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                               AMPHIBIOUS FORCE 
FE25/A16-3 (8)               SOUTH PACIFIC FORCE 
                           Office of the Commander 
Serial SD/TS133


                                             U.S.S. McCAWLEY, Flagship, 
                                               December 3, 1942.


From:          Commander Amphibious Force, South Pacific.
To:            Commander South Pacific Force.

Subject:       Report of Operations of Task Force SIXTYSEVEN and 
               Task Group 62.4 - Reinforcement of GUADALCANAL 
               November 8-15, 1942, and Summary of Third Battle of 
               SAVO.

Enclosures:    (A) Directives and modifications of plans 
                   for the operations as follows:
                   (1) CTF 62 paraphrased despatches 070430 and 100400 
                       to CTG 62.4.
                   (2) Comsopac paraphrased despatch 080222 of 
                       November.
                   (3) CTF 67 mailgrams 070917, 070225 and 070952 of 
                       November.
                   (4) CTF 67.1 OpOrd No. 2-42 of November 7, 1942.
                   (5) 182nd Infantry Field Order No. 1 of November 8, 
                       1942.
                   (6) CTF 67 secret serial 00389 of November 11, 1942.
                   (7) CTF 67 letter of Instructions, serial 00386 of 
                       November 10, 1942, and Modifications of 
                       instructions, serial 00388 of November 11, 1942.
                   (8) CTF 67 paraphrased despatch 120133 of November,
                   (9) CTG 67.4 paraphrased despatch 120615 of 
                       November.
                  (10) HELENA paraphrased despatch 122005 of November.
                  (11) CTF 67 paraphrased despatch 130200 of November.

               (B) Two track charts of the subject operations.

    1.  Minus eleven zone time is used for all times and dates in this 
        report. Zone zero time is used in dispatches.

    2.  The enemy during the last half of October succeeded in interrupting, 
        to a great extent, the logistic supply to our forces in GUADALCANAL 
        and TULAGI; and succeeded in landing additional troops.  As a counter 
        to this forward push of the enemy, a comprehensive plan was drawn up 
        for expediting the movement of supplies and reinforcements to 
        GUADALCANAL, and for disorganizing enemy operations.  The operations 
        described herein, a part of this larger plan, involved the movement 
        to GUADALCANAL of two groups of transports supported by strong 
        combatant forces.  The first group was scheduled to arrive on 
        November eleventh, and the second on November twelfth:

        (a)  The ZEILIN, LIBRA, and BETELGEUSE, having on board the First 
             Marine Aviation Engineer Battalion, Marine replacement troops, 
             Marine Air Wing ONE ground personnel, and aviation engineering 
             and operating material, ammunition and food.  These ships, with 
             an escort consisting of the ATLANTA, AARON  WARD, FLETCHER, 
             LARDNER, and the McCALLA, the whole under command of Rear 
             Admiral Norman SCOTT, constituted Task Group 62.4.  This group 
             was under the operational control of Commander Amphibious Force, 
             South Pacific.

        (b)  The McCAWLEY, PRESIDENT JACKSON, PRESIDENT ADAMS, and CRESCENT 
             CITY, (Task Group 67.1) with the Army 182nd Reinforced Regiment 
             (less one infantry battalion); a Marine 155mm howitzer battery; 
             1300 officers and men of the Fourth Marine Replacement 
             Battalion; casuals; 372 naval personnel as reinforcements for 
             the Naval Local Defense Force; and considerable ammunition 
             reserves for the troops in GUADALCANAL.  Cover for this convoy 
             was provided by Task Group 67.4, under Rear Admiral D.J. 
             CALLAGHAN, consisting initially of the SAN FRANCISCO, PENSACOLA, 
             PORTLAND, HELENA, JUNEAU, O'BANNON, BARTON, MONSSEN, SHAW, 
             LAFFEY, BUCHANAN, GWIN, STERETT, PRESTON, and CUSHING.  The 
             units listed in this subparagraph were organized into temporary 
             Task Force 67, directly commanded by Rear Admiral R.K. TURNER in 
             The McCAWLEY.  On arrival of this force at GUADALCANAL it was 
             intended to merge Task Group 62.4 with Task Force 67.

    3.  An essential feature of the plan was the employment of the 
        considerable surface combatant forces listed in the preceding 
        paragraph.  There were two chief purposes in assigning a strong 
        combatant force to accompany the transports: first, to provide 
        adequate protection for the GUADALCANAL reinforcements against the 
        expanding enemy operations; and second, to make an offensive strike 
        against enemy surface forces which might be encountered, or which 
        might be drawn to GUADALCANAL to attack our transports.  As the 
        situation developed, the offensive purpose turned out to have the 
        major importance.

