Allied Warships

USS Ralph Talbot (DD 390)

Destroyer of the Bagley class

NavyThe US Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassBagley 
PennantDD 390 
Built byBoston Navy Yard (Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.) 
Ordered 
Laid down28 Oct 1935 
Launched31 Oct 1936 
Commissioned14 Oct 1937 
End service28 Aug 1946 
History

Damaged during the atomic bomb test at Bikini Atoll in July 1946.
Decommissioned 28 August 1946.
Scuttled off Kwajalein 8 March 1948.
Stricken 5 April 1948.

 

Commands listed for USS Ralph Talbot (DD 390)

Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Harry Raymond Thurber, USN14 Oct 193710 Jun 1940
2Cdr. Roy William Montrose Graham, USN10 Jun 1940Feb 1941
3Lt.Cdr. Ralph Earle, Jr., USNFeb 19419 Jul 1942
4Lt.Cdr. Joseph William Callahan, USN9 Jul 194228 Aug 1943
5T/Lt.Cdr. Richard Daniels Shepard, USN28 Aug 19432 Mar 1944
6Cdr. Winston Seaborn Brown, USNR2 Mar 19449 Oct 1945 (1)
7Lt.Cdr. Burns Walling Spore, USN9 Oct 194528 Aug 1946 (1)

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Notable events involving Ralph Talbot include:


7 Dec 1941
USS Ralph Talbot was present during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Ralph Talbot was part of the 2nd destroyer flotilla.

For Ralph Talbot's action report see this website (offsite link).

14 Jul 1942
Task Force 44, made up of the heavy cruisers HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), HMAS Canberra (Capt. F.E. Getting, RAN), Salt Lake City (Capt. E.G. Small, USN), USS Chicago (Capt. H.D. Bode, USN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart ( Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers USS Ralph Talbot (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN), USS Patterson (Cdr. F.R. Walker, USN) and USS Jarvis (Lt.Cdr. W.W. Graham, Jr., USN) departed Brisbane for Wellington, New Zealand. (2)

19 Jul 1942
Task Force 44, made up of the heavy cruisers HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), HMAS Canberra (Capt. F.E. Getting, RAN), Salt Lake City (Capt. E.G. Small, USN), USS Chicago (Capt. H.D. Bode, USN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart ( Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers USS Ralph Talbot (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN), USS Patterson (Cdr. F.R. Walker, USN) and USS Jarvis (Lt.Cdr. W.W. Graham, Jr., USN) arrived at Wellington from Brisbane. (3)

22 Jul 1942
A convoy for the upcoming landings at Guadacanal departed Wellington, New Zealand for Fiji.

The convoy, designated Task Force 62, was made up of two units;
Task Group 62.1 was the actual convoy made up of the Naval Transports; USS McCawley (AP 10) (8156 GRT, built 1928) (Capt. C.P. McFeathers, USN), USS Barnett (AP 11) (8153 GRT, built 1928) (Capt. H.E. Thornhill, USN), USS Heywood (AP 12) (8424 GRT, built 1919) (Capt. H.B. Knowles, USN), USS George F. Elliott (AP 13) (8424 GRT, built 1918) (Capt. W.O. Bailey, USN), USS Fuller (AP 14) (8424 GRT, built 1919) (Capt. P.S. Theiss, USN), USS Neville (AP 16) (8424 GRT, built 1918) (Capt. C.A. Bailey, USN), USS Hunter Liggett (AP 27) (13712 GRT, built 1922) (Cdr. L.W. Perkins, USCG) and USS American Legion (AP 35) (13737 GRT, built 1921) (Cdr. T.D. Warner, USN) and the Naval Cargo Ships; USS Bellatrix (AK 20) (8280 GRT, built 1942) (Cdr. W.F. Dietrich, USN), USS Fomalhaut (AK 22) (5028 GRT, built 1942) (Cdr. J.D. Alvis, USN), USS Alchiba (AK 23) (6198 GRT, built 1939) (Cdr. J.S. Freeman, USN) and USS Libra (AK 53) (6155 GRT, built 1941) (Cdr. W.B. Fletcher, Jr., USN).

The convoy was escorted by Task Group 62.2, which was made up the heavy cruisers HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), HMAS Canberra (Capt. F.E. Getting, RAN), Salt Lake City (Capt. E.G. Small, USN), USS Chicago (Capt. H.D. Bode, USN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart ( Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers USS Selfridge (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board), USS Blue (Cdr. H.N. Williams, USN), USS Mugford (Lt.Cdr. E.W. Young, USN), USS Ralph Talbot (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN), USS Henley (Cdr. R.H. Smith, USN), USS Patterson (Cdr. F.R. Walker, USN) and USS Jarvis (Lt.Cdr. W.W. Graham, Jr., USN).

Around 1400M/23, the destroyers USS Bagley (Lt.Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN) and USS Helm (Lt.Cdr. C.E. Carroll, USN) joined coming from Auckland.

Around 1330M/26, rendezvous was made with three US Task Forces. USS Salt Lake City parted company to join Task Force 11.

Task Force 62 was joined by several more Naval Transports / Naval Cargo Ships which were; USS President Jackson (AP 37) (9255 GRT, built 1940) (T/Capt. C.W. Weitzel, USN), USS President Adams (AP 38) (9255 GRT, built 1941) (T/Capt. F.H. Dean, USN), USS President Hayes (AP 39) (9255 GRT, built 1941) (T/Capt. F.W. Benson, USN), USS Crescent City (AP 40) (7987 GRT, built 1940) (Capt. I.N. Kiland, USN) and USS Alhena (AK 26) (7101 GRT, built 1941) (T/Capt. C.B. Hunt, USN).

Also a fire support group joined, it was made up of the heavy cruisers USS Astoria ( Capt. W.G. Greenman, USN), USS Quincy ( Capt. S.N. Moore, USN), USS Vincennes (Capt. F.L. Riefkohl, USN), AA cruiser USS San Juan (Capt. J.E. Maher, USN) and the destroyers USS Dewey (Lt.Cdr. C.F. Chillingsworth, Jr., USN), USS Hull ( Lt.Cdr. R.F. Stout, USN), USS Gridley (Lt.Cdr. F.R. Stickney, Jr., USN), USS Ellet (Lt.Cdr. F.H. Gardner, USN), USS Wilson (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Price, USN) and USS Buchanan (Lt.Cdr. R.E. Wilson, USN).

Also joining were the high speed transports (former destroyers) USS Colhoun (T/Lt.Cdr. G.B. Madden, USN), USS Gregory (Lt.Cdr. H.F. Bauer, USN), USS Little (Lt.Cdr. G.B. Lofberg, Jr., USN) and USS McKean (Lt.Cdr. J.E. Shinners, USN) as the high speed minesweepers (also former destroyers) USS Southard (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Cochran, USN), USS Hopkins (Lt.Cdr. B. Coe, USN), USS Zane (T/Lt.Cdr. P.L. Wirtz, USN) and USS Trever (Lt.Cdr. D.M. Agnew, USN).

The convoy arrived at Fiji (off Koro Island) on 28 July 1942. There landing exercises were carried out on 29 and 30 July.

31 Jul 1942
Late in the afternoon of 31 July 1942, the Amphibious Force under Rear-Admiral R.K. Turner, USN (in the transport USS McCawley) departed Fiji for Operation Watchtower, the landings on Guadalcanal.

The Amphibious Force was made up of the following units;

Task Group 62.1 (Transport Group X-Ray) made up of the Naval Transports / Naval Cargo Ships;

Task Group 62.1.1;
USS Fuller (AP 14) (8424 GRT, built 1919) (Capt. P.S. Theiss, USN), USS American Legion (AP 35) (13737 GRT, built 1921) (Cdr. T.D. Warner, USN) and USS Bellatrix (AK 20) (8280 GRT, built 1942) (Cdr. W.F. Dietrich, USN).

Task Group 62.1.2;
USS McCawley (AP 10) (8156 GRT, built 1928) (Capt. C.P. McFeathers, USN), USS Barnett (AP 11) (8153 GRT, built 1928) (Capt. H.E. Thornhill, USN), USS George F. Elliott (AP 13) (8424 GRT, built 1918) (Capt. W.O. Bailey, USN) and USS Libra (AK 53) (6155 GRT, built 1941) (Cdr. W.B. Fletcher, Jr., USN).

Task Group 62.1.3;
USS Hunter Liggett (AP 27) (13712 GRT, built 1922) (Cdr. L.W. Perkins, USCG), USS Fomalhaut (AK 22) (5028 GRT, built 1942) (Cdr. J.D. Alvis, USN), USS Alchiba (AK 23) (6198 GRT, built 1939) (Cdr. J.S. Freeman, USN) and USS Betelgeuse (AK 28) (6198 GRT, built 1939) (T/Capt. H.D. Power, USN) (joined at sea on 3 August 1942).

Task Group 62.1.4;
USS President Adams (AP 38) (9255 GRT, built 1941) (T/Capt. F.H. Dean, USN), USS President Hayes (AP 39) (9255 GRT, built 1941) (T/Capt. F.W. Benson, USN), USS Crescent City (AP 40) (7987 GRT, built 1940) (Capt. I.N. Kiland, USN) and USS Alhena (AK 26) (7101 GRT, built 1941) (T/Capt. C.B. Hunt, USN).

Task Group 62.2 (Transport Group Yoke) made up of the Naval Transports and High Speed Transports.

Task Group 62.2.1;
USS Zeilin (AP 9) (14124 GRT, built 1921) (Capt. P. Buchanan, USN) (joined at sea on 3 August 1942), USS Heywood (AP 12) (8424 GRT, built 1919) (Capt. H.B. Knowles, USN), USS Neville (AP 16) (8424 GRT, built 1918) (Capt. C.A. Bailey, USN) and USS President Jackson (AP 37) (9255 GRT, built 1940) (T/Capt. C.W. Weitzel, USN).

