake, &ith the task of retakin' Guadalcanal. *nits of the 11th (rmy #e'an to arrive on Guadalcanal on 1$ (u'ust, to drive (llied forces from the island. Because of the threat #y <(F aircraft #ased at :enderson Field, the Japanese &ere una#le to use lar'e, slo& transport ships to deliver troops and supplies to the island. Instead, they used &arships #ased at 4a#aul and the Shortland Islands. The Japanese &arships>mainly li'ht cruisers or destroyers from the ?i'hth Fleet under the command of @ice (dmiral Gunichi 5ika&a>&ere usually a#le to make the round trip do&n ;The Slot; to Guadalcanal and #ack in a sin'le ni'ht, there#y minimi2in' their e0posure to air attack. Aeliverin' the troops in this manner, ho&ever, prevented most of the soldiers/ heavy e=uipment and supplies>such as heavy artillery, vehicles, and much food and ammunition>from #ein' carried to Guadalcanal &ith them. These hi'h,speed &arship runs to Guadalcanal occurred throu'hout the campai'n and came to #e kno&n as the ;Tokyo ?0press; #y (llied forces and ;4at Transportation; #y the Japanese. The first Japanese attempt to recapture :enderson Field failed &hen a $11,man force &as defeated on 1 (u'ust in the Battle of the Tenaru. The ne0t attempt took place from 1 !1% Septem#er, endin' in the defeat of the B,777 men under the command of 5a3or General Ciyotake Ca&a'uchi at the Battle of ?dson/s 4id'e. In Dcto#er, the Japanese a'ain tried to recapture :enderson Field #y deliverin' 1",777 more army men>mainly from the nd Infantry Aivision>to Guadalcanal. In addition to deliverin' the troops and their e=uipment #y Tokyo ?0press runs, the Japanese also successfully pushed throu'h one lar'e convoy of slo&er transport ships. ?na#lin' the approach of the transport convoy &as a ni'httime #om#ardment of :enderson Field #y t&o #attleships 1

on 1% Dcto#er that heavily dama'ed the airfield/s run&ays, destroyed E of the <(F/s aircraft, and #urned most of the availa#le aviation fuel. In spite of the dama'e, :enderson personnel &ere a#le to restore the t&o run&ays to service and replacement aircraft and fuel &ere delivered, 'radually restorin' the <(F to its pre,#om#ardment level over the ne0t fe& &eeks. The ne0t Imperial attempt to retake the island &ith the ne&ly arrived troops occurred from 7! B Dcto#er and &as defeated &ith heavy losses in the Battle for :enderson Field. (t the same time, (dmiral Isoroku Famamoto )the commander of the Japanese <om#ined Fleet+ defeated *.S. naval forces in the Battle of the Santa <ru2 Islands, drivin' them a&ay from the area. The Japanese carriers, ho&ever, &ere also forced to retreat #ecause of losses to carrier aircraft and aircre&s. Thereafter, Famamoto/s ships returned to their main #ases at Truk in 5icronesia, &here he had his head=uarters, and 4a#aul &hile three carriers returned to Japan for repairs and refittin'.

Fi'.1 The Solomon Islands. ;The Slot; )Ne& Geor'ia Sound+ runs do&n the center of the islands, from Bou'ainville and the Shortlands )center+ to Guadalcanal )lo&er ri'ht+.

