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1962_07_28--022_SP Guadalcanal

63 "Look Mom, INT FLAVOR!" The Navy held an investigation, which found the blame so evenly distributed that nobody was punished. And it is well that Admiral Turner, primarily to blame, was not put "on the beach," because he became the leading practitioner of amphibious warfare in the Pacific. Many lessons were learned from this disastrous battle. Canberra and Astoria might have been saved but for their heavily upholstered wooden wardroom furniture, and the layers of inflammable paint and linoleum on their bulkheads and decks. All wooden furniture and linoleum was now cast ashore, and every ship in the Navy had to scrape down to bare steel; day and night for the rest of 1942, sounds of chipping hammers were never still on board ship. Improved firefighting technique was developed, communications were improved, and officers adopted a more reasonable battle-readiness condition which relieved them and their men from continual tension. Battles Afloat and Ashore Thus Savo Island was not a decisive battle and not an unprofitable defeat, although the cost was heavy—four heavy cruisers and one destroyer a total loss; 1270 officers and men killed and 709 wounded. It was the inaugural engagement of a bloody and desperate campaign for control of an island that neither side really wanted, but which neither could afford to abandon to the enemy. The story of the next three months is complicated. On shore, the Marines with infinite difficulty defended their perimeter against constant assaults by the Japanese garrison, and built up their own air force on Henderson Field. In the air and on the surrounding waters, each side endeavored to beef up his garrison on Guadalcanal and prevent the enemy from reinforcing his. In Ironbottom Sound a curious tactical situation developed : a shift in sea mastery every twelve hours. From sunup to sundown the Americans ruled the waves, big ships discharged cargoes, small ones plied between Lunga Point and Tulagi, as safely as in New York Harbor. But as the pall of night fell over the sound the Japanese took over. Allied ships cleared out like frightened children running past a graveyard, and small craft sought shelter. The "Tokyo Express" of troop-carrying destroyers dashed in to discharge soldiers and supplies near Tassafaronga, and big ships tossed shells in the Marines' direction. But the Rising Sun flag never stayed to greet its namesake; by dawn the Japanese were well away up the Slot and the Stars and Stripes reappeared. Such was the pattern cut to fit the requirements of this strange campaign; any attempt to reshape it meant a bloody battle. There were three big naval battles. The first, of the Eastern Solomons, was fought on 24 August northeast of Guadalcanal by the carrier planes of both navies. It was pretty much of a draw, the Japanese losing a light carrier and bombing but not sinking Enterprise. One Japanese submarine damaged Saratoga on 31 August, and another sank Wasp on 15 September. Rear Adm. Norman Scott in San Francisco beat off a big Japanese cruiser force in the Battle of Cape Esperance on the night of 11-12 October, enabling a regiment of the Americal Division to be landed at Guadalcanal. Two hellish nights followed for the troops ashore, when Japanese battleships and heavy cruisers bombarded Henderson Field. Mid-October was the low point of the campaign for us; the Navy Department even began to prepare the public for a possible evacuation. But a new day dawned when the brilliantly aggressive Vice Adm. William F. Halsey relieved tired Ghormley as Commander South Pacific Force, and when President Roosevelt, overriding the Joint Chiefs of Staff, ordered that the reinforcement of Guadalcanal be given top priority, no matter what. Again, on 26 October, Vice Adm. Kondo's four-carrier force pressed south to deal with the Enterprise and Hornet task forces, commanded by Rear Admirals Tom Kinkaid and George Murray. In the ensuing Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands the enemy concentrated on Hornet and succeeded in putting her under, but not before her planes and Enterprise's had badly damaged two Japanese carriers. There was nothing decisive about this Santa Cruz battle, but it gave our side precious time to prepare for the next onslaught. Tokyo Express Down the Slot Adm. I soroku Yamamoto now issued an operations plan which, considering the forces he deployed, should have secured sea supremacy in the Solomons. During the first ten days of November the enemy brought in sixty-seven destroyer loads of troops by Tokyo Express, and now for the first time Japanese troops on Guadalcanal outnumbered the Americans. Two important American reinforcement echelons