Task Group 62.2.2;
USS Colhoun (T/Lt.Cdr. G.B. Madden, USN), USS Gregory (Lt.Cdr. H.F. Bauer, USN), USS Little (Lt.Cdr. G.B. Lofberg, Jr., USN) and USS McKean (Lt.Cdr. J.E. Shinners, USN).

Task Group 62.3 was the Fire Support Group, made up of the heavy cruisers USS Astoria ( Capt. W.G. Greenman, USN), USS Quincy ( Capt. S.N. Moore, USN), USS Vincennes (Capt. F.L. Riefkohl, USN) and the destroyers USS Dewey (T/Cdr. C.F. Chillingsworth, Jr., USN), USS Hull (T/Cdr. R.F. Stout, USN), USS Ellet T/Cdr. F.H. Gardner, USN) and USS Wilson (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Price, USN).

Task Group 62.4 was also a Fire Support Group, made up of the AA cruiser USS San Juan (Capt. J.E. Maher, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral N. Scott, USN) and the destroyers USS Monssen (T/Cdr. R.N. Smoot, USN) and USS Buchanan (T/Cdr. R.E. Wilson, USN).

Task Group 62.5 was the Minesweeping Group, it was made up of the high speed minesweepers (former destroyers) USS Southard (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Cochran, USN), USS Hovey (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Heald, USN), USS Hopkins (Lt.Cdr. B. Coe, USN), USS Zane (T/Lt.Cdr. P.L. Wirtz, USN) and USS Trever (Lt.Cdr. D.M. Agnew, USN).

Task Group 62.6 was the Screening Group, it was made up of the heavy cruisers HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), HMAS Canberra (Capt. F.E. Getting, RAN), USS Chicago (Capt. H.D. Bode, USN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart ( Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board), USS Bagley (T/Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN), USS Blue (Cdr. H.N. Williams, USN), USS Helm (T/Cdr. C.E. Carroll, USN), USS Mugford (T/Cdr. E.W. Young, USN), USS Ralph Talbot (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN), USS Henley (Cdr. R.H. Smith, USN), USS Patterson (Cdr. F.R. Walker, USN) and USS Jarvis (Lt.Cdr. W.W. Graham, Jr., USN).

Some ships had to fuel at sea and only joined the Amphibious Force the following day around noon.

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Around 0900M/1, the destroyers USS Dewey and USS Mugford were detached to make rendezvous with the transport USS Zeilin and cargo ship USS Betelgeuse. They joined the Betelgeuse around 1540M/1. USS Zeilin joined around 2330M/1. They rejoined Task Force 62 around noon on 3 August.

Around 1115M/2, the destroyers USS Selfridge, USS Bagley, USS Blue, USS Ralph Talbot, USS Henley and USS Jarvis parted company with Task Force 62 to proceed to Port Vila, Efate to fuel. They arrived off Mele Bay around 0700L/3 but found the the tanker from which they were to fuel, the Esso Little Rock (11237 GRT, built 1941) was not there. They left around 1100L/3 to rejoin Task Force 62 to refuel at sea.

Around 1800L/2, HMAS Hobart, USS Southard USS Hovey, USS Hopkins, USS Zane and USS Trever parted company with Task Force 62 to proceed to Port Vila, Efate to fuel. They too left around 1130L/3 to rejoin Task Force 62 to refuel at sea.

USS Colhoun, USS Gregory, USS Little and USS McKean also arrived off Mele Bay to fuel, they too then set course to rejoin Task Force 62 to refuel at sea.

On 4 August 1942, refuelling at sea took place; The oiler USS Cimarron (T/Capt. R.M. Ihrig, USN) briefly joined Task Force 62 and she fuelled HMAS Hobart, USS Ralph Talbot and USS Patterson. USS Alhena fuelled USS Blue and USS Helm. USS Crescent City fuelled USS Selfridge and USS Trever. USS Fuller fuelled USS Ellet and USS Wilson. USS Hunter Liggett fuelled USS Dewey and USS Hull. USS Libra fuelled USS Monssen and USS Buchanan. USS Neville fuelled USS Southard and USS Hopkins. USS President Adamas fuelled USS Mugford and USS Jarvis. USS President Hayes fuelled USS Bagley and USS Henley. USS President Jackson fuelled USS Hovey and USS Zane.

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Around 1615L/6, the Amphibious Force took up their approach dispositions. ' Force X ' was to land on Guadacanal and ' Force Y ' was to land on Tulagi.

' Force X ' was made up of was made up of the transports and cargo vessels of Task Group 62.1.1, Task Group 62.1.2, Task Group 62.1.3, Task Group 62.1.4, the ships of Fire Support Group 62.3 and part of Screening Group Task Group 62.6. The ships of the Screening Group that were part of ' Force X ' were the following, HMAS Australia, HMAS Hobart, USS Selfridge, USS Mugford, USS Ralph Talbot, USS Patterson and USS Jarvis.

' Force Y ' was made up of the transports and cargo vessels of Task Group 62.2.1, the high speed transports of Task Group 62.2.2, the ships of Fire Support Group 62.4, the high speed minesweepers of Minesweeping Group 62.5 and part of Screening Group Task Group 62.6. The ships of the Screening Group that were part of ' Force Y ' were the following, USS Chicago, HMAS Canberra, USS Bagley, USS Blue, USS Helm and USS Henley.

' Force Y ' took station six miles astern of ' Force X '.

[For continuation of the events see the event ' Operation Watchtower, the landings on Guadacanal and Tulagi ' for 7 August 1942.]

7 Aug 1942

Operation Watchtower, the landings on Guadacanal Island and the subsequent Battle of Savo Island.

Allied forces taking part;

For this operation Task Forces 61 and 62 were deployed. In overall command was Vice-Admiral R.L. Ghormley, USN who was at Noumea in the Miscellaneous Auxiliary USS Argonne (AG-31) (Cdr. F.W. Connor, USN).

Task Group 61.1 was the Air Support Force under overall command of Rear-Admiral L.Noyes, USN. It was made up of the following units;

Task Group 61.1.1;
Aircraft carrier USS Saratoga (Capt. D.C. Ramsey, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral F.J. Fletcher, USN), heavy cruisers USS New Orleans (Capt. W.S. Delany, USN), USS Minneapolis (Capt. F.J. Lowry, USN), and the destroyers USS Phelps (T/Cdr. E.L. Beck, USN, with Capt. S.B. Brewer, USN on board), USS Farragut (Cdr. G.P. Hunter, USN), USS Macdonough (Lt.Cdr. E. van E. Dennet, USN), USS Worden (T/Cdr. W.G. Pogue, USN) and USS Dale (Cdr. H.E. Parker, USN).

Task Group 61.1.2;
Aircraft carrier Enterprise (Capt. A.C. Davis, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral T.C. Kincaid, USN), battleship USS North Carolina (Capt. G.H. Fort, USN), heavy cruiser USS Portland (Capt. L.T. Du Bose, USN), AA cruiser USS Atlanta (Capt. S.P. Jenkins, USN) and the destroyers USS Balch (T/Cdr. H.H. Tiemroth, USN, with Capt. E.P. Sauer, USN on board), USS Benham (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Taylor, USN), USS Maury (T/Cdr. G.L. Sims, USN), USS Gwin (Cdr. J.M. Higgins, USN) and USS Grayson (T/Cdr. F.J. Bell, USN).

Task Group 61.1.3;
Aircraft carrier USS Wasp (T/Capt. F.P. Sherman, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral L.Noyes, USN), heavy cruisers Salt Lake City (Capt. E.G. Small, USN), USS San Francisco (Capt. C.H. McMorris, USN) and the destroyers USS Farenholt (T/Cdr. Lt.Cdr. E.T. Seaward, USN, with Capt. R.G. Tobin, USN on board), USS Aaron Ward (T/Cdr. O.F. Gregor, USN), USS Lang (T/Cdr. E.A. Seay, USN), USS Stack (Lt.Cdr. A.J. Greenacre, USN) and USS Sterett (Cdr. J.G. Coward, USN).

There was also the fuelling group made up of the oilers USS Kanawha (T/Capt. K.S. Reed, USN), USS Cimarron (T/Capt. R.M. Ihrig, USN), USS Platte (Capt. R.H. Henkle, USN), USS Sabine (T/Capt. H.L. Maples, USN) and USS Kaskaskia (T/Capt. W.L. Taylor, USN). These were usually escorting by destroyers from the air support force.

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The Amphibious Force under Rear-Admiral R.K. Turner, USN (in the transport USS McCawley) was made up of the following units;

Task Group 62.1 (Transport Group X-Ray) made up of the Naval Transports / Naval Cargo Ships;

Task Group 62.1.1;
USS Fuller (AP 14) (8424 GRT, built 1919) (Capt. P.S. Theiss, USN), USS American Legion (AP 35) (13737 GRT, built 1921) (Cdr. T.D. Warner, USN) and USS Bellatrix (AK 20) (8280 GRT, built 1942) (Cdr. W.F. Dietrich, USN).

Task Group 62.1.2;
USS McCawley (AP 10) (8156 GRT, built 1928) (Capt. C.P. McFeathers, USN), USS Barnett (AP 11) (8153 GRT, built 1928) (Capt. H.E. Thornhill, USN), USS George F. Elliott (AP 13) (8424 GRT, built 1918) (Capt. W.O. Bailey, USN) and USS Libra (AK 53) (6155 GRT, built 1941) (Cdr. W.B. Fletcher, Jr., USN).