The Japanese army planned another attack on Guadalcanal in Novem#er 1$% , #ut further reinforcements &ere needed #efore the operation could proceed. The army re=uested assistance from Famamoto to deliver the needed reinforcements to the island and to support their planned offensive on the (llied forces 'uardin' :enderson Field. To support the reinforcement effort, Famamoto provided 11 lar'e transport ships to carry 1,777 army troops from the 36th Infantry Aivision, their ammunition, food, and heavy e=uipment from 4a#aul to Guadalcanal. :e also sent a &arship support force from Truk on $ Novem#er that included t&o #attleships. The t&o #attleships, :iei and Cirishima, e=uipped &ith special fra'mentation shells, &ere to #om#ard :enderson Field on the ni'ht of 1 !13 Novem#er and destroy it and the aircraft stationed there in order to allo& the slo&, heavy transports to reach Guadalcanal and unload safely the ne0t day. The &arship force &as commanded from :iei #y recently promoted @ice (dmiral :iroaki (#e. Because of the constant threat #y Japanese aircraft and &arships, it &as difficult for (llied forces to resupply their forces on Guadalcanal, &hich &ere often under attack from Imperial land and sea forces in the area. In early Novem#er 1$% , (llied intelli'ence learned that the Japanese &ere preparin' a'ain to try to retake :enderson Field. Therefore, the *.S. sent Task Force B1 )TF B1+>a lar'e reinforcement and re,supply convoy, split into t&o 'roups and commanded #y 4ear (dmiral 4ichmond C. Turner>to Guadalcanal on 11 Novem#er. The supply ships &ere protected #y t&o task 'roups> commanded #y 4ear (dmirals Aaniel J. <alla'han and Norman Scott>and aircraft from :enderson Field on Guadalcanal. The transport ships &ere attacked several times on 11 and 1 Novem#er near Guadalcanal #y Japanese aircraft #ased at Buin, Bou'ainville, in the Solomons, #ut most &ere unloaded &ithout serious dama'e. T&elve Japanese aircraft &ere shot do&n #y anti,aircraft fire from the *.S. ships or #y fi'hter aircraft flyin' from :enderson Field. First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, November 13


Fi'. Guadalcanal locator map and close up

Fi'.3 5ap of sunken &arships in Savo Sound sho& &hy Iron#ottom Sound is appropriate.

(#e/s &arship force assem#led 17 nmi )61 miG 137 km+ north of Indispensa#le Strait and proceeded to&ards Guadalcanal on 1 Novem#er &ith an estimated arrival time for the &arships of early mornin' of 13 Novem#er. The convoy of slo&er transport ships and 1 escortin' destroyers, under the command of 4ai2o Tanaka, #e'an its run do&n ;The Slot; )Ne& Geor'ia Sound+ from the Shortlands &ith an estimated arrival time at Guadalcanal durin' the ni'ht of 13 Novem#er. In addition to the #attleships :IJ5S :iei )(#e/s fla'ship+ and :IJ5S Cirishima, (#e/s force included the li'ht cruiser :IJ5S Na'ara and 11 destroyers )Samidare, 5urasame, (sa'umo, Teru2uki, (matsuka2e, Fukika2e, Ika2uchi, Ina2uma, (katsuki, :arusame, and Fudachi+. Three more destroyers )Shi'ure, Shiratsuyu, and Fu'ure+ &ould provide a rear 'uard in the 4ussell Islands durin' (#e/s foray into the &aters of /Savo Sound/ around and near Savo Island off the north coast of Guadalcanal that &ould soon #e forever nicknamed ;Iron#ottom Sound; as a result of this succession of #attles and skirmishes. *.S. reconnaissance aircraft spotted the approach of the Japanese ships and passed a &arnin' to the (llied command. Thus &arned, Turner detached all usa#le com#at ships to protect the troops ashore from the e0pected Japanese naval attack and troop landin' and ordered the supply ships at Guadalcanal to depart #y early evenin' Novem#er 1 . <alla'han &as a fe& days senior to the more e0perienced Scott, and therefore &as placed in overall command. <alla'han prepared his force to meet the Japanese that ni'ht in the sound. :is force comprised t&o heavy cruisers )San Francisco and 9ortland+, three li'ht cruisers ):elena, Juneau, and (tlanta+, and ei'ht destroyersH <ushin', 8affey, Sterett, D/Bannon, (aron -ard, Barton, 5onssen, and Fletcher. (dmiral <alla'han commanded from San Francisco. Aurin' their approach to Guadalcanal, the Japanese force passed throu'h a lar'e and intense rain s=uall &hich, alon' &ith a comple0 formation plus some confusin' orders from (#e, split the formation into several 'roups. The *.S. force steamed in a sin'le column around Iron#ottom Sound, &ith destroyers in the lead and rear of the column, and the cruisers in the center. Five ships had the ne&, far,superior SG radar, #ut <alla'han/s deployment put none of them in the for&ard part of the column, nor did he choose one for his fla'ship. <alla'han did not issue a #attle plan to his ship commanders. Action