    4.  Task Group 62.4 departed from ESPIRITU SANTO on November ninth and, 
        passing by the north of SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND, arrived at GUADALCANAL 
        on the morning of November eleventh, The route north of SAY CRISTOBAL 
        was chosen in order to evade discovery by the long-range enemy air 
        scouts based in the BUIN region; and to avoid a cluster of submarines 
        further westward. However, the enemy, about November ninth, began 
        basing two or three large twin-float seaplanes on a surface tender 
        thought at first to be in the SWALLOW ISLANDS, as had occurred about 
        two weeks previously.  Task Group 62.4 was sighted by one of these 
        airplanes during the forenoon of the tenth, and this probably led to 
        the enemy air attack described below.

    5.  On November eleventh, the enemy made heavy air attacks on the 
        airfield at GUADALCANAL, and also made a dive-bombing attack on Task 
        Group 62.4, which had arrived that morning.  The ZEILIN was struck by 
        one bomb and flooded aft, while near misses slightly damaged the 
        LIBRA and BETELGEUSE.  There were considerable personnel casualties.  
        The vessels continued unloading after the attack, but it became 
        necessary at the end of the day to send the ZEILIN back to ESPIRITU 
        SANTO, with the LARDNER escorting.  She proceeded under her own power 
        at a speed of ten knots and arrived safely on November fourteenth.  
        Remaining vessels of the group retired into INDISPENSABLE STRAIT at 
        sunset, and joined Task Force 67 on its arrival in the Strait during 
        the night.

    6.  The four transports of Task Force 67, Rear Admiral TURNER commanding, 
        with the PORTLAND, JUNEAU, O'BANNON, BARTON, and MONSSEN escorting, 
        departed NOUMEA for GUADALCANAL on November eighth.  The SHAW left 
        NOUMEA on the ninth and joined the group on the eleventh.  The other 
        vessels of Task Force 67, comprising the greater part of Task Group 
        67.4, under the command of Rear Admiral D.J. CALLAGHAN, the SAN 
        FRANCISCO, HELENA, PENSACOLA, LAFFEY, BUCHANAN, GWIN, STERETT, 
        PRESTON, and CUSHING, departed ESPIRITU SANTO on November tenth, and 
        rendezvoused with the Transport Group near the eastern end of SAN 
        CRISTOBAL ISLAND on the morning of the eleventh.  The PORTLAND and 
        JUNEAU were detached from Task Group 67.1 and joined Task Group 67.4.  
        This group thereafter, during daylight of the eleventh, operated 
        about twenty miles to the rear of the Transport Group and its four 
        escorting destroyers.  On November tenth the PENSACOLA, GWIN, and 
        PRESTON had been detached from Task Group 67.4 by orders of the 
        Commander South Pacific Force for the purpose of reinforcing Task 
        Force 16.  The developing situation had caused the Commander South 
        Pacific Force to order Task Force 16 to leave NOUMEA on November 
        tenth, and to proceed northward for offensive operations against the 
        enemy.

    7.  By the afternoon of November ninth, it became apparent that the enemy 
        had set in process a very strong amphibious, surface, and air 
        offensive against GUADALCANAL, and that he was already enroute to the 
        attack with strong units.  It looked like his "all-out" effort, and 
        created considerable apprehension for the safety of our position in 
        the SOLOMONS.  Since intelligence reports indicated November 
        thirteenth as the prospective arrival date of enemy transports at 
        GUADALCANAL it was apparent, that we ought to make every possible 
        effort to land our own troops and equipment on the twelfth; and also 
        to make the most of favorable opportunities for offensive operations 
        against enemy transports and surface vessels.  An estimate of the 
        situation, including instructions to Rear Admiral CALLAGHAN, 
        Commanding Task Group 67.4, was drawn up by the Force Commander in 
        the forenoon of November tenth.  Since the key to our successful 
        defense of GUADALCANAL is the airfield, it was then decided by the 
        Force Commander that Task Force 67, with its excellent anti-aircraft 
        and torpedo strength, must take the risk of serious damage for the 
        sake of inflicting heavy loss on enemy carrier aircraft, and on enemy 
        naval bombardment units.  Our GUADALCANAL aircraft, and our surface 
        and carrier forces then starting northward, might thereafter be 
        enabled to drive the enemy back.