Task Group 62.1.3;
USS Hunter Liggett (AP 27) (13712 GRT, built 1922) (Cdr. L.W. Perkins, USCG), USS Fomalhaut (AK 22) (5028 GRT, built 1942) (Cdr. J.D. Alvis, USN), USS Alchiba (AK 23) (6198 GRT, built 1939) (Cdr. J.S. Freeman, USN) and USS Betelgeuse (AK 28) (6198 GRT, built 1939) (T/Capt. H.D. Power, USN).

Task Group 62.1.4;
USS President Adams (AP 38) (9255 GRT, built 1941) (T/Capt. F.H. Dean, USN), USS President Hayes (AP 39) (9255 GRT, built 1941) (T/Capt. F.W. Benson, USN), USS Crescent City (AP 40) (7987 GRT, built 1940) (Capt. I.N. Kiland, USN) and USS Alhena (AK 26) (7101 GRT, built 1941) (T/Capt. C.B. Hunt, USN).

Task Group 62.2 (Transport Group Yoke) made up of the Naval Transports and High Speed Transports.

Task Group 62.2.1;
USS Zeilin (AP 9) (14124 GRT, built 1921) (Capt. P. Buchanan, USN), USS Heywood (AP 12) (8424 GRT, built 1919) (Capt. H.B. Knowles, USN), USS Neville (AP 16) (8424 GRT, built 1918) (Capt. C.A. Bailey, USN) and USS President Jackson (AP 37) (9255 GRT, built 1940) (T/Capt. C.W. Weitzel, USN).

Task Group 62.2.2;
USS Colhoun (T/Lt.Cdr. G.B. Madden, USN), USS Gregory (Lt.Cdr. H.F. Bauer, USN), USS Little (Lt.Cdr. G.B. Lofberg, Jr., USN) and USS McKean (Lt.Cdr. J.E. Shinners, USN).

Task Group 62.3 was the Fire Support Group, made up of the heavy cruisers USS Astoria ( Capt. W.G. Greenman, USN), USS Quincy ( Capt. S.N. Moore, USN), USS Vincennes (Capt. F.L. Riefkohl, USN) and the destroyers USS Dewey (T/Cdr. C.F. Chillingsworth, Jr., USN), USS Hull (T/Cdr. R.F. Stout, USN), USS Ellet T/Cdr. F.H. Gardner, USN) and USS Wilson (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Price, USN).

Task Group 62.4 was also a Fire Support Group, made up of the AA cruiser USS San Juan (Capt. J.E. Maher, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral N. Scott, USN) and the destroyers USS Monssen (T/Cdr. R.N. Smoot, USN) and USS Buchanan (T/Cdr. R.E. Wilson, USN).

Task Group 62.5 was the Minesweeping Group, it was made up of the high speed minesweepers (former destroyers) USS Southard (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Cochran, USN), USS Hovey (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Heald, USN), USS Hopkins (Lt.Cdr. B. Coe, USN), USS Zane (T/Lt.Cdr. P.L. Wirtz, USN) and USS Trever (Lt.Cdr. D.M. Agnew, USN).

Task Group 62.6 was the Screening Group, it was made up of the heavy cruisers HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), HMAS Canberra (Capt. F.E. Getting, RAN), USS Chicago (Capt. H.D. Bode, USN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart ( Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board), USS Bagley (T/Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN), USS Blue (Cdr. H.N. Williams, USN), USS Helm (T/Cdr. C.E. Carroll, USN), USS Mugford (T/Cdr. E.W. Young, USN), USS Ralph Talbot (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN), USS Henley (Cdr. R.H. Smith, USN), USS Patterson (Cdr. F.R. Walker, USN) and USS Jarvis (Lt.Cdr. W.W. Graham, Jr., USN).

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Around 1615L on 6 August 1942, the Amphibious Force had taken up their approach dispositions. ' Force X ' was to land on Guadacanal and ' Force Y ' was to land on Tulagi.

' Force X ' was made up of was made up of the transports and cargo vessels of Task Group 62.1.1, Task Group 62.1.2, Task Group 62.1.3, Task Group 62.1.4, the ships of Fire Support Group 62.3 and part of Screening Group Task Group 62.6. The ships of the Screening Group that were part of ' Force X ' were the following, HMAS Australia, HMAS Hobart, USS Selfridge, USS Mugford, USS Ralph Talbot, USS Patterson and USS Jarvis.

' Force Y ' was made up of the transports and cargo vessels of Task Group 62.2.1, the high speed transports of Task Group 62.2.2, the ships of Fire Support Group 62.4, the high speed minesweepers of Minesweeping Group 62.5 and part of Screening Group Task Group 62.6. The ships of the Screening Group that were part of ' Force Y ' were the following, USS Chicago, HMAS Canberra, USS Bagley, USS Blue, USS Helm and USS Henley. ' Force Y ' took station six miles astern of ' Force X '.

The landings, 7 August 1942.

At 0224L/7, the moon rose and though it was on the wane and lacked only five days to new moon, it was of great assistance in making the western end of Guadalcanal and then Savo Island, both of which began to show up very clearly.

' Force Y ' set course to pass to the northward of Savo Island and at 0330L/7, HMAS Australia lad ' Force X ' towards Savo Island to pass to the south of it.

It was expected that the enemy would have some type of patrol in the passages on either side of Savo Island and from 0245L/7, the naval escorts were in the first degree of readiness for action. However no patrol were met and when between Savo Island and Cape Escperance, ' Force X ' changed course to proceed direct to the disembarkation area off the north shore of Guadalcanal Island.

As ' Force X ' would pass within six thousand yard of Lunga Point when approaching the disembarkation area, and as enemy AA batteries at least were known to be mounted in the vicinity of the Point, it had been arranged that USS Quincy would come forward from the rear of the formation and take particular responsibility for silencing enemy fire from the Point whilst the formation was drawing past it.

' Force Y ' had in the meantime passed west of Savo Island and then leaving Savo Island to starboard had altered course to the eastward for the disembarkation area off Tulagi Island.

Sunrise was at 0633L/7 and in accordance with pre-arranged shedule, the aircraft of the cruiser escort of both squadrons were launched at 0615L/7 to provide A/S and anti-MTB patrols for the transport groups. After this initial patrol, aircraft patrols were maintained for A/S duties. This was done for every day the Amphibious Force was in the area.

Also around 0615L/7, Allied carrier aircraft were sighted on their intial sortie. The missions assigned to this sortie were as follows;
16 Fighters were to destroy enemy aircraft including seaplanes on the water, motor torpedo boats and submarine in the Tulagi - Gavutu area. With any remaining ammunition, attack anti-aircraft installations on Gavutu.
20 Fighters, mission as above but to be carried out in the area along the north coast of Guadalcanal between Point Cruz and Togama Point.
24 dive bombers, were to destroy naval vessels, anti-aircraft guns and shore batteries in the Tulagi - Gavutu area.
24 dive bombers, were to do the same as the above but along the north coast of Guadalcanal between Point Cruz and Togama Point.

The carrier groups (Air Support Force) were operating close south and south-west of the combat area.

The approach of the Amphibious Force had been a complete surprise to the enemy and no fewer then 18 enemy aircraft were destroyed on the water in this initial sortie of the Allied carrier borne aircraft. No enemy naval surface vessels were encountered and despite previous reports of land based Zero fighters being maintained in the area, none were met.

As ' Forces X and Y ' were approaching their diesembarkation areas, the naval vessels of the escort opened a bombardment on shore targets such as gun positions and encampment areas and on boats and barges moored in close to the shore.

On the Guadalcanal side, a motor auxiliary vessel proceeding from Tulagi to Lungo was fired on by destroyers and shortly afterwards was set on fire by our fighter aircraft. This vessel burned so furiously that it was thought to have been carrying petrol.

Meanwhile other cruiser-borne aircraft had been launched to act as liaison planes over the Tulagi and the Guadalcanal areas. These liaison planes were maintained over their respective areas throughout daylight each day and gave invaluable information regarding the location of enemy troops, batteries and strong points, and later regading the progress of our attacking forces.

' Forces X and Y ' reached their disembarkation areas at 0650L/7 and 0720L/7 respectively and remained underway but stopped, outside the 100 fathom line. The process of lowering, manning and equipping attack boats at once whilst the screening forces acted in accordance with the special instructions they had previously been issued. Broadly, each transport group had an outer arc of screening destroyers and then cruisers between them and the destroyers. With this arrangement both the cruisers and the transports had an anti-submarine screen and against air attack, the enemy aircraft had to pass two outer circles of fire before reaching the transports which would obviously be their objective. In addition the cruisers were able to manoeuvre inside the destroyer screen and yet maintain close support of their transport group.

Throughout daylight carrier borne fighter aircraft were maintained over the combat area as defence against enemy air attack. Fighter Direction was being exercised from USS Chicago to whom a Fighter Direction Group from one of the carriers had been transferred.

In addition to the intial (0615 hours) missions and to the maintenance of fighters over the combat area, the Air Support Force also maintained dive bombers and fighters over both the Tulagi and Guadacanal areas which were available on call to attack shore targets. In the event of enemy air attack the fighters of these patrols would support the aircraft providing fighter protection.

The H-hour, which was the time the troops would actually reach the beaches was set at 0800L/7 for the Tulagi landing at 0910L/7 for the landing on Guadalcanal.

On the Tulagi side, prior to the main landing, there was a secondary landing in the vicinity of Haleta with the object of seizing the promontory and thereby ensuring that the enemy could not fire on the boats making the major landing from the higher ground.

The landings at Haleta and on beach blue (the major landing beach) were accomplished without enemy opposition and the Tulagi landing force soon occupied the northern portion of Tulagi island which was their first objective.

The landing at Haleta had been preceded by a bombardment in which USS San Juan expended 100 rounds of 5" and the destroyers USS Monssen and USS Buchanan each 80 rounds of 5". For 20 minutes these destroyers also stationed themselves as ' goal posts ' to guide the landing craft in towards the main landing zone.