Fi'.% (ppro0imate routes of Japanese force under (#e )red line+ and *.S. force under <alla'han )#lack line+ as they head to&ards each other early on 13 Novem#er in Iron#ottom Sound #et&een Savo Island, <ape ?sperance, and 8un'a 9oint on Guadalcanal. The 'reen area near 8un'a 9oint on Guadalcanal marks the location of :enderson Field.

(t a#out 71H " on 13 Novem#er, in near,complete darkness #ecause of the #ad &eather and dark moon, the ships of the Imperial Japanese force entered the sound #et&een Savo Island and Guadalcanal and prepared to #om#ard :enderson Field &ith specially loaded and transshipped hi'h e0plosive ammunition for this mission. The ships arrived from an une0pected direction comin' not do&n the slot, #ut from the &est side of Savo Island enterin' it/s sound from the north&est, not the north. *nlike *S Naval forces, the Japanese navy drilled and practiced ni'ht fi'htin' e0tensively as &ell as conductin' fre=uent ni'ht 'unnery live fire drills and e0ercises and that e0perience &ould #e tellin' in not only the comin' encounter, #ut several other surface fleet actions off Guadalcanal in the months to come. Several of the *.S. ships detected the Japanese ships on radar, #e'innin' a#out 71H %, #ut had trou#le communicatin' the information to <alla'han #ecause of ine0perience operatin' as a cohesive naval unit, or pro#lems &ith their radio e=uipment and a further lack of discipline re'ardin' their communications procedures. ( messa'e &as sent and received #ut didn/t reach the commander in time to process and use 'iven the total i'norance of radar and a appreciation of it/s accuracy capa#ilities and especially the relia#ility or ran'es and #earin's so o#tained> alon' &ith the total lack of practice coordinatin' radar information to visual data. (dmiral <alla'han &asted further time tryin' to reconcile the ran'es and #earin's information reported #y radar &ith his limited si'ht picture to no avail, mostly #ecause the radar operator &ithout the direction of a modern <ommand Information <enter )<I<+ &as reportin' on vessels that &ere literally out of si'ht, and <alla'han &as tryin' to coordinate the #attle from the #rid'e, not a <ommand <enter. )9ost #attle analysis of this and other early surface actions &ere to directly lead to the plottin' cre&s and fi'htin' the #attle from the modern <ommand centers #efore the middle of 1$%3. Several minutes later, #oth forces visually si'hted each other appro0imately simultaneously, #ut #oth (#e and <alla'han hesitated orderin' their ships into action. (#e apparently &as surprised #y the pro0imity of the *.S. ships and &ith decks stacked hi'h &ith hi'h e0plosive )vice armor penetratin'+ ammunition/s could not decide if he should momentarily &ithdra& to 'ive his #attleships time to chan'e from #om#ardment ammunition to anti,ship ammunition or to continue on&ard. :e decided to continue on&ard. <alla'han apparently intended to attempt %

to cross the T of the Japanese, as Scott had done at <ape ?sperance, #ut>confused #y the incomplete information he &as receivin', plus the fact that the Japanese formation consisted of several scattered 'roups>he 'ave several confusin' orders on ship movements, and overall, 3ust delayed too lon' in actin' at all. The *.S. ship formation #e'an to fall apart, apparently further delayin' <alla'han/s order to commence firin' as he first tried to ascertain and ali'n his ships/ locations. 5ean&hile, #oth forces/ formations #e'an to intermin'le &ith each other as the individual ship commanders on #oth sides an0iously a&aited permission to open fire.