were due there on 11 and 12 November. The first comprised three loaded freighters escorted by Rear Admiral Scott in Atlanta, and four destroyers; the second comprised four transports, including Turner's flagship McCawley, escorted by Rear Adm. Daniel J. Callaghan in San Francisco, with two cruisers and three destroyers. Halsey also sent Kinkaid's Enterprise task force north to help. If "Big E," under frantic repair at Noumea since her Santa Cruz bout, could not get there in time, Kinkaid had orders to detach his battlewagons for independent action, under the command of Rear Adm. Willis A. Lee in Washington. That is exactly what happened— and it was mighty fortunate that it did. Scott's transports unloaded successfully on 11 November, and Turner's were about half empty on the afternoon of the twelfth, when an Australian coastwatcher sent word that numerous Japanese fighter-escorted bombers were flying down the Slot. Their attack on the transports in Lunga Roads opened the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. This first round turned out very ill for the enemy. Admiral Turner, a past master at handling ships in such manner as to thwart air attack and bring all his own antiaircraft fire to bear, suffered only slight damage, and, helped by Wildcat fighter planes from Henderson Field, allowed very few of the two-engined "Bettys" to return. Tense calm followed that afternoon's elimination shoot. As Turner steamed back to the unloading area through floating remains of downed planes, he realized that the enemy had just begun to show his hand. Abundant intelligence from search planes and coastwatchers indicated that the Tokyo Express that night would include two battleships and at least four cruisers and ten destroyers—too much for Callaghan's cruisers and destroyers to take on with much prospect of success. Yet, with Kinkaid's carrier-battleship force too far away to help, there was nothing else for Callaghan to do but block, and block hard. At dusk, 12 November, Turner pulled his transports out, Callaghan escorting them for a few hours only, when he had to return to face the Japanese onslaught. "Uncle Dan" Callaghan, austere, deeply religious, a hardworking and conscientious officer who possessed the high personal regard of his fellows and the love of his men, had reached the acme of his career. There was something a little detached about this man, since his thoughts were often not of this world; something, too, that recalled the chivalrous warriors of other days. One could see him as Ossian's dark-haired Duthmaruno, and beetling-browed Turner in the role of Fingal, exhorting him, when they parted that night: "Near us are the foes, Duth-maruno. They come forward like waves in mist, when their foamy tops are seen above the low-sailing vapor. . . . Sons of heroes, call forth the steel!" Callaghan passed through Lengo Channel into Ironbottom Sound, his ships in single column. Four destroyers were in the van, then cruisers Atlanta (with Rear Admiral Scott embarked), San Francisco (Callaghan's flagship), Portland, Helena and Juneau. Four more destroyers followed. Battleships Form for Action Fast approaching was the Tokyo Express— battleships Hiei and Kirishima screened by a light cruiser and fourteen destroyers, under Vice Adm. Hiroaki Abe. Their mission was to knock out Henderson Field and slaughter the Marines with high-explosive shells. Abe was not looking for a naval battle. He assumed that the Americans as usual would be gone with the sun, allowing him to prowl Ironbottom Sound and bombard at will. It was now Friday the thirteenth, last day of life for eight ships and many hundred American sailors, including two rear admirals. Callaghan's first radar contact, at 0124, showed Abe's battlewagons almost surrounded by his destroyer screen, approaching from the direction of Savo Island. At 0141 destroyer Cushing, leading the American column, sighted two Japanese destroyers about to ...in Milk of Magnesia _the remedy doctors recommend Children like the taste of Mint-Flavored Phillips'. And mothers like the gentle but thorough relief it brings from both constipation and acid indigestion. We asked thousands of doctors, "Do you ever recommend Milk of Magnesia?" The overwhelming majority said, "Yes!" It's a thorough laxative. Phillips' gently relieves constipation, and also the acid indigestion which so often accompanies constipation. It's a speedy antacid. Phillips' settles an upset stomach in seconds! Gas pains and other acid discomforts seem to vanish. It's pleasant to take. Choose Regular or refreshing Mint-Flavored Phillips'. Both the same price. PHILLIPS' MILK OF MAGNESIA REGULAR OR MINT-FLAVORED


1962_07_28--022_SP Guadalcanal
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