Between 0740L/7 and 0745L/7, USS San Juan expended 560 rounds in bombarding a hill on Tulagi Island. Between 0750L/7 and 0755L/7 were each to expend 200 rounds in close support of the landing and also the northern part of Tulagi Island was dive bombed by 18 aircraft each carrying a 1000lb. bomb. Immediately afterwards followed the landing on the main beach (' Blue beach '). Immediately afterwards USS San Juan fired another 560 rounds against the same hill (Hill 208). The high speed minesweepers were also to spent 60 rounds each on targets on Tulagi and Gavutu Islands. USS Monssen and USS Buchanan were also ordered to each expend 100 round on targets on the southern end of Tulagi Island.

During this period USS San Juan and several destroyers reported sighting a submarine periscope. Heavy depth charge attacks were made and though there is no direct eidence that a submarine was sunk by these attacks, the submarine was not seen again. [No Japanese submarine was present though.]

Meanwhile on the Guadalcanal side, the heavy cruisers USS Astoria, USS Quincy, USS Vincennes and the destroyers USS Dewey, USS Hull, USS Ellet and USS Wilson had been moving close along the north shore of the island keeping targets under almost continuous bombardment. Large fires were raging at Kukum where the enemy was known to have AA batteries and a stores dump.

From 0840L/7, the destroyers had stationed themselves off ' Red Beach ' to mark the line of departure for the attack boats and the ends of the beach were marked by aircraft using coloured smoke bombs.

For the five minutes preceding the actual landing on ' beach Red ' a furious bombardment was put down on the beach area. USS Astoria, USS Quincy, USS Vincennes in this brief interval each fired 45 round of 8" and 200 rounds of 5" whilst the destroyers each fired about 200 rounds. The landing was effected without resistance and our marine forces were on the attack towards Lunga and to seize the line of the Tenaru River without coming into real contact with the enemy. As positions were occupied it became more and more obvious that the enemy had been completely surprised and had taken to the interior of the Island without waiting to render useless any of their plants, stores or material. The aerodrome was found to be intact and the landing strip only required rolling to make it available for our own aircraft. It was evident from the plans captured, from the amount of material and stores captured and from the extensive works which had been started that the establishment of a first class air base on Guadacanal had been the enemy's intention.

A certain number of Japanese pioneer workers were captured and from interrogation it was learned that the garrison which had retired inland was probably 300 strong and that there had escaped with them a considerable number of construction workers.

On the Tulagi side another secondary landing had been made at Halavo. The boats carrying in this landing force had been engaged by shore guns on Bungana and Gatuvu and these defences had also opened fire on the destroyer minesweepers which were supporting the landing. On requist from Rear-Admiral Scott, Rear-Admiral Crutchley sent the destroyer USS Henley to assist in silencing these guns.

On completion of their fire support duties, the destroyer minesweepers streamed their sweepers and made the first sweep in towards Gavutu. No mines were found and the sweepers then carried out a clearance sweep in the Lengo Channel and buoyed the swept lane. Again no mines were found and therefore without waiting for further clearance sweeps, the transports and supply ships moved in close to the beaches to expedite disembarkation of further troop elements and of stores. The minesweepers were released from further sweeping missions and were assigned A/S duties in the landing areas.

On Tulagi Island the landing force having occupied the northern half of the Island, now prepared for the assault against the southern end of the Island where the enemy forces were concentrated. This part of the Island was then subjected to intense aerial and ship bombardment in which task force 62.4 was reinforced by USS Ellet. There were several large explosions and several large fires were started.

At about 1120L/7, a message was received from a Coast Watcher on Bougainville Island reporting a strong force of enemy bombers passing over the Island to the south-east. At about the same time message was received from our shore intelligence advising that enemy submarines were on the move. Shortly after noon it was decided that for the remainder of the day all fighters over the landing area were to be used to protect the Amphibious Force against air attack.

At 1315L/7, our fighters made contact with the enemy bombers about fifteen miles were of Savo Island. One aircraft was soon seen shot down in flames in the vicinity of the Island. At 1323L/7 all ships of ' Force X ' opeened fire on a formation of about 18 Type 97 (Mitsubishi Ki-21) heavy bombers coming over in tight formation and supported by 9 Zero fighters. A pattern bombing attack was carried out by the enemy, the leader giving the release signal by buring a bright light in his glassed-in bomb aimers position in the nose. The bombs were probably 500 pounders. All fell to the north-west of the transports. During their withdrawal the enemy formation continued to be engaged by our fighters. It was later reported that two enemy bombers had been shot down and two had been damaged.

In the assault against the southern portion of Tulagi Island our landing forces was meeting with stiff resistance and in the assault against Gavutu, which however was successfully captured, our marines suffered very heavy casualties.

At 1500L/7, about ten enemy dive bombers came in from the westward and attacked destroyers on the screen to the west of the transports. We had had no warning by radar or from fighter patrols of the approached of this force. Ships at once opened fire and our fighters dived down to attack the enemy, two of which were seen to be shot down. However, USS Mugford received a direct hit aft with a 250 lb. bomb causing loss of life, considerable damage to the after superstructure and putting out of action the two after gun mountings. It is probable that our fighters accounted for many more of this enemy force of dive bombers as dog fights were seen in progress west of Savo Island and the enemy must have been at a disadvantage regarding speed.

During the afternoon the landing of material and stores had progressed on the Guadalcanal side but at Tulagi this operation was held up because the whole Island was not yet in Allied hands. American dive bombers over ' Force X ' periodically attacked target on the north coast of Guadalcanal as the Liaison planes pointed them out. On the other side, the enemy occupied portion of Tulagi Island and Tanambago Island had both been further hammered by ship bombardment and dive bombing and there were large fires burning furiously in each of these areas.

At 1830L/7 (sunset was at 1818 hours), the Screening Group was ordered to take up night dispositions as had been instructed earlier;
Two destroyers were stationed to seaward of Savo Island covering the entrances either side of Savo Island as radar and A/S guard patrols.
Two groups, each with three 8" cruisers screened by two destroyers on patrol covering the approaches from north of Savo Island and from south of Savo Island to the transport groups.
Close A/S and anti-MTB screens of destroyers and destroyer minesweepers around the transports.
USS San Juan and HMAS Hobart screened by two destroyers underway between the two transport groups as cover against enemy light forces, entering the combat area from the eastward.

At 2000L/7, the situation with regard to the progress of the marine landing forces was as follows;
On Guadacanal all troops ashore occupying on the west the line of the Tenaru river and to the east a line about longtitude 160°06'E. No major contact with the enemy garrison forces had been made.
In the Tulagi area , Tulagi itself was occupied except the easternmost end where the enemy were still resisting. Gavutu was captured, but with heavy losses on our side. Tanambago was still in the hands of the enemy and our forces were preparing to attack. Halavo was occupied by the Allied forces.

The very stiff resistance offered by the enemy on the Tulagi side called for reinforcement of our forces on Tulagi and Gavutu. These reinforcements were necessarily drawn from the forces held for the occupation of Ndeni in the 3rd phase of the operation and thereby threw out of gear, the planned shedule.

During the night the beach on the Guadacanal side became so congested with gear and equipment landed from the transports and store ships, that unloading had to be suspended.

On the Tulagi side the unloading operation had still not been commenced.

The night passeed without any form of interference from the enemy.

8 August 1942.

Sunrise was at 0638L/8. At 0500L/8, Rear-Admiral Crutchley had ordered the outer patrol units to return to the transport areas and to re-assume their day screen.

As enemy submarines might reach the area today, Rear-Admiral Crutchley ordered the destroyer minesweepers to form an A/S patrol to the westward of the Sealark and Lengo Channels. In addition all cruiser borne aircraft, except one or two for liaison duties, were now available for A/S patrols. At least three at the same time were kept in the air.

At 1027L/8, a message from a coast watcher on Bougainville Island reported 40 heavy bombers proceeding to the south-east. Shortly afterwards the transports were ordered to get underway. Both ' Force X ' and ' Force Y ' were formed independently and manoeuvred between Guadalcanal and Florida Islands awaiting the expected air attack.

At 1200L/8, HMAS Australia sighted 23 large twin engine torpedo bombers to the eastward approaching from behind the clouds over Florida Island. The alarm was given and soon all ships in ' Force X ' were engaging the aircraft which came in low to execute a torpedo bombing attack. A magnificent curtain of bursting high explosive was put up and enemy aircraft were everywhere crashing in flames. Torpedoes were dropped mostly at long range but many of the aircraft continued to fly in towards the formation to strafe personnel. The destroyer USS Jarvis was struck on the starboard side forward by a torpedo and the transport USS George F. Elliott was set on fire by an enemy aircraft flying deliberately into her superstructure. The destroyer USS Dewey was ordered to assist USS Jarvis and try to tow her into shallow water and the destroyer USS Hull was ordered to assist the burning transport.

After the attack on ' Force X ' the torpedo bombers turned towards Savo Island and were then raked by AA fire from ' Force Y '. It is estimated that 12 of the eenmy torpedo bombers were shot down. The attack had been presses well home by a strong force but was badly designed in that all the aircraft attacked from the same direction so enabling us to concentrate the full volume of our AA gunfire on them ans simplifying the avoiding action it was necessary to take. Synchronised with this torpedo bomber attack on ' Force X ' the transports were attacked by a number of high level bombers supported by Zero fighters. Bombs fell close to some of the transports but no damage was caused to any of the Allied ships.

