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Battle of Cape Esperance 1942.

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Battle of Cape Esperance 1942.

Postby aukepalmhof » Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:39 pm

1992 Battle-of-Cape-Esperance.jpg
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The Marshal Islands issued in 1992 a series of stamps showing warships of the Second World War, the 50c sg 437 shows us a bow of a warship which till so far not has been identified, which took part in the “Battle of Cape Esperance on 11 October 1942”.

An engagement between American and Japanese naval units to the northwest of Cape Esperance on Guadalcanal in the Pacific during World War II. It was part of the continuing struggle for control of the Solomon Islands in 1942-43. An American strike force consisting of the heavy cruiser SAN FRANCISCO and SALT LAKE CITY, the light cruiser BOISE and HELENA and five destroyers commanded by Rear Admiral Norman Scott was sent to intercept and destroy enemy ships in the channel between the eastern and western Solomons.

Shortly before midnight, the HELENA’s radar identified a Japanese squadron commanded by Rear Admiral A. Goto some 14 nautical miles away. Consisting of the heavy cruiser AOBA, KINUGASA, and FURUTAKA, and two destroyers, it was under orders to bombard Guadalcanal airfield. Some minutes before he was notified of the radar information Rear Admiral Scott had ordered his squadron to reverse course as a result of information received from his spotter planes about Japanese movements. By this time the two naval forces were only four miles apart. Although the American commander was unsure of the location of some of his destroyers for a while, he went ahead with the attack. The Japanese were taken completely by surprise when the HELENA and a destroyer opened fire. Rear Admiral Goto was killed, the AOBA and FURUTAKA were damaged and a destroyer was sunk. The Japanese cruiser KINUGASA and the destroyer HATSUYUKI returned fire and hit the destroyer DUNCAN, which had also been struck by American shells during a confused action fought in darkness.
As the Japanese withdrew they suffered the loss of the cruiser FURUTAKA and the destroyer FUBUKI, but the cruiser USS BOISE and two American destroyers were also crippled during the final phase of the action. The engagement was a modest success for the Americans, who had successfully attacked the Japanese at sea for the first time and prevented the bombardment of Guadalcanal. Exaggerated American claims of Japanese losses were made at the time, but in fact, the Japanese lost no more than a cruiser and a destroyer.

Taken from An Encyclopedia of Naval History by Anthony Bruce and William Cogar.
Marshal Islands 1992 50c sg437, scott325.
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