    8.  It had been the intention to pass Task Force 67 to the north of SAN 
        CRISTOBAL ISLAND.  When news was received that Task Group 62.4 had 
        been sighted by enemy seaplanes on the tenth, together with news that 
        the SOUTHARD had sunk an enemy submarine off the west end of SAN 
        CRISTOBAL ISLAND, the route was changed so as to pass via the south 
        of that island.  Information as to the change of route, together with 
        minor modifications in the operating plan, was incorporated in a 
        second letter of instruction to Commander Task Group 67.4.  These two 
        letters were delivered to Rear Admiral CALLAGHAN when he joined on 
        the morning of November eleventh.  They are shown in enclosure 
        (A)(7).  At about the same time, all four seaplanes of the PORTLAND 
        were sent to ESPIRITU SANTO, since they were not desired on board 
        during the expected night action.  Despatches were carried by these 
        planes for transmission by Commander Task Force 63, one giving 
        instructions to Rear Admiral SCOTT to join Task Group 67.4 during the 
        night of November 11-12; one with instructions to the SOUTHARD and 
        HOVEY to remain in TULAGI and join Task Force 67 on arrival; and one 
        with instructions to the Commander Advanced Naval Base at GUADALCANAL 
        concerning unloading plans.  The SOUTHARD and HOVEY for two days had 
        been sweeping LENGO CHANNEL and the transport anchorage areas, since 
        some evidence had appeared that the enemy had laid mines in these 
        waters.

    9.  On the morning of November eleventh it seemed almost certain that 
        Task Force 67 would be subjected to attack by carrier aircraft early 
        in the morning of November twelfth, soon after arrival at GUADALCANAL 
        The unloading plan was somewhat changed, therefore, in order to get 
        all the troops except unloading details off the ships immediately on 
        arrival.  Troops were ordered to carry one unit of fire and two days' 
        rations.  They would thus be valuable to the defense if the enemy 
        succeeded in landing, even if some of our own transports were struck 
        and equipment and supplies lost.  Orders for this change in the 
        debarkation plan are shown in enclosure (A)(6).

   10.  The November eleventh evening air search from GUADALCANAL disclosed 
        no enemy naval forces in the vicinity.  However, the scouting report 
        was not considered conclusive, as in the past enemy forces had 
        sometimes been missed by air scouts.  Task Group 67.4, in accordance 
        with orders, therefore proceeded at high speed in advance of the 
        transports, and, after reinforcement during the night by Rear 
        Admiral SCOTT with the ATLANTA, AARON WARD, FLETCHER, and McCALLA, 
        entered SAVO SCUND about 2330 in search of the enemy.  Two thorough 
        sweeps were made, both to the east and to the west of SAVO ISLAND, 
        but no enemy were found.  The group remained in SAVO SOUND and 
        joined the Transport Group on its arrival at dawn on the twelfth.

   11.  The four transports of Task Group 67.1 anchored at 0540 off KUKUM 
        beach, and the BETELGEUSE and LIBRA of Task Group 62.4 anchored two 
        miles eastward of LUNGA POINT.  Combatant vessels were disposed 
        about the Transport Group in two protective semi-circles; the SAN 
        FRANCISCO, PORTLAND, and HELENA formed a semi-circle three thousand 
        yards from the transports; and the ATLANTA, JUNEAU, eleven 
        destroyers, and two light minelayers, formed an anti-submarine semi-
        circle six thousand yards from the transports.  Preparatory orders 
        were issued to close in to form a screen one thousand yards from the 
        transports, should these be directed to get underway to repel the 
        expected enemy air attack.

   12.  A vessel of the anti-submarine screen made contact with a submarine 
        about six miles north of LUNGA POINT about 0600.  Depth charge 
        attacks seemed ineffective.  The presence of the submarine was 
        confirmed when, at 1930 of the same day, one was reported by 
        GUADALCANAL about one mile from the reported morning position.  
        Apparently, this submarine had lain dormant during the day.

   13.  At 0718 the transports off KUKUM were taken under fire by an enemy 
        six-inch shore battery.  This battery was soon silenced by counter-
        battery work from our own shore batteries, and by naval gunfire from 
        the HELENA, who began returning the fire at 0725, and by the BARTON 
        and the SHAW, who began firing at 0743.  Transports continued 
        debarkation.  None were hit.  Subsequently, the BUCHANAN and CUSHING 
        fired on enemy positions further westward.  Fire of all vessels 
        appeared to be effective.  Many large fires and explosions were 
        caused ashore, about thirty large landing boats were destroyed, and 
        other landing boats were damaged.

   14.  The expected attack by enemy carrier aircraft did not eventuate. 
        This fact was taken as an indication that the enemy might have 
        postponed his troop landing from the thirteenth to the fourteenth. 
        More time would thus be given Task Force 16 to get into position for 
        an offensive strike.

   15.  About 1010 on the twelfth, a flight of friendly aircraft, arriving 
        from ESPIRITU SANTO, was fired on by two or three vessels of the 
        screen and by two transports, who mistook these planes for enemy. 
        Fortunately, the planes were not hit.  Announcement of the expected 
        arrival, of these planes had previously been made over a radio 
        circuit which all ships were required to guard, but a low, direct 
        approach by the planes was believed by the firing vessels to 
        constitute an enemy torpedo attack.