USS Jarvis reached shallow water under her own power going astern and was able to anchor. Inspection showed that her engines and boilers were undamaged but the bottom of her hull was open between stations 30 and 55. She would be able to make four to seven knots under her own power and that night she was sailed to make the beat of her way to Vila but has not been seen or heard since. It was reported that the crew of one of the Japanese aircraft shot down had opened revolver fire on USS Jarvis when she approached their rubber boat to pick them up. The Japanese then shot themselves to avoid being taken prisoner.

The transport USS George F. Elliott continued to burn fiercely but with the assistance of the destroyer USS Hull which had been sent to her. It seemed at one time that the fire would be got under control. However the fire later gained, reached her fire rooms and she had to be abandoned. USS Hull fired four torpedoes into the ship but the burning wreck later grounded in shoal water.

After this attack the transports returned to the unloading areas and the transfer of stores and equipment to the beaches was resumed.

Around 1400L/8, the transport groups were again got under way as warning had been received of another force of enemy bombers proceeding towards the area. No attack developed, however, and at 1630L/8 the unloading operations were again resumed.

In the land areas our troops had extended their occupation area on Guadalcanal and now held from Tenaru to Kukum including the air field.

On the northern side we had completed the capture of Tulagi Island, had consolidated on Gavutu Island and had taken Tanambogo Island though a few isolated snipers had yet to be mopped up.

At 1830L/8, Rear-Admiral Crutchley ordered to naval forces to take up night dispositions as for the previous night.

The situation at the ends of this, the second day, was not quite as favourable as had been expected.
Air raids and the threat of air raids causing the transports to get under way to meet them had delayed the unloading operations.
Part of a night's unloading had been lost because of the congestion on the beach on the Guadalcanal side.
On the Tulagi side the unloading had barely begun because the Island of Tulagi had not been fully conquered earlier.
Owing to the very stiff resistance offered by the enemy on the northern side, it had been necessary to employ additional marine forces and these had been draen from the reserve which was intended to occupy Ndeni (Santa Cruz Islands) in the 3rd phase of the operation.
So far our losses due to enemy air attack had been one transport and heavy damage to two destroyers. However the enemy continued to receive air reinforcements at Rabaul. Enemy seaplane tenders were moving south and one could expect as heavy and possibly more frequent attacks on our sight with possibly not such lucky results for the Allies.
Commander Task Force 61 had said that the time had come for him to withdraw the carrier forces.
Enemy submarines were known to be on their way to the area and could be expected at any moment.

At 2045L/8, Rear-Admiral Crutchley was ordered to proceed to the transport USS McCawley for a conference with Rear-Admiral Turner. So at 2055L/8, Rear Admiral Crutchley ordered Captain Bode of the USS Chicago to take charge of the patrol in the southern entrance while HMAS Australia parted company to proceed to the transports of ' Force X '.

During the conference it was decided to retire from the area the following day despite the fact that by no means all material and stores had been landed. Orders were given to give priority to the most vital material and stores to be landed that night.

During the day a report had been received that an enemy force of three cruisers, three destroyers and two seaplane tenders or gunboats had been sighted east of Bougainville Island steering south-east. Rear-Admiral Crutchley asked Rear-Admiral Turner what he thought of this enemy force was up to. Rear-Admiral Turner replied that it was his opinion that the enemy force was destined for Rekata Bay possibly from there to operate torpedo carrying float planes against our forces and that we would have to expect two torpedo attacks a day instead of one. Rear-Admiral Turner also informed Rear-Admiral Crutchley that he had requisted for the next day, full scale bombing of these ships which he felt sure would be in Rekata Bay.

9 August 1942 and the Battle of Savo Island.

It was 0115L/9, when Rear-Admiral Crutchley rejoined HMAS Australia and after 0130L/9, when she got clear of the transport area it was decided not to rejoin the patrol in the southern entrance. HMAS Austalia then patrolled near the transports inside the destroyer screen.

The patrols during this night had been organised as follows; The destroyers USS Blue and USS Ralph Talbot were on the outer radar and A/S patrol, USS Blue off the southern entrance and USS Ralph Talbot off the northern entrance. Patrolling to the south east of Savo Island were patrolling USS Chicago, HMAS Canberra, USS Bagley and USS Patterson. HMAS Australia had originally been with them. Patrolling to the east-north-east of Savo Island were the USS Vincennes, USS Quincy, USS Astoria, USS Helm and USS Wilson.

Not long afterwards, at 0146L/9, green flares were dropped by aircraft. They began to show up to the southward and south-eastward of ' X ' transport area.

At 0150L/9, a flare was dropped in the direction of the channel south-west of Savo Island. Almost at once a few tracer rounds were sighted which were thought to be Oerlikon fire from a ship in the southern patrol group engaging the aircraft that had dropped the flare. However immediately afterwards a burst of heavy surface gunfire was observed to the east of the source of the tracer.

A night naval action then commenced which, as seen from HMAS Australia appreared to move to the tight and to increase tremendously in intensity. HMAS Australia had received no enemy report from either of the Allied guard units or from any ship in the cruiser forces.

What was happening was the following. A Japanese attack force had left Rabaul to attack the Allies. This was the same force that had been sighted an reported but was thought to include seaplane tenders. This was however not the case as the Japanese force was made up of the heavy cruisers Chokai (flying the flag of Vice-Admiral Mikawa), Aoba, Furutaka, Kako, Kinugasa, light cruisers and the destroyer Tenryu, Yubari and the destroyer Yunagi (all offsite links).

They managed to slip by the destroyer USS Blue which despite her radar outfit did not detect the Japanese. The Japanese however, did sighted the destroyer and managed to evade her and proceeded to pass to the southward of Savo Island but before arriving the another destroyer was sighted and evaded. This was the heavily damaged USS Jarvis which was leaving the area for Efate. It seems that the Jarvis also did not see the Japanese but this can not be varified as the destroyer was lost later the same day with all hands. The Japanese destroyer Yunagi was either detached or lost contact with the remainder of the Japanese Force. She had a brief exchange of gunfire with the Jarvis.

The flares that had been dropped came from floatplanes catapulted by the Japanese cruisers. The Japanese then encounted, the ' Southern group ' made up of the USS Chicago, HMAS Canberra, USS Bagley and USS Patterson. The Allies were taken completely by surprise, with their ships not being in first degree of readiness. Not all guns were manned. The Allied crews had been on the alert for two days and it had been decided to rest the crew during the night as much as possible as no attack was expected during the night and enemy air attacks were again expected the following day.

As a result the Japanese engaged the Allied southern patrol force from close range. HMAS Canberra was quickly disabled by gunfire and torpedo hits. Before HMAS Canberra was able to return fire she was already hit by around 24 shells and one or two torpedoes. Both boiler rooms were put out of action, power and lighting were lost and the ship was heavily on fire.

USS Chicago, second in line, was also hit by gunfire and a torpedo in her bow. She retired to the west for about 40 minutes and apparently made no attempt to raise the alarm or give info to other Allied ships on what just happended. For this Captain Bode was heavily criticized. He later committed suicide.

USS Bagley was not damaged in the engagement and managed to fire four torpedoes but they did not hit. After the battle she went to the aid of USS Astoria but also picked up survivors from USS Vincennes and USS Quincy.

USS Patterson, was the first ship to sight the Japanse and the Commanding Officer ordered torpedoes to be fired, however the order was not heard by the torpedo officers when she also opened fire with her guns and in the end no torpedoes were fired by USS Patterson. She was also the only ship that transmitted an enemy report by TBS. Her Commanding Officer had instructed his watch crew to be on their alert as he did not trust the aircraft report on the seaplane tenders. He had also decided to take the watch in which he though it most likely the Japanese might attack himself while all the Commanding Officers of the other ships were asleep. She was hit by enemy gunfire and No.3 and No.4 guns were out of action although No.4 gun soon was able to resume firing. She was also narrowly missed by an enemy torpedo. When the action was over she assisted the heavily damaged HMAS Canberra but the cruiser was beyond salvage and had to be scuttled.

The Japanese then continued around Savo Island at high speed where they encountered the other Allied patrol group, the ' Northern group ', made up of USS Vincennes, USS Quincy, USS Astoria, USS Helm and USS Wilson. Japanese torpedoes were already underway towards the ' Northern group '.

When the aircraft flares were fired the ships of the ' Northern group ' rang the alarm and went to action stations but despite this they too were overwhelmed by the Japanese which now had become divided after the first action. The American ' Northern Force ' was then being attacked from both sides. The Chokai, Aoba, Kako and Kinugasa form one group, the other group was made up of the Furataka, Tenryu and Yubari the other group. In the following action the heavy cruisers USS Vincennes and USS Quincy were sunk while the USS Astoria was heavily damaged. Salvage attempts failed and she later sank as well.

At about 0156L/9, the ' Northern group ' was illuminated and engaged. Fire was returned but the Allied cruisers were soon heavily hit by enemy gunfire and torpedoes. USS Vincennes soon lost electric power but her turrets continued firing in local control. She then received two torpedo hits which halted the ship. Also several fires broke out. The enemy ceased fire around 0215L/9. By 0230L/9 she was listing heavily and the order was given to abandon ship. She sank around 0245L/9.

USS Quincy was hit by the enemy's opening salvo. She was able to open fire but was soon heavily hit topside and fires were soon blazing. She then received a torpedo hit. She turned over at 0235L/9. A large hole was then revealed on her port side.

USS Astoria was able to open fire before being hit but she too was then heavily hit by enemy gunfire which started large fires. By the time the enemy ceased fire she she had lost all power. Her main armament had been able to get off around ten salvoes. Destroyers and destroyer minesweepers went to her aid in fighting the fires but she was beyond salvage and finally sank around 1215L/9.

USS Helm had been unable to identify the enemy in the confusing action and did not open fire.

USS Wilson had fired 212 rounds of 5" at the enemy. She had aimed at the enemy's searchlights for the most part.