Fi'." 9osition of Japanese and *.S. ships at 71H%" on 13 Novem#er. Both sides opened fire at 71H%6 as the formations of the t&o adversaries intermin'led and then =uickly disinte'rated into a confused free,for,all.

(t 71H%6, (katsuki and :iei turned on lar'e searchli'hts and lit up (tlanta only 3,777 yd ) ,177 m+ a&ay>almost point,#lank ran'e for lar'e naval artillery. Several of the ships on #oth sides spontaneously opened fire. 4eali2in' that his force &as almost surrounded #y Japanese ships, <alla'han issued the confusin' orderH ;Ddd ships fire to star#oard, even ships fire to port; )save that no pre,#attle plannin' had assi'ned any such identity num#ers to reference, and the formation &as already chaotic. 5ost of the remainin' *.S. ships then opened fire, althou'h several had to =uickly chan'e their tar'ets in order to comply &ith <alla'han/s order. (s the ships from the t&o sides intermin'led, they #attled each other in an utterly confused and chaotic melIe at close distances &here the superior Japanese optics and &ell practiced Japanese drill at optically si'hted ni'ht aimin' proved to #e deadly effective. (fter&ard, an officer on 5onssen likened it to ;a #arroom #ra&l after the li'hts had #een shot out;. (t least si0 of the *.S. ships>includin' 8affey, D/Bannon, (tlanta, San Francisco, 9ortland, and :elena>fired at (katsuki, &hich dre& attention to herself &ith her illuminated searchli'ht. (katsuki &as hit repeatedly and #le& up and sank &ithin a fe& minutes. 9erhaps #ecause it &as the lead cruiser in the *.S. formation, (tlanta &as the tar'et of fire and torpedoes from several Imperial ships>pro#a#ly includin' Na'ara, Ina2uma, and Ika2uchi>in addition to (katsuki. The 'unfire caused (tlanta heavy dama'e, and a type $3 torpedo hit cut all of her en'ineerin' po&er. (tlanta drifted into the line of fire of San Francisco, &hich accidentally fired on (tlanta, causin' even 'reater dama'e, and killin' (dmiral Scott and much of the #rid'e cre&. (tlanta, &ithout po&er or a#le to fire her 'uns, drifted out of control and out of the #attle as the Japanese ships passed her #y. The lead *.S. destroyer, <ushin', &as "

also cau'ht in a crossfire #et&een several Imperial destroyers and perhaps Na'ara. She too &as hit heavily and stopped dead in the &ater. :iei, &ith her nine lit searchli'hts, hu'e si2e, and course takin' her directly throu'h the *.S. formation, #ecame the focus of 'unfire from many of the *.S. ships. 8affey passed so close to :iei that they missed collidin' #y 7 ft )B.1 m+. :iei &as una#le to depress her main or secondary #atteries lo& enou'h to hit 8affey, #ut 8affey &as a#le to rake :iei/s superstructure &ith " in )137 mm+ shells and machine 'un fire, causin' heavy dama'e to :iei/s superstructure and #rid'e, &oundin' (dmiral (#e, and killin' his chief of staff. (dmiral (#e &as thereafter limited in his a#ility to direct his ships for the rest of the #attle. Sterett and D/Bannon like&ise fired several salvos into :iei/s superstructure from close ran'e, and perhaps one or t&o torpedoes into her hull, causin' :iei further dama'e, #efore #oth destroyers escaped into the darkness.