   16.  At 1317 Commander Task Force 67 received from Radio GUADALCANAL, a 
        despatch stating that the coastwatcher near TONOLEI had reported a 
        flight of enemy bombers and fighters passing to the southeastward, 
        and further stating that these planes could arrive at GUADALCANAL by 
        about 1330.  Orders were at once given to get underway and form an 
        anti-aircraft disposition.  The disposition was formed by 1340, at 
        which time another despatch was received indicating that the radar 
        ashore had picked up approaching enemy planes, and that they would 
        arrive about 1415.

   17.  The enemy aircraft turned out to be twenty-one torpedo planes, 
        protected by about twelve fighters.  These planes approached low 
        behind FLORIDA ISLAND, and remained out of sight until they appeared 
        over the eastern end of the island at about 1405.

   18.  The enemy torpedo planes first headed toward the transport anchorage
        in a single group, but, finding the force underway, turned back to 
        the north and divided into two equal groups, One of these headed 
        westerly over the top of FLORIDA ISLAND, and the other circled toward 
        the south, the evident intention being for the two groups to attack 
        simultaneously, one coming from the northeast and the other from the 
        southeast.  At this time our own disposition was headed away from the 
        northern group.  The Task Force Commander then turned the ships 
        ninety degrees to the right, to put them broadside to the northern 
        group of enemy planes.  The idea was to induce the northern group to 
        attack before the eastern group gained its position; and thus to 
        permit our ships to deal with the groups in succession rather than 
        simultaneously.  The scheme was successful, as the northern group 
        immediately attacked from directly on the starboard beam, though the 
        eastern group was not yet ready. As soon as the northern group was 
        within gun range, the ships were turned to the left ninety degrees, 
        with the result that enemy torpedoes ran harmlessly parallel to our 
        own course.  This group of torpedo planes was not attacked by our 
        fighter aircraft until after passing through our disposition.

   19.  During its approach, the eastern group was attacked by our fighters. 
        Due possibly to this fact, this group also made a rather premature 
        attack, coming in from the eastward instead of the southeastward, as 
        apparently had been intended.  While prepared to turn the disposition 
        away from this attack, this did not become necessary, as the
        torpedoes came up from astern nearly parallel with the ships, and 
        small individual maneuvers proved adequate for preventing hits.

   20.  One enemy plane was shot down by the landing boats scattered off 
        LUNGA POINT.  Light other enemy planes were seen shot down by ships'
        gunfire; these fell in or near the disposition.  Others undoubtedly 
        were hit by ships' gunfire and fell to the westward during an attack 
        on the remaining planes by our own fighter aircraft.  Only one of the 
        twenty-one attacking aircraft was seen to escape, and this one was 
        later reported passing over NEW GEORGIA ISLAND.  Our fighters were 
        also seen to shoot down several enemy fighters.  Ships' gunfire was 
        accurate, and in great volume.

   21.  High level and dive bombing attacks on the disposition were also 
        expected at this time.  While not reported by radio by GUADALCANAL, a 
        staff officer was told at General VANDEGRIFT's headquarters about 
        1730 that ten enemy dive bombing planes had been shot down by our 
        fighters to the westward of SAVO ISLAND; and that nine high altitude 
        bombers had dropped their bombs harmlessly on shore near the
        airfield.  The statement was made that, out of a total of fifty-two 
        enemy planes which made this coordinated attack, between thirty-two 
        and thirty-five had been destroyed by our own fighters and by ships'
        gunfire.  No confirmation of these figures has been received.

   22.  The enemy torpedo planes flew very close to the water in making their 
        attack.  As a result, a number of vessels were struck by the 
        defensive gunfire from other vessels.  The BUCHANAN was hit by a 
        five-inch projectile, which exploded and caused numerous casualties, 
        besides doing considerable damage to the ship.  A few casualties on 
        other vessels were caused by twenty millimeter and fifty caliber 
        projectiles.  Several casualties were caused by machine gun fire from 
        enemy planes.  One enemy plane, which passed close along the 
        starboard side of the enemy and there dropped its torpedo, was 
        heavily set on fire by gunfire from the McCAWLEY.  The pilot headed 
        to crash the SAN FRANCISCO, but, as he was flying almost parallel to 
        that ship succeeded only in striking Battle II and the After Control 
        structure with one wing.  The plane then side-swiped the ship and 
        fell in the water to port.  Fires started on the SAN FRANCISCO, but 
        these were soon extinguished.  However, a considerable number of 
        officers and men of the SAN FRANCISCO were killed or badly burred, 
        and Battle II and the After Control Station were destroyed.  All of 
        these incidents have been separately reported by the vessels 
        concerned.

   23.  The signals made during this action, and a detailed sequence of 
        events, are as follows:

TIME                                                                 TIME
HOISTED             MANEUVERING SIGNALS (ALL TIMES ZONE LOVE)        EXECUTED

  1318             Prepare to repel air attack.                       1320

  1318             Get underway (emergency).                          1322

  1323             Fleet course and axis 340°.                        1342

  1324             Standard speed 14 knots steam at 2/3 speed         1342 

  1349             Ships right 90°.                                   1351

  1352             Steam at standard speed.                           1356

  1356             Ships left 900.                                    1357
                    NOTE: 21 enemy torpedo planes sighted over 
                          FLORIDA ISLAND at 1405.