Around 0215L/9, USS Ralph Talbot, the other picket destroyer, had turned south-east on observing the action. Around 0230L/9 was illuminated and engaged by the retiring enemy. She sustained fairly extensive superficial damage.

Some damage was inflicted on the enemy, Chokai was hit several times by USS Quincy and USS Astoria. Her No.1 gun turret was hit and out of action. Aoba was hit once. Kinugasa was hit twice. The floatplanes from Aoba and Kako were lost. The biggest loss for the Japanese came the following day where the Kako was torpedoed and sunk by the American submarine USS S-44 (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Moore).

Following the battle most of the wounded that had been picked up by the destroyers were transferred to the transports Barnett and Fuller.

The retirement from the area, which had been planned at 0730L/9, could not be proceeded with. HMAS Canberra was unable to proceed and was ordered to be scuttled. She sank around 0800L/9 with torpedoes fired by USS Ellet after gunfire and torpedoes from USS Selfridge had failed to do the job.

Around 0850L/9, the transports got underway again as coast watchers on Bougainville again reported enemy aircraft on their way. By 1100L/9, no air attacks had developed and unloading was resumed.

Around 1530L/9, the majority of the transports transports of ' Force X ', less USS McCawley got underway eastwards through the Lengo Channel. They were escorted by USS Chicago, USS Mugford, USS Ralph Talbot, USS Patterson, USS Ellet, USS Dewey, USS Southard, USS Hovey, USS Hopkins, USS Zane and USS Trever.

Around 1545L/9, the transports of ' Force Y ' and USS McCawley departed the Tulagi area. They also proceeded eastwards through the Lengo Channel. They were escorted by HMAS Australia, HMAS Hobart, USS San Juan, USS Selfridge, USS Bagley, USS Blue, USS Helm, USS Henley, Hull, USS Wilson, USS Monssen, USS Buchanan, USS Colhoun, USS Gregory, USS Little and USS McKean.

Both forces set course for Nouméa, New Caledonia where they arrived on 13 August 1942. On the 11th, USS Chicago, which had been unable to keep up with the convoy due to her damage was detached to proceed to Nouméa singly escorted by USS Mugford and USS Patterson arriving there on the 14th.

9 Aug 1942
Damaged during the Battle of Savo Island though seriously damaged managed to withdraw; 14 of the crew died and 16 were wounded.

15 Nov 1942

Continued operations by Task Force 44 in the south-west Pacific / Milne Bay area.

15 November 1942.

At 1900L/15, Task Group 44.4, made up of the light cruiser USS Phoenix (Capt. J.R. Redman, USN) and the destroyers USS Helm (T/Cdr. C.E. Carroll, USN), USS Mugford (T/Cdr. E.W. Young, USN) and USS Patterson (T/Cdr. W.C. Schultz, USN) departed Cid Harbour to patrol in the area to the south of New Guinea. Rear-Admiral Crutchley had been ordered that half his force was to proceed on patrol to cover shipping movements in the New Guinea area. The other half of his force was to proceed to a forward reef anchorage.

16 November 1942.

At 1200L/16, Task Group 44.4, was in position 17°05'S, 146°06'E.

At 2100L/16, Task Group 44.6, made up of the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN) and the destroyers USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board), USS Bagley (T/Cdr. G.A. Sinclair, USN) and USS Henley (T/Cdr. E.K. van Swearingen, USN) departed Cid Harbour for Challenger Bay (Palm Islands).

17 November 1942.

At 0500L/17, when Task Group 44.6 was abreast Townsville, USS Bagley was detached to that place to land despatches and to embark mails. Also a sick rating was landed for hospitalisation.

At 0845L/17, Task Group 44.6 (minus USS Bagley, anchored in Challenger Bay which USS Bagley rejoining around 1325L/17. Task Group 44.6 kept at 2 hours notice for steam.

At 1200L/17, Task Group 44.4, was in position 12°30'S, 147°19'E.

18 November 1942.

At 0800L/18, the chartered tanker Aase Maersk (British, 6184 GRT, built 1930) arrived in Challenger Bay.

At 1200L/18, Task Group 44.4, was in position 13°30'S, 149°24'E.

Information was received that convoy movements in the New Guinea area were delayed

Japanese forces, made up of one cruiser and two destroyers were reported at Buna, New Guinea. 12 B-17 bombers attacked them and the cruiser and one destroyer were reported to have been sunk. [In fact three destroyers were at Buna, these were the Asashio, Kawakaze and Umikaze of which the last two were damaged.]

19 November 1942.

At 0800L/19, the supply ship Merkur (Australian, 5946 GRT, built 1924) arrived at Challenger Bay.

Task Group 44.6 then completed with fuel and provisions.

At 1200L/16, Task Group 44.4, was in position 13°24'S, 148°40'E.

20 November 1942.

At 0800L/20, the Aase Maersk departed Challenger Bay with 6294 tons of fuel remaining. She proceeded to Townsville to fuel Task Group 44.4 there.

At 1200L/20, Task Group 44.4, was in position 13°48'S, 147°48'E. USS Phoenix fuelled the three destroyers of her Task Group during the day.

21 November 1942.

At 0800L/20, the Merkur departed Challenger Bay for Townsville to supply Task Group 44.4 there.

At 1000L/20, Task Group 44.4 departed Challenger Bay to relieve Task Group 44.6 on patrol. Grafton Passage was cleared around 1900L/20.

At 1200L/21, Task Group 44.4, was in position 13°14'S, 147°57'E.

22 November 1942.

At 0915L/22, rendezvous was made between Task Groups 44.4 and 44.6 in approximate position 14°00'S, 148°00'E. Exercises were then carried out, despatches were exchanged by line and both groups then opened out for radar calibration.

At 1200L/22, Task Group 44.4 was detached to withdraw to the Palm Islands for fuel and stores. Task Group 44.6 commenced patrol. Noon position was 13°49'S. 148°29'E.

23 November 1942.

At 1200L/23, Task Group 44.6, was in position 14°35'S, 149°48'E.

Around 1330L, Task Group 44.4 arrived at Challenger Bay. USS Phoenix then fuelled USS Helm and USS Mugford while USS Phoenix and USS Patterson fuelled from the Aase Maersk which had returned to Challenger Bay as did the Merkur.

USS Phoenix sent two of her floatplanes to Townsville with despatches.

24 November 1942.

At 0140L/24, USS Phoenix completed fuelling from the Aase Maersk.

At 0800L/24, the Aase Maersk departed Challenger Bay for Townsville.

Around 0815L/24, USS Bagley parted company with Task Group 44.6 to transmit a signal near Osprey Reef. She rejoined Task Group 44.6 around 1910L/24.

At 0915L/24, USS Patterson departed Challenger Bay for Townsville to transport two hospital cases there.

At 1200L/24, Task Group 44.6, was in position 14°10'S, 150°09'E.

25 November 1942.

At 1200L/25, Task Group 44.6, was in position 14°45'S, 149°48'E.

At 1755L/25, USS Patterson returned to Challenger Bay from Townsville.

26 November 1942.

At 0850L/26, HMAS Hobart commenced fuelling USS Bagley for a little over an hour. Apparently the destroyer was a bit short of fuel.

At 1200L/26, Task Group 44.6, was in position 14°24'S, 150°38'E.

At 1740L/26, the minesweeper HMAS Colac (T/Lt.Cdr. S.B. Komoll, RANR(S)) arrived at Challenger Bay with mails for the ships of the Task Group.

27 November 1942.

At 1000L/27, the Merkur departed Challenger Bay for Townsville.

At 1100L/27, Task Group 44.4 departed Challenger Bay to relieve Task Group 44.6 on patrol.

At 1200L/27, Task Group 44.6, was in position 14°02'S, 149°35'E.

Around 1915L/27, Task Group 44.4 cleared the Grafton Passage.

28 November 1942.

Around 0915L/27, rendezvous was made between Task Groups 44.4 and 44.6 in approximate position 14°00'S, 148°00'E. Exercises were then carried out, despatches were exchanged by line.

At 1200L/28, Task Group 44.6 was detached to withdraw to the Palm Islands for fuel and stores. Task Group 44.4 commenced patrol. Noon position was 13°51'S. 148°31'E.

29 November 1942.

Around 0700L/29, Task Group 44.6 entered the Grafton Passage. USS Bagley was then detached to proceed to Townsville to land mails and hospital cases.

At 1200L/29, Task Group 44.4, was in position 13°25'S, 148°58'E.

At 1430L/29, Task Group 44.6 arrived at Challenger Bay where the Aase Maersk and Merkur had also arrived and fuelling and provisioning was commenced. This was completed the following morning.

30 November 1942.

At 1200L/29, Task Group 44.4, was in position 13°34'S, 148°46'E.

Around 1515L/30, USS Bagley arrived at Challenger Bay from Townsville to rejoin Task Group 44.6.

At 1700L/30, the Aase Maersk departed Challenger Bay for Townsville with 2059 tons of fuel still on board.

1 December 1942.

At 1200L/1, Task Group 44.4, was in position 13°53'S, 149°08'E.

Around 1300L/1, the Merkur departed Challenger Bay for Townsville.

2 December 1942.

At 1200L/29, Task Group 44.4, was in position 14°35'S, 148°32'E.

3 December 1942.

Shortly before noon the Merkur and the tanker USS Victoria (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Olsen, USNR) arrived at Challenger Bay from Townsville.

At 1200L/3, Task Group 44.4, was in position 14°05'S, 149°30'E.

Around 1600L/3, the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) arrived at Challenger Bay from Sydney (via Brisbane). Rear-Admiral Crutchley then transferred his flag from HMAS Hobart to HMAS Australia.

4 December 1942.

At 0815L/4, USS Henley departed Challenger Bay for escort duties.