Fi'.B Battleship :iei in 1$%

*na#le to fire her main or secondary #atteries at the three destroyers causin' her so much trou#le, :iei instead concentrated on San Francisco &hich &as passin' #y only ,"77 yd ) ,377 m+ a&ay. (lon' &ith Cirishima, Ina2uma, and Ika2uchi, the four ships made repeated hits on San Francisco, disa#lin' her steerin' control and killin' (dmiral <alla'han, <aptain <assin Foun', and most of the #rid'e staff. The first fe& salvos from :iei and Cirishima consisted of the special fra'mentation #om#ardment shells, &hich reduced dama'e to the interior of San Francisco and may have saved her from #ein' sunk outri'ht. Not e0pectin' a ship,to,ship confrontation, it took the cre&s of the t&o Imperial #attleships several minutes to s&itch to armor,piercin' ammunition. Nevertheless, San Francisco, almost helpless to defend herself, mana'ed to momentarily sail clear of the melee. :o&ever, she landed at least one shell in :iei/s steerin' 'ear room durin' the e0chan'e, floodin' it &ith &ater, shortin' out her po&er steerin' 'enerators, and severely inhi#itin' :iei/s steerin' capa#ility. :elena follo&ed San Francisco to try and protect her from further harm. T&o of the *.S. destroyers met a sudden demise. ?ither Na'ara or the destroyers Teru2uki and Fukika2e came upon the driftin' <ushin' and pounded her &ith 'unfire, knockin' out all of her systems. *na#le to fi'ht #ack, <ushin'/s cre& a#andoned ship. <ushin' sank several hours later. 8affey, havin' escaped from her en'a'ement &ith :iei, encountered (sa'umo, 5urasame, Samidare, and, perhaps, Teru2uki. The Japanese destroyers pounded the 8affey &ith 'unfire and then hit her &ith a torpedo &hich #roke her keel. ( fe& minutes later fires reached her ammunition ma'a2ines and she #le& up and sank. 9ortland>after helpin' sink (katsuki>&as hit #y a torpedo from Ina2uma or Ika2uchi, causin' heavy dama'e to her stern and forcin' her to steer in a circle. (fter completin' her first loop, she &as a#le to fire four salvos at :iei #ut other&ise took little further part in the #attle. Fudachi and (matsuka2e independently char'ed the rear five ships of the *.S. formation. T&o torpedoes from (matsuka2e hit Barton, immediately sinkin' her &ith heavy loss of life. Fudachi hit Juneau &ith a torpedo, stoppin' her dead in the &ater, #reakin' her keel, and knockin' out most of her systems. Juneau then turned east and slo&ly crept out of the #attle area. 5onssen avoided the &reck of Barton and motored on&ard lookin' for tar'ets. She &as noticed #y (sa'umo, 5urasame, and Samidare &ho had 3ust finished #lastin' 8affey. They smothered 5onssen &ith 'unfire, dama'in' her severely and forcin' the cre& to a#andon ship. The ship sank sometime later. B

Fi'.1 Iron#ottom Sound. The ma3ority of the &arship surface #attle of 13 Novem#er took place in the area #et&een Savo Island )center+ and Guadalcanal )left+.

