November 1942 (1)

IJN ship Kirishima and Takao enroute to Guadalcanal

IJN ship Kirishima and Takao enroute to Guadalcanal

Throughout November, the US forces put constant pressure on the Japanese.  After Adm. Halsey’s “pep talk”, the PT boats, out of Tulagi, stepped up their action against the Tokyo Express that brought reinforcements and supplies every night to the island.  On 7 November, aircraft from Henderson Field bombed and damaged 2 enemy destroyers.

11 November, the HYPO cryptanalysts uncovered the plans for yet another massive Japanese effort to reinforce Guadalcanal on the 13th.  [HYPO = He’eia, Hawaii, radio tower, Fleet Radio Unit Pacific under OP – 20 G Naval Intelligence, Washington,D.C.]

Taken during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, Nov. 1942

Taken during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, Nov. 1942

12 November – a Japanese convoy of transport ships carrying 1,300 men and supported by 11 destroyers were on course for the island as Adm. Tanaka’s 18 warships bombarded Henderson Field.  Enemy carriers in the Solomon area were giving support, when RAdm. Callaghan moved in by radar to intercept.  He failed to order his 8 destroyers far enough ahead of Adm. Scott [on the light cruiser Atlanta] with the Portland, Helena and Juneau.  Then, as  the two forces met between Guadalcanal and Savo Island, there were a series of maneuvering errors.  The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal became very bloody within minutes.

The Japanese had 2 cruisers sunk and the destroyer Yudachi.  The enemy destroyer Akatsuki lay dead in the water and the battleship Hiei was later crippled.  Adm. Callaghan was killed as the Kirishima crashed into the San Francisco broadside and killed everyone on the bridge.  A torpedo sliced the destroyer Barton in half, Laffey, Cushing and Aaron Ward lay crippled in the water.  The Juneau was hit by the Japanese submarine I-26 and erupted.

Aerial view for Henderson Field

Aerial view for Henderson Field

With the US loss of one cruiser and four destroyers, almost every vessel in this action was damaged.  [The Five Sullivan Brothers of Waterloo, Iowa died during this battle; a more complete story will follow.]

Japanese Adm. Abe would receive no commendations from his superiors for his tactical success due to his failure to carry out his assigned mission to destroy Henderson Field.  He was ordered to have the cruiser Kurishima tow the Hiei, but Abe had already sent the cruiser out to fend off air attacks.  By this time, aircraft from the Enterprise and B-17s from Espiritu Santo had arrived and utterly destroyed the Hiei on the 14th.  Abe abandoned ship to the Yukase and Adm. Yamamoto deemed him unworthy of any further commands.

SeaBees at Henderson Field

SeaBees at Henderson Field

No US warships were available to stop the bombardment of Henderson Field from Adm. Mikawa’s 3 heavy cruisers.  The frantic efforts of the PT boats were no match for the 1,000 8″ rounds being fired.  Had the enemy used 14″ shells, the end result might have been drastically different.  However, the SeaBees hustled throughout the night to put the field back together well enough by morning for the Marine Avengers to take off.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Military Humor – via Sad Sack – 

SadSack37

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Farewell Salutes – 

William Beckman III – WRiviera Bch, FL; US Army, Vietnam, Army Intel Corps

Roy Bounds – AUS; AIF # NX69844, WWII, Australia Pioneer Battalionwpid-23e1fd117a3853c2da7c4cebcf40c6a11.jpgMending a Nation, John McNaughton

John Ellis Jr. – Frankfort, MI; US Army, WWII, PTO

Harry Gates – Palm Bch Gardens, FL; US Coast Guard, WWII

James Hitter – Post Falls, ID; US Air Force/USANG, LtCol. (Ret. 37 years)

Robert Kranich – Strasburg, VA; US Army, Colonel (Ret.)

John Rhodes – Northland, NZ; RNZ Air Force # 442744, WWII

Louis Self – Salem, OR ; US Army, Sgt. (Ret. 21 years)

Franklin Smith – Lake Worth, FL; US Army, Korea

Michael Winney – Glendale, AZ; US Army, WWII

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Personal note – Sometimes it takes me a while to get back to everyone’s site, [yesterday for example, I was out of town visiting my mother-in-law – it takes time to catch up], but reading your posts is as important to me as putting in  my own.  I ask you all to be patient and I will be there.  I’ve noticed lately that I have been losing followers and I sincerely hope it is NOT because they feel neglected.

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on May 11, 2015, in WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 53 Comments.

  1. Great reading gp, the PT boats during the war put the fear into every allied and Merchant ship on the seas, as for the Kirishima crashing into the San Francisco, that must have been Hell for those on both ships.
    Your posts do bring history to life.
    Cheers.