At 0930L/4, Task Group 44.6, now made up of HMAS Hobart, USS Selfridge and USS Bagley departed Challenger Bay to relieve Task Group 44.4 on the Coral Sea patrol. While clear off Challenger Bay, HMAS Hobart conducted refuelling at sea trials with USS Victoria.

At 1200L/4, Task Group 44.4, was in position 13°33'S, 148°57'E.

Around 1915L/4, Task Group 44.6 cleared the Grafton passage and commenced patrol.

During the day the Merkur departed Challenger Bay for Townsville and then onwards to Brisbane.

5 December 1942.

Around 0900L/5, Task Group 44.4 entered the Grafton Passage.

At 1200L/5, Task Group 44.6, was in position 14°42'S, 149°57'E.

Around 1700L/5, Task Group 44.4 arrived at Challenger Bay, Palm Island.

Around 2200L/5, USS Phoenix and USS Mugford departed Challenger Bay for Sydney for overhaul and give leave.

The following temporary Task Force organisation came into effect on the 5th;
Task Group 44.3 was made up of HMAS Australia, USS Helm, USS Henley and USS Patterson.
Task Group 44.5 was made up of HMAS Hobart, USS Selfridge and USS Bagley.

6 December 1942.

At 1200L/6, Task Group 44.5 (former Task Group 44.6), was in position 14°26'S, 149°25'E.

7 December 1942.

At 1200L/7, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°07'S. 148°28'E.

8 December 1942.

At 1200L/8, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°21'S, 149°38'E.

9 December 1942.

At 1200L/9, Task Group 44.5, was in position 13°54'S, 149°00'E.

Around 2359L/9, USS Bagley was detached from Task Group 44.5 for escort duties.

10 December 1942.

Around 0830L/10, USS Henley arrived at Challenger Bay where she fuelled from USS Victoria. Commander E.W. Young, USN then hoisted his pennant as Commander Destroyer Division Seven on board USS Henley.

At 1145L/10, Task Group 44.3 departed Challenger Bay. While clear off Challenger Bay, HMAS Australia conducted refuelling at sea trials with USS Victoria.

At 1200L/10, Task Group 44.5, was in position 13°39'S, 148°34'E.

11 December 1942.

Around 0930L/11, Task Groups 44.3 and 44.5 made rendezvous with each other and exercises were then commenced.

Around 1020L/11, USS Bagley rejoined Task Group 44.5 having returned from escort duties.

Around 1500L/11, the Task Groups parted company. Radar calibration test were then carried out. Task Group 44.3 took over the patrol in the Coral Sea while Task Group 44.5 set course for the Dunk Island anchorage where the ships of this task group were to fuel and resupply.

Also on this day the Merkur departed Brisbane escorted by the minesweeper HMAS Goulburn (Lt.Cdr. B. Paul, RANR(S)). USS Victoria departed Townsville for Dunk Island.

12 December 1942.

At 0745L/12, Task Group 44.5 entered the Grafton Passage.

At 0900L/12, USS Selfridge parted company with Task Group 44.5 to proceed to Cairns.

At 1200L/12, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°22'S, 149°27'E.

Around 1300L/12, Task Group 44.5, minus USS Selfridge, arrived at Dunk Island where the ships were fuelled by USS Victoria.

At 1715L/12, USS Selfridge arrived at Dunk Island from a short call at Cairns.

Today it was noted that Japanese air reconnaissance reached further into the Coral Sea presumable to search for Allied aircraft carriers. Seems that an operation in the New Guinea area might be on shortly.

13 December 1942.

At 1200L/13, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°27'S, 149°14'E.

Around 1300L/13, Allied reconnaissance aircraft reported two Japanese cruisers and three destroyers about 200 miles north-west of Vitiaz Strait and proceeding south-east at high speed. This was obviously a force with reinforcements for the New Guinea area. The enemy force was successfully shadowed and tracked all day but attacks by Allied bombers were apparently unsuccessful. [The force reported was actually made up of five destroyers; Yugumo, Kazagumo, Arashio, Inazuma and Isonami.

14 December 1942.

The reported enemy force had landed troops near Gona, New Guinea during the night. The force was again tracked by Allied reconnaissance aircraft from daylight onwards. They were proceeding at high speed towards Rabaul. Bombing attacks were again unsuccessful.

At 0630L/14, USS Patterson completed with fuel from HMAS Australia.

At 1200L/14, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°28'S, 148°47'E.

At 1800L/14, USS Patterson parted company with Task Group 44.5 for Cairns and subsequent escort duty.

On this day the Merkur arrived at Townsville where she embarked mails for Task Force 44. She departed for Dunk Island later the same day.

During the day, Japanese reconnaissance in the Coral Sea came as far south as 14°S.

15 December 1942.

At 1200L/15, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°33'S, 149°31'E.

16 December 1942.

At 0700L/16, USS Bagley departed Dunk Island with mails for Cairns.

At 1200L/16, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°23'S, 149°47'E.

At 1340L/16, Task Group 44.5, minus USS Bagley, departed Dunk Island to make rendezvous with Task Group 44.3.

Around 1730L/16, USS Bagley rejoined Task Group 44.5 with mails from Cairns.

17 December 1942.

Around 0930L/17, Task Groups 44.3 and 44.5 made rendezvous. Exercises were then commenced.

Around 1500L/17, Task Group 44.3 and 44.5 parted company with the former setting course for Dunk Island while Task Group 44.5 took over the Coral Sea patrol.

18 December 1942.

Around 1200L/18, Task Group 44.3 reached Dunk Island where the destroyers were fully fuelled by USS Victoria. HMAS Australia also fuelled from the tanker but was still 600 tons short when the tanker was empty. Provisions were supplied by the Merkur.

At 1200L/18, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°06'S, 149°04'E.

Around 1530L/18, USS Patterson arrived at Dunk Island from escort duties. She then rejoined Task Group 44.3.

19 December 1942.

At 1130L/19, USS Victoria departed Dunk Island for Brisbane, via Townsville.

At 1200L/19, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°10'S, 149°32'E.

During the day Japanese air reconnaissace even proceeded further to the south. An aircraft was tracked as far as latitude 16°S in longtitude 153°E.

Also on this day the Aase Maersk arrived at Townsville where she embarked mails. She then departed for Dunk Island.

20 December 1942.

At 0800L/20, the Aase Maersk arrived at Dunk Island.

At 1200L/20, Task Group 44.5, was in position 13°30'S, 148°23'E.

21 December 1942.

At 1030L/21, the supply ship Yunnan (British, 2812 GRT, built 1934) arrived at Dunk Island with provisions for Task Group 44.3.

At 1200L/21, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°00'S, 149°24'E.

At 1800L/21, the Yunnan departed Dunk Island for Townsville.

At 2000L/21, the Merkur departed Dunk Island for Townsville.

22 December 1942.

At 0630L/22, USS Mugford arrived at Palm Island following her overhaul at Sydney.

At 0800L/22, USS Patterson then left Dunk Island for Sydney for overhaul.

During the forenoon, HMAS Australia and USS Mugford completed with fuel from the Aase Maersk.

At 1200L/22, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°18'S, 150°17'E.

At 1400L/22, Task Group 44.3, now made up of HMAS Australia, USS Henley, USS Mugford and USS Helm departed Dunk Island for patrol. USS Mugford however developed engine problems and had to be left behind for repairs. She sailed a few hours later to overtake and join Task Group 44.3 the following morning.

23 December 1942.

At 0915L/23, USS Mugford rejoined Task Group 44.3. Task Force 44.5 was sighted by Task Group 44.3 around the same time.

At 1000L/23, Both task groups commenced exercises.

At 1640L/23, the exercises were completed. Task Group 44.3 proceeded on patrol while Task Group 44.5 set course for Challenger Bay.

24 December 1942.

At 0740L/24, Task Force 44.5 entered the Grafton Passage. They were clear 40 minutes later.

Around 0900L/24, USS Bagley parted company with Task Force 44.5 to proceed to Townsville for mails and to land hospital cases.

At 1200L/24, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°35'S, 148°57'E.

Around 1515L/24, Task Force 44.5 arrived in Challenger Bay where the ships commenced fuelling from the Aase Maersk and embarking stores from the Merkur.

Around 1940L/24, USS Bagley arrived at Challenger Bay from Townsville.

25 December 1942.

At 1200L/25, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°34'S, 149°05'E.

26 December 1942.

At 1200L/26, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°24'S, 149°09'E.

Around 1800L/26, USS Mugford parted company with Task Group 44.3 and set course for Brisbane where she is to conduct exercises.

27 December 1942.

At 1200L/27, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°14'S, 148°56'E.

28 December 1942.

At 0950L/28, Task Force 44.5 departed Challenger Bay to make rendezvous with Task Force 44.3.

At 1200L/28, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°04'S, 148°56'E.

29 December 1942.

Around 1000L/29, Task Groups 44.3 and 44.5 met in approximate position 14°S, 148°'E. Exercises were then commenced.

At 1415L/29, the Task Groups parted company with Task Group 44.3 setting course for the Palm Islands while Task Group 44.5 took over the Coral Sea patrol.

As of 29 December 1942, Task Force 44 was orginised as follows;
Task Group 44.3 made up of the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia and the destroyers USS Henley and USS Helm.
Task Group 44.5 made up of the light cruiser HMAS Hobart and the destroyers USS Selfridge and USS Bagley.
Task Group 44.7 made up of the light cruiser USS Phoenix and the destroyers USS Mugford and USS Ralph Talbot (T/Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN).

30 December 1942.

Around 0830L/30, Task Group 44.3 entered the Grafton Passage.

At 1200L/30, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°03'S, 149°25'E.