(matsuka2e approached San Francisco &ith the intention of finishin' her off. :o&ever, &hile concentratin' on San Francisco, (matsuka2e did not notice the approach of :elena &hich fired several full #roadsides at (matsuka2e from close ran'e and knocked her out of the action. The heavily,dama'ed (matsuka2e escaped under cover of a smoke screen &hile :elena &as distracted #y an attack #y (sa'umo, 5urasame, and Samidare. (aron -ard and Sterett, independently searchin' for tar'ets, #oth si'hted Fudachi, &ho appeared una&are of the approach of the t&o *.S. destroyers. Both *.S. ships hit Fudachi simultaneously &ith 'unfire and torpedoes, heavily dama'in' the destroyer and forcin' her cre& to a#andon ship. The ship did not sink ri'ht a&ay, ho&ever. <ontinuin' on her &ay, Sterett &as suddenly am#ushed #y Teru2uki, heavily dama'ed, and forced to &ithdra& from the #attle area to the east. (aron -ard &ound up in a one,on,one duel &ith Cirishima, &hich the destroyer lost &ith heavy dama'e. She also tried to retire from the #attle area to the east #ut soon stopped dead in the &ater #ecause the en'ines &ere dama'ed. 4o#ert 8eckie, a 5arine private on Guadalcanal, descri#ed the #attleH The star shells rose, terri#le and red. Giant tracers flashed across the ni'ht in oran'e arches. ... the sea seemed a sheet of polished o#sidian on &hich the &arships seemed to have #een dropped and &ere immo#ili2ed, centered amid concentric circles like shock &aves that form around a stone dropped in mud. (fter nearly %7 minutes of the #rutal, close,=uarters fi'htin', the t&o sides #roke contact and ceased fire at 7 H B after (#e and <aptain Gil#ert :oover )the captain of :elena and senior survivin' *.S. officer at this point+ ordered their respective forces to disen'a'e. (dmiral (#e had one #attleship )Cirishima+, one li'ht cruiser )Na'ara+, and four destroyers )(sa'umo, Teru2uki, Fukika2e, and :arusame+ &ith only li'ht dama'e and four destroyers )Ina2uma, Ika2uchi, 5urasame, and Samidare+ &ith moderate dama'e. The *.S. had only one li'ht cruiser ):elena+ and one destroyer )Fletcher+ that &ere still capa#le of effective resistance. (lthou'h perhaps unclear to (#e, the &ay &as clear for him to #om#ard :enderson Field and finish off the *.S. naval forces in the area, clearin' the &ay for the troops and supplies to #e landed safely on Guadalcanal. :o&ever, at this crucial 3uncture, (#e chose to a#andon the mission and depart the area. Several reasons are con3ectured as to &hy he made this decision. 5uch of the special #om#ardment ammunition had #een e0pended in the #attle. If the #om#ardment failed to destroy the airfield, then his &arships &ould #e vulnera#le to <(F air attack at da&n. :is o&n in3uries and the deaths of some of his staff from #attle action may have affected (#e/s 3ud'ement. 9erhaps he &as also unsure as to ho& many of his or the *.S. ships &ere still com#at,capa#le #ecause of communication pro#lems &ith the dama'ed :iei. Furthermore, his o&n ships &ere scattered and &ould have taken some time to reassem#le for a coordinated resumption of the mission to attack :enderson Field and the remnants of the *.S. &arship force. For &hatever reason, (#e called for a disen'a'ement and 'eneral retreat of his &arships, 1

althou'h Fukika2e and Teru2uki remained #ehind to assist :iei. Samidare picked up survivors from Fudachi at 73H77 #efore 3oinin' the other Japanese ships in the retirement north&ards. Aftermath

Fi'.6 :iei, trailin' oil, is #om#ed #y *.S. B,11 #om#ers from hi'h altitude north of Savo Island on 13 Novem#er 1$% .

Fi'.$ 9ortland under'oin' repairs in dry dock in Sydney, (ustralia, a month after the #attle