  1359             Ships left 90°.                                    1403
                    NOTE: Enemy planes divided into two groups,
                          one apparently intending to attack
                          from north east, and one from 
                          southeast.

  1407             Ships right 90°.                                   1408
                    NOTE: This turn to 340° was made to induce
                          enemy planes to the north to hurry 
                          their attack.  They did so, with the 
                          result that the two groups attacked 
                          about three minutes apart instead of 
                          simultaneously.

  1410             Planes in sight are enemy.                         1420
                    NOTE: Ships opened fire at 1412 and 
                          ceased about 1420.

  1411             Ships left 90°.                                    1414
                    NOTE: This was a 90° turn away from the 
                          northern group.  Torpedoes ran 
                          parallel to ships.

  1414             Ships right 90° annulled at 1416.
                    NOTE: The second group, hurried by fighter
                          attacks and gunfire, attacked from 
                          nearly astern instead of the port
                          beam, as evidently intended.  This 
                          signal was not executed as ships
                          were already nearly parallel to 
                          tracks of torpedoes.

  1419             General info - My course 250° (T)                  1420

  1420             Ships right 90°.                                   1422
                    NOTE: This was a 90° turn to northward to
                          gain maneuvering room. 

  1428             Ships right 90°.                                   1429
                    NOTE: This was the start of the return
                          the anchorage.

  1433             Ships right 90°.                                   1434

  1447             Steam at 2/3 speed.                                1448

  1451             Ships left 90°.                                    1452

  1452             Steam at 1/3 speed.                                1454
                    NOTE: Shore station signaled 
                          "All clear" at 1452.

  1457             Ships right 90°.                                   1500

  1457             Steam at standard speed.                           1500

  1501             To transports - Act independently.                 1505
                   Continue debarkation.

   24.  Transports anchored at about 1525, having lost two hours' unloading 
        time.

   25.  During the day, reports from our scouting aircraft indicated the 
        following enemy vessels had been sighted in positions from which they 
        could arrive in the GUADALCANAL area during the night of November 
        12-13:

        (a)  Two battleships or heavy cruisers, one cruiser, and six 
             destroyers, sighted at 1035 bearing 008°, distant 335 miles from 
             GUADALCANAL.

        (b)  Five destroyers, sighted at 1045, bearing 347°, distant 195 miles 
             from GUADALCANAL.

        (c)  Two enemy aircraft carriers and two destroyers, sighted at 1450, 
             bearing 264°, distant 265 miles from GUADALCANAL.  (It later 
             developed that these vessels were not carriers).

        There could be no feeling of assurance that additional vessels were 
        not in the vicinity, since enemy task units had in the past 
        frequently been missed by scouting aircraft.  Nor could there be any 
        assurance that enemy types were correctly reported.

   26.  Since no transports were sighted, the enemy's intention was estimated 
        as either:

        (a)  To attack transports and escort in INDISPENSABLE STRAIT during 
             the night, or

        (b)  To bombard GUADALCANAL airfield and troop positions.

        Enemy probable strength, for either task, was estimated at two 
        battleships, two to four heavy cruisers, two light cruisers, and ten 
        to twelve destroyers.  Since the enemy strength previously reported 
        in BUIN and to the north was considerably greater than this, it was 
        considered possible that additional cruisers and destroyers might be 
        enroute from the west. (See enclosure (A)(7).

   27.  At the disposal of the Task Force Commander, besides four transports 
        and two cargo vessels, were two heavy cruisers, one light cruiser, 
        two AA light cruisers, eleven destroyers, and two light minesweepers. 
        The decision was made to assign to Rear Admiral CALLAGHAN all of the 
        cruisers and eight destroyers.  This left one damaged destroyer, two 
        destroyers with reduced fuel, and two DMS for the protection of the 
        transports, as there was some prospect of attack on these vessels on 
        their retirement to the south.  But the chief reason for not 
        assigning all eleven destroyers to Task Group 67.4 was that, during a 
        night action, a force of five cruisers and eight destroyers seemed 
        about all that could be effectively handled in the restricted 
        maneuvering room available in INDISPENSABLE STRAIT and SAVO SOUND.

   28.  Most careful consideration was given to the tactical situation. 
        There was no question that, in fire power, the enemy force in the 
        vicinity was far stronger than our own.  In reaching the decision to 
        send Task Group 67.4 to the attack, the Force Commander considered 
        that this action was the only method through which this major enemy 
        offensive against GUADALCANAL might be stopped.  Even were our own 
        force almost entirely sacrificed, bombardment of the airfield would 
        be prevented, and enemy losses might permit our remaining air and 
        surface forces to complete the defeat of the landing attempt.  On the 
        other hand, while greater cruiser fire power would have been 
        desirable, Task Group 67.4, in a close night engagement, was 
        considered a formidable unit.  The event is considered to have 
        justified the decision to order the attack.