    Like

  2. I’ve always liked the Sad Sack cartoons. My dad had a book of them. I wonder where it went?

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  3. I was unaware of the collision which took Callaghan’s life and many others; in fact I didn’t realize the Japanese ships were that close. And finally, something good about living in Cali… The Seabee Museum is but 90 minutes away! ☺

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  4. Laughed at Sad Sack. I had some ancestors involved in that crossing. Apparently they got the orders on time. 🙂 –Curt

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  5. Very nice to meet you GP and for visiting my blog! Nice discovery here and I look forward to reading your posts. My nephew is a Seabee, 14 years and hoping to make it to retirement but you never know with the cutbacks today. Really piece that you wrote today and very sad to see so many of the true hero’s passing on.

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    • Pleasure to see you, Mary. I very much enjoy seeing your outstanding talent on display in your site! I thank you for stopping by and please pass on my sincere thanks to your nephew for his service. Our WWII heroes are going very quickly now, I can only hope someone has documented their stories.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The final salutes are so sad.

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  7. The SeaBees were the foundation for many victories…literally.

    I always enjoy your posts though recently I have no had the time to comment as often as I would like. What you are doing is important. Don’t let number of followers interrupt the dialogue you have begun.

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    • I agree about the SeaBees and what an outstanding job they’ve accomplished. [ although I follow their museum blog, I am unable to get specific answers from their curator – she won’t reply.]
      I thank you very much for your support for what I’m trying to do here – that means a lot. Please don’t worry about how often you comment! I for one always have time constraints and have to hold off on commenting at other blogs, so I completely understand. In my personal note, I was trying to make sure no one felt neglected or forgotten – If I do lose someone, I wish they’d drop by and give me a “what for.” 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Thanks as always GP, for your detailed posts that bear witness to this history and keep it in our thoughts.

    (Should there be a “not” in the last line of your personal note?)

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    • I can’t believe you were the only one to notice that “not” missing!! I only spotted it myself this morning when I logged on…[you do NOT want to know what words came out of my mouth when I saw my faux pas!!!!]

      Liked by 1 person

  9. What a mess. How did we ever survive.

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  10. The Japanese admiral did very well, actually, and didn’t deserve a kick in the teeth.
    It must have taken some doing to restore that field.
    I take it Sad Sack received those orders just a little bit late?

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    • Imperial Headquarters didn’t want excuses – win or or you’re out! The SeaBees did an outstanding and painstaking job quite well! And poor Sad Sack – if it’s going to happen to anyone – it’s going to happen to him!!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you for providing these history lessons. I remember a family down the street when I was growing up. My friend told me her father was a SeaBee. At 8 years old, I didn’t really understand what a SeaBee was, but it sounded very important. They were certainly very important!

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    • The SeaBees and Army Engineers were a courageous and ingenious group of troops – we couldn’t have done what we did without them!! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the posts, Lavinia.

      Like

  12. I’m still here GP! Just don’t get around as much as before. Hopefully, that will change in a few months! 🙂

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  13. Very interesting article and so terrible for the Sullivans. Remember seeing the movie.Great post, Everett!

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    • Yes, the Sullivan article was a hard one to put together – it actually isn’t finished yet, but due out on Thursday. Thank you for reading this one, Kathy.

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  14. Great post, as usual! The comic is hilarious 🙂

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    • I get the biggest kick out of Sad Sack – reminds me a lot of myself; so I let him give us some comic relief from the war just as he did during WWII.

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  15. The SeaBees worked wonders under very difficult conditions to repair the runway.

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  16. Always an interesting read. Many of us would not know of such actions if it were not for your well presented words. Thank you so much! A salute to you sir!

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  17. Good for the cryptanalysts. Terrible for the Sullivan family

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  18. That Sad Sack is the best ever

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  19. Another set of examples about the grandiose plans of the Japanese Empire and their perfectionistic attitudes served to weaken their efforts. Much to the allies advantage, of course.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Another really interesting post. I watched “The Fighting Sullivans” quite recently and it’s a really great film. I don’t know a great deal about the Navy but I am presuming that it must be rather unusual for an Admiral to be killed?

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    • Sadly, no. The admirals are often right there in the battle, as much as we try to protect them on their flagship.
      I’m always glad to see you here, John!

      Like

  21. I always enjoy the stories of men who worked their butts off to repair damage and keep things moving.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Fernand Otte

    May be intressed

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  23. It never ceases to amaze me how much was going on in the Pacific theatre of war, and how many actions were fought. I recall the sad tale of the Sullivan brothers too. Excellent piece gp.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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    • Thank you very much. And to think I couldn’t possibly cover every action going on at the same time – so many islands, sectors and huge ocean to cover – makes you wonder why Europe was ever considered the main part of WWII. [IMO] Thanks for being so loyal here, Pete! GP

      Like

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