(t 73H77 on 13 Novem#er, (dmiral Famamoto postponed the planned landin's of the transports, &hich returned to the Shortlands to a&ait further orders. Aa&n revealed three crippled Japanese ):iei, Fudachi, and (matsuka2e+, and three crippled *.S. ships )9ortland, (tlanta, and (aron -ard+ in the 'eneral vicinity of Savo Island. (matsuka2e &as attacked #y *.S. dive #om#ers #ut escaped further dama'e as she headed to Truk and eventually returned to action several months later. The a#andoned hulk of Fudachi &as sunk #y 9ortland, &hose 'uns still &orked despite the other dama'e to the ship. The tu'#oat Bo#olink motored around Iron#ottom Sound throu'hout the day of 13 Novem#er, assistin' the dama'ed *.S. ships, rescuin' *.S. survivors from the &ater, and, reportedly, shootin' Japanese survivors floatin' in the &ater. :iei &as attacked repeatedly #y 5arine TBF (ven'er torpedo planes from :enderson Field, TBFs and SBA Aauntless dive,#om#ers from ?nterprise, &hich had departed NoumIa on 11 Novem#er, and B,11 Flyin' Fortress #om#ers of the *nited States (rmy (ir Forces 11th Bom#ardment Group from ?spiritu Santo. (#e and his staff transferred to Fukika2e at 76H1". Cirishima &as ordered #y (#e to take :iei under to&, escorted #y Na'ara and its destroyers, #ut the attempt &as cancelled #ecause of the threat of su#marine attack and :iei/s increasin' unsea&orthiness. (fter sustainin' more dama'e from air attacks, :iei sank north&est of Savo Island, perhaps after #ein' scuttled #y her remainin' cre&, in the late evenin' of 13 Novem#er. 9ortland, San Francisco, (aron -ard, Sterett, and D/Bannon &ere eventually a#le to make it #ack to rear,area ports for repairs. (tlanta, ho&ever, sank near Guadalcanal at 7H77 on 13 Novem#er. Aepartin' from the Solomon Islands area &ith San Francisco, :elena, Sterret, and D/Bannon later that day, Juneau &as torpedoed and sunk #y Japanese su#marine I, B )$J11K17LS 1"$J"3K% L?$.16B11JS 1"$.6$"J? <oordinatesH $J11K17LS 1"$J"3K% L?$.16B11JS 1"$.6$"J?+. Juneau/s 177M survivors )out of a total complement of B$1+ &ere left to fend on their o&n in the open ocean for ei'ht days #efore rescue aircraft #elatedly arrived. -hile a&aitin' rescue, all #ut ten of Juneau/s cre& died from their in3uries, the elements, or shark attacks. The dead included the five Sullivan #rothers. 6

Because of the confused nature of the #attle, the *.S. #elieved that they had sunk as many as seven Japanese ships. This, plus the Japanese retreat, caused the *.S. to #elieve at the time that they had &on a si'nificant victory. It &as only after the &ar that the *.S. learned that they had suffered &hat most see as a crushin' tactical defeat. Nevertheless, most historians appear to a'ree that (#e/s decision to retreat turned this tactical defeat into a strate'ic victory for the *.S. :enderson Field remained operational &ith attack aircraft ready to deter the slo& Imperial transports from approachin' Guadalcanal &ith their precious car'oes. 9lus, the Japanese had lost an opportunity to eliminate the *.S. naval forces in the area, a result &hich &ould have taken even the comparatively resource,rich *.S. some time to recover from. 4eportedly furious, (dmiral Famamoto relieved (#e of command and later directed his forced retirement from the military. :o&ever, it appears that Famamoto may have #een more an'ry over the loss of one of his #attleships ):iei+ than he &as over the a#andonment of the supply mission and failure to completely destroy the *.S. force. Shortly #efore noon, Famamoto ordered @ice (dmiral No#utake CondN, commandin' the Second Fleet at Truk, to form a ne& #om#ardment unit around Cirishima and attack :enderson Field on the ni'ht of 1%!1" Novem#er. Includin' the sinkin' of Juneau, total *.S. losses in the #attle &ere 1,%3$ dead. The Japanese suffered #et&een ""7 and 677 dead. (naly2in' the impact of this en'a'ement, historian 4ichard B. Frank statesH This action stands &ithout peer for furious, close,ran'e, and confused fi'htin' durin' the &ar. But the result &as not decisive. The self,sacrifice of <alla'han and his task force had purchased one ni'ht/s respite for :enderson Field. It had postponed, not stopped, the landin' of ma3or Japanese reinforcements, nor had the 'reater portion of the )Japanese+ <om#ined Fleet yet #een heard from.; Other actions, November 1314