   29.  By late afternoon, it was seen that ninety percent of the material 
        on the transports could be landed, but that it would take several 
        days' additional time to complete unloading the LIBRA and BETELGEUSE. 
        In view of the developing enemy offensive, it was decided to withdraw 
        all transports and cargo vessels from the area, and to direct Task 
        Group 67.4 to strike the enemy on his arrival, either in IDISPENSABLE 
        STRAIT, or in SAVO SOUND.  A preliminary despatch, 120133, was sent 
        during the forenoon forecasting this decision.  During the late 
        afternoon, this decision was confirmed to Rear Admiral CALLAGHAN by 
        TBS voice, but was modified to the extent that Task Group 67.4 was 
        directed to remain concentrated after entering INDISPENSABLE STRAIT, 
        to sweep north through the strait to strike the enemy if he came that 
        way, and, if no enemy were found, to return to SAVO SOUND for the 
        purpose of striking him there.  At the time the Task Force Commander 
        issued the afternoon directive, both he and the Commander Task Group 
        67. 4 were cognizant of the despatches concerning enemy forces, 
        referred to in paragraph  24.

   30.  The following brief narrative of the Third Battle of SAVO is based on 
        prolonged interviews with most of the commanding officers of surviving 
        vessels and with some of those that were sunk, and on a study of 
        reports so far received.  It is believed that the reports themselves 
        merit a more careful analysis than can be given here, in order to 
        bring out the many valuable points which can be found in them.  The 
        Force Commander has some despatch reports of our own air activity the 
        following day, but the picture given by them is incomplete.  Until do 
        accurate report from aviation sources is available, it will be 
        impossible to make an estimate of enemy losses that will not be 
        subject to doubt.

   31.  Task Force 67, at 1815, proceeded eastward out of SAVO SOUND.  Task 
        Group 67.1, Rear Admiral TURNER, with McCAWLEY, PRESIDENT JACKSON, 
        PRESIDENT ADAMS, CRESCENT CITY, BETELGEUSE, LIBRA, BUCHANAN, SHAW, 
        McCALLA, SOUTHARD, and HOVEY passed southward via the western end of 
        SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND and thence to ESPIRITU  SANTO, where it arrived 
        on November fifteenth.  Task Group 67.4, Rear Admiral CALLAGHAN in 
        the SAN FRANCISCO and Rear Admiral SCOTT in the ATLANTA, passed 
        through SEA LARK CHANNEL and northward for its sweep of INDISPENSABLE 
        STRAIT.  It was in "Battle Disposition Baker One", (Enclosure (A)(9)), 
        a column with order of ships: CUSHING (Commander Destroyer Division 
        TEN), LAFFEY, STERETT, O'BANNON, ATLANTA, SAN FRANCISCO, 
        PORTLAND, HELENA, JUNEAU, AARON WARD ( Commander Destroyer 
        Squadron TWELVE), BARTON, MONSSEN, and FLETCHER.  Signals were 
        made by voice over TBS.  At 0000, November thirteenth, making 
        eighteen knots, Task Group 67.4, entered LENGO CHANNEL.  The sky 
        was overcast; the moon had set, and the night was dark.

   32.  Near LUNGA POINT, at 0124, while on course 280° enemy vessels
        were picked up to the northwest by SG radar at a range of 27,000 
        yards.  It later developed that the enemy was in four groups, 
        one being considerably to the northward of the others.  The 
        existence of the northern group, certainly containing at least
        one battleship, previously suspected, though not reported, is 
        confirmed by the report of the O'BANNON, and the fact that the 
        SAN FRANCISCO received one fourteen-inch hit which, entering 
        through the deck of the communication platform, without 
        exploding, passed downward through two decks at an angle of fall 
        of about twenty degrees.  All other hits noted were nearly 
        horizontal.

   33.  The exact strength and composition of the enemy is difficult to 
        estimate.  Including the two "carriers" reported to the southwest, a 
        total of eighteen enemy combatant vessels had been sighted the 
        afternoon of the twelfth.  All were on routes of approach known to 
        have been used frequently by the enemy.  After further study of this 
        matter, the Force Commander has somewhat revised his former opinion, 
        and now believes the enemy strength and composition to have been 
        substantially as follows:

        (a)  The force sighted to the southwestward at 1450 and reported as 
             two aircraft carriers and two destroyers, probably consisted of 
             two heavy cruisers and two or three destroyers.  These vessels 
             are believed to have formed the left hand enemy group in the 
             night action.

