Skip to comments.U.S. SMASHES JAPANESE FLEET IN SOLOMONS; SINKS 23 SHIPS, DAMAGES 7 IN 3-DAY BATTLE (11/17/42)
Posted on 11/17/2012 5:31:53 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson
Sorry for the double posting of the ping list reply, people. I have notified admin mod but haven’t had a reply.
Japanese reinforce New Guinea
Tuesday, November 17, 1942 www.onwar.com
In New Guinea... A Japanese convoy successfully lands 1000 troops at Buna. The Japanese strongholds at Gona, Buna and Sanananada are well fortified and now well garrisoned.
In North Africa... The vanguard of the British 8th Army reaches Derna on the coast and Mechili inland.
In Burma... General Wavell cancels a proposed major amphibious operation against Akyab.
In the Mediterranean... A supply convoy, code named Stonehenge, sails from Gibraltar to the island of Malta (arriving on November 20th) without major incident.
November 17th, 1942
UNITED KINGDOM: Minesweeper HMS Postillion laid down. (Dave Shirlaw)
GERMANY: U-293, U-348 laid down. (Dave Shirlaw)
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: A convoy passes Gibraltar bound for Malta. They will reach Malta on the 20th. None of the four transports will be sunk. This is Operation Stonehenge.
U-331 sunk in the Mediterranean north of Algiers in position 37.05N, 02.27E after she had been badly damaged by a Hudson aircraft she signalled surrender to a seaplane but was attacked by a torpedo-equipped aircraft Albacore from the British aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Sqns 500 and 820). 32 dead and 17 survivors. Most of the killed were machine gunned in the water by aircraft. CO Kptlt Freiherr Hans-Diedrich Von Tiesenhausen (Knights Cross) emigrated to West Vancouver, Canada postwar and had a personalized license plate reading “U-331”. (Dave Shirlaw)
NORTH AFRICA: The advance of the British 8th Army reaches Derna on the coast and Mechili, inland.
British troops at Djebel Abiod and French troops at Medjez el Bab repel simultaneous German attacks.
BURMA: The amphibious operation against Akyab is cancelled by General Wavell. He then orders an advance by the 14th Indian Division which is more limited. It will advance down the Mayu Peninsula.
NEW GUINEA: 1,000 fresh Japanese troops are landed by sea at Buna, Gona and Sanananda. The strong fortifications built since September now have a full complement of defenders.
Port Moresby: The steady advance of the Australian army across the Owen Stanley Mountains in Papua continues. Yesterday all seven Australian battalions completed the crossing of the swift-flowing Kumusi river, in the north. In the advance from Port Moresby the Australians found evidence that the enemy had been reduced to eating not only grass but also dead Australians. Approximately 5,000 survivors of Japan’s original drive on Port Moresby earlier this year, together with 4,000 reinforcements sent from Rabaul are now retreating to the north coast.
Minesweeper HMCS Blairmore commissioned.
HMC ML 097 commissioned.
Corvette HMCS Saskatoon completed refit Halifax, Nova Scotia. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.A.: Washington: President Roosevelt today defended the agreement which the Allied commander in North Africa, Lieutenant-General Eisenhower, has reached with Admiral Darlan, the former Vichy leader as “a temporary expedient.” Four days ago, Darlan announced that he was “assuming responsibility for the government in Africa with the consent of the American authorities.” President Roosevelt made it plain, however, that this did not mean that the United States would back Darlan. “We are opposed to Frenchmen who support Hitler and the Axis”, said Roosevelt.
The US Alien Property Custodian, under the “Trading With the Enemy Act” seizes the shares of the Silesian-American Corporation, as a Nazi-front. (Scott Peterson)
Destroyer USS Hutchings commissioned.
Minesweeper USS Skill commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
U-184 sank SS Widestone in Convoy ONS-144.
U-264 sank SS Mount Taurus in Convoy ONS-144.