Fi'.17 Japanese heavy cruiser Cinu'asa

(lthou'h the reinforcement effort to Guadalcanal &as delayed, the Japanese did not 'ive up tryin' to complete the ori'inal mission, al#eit a day later than ori'inally planned. In the afternoon of 13 Novem#er, Tanaka and the 11 transports resumed their 3ourney to&ard Guadalcanal. ( Japanese force of cruisers and destroyers from the 6th Fleet>#ased primarily at 4a#aul and ori'inally assi'ned to cover the unloadin' of the transports on the evenin' of 13 Novem#er>&as 'iven the mission that (#e/s force had failed to carry out>the #om#ardment of :enderson Field. The #attleship Cirishima>after a#andonin' its rescue effort of :iei on the mornin' of 13 Novem#er>steamed north #et&een Santa Isa#el and 5alaita Islands &ith her accompanyin' &arships to rende2vous &ith Condo/s Second Fleet in#ound from Truk to form the ne& #om#ardment unit. The 6th Fleet cruiser force>under its commander, @ice (dmiral Gunichi 5ika&a> included the heavy cruisers <hNkai, Cinu'asa, 5aya, and Su2uya, li'ht cruisers Isu2u and TenryO, and si0 destroyers. 5ika&a/s force &as a#le to slip into the Guadalcanal area uncontested #ecause the #attered *.S. naval forces had &ithdra&n. Su2uya and 5aya>under the command of ShN3i Nishimura>#om#arded :enderson Field &hile the rest of 5ika&a/s force cruised around Savo Island 'uardin' a'ainst any *.S. surface attack )&hich did not occur+. The 3",minute #om#ardment caused some dama'e to various aircraft and facilities at $

the airfield #ut did not put it out of operation. The cruiser force ended the #om#ardment around 7 H37 on 1% Novem#er and cleared the area to head to&ards 4a#aul on a course south of the Ne& Geor'ia island 'roup.

Fi'.11 Condo/s #om#ardment force heads to&ards Guadalcanal durin' the day on 1% Novem#er. 9hoto'raphed from the heavy cruiser (ta'o, the heavy cruiser Takao is follo&ed #y the #attleship Cirishima.

(t day#reak, aircraft from :enderson Field, ?spiritu Santo, and ?nterprise>stationed 77 nmi ) 37 miG 317 km+ south of Guadalcanal>#e'an their attacks, first on 5ika&a/s force that &as headin' a&ay from Guadalcanal, and then on the transport force headin' to&ards Guadalcanal. The (merican air sorties from :enderson Field &ere possi#le due to a supply of %66 "",'allon drums of 177,octane 'as that &as hidden in a secluded area under the 3un'le canopy #y <u#,1 sailor, (u'ust 5artello. The attacks on 5ika&a/s force sank Cinu'asa, killin' "11 of her cre&, and dama'ed 5aya, forcin' her to 'o to Japan for repairs. 4epeated air attacks on the transport force over&helmed the escortin' Japanese fi'hter aircraft, sank si0 of the transports, and forced one more to turn #ack &ith heavy dama'e )it later sank+. Survivors from the transports &ere rescued #y the convoy/s escortin' destroyers and returned to the Shortlands. ( total of %"7 army troops &ere reported to have perished. The remainin' four transports and four destroyers continued to&ards Guadalcanal after ni'htfall of 1% Novem#er, #ut stopped &est of Guadalcanal to a&ait the finish of the &arship surface action )#elo&+ #efore continuin'. Condo/s ad hoc force rende2voused at Dnton' Java on the evenin' of 13 Novem#er, then reversed course and refueled out of ran'e of :enderson Field/s #om#ers on the mornin' of 1% Novem#er. The *.S. su#marine Trout stalked #ut &as una#le to attack Cirishima durin' refuelin'. The #om#ardment force continued south and came under air attack late in the afternoon of 1% Novem#er, durin' &hich they &ere intercepted #y the su#marine Flyin' Fish &hich launched five torpedoes #ut scored no hits, then reported its contact #y radio.