        (b)  The force sighted to the north at 1035 consisted of two 
             battleships of the KONGO Class, one light cruiser of the TENRYU 
             Class, and six destroyers.  This force probably divided on 
             entering SAVO SOUND; one detachment formed the northern group of 
             one battleship and three destroyers, and the other formed the 
             center group of one battleship, one light cruiser, and three
             destroyers.  However, see paragraph 34.

        (c)  The force sighted to the northwest at 1045 and reported as 
             five destroyers, probably consisted of one or two light cruisers 
             of the NATORI Class and three or four destroyers.  These vessels 
             are believed to have formed the right hand enemy group.

        (d)  The enemy force, under this concept, thus consisted of two 
             battleships, two heavy cruisers, three or four light cruisers, 
             and eleven or twelve destroyers.  This is approximately the 
             composition of a force which bombarded the airfield on October 
             fourteenth.

   34.  There is some evidence that one or two additional enemy battleships, 
        plus three or four destroyers, were present, but the evidence is not 
        sufficiently strong to justify its acceptance at this time.  If these 
        ships actually were present, they probably formed the northern-group.
        In this case, the center group would have consisted of two
        battleships, one light cruiser, and six destroyers.

   35.  The enemy seems to have been completely surprised.  Task Group 67.4, 
        from near LUNGA POINT, turned north, then northwest, west, and 
        finally north, and, passing between the right and center groups, 
        engaged the enemy from 0148 to about 0222, at ranges between 1,000 
        and 8,000 yards.  Lost of the firing was at less than 5,000 yards. 
        The large enemy vessels fired only bombardment projectiles.  Many 
        torpedoes were fired  by both sides, the gunfire of our vessels 
        apparently was extremely effective and accurate.

   36.  The engagement soon became a melee, collisions being narrowly averted 
        between own and enemy vessels. At times, both sides fired into 
        friendly vessels.  At the end of the action, ships of Task Group 67.4 
        able to do so retired from the scene.  The enemy also withdrew, but 
        it is believed probable that they picked up many survivors of their 
        sunken ships.

   37.  Early the next morning the PORTLAND, through with rudder jammed hard 
        right and unable to proceed under her own power, sank an enemy 
        destroyer of the SHIGURI type.  Apparently the CUSHING and the 
        MONSEEN, afloat near SAVO ISLAND, were fired on by enemy vessels 
        still remaining in the vicinity near their stricken battleship.

   38.  Damage suffered by Task Force 67.4 was as follows:
      
        LAFFEY and BARTON sunk during the action.
        ATLANTA, CUSHING, and MONSEEN set on fire and sunk the following day.
        JUNEAU damaged, sunk the following day enroute to ESPIRITU SANTO by a 
        torpedo from an enemy submarine.
        SAN FRANCISCO and PORTLAND so damaged as to requires return to the 
        Untied States for repairs.
        HELENA, AARON WARD, and STERETT damaged, and may require return to 
        the Untied States.
        O'BANNON slightly damaged from underwater explosions, possibly depth 
        charges from the LAFFEY; now back in service.
        FLETCHER undamaged.
        Heavy personnel losses, including Rear Admirals CALLAGHAN and SCOTT.

   39.  Based on the best evidence available, it is believed that the enemy 
        suffered the following losses:

        1 battleship of the KONGO CLASS (HIEI?) put out of action by gunfire 
        from the SAN FRANCISCO and by torpedoes, and sunk the next day by 
        aircraft.
        1 heavy cruiser sunk by gunfire from the HELENA, and by torpedo hits.
        1 heavy cruiser sunk by torpedo fire from the FLETCHER; this vessel 
        previously suffered gunfire and probably torpedo damage.
        1 light cruiser of tae NATORI Class sunk by gunfire, probably 
        assisted by torpedoes.
        2 destroyers, one of the AKUTSUKI and one of the 1	SHIGURI
        destroyer	Classes, sunk by gunfire from the PORTLAND.
        1 destroyer of the FUBUKI Class sunk by gun and torpedo fire from the 
        STERETT.
        1 destroyer set on fire, beached on OLEVUGA ISLAND, and lost.
        1 light cruiser and one destroyer severely damaged.  There is some 
        evidence that at least one of these vessels was abandoned and sunk 
        the next day in INDISPENSABLE STRAIT.
        Other destroyers, number unknown, were damaged.
        It seems probable that one battleship of the northern group was 
        damaged by both gunfire and torpedoes.

   40.  This desperately fought action, the Third Battle of SAVO, is believed 
        to have few parallels in naval history.  We have come to expect, and 
        to count on, complete courage in battle from officers and men of the 
        United States Navy.  But here, in this engagement, we had displayed 
        for our lasting respect and admiration, a cool but eager gallantry 
        that is above praise.  These splendid ships and determined men won a 
        great victory against heavy odds.  Had this battle not been fought 
        and won, our hold on GUADALCANAL would have been gravely endangered.