Around 1530L/30, Task Group 44.3 arrived at Challenger Bay, Palm Islands to embark fuel and stores from the Aase Maersk and Merkur.

31 December 1942.

At 1200L/31, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°21'S, 149°21'E.

1 January 1943.

During the morning HMAS Hobart fuelled USS Bagley and USS Selfridge.

At 1200L/1, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°07'S, 149°15'E.

2 January 1943.

At 0740L/2, USS Henley departed Challenger Bay, Palm Islands for Townsville with mails where she arrived around 1400L/2.

At 1200L/2, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°12'S, 150°03'E.

3 January 1943.

Around 0730L/3, USS Henley departed Townsville with mails for Task Force 44. She arrived at Challenger Bay around 0930L/3.

Around 1015L/3, Task Group 44.3 departed Challenger Bay to make rendezvous with Task Group 44.5.

At 1200L/3, Task Group 44.5, was in position 14°01'S, 150°16'E.

4 January 1943.

Around 0900L/4, Task Groups 44.3 and 44.5 made rendezvous. Mails were then transferred by USS Henley.

Around 1005L/5, USS Bagley parted company with Task Group 44.5 to proceed to Sydney for upkeep.

Around 1230L/4, the Task Groups parted company with Task Group 44.3 proceeding on patrol while Task Group 44.5 set course for Cid Harbour.

5 January 1943.

At 0920L/5, Task Group 44.5 (HMAS Hobart and USS Selfridge) entered the Grafton Passage.

At 1200L/5, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°26'S, 149°37'E.

6 January 1943.

Around 0700L/6, Task Group 44.5 (minus USS Bagley arrived at Cid Harbour.

Around 0930L/6, Task Group 44.7 (minus USS Ralph Talbot) arrived at Cid Harbour.

Around 1005L/6, the chartered tanker Aase Maersk arrived at Cid Harbour to supply ships of Task Groups 44.5 and 44.7 with fuel.

At 1200L/6, Task Group 44.3, was in position 13°22'S, 147°05'E.

7 January 1943.

Around 0650L/7, the Aase Maersk departed Cid Harbour for Townsville.

Around 0945L/7, USS Selfridge departed Cid Harbour for Townsville where she was to be provisioned.

At 1200L/7, Task Group 44.3, was in position 14°01'S, 148°11'E.

Around 1345L/7, HMAS Hobart departed Cid Harbour for Brisbane.

On this day the organisation of Task Force 44 changed.
Task Force 44.5 was disbanded.
Task Group 44.3 was made up of the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia and the destroyers USS Henley and USS Helm.
Task Group 44.5 was made up of the light cruiser USS Phoenix and the destroyers USS Selfridge and USS Mugford. (4)

22 Jan 1943
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and USS Ralph Talbot (T/Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN) conducted exercises in Moreton Bay. (5)

6 Feb 1943
Around 0650L/6, Task Group 44.5, made up of the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyer USS Patterson (T/Cdr. W.C. Schultz, USN) departed Dunk Island.

Around 0700L/6, Task Group 44.7, made up of the light cruiser USS Phoenix (Capt. J.R. Redman, USN) and the destroyers USS Mugford (T/Cdr. H.G. Corey, USN) and USS Ralph Talbot (T/Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN) departed Dunk Island.

Around 0900L/6, the two Task Groups met and exercises were commenced.

On completion of the exercises around 1230L/6, Task Group 44.5 set course for Challenger Bay, Palm Islands while Task Group 44.7 set course for Dunk Island.

Around 1330L/6, Task Group 44.5 was joined by USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board).

Around 1400L/6, Task Group 44.5 arrived at Challenger Bay.

Around 1530L/6, Task Group 44.7 anchored off Dunk Island. (6)

10 Feb 1943
As of 10 February 1943, the organisation of Task Groups 44.5 and 44.7 was as follows;
Task Group 44.5 was made up of the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board) and USS Ralph Talbot (T/Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN).
Task Group 44.7 was made up of the light cruiser USS Phoenix (Capt. J.R. Redman, USN) and the destroyers USS Mugford (T/Cdr. H.G. Corey, USN) and USS Patterson (T/Cdr. W.C. Schultz, USN).

Around 1250L/10, Task Groups 44.5 and 44.7 departed Challenger Bay for exercises from which they returned around 1910L/10. (6)

15 Feb 1943
Around 0200L/15, Task Group 44.7, made up of the light cruiser USS Phoenix (Capt. J.R. Redman, USN) and the destroyers USS Mugford (T/Cdr. H.G. Corey, USN) and USS Patterson (T/Cdr. W.C. Schultz, USN) departed Challenger Bay.

They were followed around 0320L/15 by Task Group 44.5, made up of the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board) and USS Ralph Talbot (T/Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN) also departed.

Around 0445L/15, night encounter exercises commenced between these two Task Groups. The exercises were completed around 0530L/15.

Around 0600L/15, the destroyers commenced conducting dawn torpedo attacks on the cruisers. These were followed by further exercises.

Around 0930L/15, the two Task Groups parted company.

Around 1150L/15, Task Group 44.5 anchored off Dunk Island.

Around 1945L/15, Task Group 44.7 anchored in Kennedy Sound for the night. They got underway again around 0700L/16.

Task Group 44.7 arrived at Brisbane around 1500L/17. (6)

18 Feb 1943
Around 0815L/18, the destroyers of Task Group 44.5, USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board) and USS Ralph Talbot (T/Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN) departed Dunk Island for exercises.

They were followed around 0900L/18, by the other member of Task Group 44.5, the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN).

Exercises commenced around 0930L/18 and were completed around 1110L/18.

HMAS Hobart returned to Dunk Island around 1300L/18.

The destroyers continued exercising and returned around 1615L/18. (7)

23 Feb 1943
Around 0845L/23, the destroyers of Task Group 44.5, USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board) and USS Ralph Talbot (T/Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN) departed Dunk Island for exercises.

They were followed around 0930L/23, by the other member of Task Group 44.5, the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN).

Exercises commenced around 1030L/23 and were completed around 1425L/23.

Around 1545L/23, Task Group 44.5 returned to Dunk Island. (7)

25 Feb 1943
Around 1315L/25, the destroyers of Task Group 44.5, USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board) and USS Ralph Talbot (T/Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN) departed Dunk Island for exercises.

They were followed around 1430L/25, by the other member of Task Group 44.5, the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN).

Exercises commenced around 1530L/25 and were completed around 2330L/25.

Around 0210L/26, Task Group 44.5 anchored in Challenger Bay. (7)

1 Mar 1943

Around 0730L/1, USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board) departed Townsville for exercises.

Around 0820L/1, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and USS Ralph Talbot (T/Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN) departed Challenger Bay, Palm Island for exercises.

Around 0915L/1, the ships of Task Group 44.5 commenced exercises.

Around 1300L/1, exercises were completed.

Around 1355L/1, Task Group 44.5 anchored in Challenger Bay although USS Selfridge arrived around half an hour earlier. (8)

4 Mar 1943
Around 0645L/4, Task Group 44.5, made up of the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyer USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with Capt. C.W. Flynn, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board) and USS Ralph Talbot (T/Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN) departed Challenger Bay for exercises.

They returned to Challenger Bay around 1245L/4. (8)

9 Mar 1943
Around 0800L/9, the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, MVO, DSO, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), light cruisers HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN), USS Phoenix (Capt. J.R. Redman, USN) and the destroyers USS Bagley (T/Cdr. T.E. Chambers, USN), USS Mugford (T/Cdr. H.G. Corey, USN) and USS Ralph Talbot (T/Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN) departed Dunk Island for exercises.

On completion of the exercises they proceeded to Challenger Bay where they arrived between 1230 and 1300 hours. (9)

26 Apr 1943
Ships from Task Force 74, the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, MVO, DSO, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) and the destroyers USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with T/Capt. F.R. Walker, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board), USS Helm (T/Cdr. W.B. Braun, USN) and USS Ralph Talbot (T/Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN) departed Challenger Bay for exercises. These also included underway refuelling exercises with the RFA tanker Bishopdale (8406 GRT, built 1937).

On completion of the exercises Task Force 74 anchored off Dunk Island in the afternoon. (10)

29 Apr 1943
Around 0730K/29, the RFA tanker Bishopdale (8406 GRT, built 1937) departed Dunk Island for exercises.

Around 0815K/29, the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, MVO, DSO, RAN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN) and the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN) also departed.

Around 0900K/29, the destroyers USS Selfridge (T/Cdr. C.D. Reynolds, USN, with T/Capt. F.R. Walker, USN, commanding Destroyer Squadron 4 on board), USS Helm (T/Cdr. W.B. Braun, USN), USS Mugford (T/Cdr. H.G. Corey, USN), USS Henley (T/Cdr. E.K. van Swearingen, USN) and USS Ralph Talbot (T/Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN) also departed.

On completion of the exercises all ships arrived at Challenger Bay early in the afternoon. USS Ralph Talbot (T/Cdr. J.W. Callahan, USN) (10)

27 Apr 1945
Damaged by Kamikaze, 5 crew died and 9 were wounded

Media links


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.


U.S. Destroyers

Friedman, Norman


United States Destroyer Operations In World War II.

Roscoe, Theodore

Sources

  1. http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/390.htm
  2. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for June 1942
  3. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for July 1942 + War diary of USS Chicago for July 1942 + War diary of USS Salt Lake City for July 1942
  4. Report of proceedings of Task Force 44
  5. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for January 1943
  6. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for February 1943 + War diary of USS Phoenix for February 1943
  7. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for February 1943 + War diary of COMDESRON 4 for February 1943
  8. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for March 1943 + War diary of COMDESRON 4 for March 1943
  9. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for March 1943 + War diary of USS Phoenix for March 1943
  10. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for April 1943 + War diary COMDESRON 4 for April 1943

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