U-508 sank SS City of Corinth. (Dave Shirlaw)
“In the advance from Port Moresby the Australians found evidence that the enemy had been reduced to eating not only grass but also dead Australians.”
I’ve found it’s one of the great ironies of the fighting in the South Pacific; all of those islands with their lush vegetation and thick jungles look like they would be bountiful, and yet there is absolutely nothing there to eat. The greatest failure of the Japanese campaigns on New Guinea and Guadalcanal was the starvation of their soldiers.
It may be the hubris of the Japanese. If it is not Japanese rice or Japanese fish then it is not worth eating.
Very interesting. My father’s introduction to combat was at Guadalcanal. We’re celebrating his 90th birthday today!
Actual US losses: 2 light cruisers and 7 destroyers. And two admirals, Callaghan and Norman Scott.
Actual Japanese losses: 5 warships - 2 old battleships, 3 destroyers.
The Japanese also lost 11 transports. Every one they committed. All to air attacks. That was what made the battle a decisive victory for the US. After this battle the Japanese were reduced to supplying and reinforcing their troops on Guadalcanal using fast destroyers on night runs. Guadalcanal became known to the Japanese troops who served there as "Starvation Island".
The actual victim of San Francisco's fire was the light cruiser Atlanta, Rear Admiral Norman Scott's flagship. Already damaged by a Japanese torpedo and shellfire, the light anti-aircraft cruiser was shredded by twenty 8-inch shells from the San Francisco, including one that struck the bridge and killed Admiral Scott. The crippled cruiser was scuttled the next day to prevent her possible capture.
The other light cruiser lost in this battle was the Juneau, which had been crippled by a torpedo that had broken her keel and was limping back to base when Japanese submarine I-26 fired two torpedoes at the cruiser San Francisco. The torpedoes missed their target, but one struck Juneau, exploding her boilers and sending her beneath the waves in less than a minute.
Fearing further attacks from the submarine, the rest of the task force did not stop to rescue survivors, but instead sent a message to the base at Espiritu Santo requesting seaplanes be sent out to pick up any survivors. Sadly this message was somehow lost, and by the time searchers went out eight days later, only ten men survived. Among those lost were the five Sullivan brothers. Two of the brothers (and some reports indicate possibly a third) actually survived the sinking, but were killed by sharks before the survivors were rescued.
On behalf of the WWII + 70 Years gang, I wish him the very best on his birthday and offer our humble gratitude.
What branch did he serve in? Considering who was involved in the fighting on, around and above that island it could have been any of them.
He was a sailor aboard the Fleet Oiler USS Neches AO47. The ship participated in every major invasion in the Pacific (Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo, Okinowa, etc.) and became the most decorated Oiler of the war, including 9 battle stars. They were in Nagasaki a week after the bomb and the Neches was the 14 major vessel into Tokyo Bay. She was tied up a couple of berths away from the Mighty Mo on Sept 2.
While the fleet oilers and other support auxiliaries did not receive the attention and glamor of the warships they supported, those warships would have had a difficult time of it without the fuel, supplies, and repairs that the support vessels provided.
Fleet tanker Neches conducts an underway replenishment for the battleship Wisconsin and an unidentified Essex-class carrier.
Nimitz recognized the importance and complexities of supplying and servicing combat vessels in a theatre as large and hostile as the Pacific. His “Big Blue Fleet” was incapable of projecting power and taking the fight to the enemy without a sophisticated and high funtioning auxiliary fleet. This effort, and especially what he called his “secret weapon”, i.e. underway replenishment at sea, was instrumental for victory and is the model for the modern US Navy.
The Neches was also the only Oiler to shoot down an enemy aircraft and with only a submarine escort was used to draw out elements of the Japanese fleet during the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
Fleet oiler Neosho burning in the Coral Sea after being mistaken for an American aircraft carrier by attacking Japanese bombers.
Right you are - I stand corrected!