                                       R. K. TURNER

Copy to: 
       Cominch 
       Cincpac 
       Vice CNO 
       Comsowespac 
       Comamphforpac 
       Comgensopac 
       All Transdiv Comdrs Sopac 
       Cominron TWO
       Comindiv FIVE 
       War Diary 
       File


FROM:     CTF 62     NOV 070430     SECRET     PRIORITY 
TO  :	  ATLANTA
INFO:	  COMSOPAC, CINCPAC, COMINCH, COMSOWESPAC, CTF 42-16-63-65 
        ZEILIN, BETELGEUSE, LIBRA

TASK GROUP SIX TWO POINT FOUR REAR ADMIRAL SCOTT ATLANTA AARON WARD FLETCHER 
LARDNER MCCALLA ZEILIN BETELGEUSE LIBRA DEPART BUTTON NOVEMBER NINTH PROCEED 
CACTUS VIA NORTH OF SAN CRISTOBAL AND SEALARK CHANNEL TO ARRIVE BY ZERO FIVE 
THIRTY LOVE ELEVENTH X LAND TROOPS AND CARGO AT CACTUS DURING DAY X IF 
TACTICAL CONDITIONS PERMIT UNLOAD BETELGEUSE AND LIBRA AT RINGBOLT DURING 
NIGHT X RETAIN ON BOARD DURING UNLOADING SUFFICIENT TROOPS FOR WORKING HOLDS 
AND BOATS X PARA ON COMPLETION UNLOADING ZEILIN BETELGEUSE LIBRA RETURN TO 
BUTTON VIA SAME ROUTE SCREENED BY TWO DESTROYERS CMA BETELGEUSE TOWING PAB 
SIX X ZEILIN MAY COMPLETE UNLOADING WELL IN ADVANCE OF BETELGEUSE LIBRA X IN 
THIS EVENT DIRECT ZEILIN RETURN TO BUTTON SCREENED BY ONE DESTROYER PASSING 
TO EASTWARD IN INDISPENSABLE STRAIT X REAR ADMIRAL SCOTT IN ATLANTA PLUS 
DESTROYERS PRESENT REPORT TO ORIGINATOR IN MCCAWLEY ON HIS ARRIVAL CACTUS X 
PARA ASSIST COMGEN CACTUS WITH NAVAL GUNFIRE AGAINST ENEMY SHORE POSITIONS 
AND SEIZE OPPORTUNITIES FOR ADVANTAGEIOUS ATTACKS ON ENEMY NAVAL FORCES

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

FROM:     CTF 67     NOV 100400     SECRET
TO  :     CTG 62.4
INFO:     COSOPAC, CINCPAC, CTF 16-63- COMSOWESPAC, CTG 67.4., 
          COMINDIV FIVE, HOVEY, TG 62.4 COPIES TO COMAIRSOPAC 
          AND CTG 67.1

ON YOUR RETIREMENT FROM CACTUS NIGHT OF ELEVENTH FORM TASK UNIT SIX TWO POINT 
FOUR POINT ONE CAPTAIN BUCHANAN ZEILIN BETELGEUSE LIBRA MCCALLA DIRECT THIS 
UNIT REMAIN EAST OF LONGITUDE ONE SIX ZERO DEGREES THIRTY FIVE MINUTES AND 
NORTH OF LATITUDE ZERO NINE DEGREES TWENTY MINUTES UNTIL TWO THREE HUNDRED
LOVE THEN TO FOLLOW TASK GROUP SIX SEVEN POINT ONE THROUGH LENGO IF SWEPT 
OTHERWISE SEALARK X IF ZEILIN COMPLETELY UNLOADED MCCALLA ZEILIN PROCEED 
BUTTON BETELGEUSE LIBRA CARRY OUT THESE ORDERS PARA REMAINDER TASK GROUP 
ATLANTA THREE DOG DOGS COVER CALLAGHAN AGAINST ENEMY APPROACH FROM EASTWARD 
OF FLORIDA JOIN CALLAGHAN EASTERN END SEALARK AS DIRECTED BY HIM BY VOICE 
OVER TARE BAKER SAIL ABOUT TWO TWO HUNDRED LOVE

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

FROM:     COMSOPAC     080222     SECRET
TO  :     ALL TF COMS PACFLT, COMINCH, CINCPAC, COMSOWESPAC,
          ALL TF COMS SWPAC, ALL SHIPS AND BASES SOPAC AREA.

TASK FORCE DESIGNATED TASK FORCE SIXTY SEVEN REAR ADMIRAL TURNER HAS BEEN 
ORGANIZED EFFECTIVE THIS DATE X ORGANIZATION GIVEN IN COMAMPHFORSOPAC 
MAILGRAM 070917 OPPLAN AFRIM TWENTY THREE DASH FORTY TWO

 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

                                       Enclosure (A)





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