Salt Lake City (CA 25) - Naval Cruise Book

 - Class of 1946

Page 16 of 80

 

Salt Lake City (CA 25) - Naval Cruise Book online yearbook collection, 1946 Edition, Page 16 of 80
Page 16 of 80



Salt Lake City (CA 25) - Naval Cruise Book online yearbook collection, 1946 Edition, Page 15
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Page 16 text:

didn't see them, but we picked up one of their aviators who had run out of gas. "It was thirteen minutes before midnight when the Salt Lake City and the other American cruisers opened fire on the leading lap destroyer. The Salt Lake City was firing at such close range that it had to depress some of its guns and its hot shells whistled between the masts of an American destroyer caught in between. "We think 'Uncle lim' Brewer, 'Georgie Porgie' O'Connell and 'Ace' Ramsay are the best gunners in the world. They had been training their guns together for two years and on this oc- casion they were as cool and efficient as if they were at a practice session. "The first victim was an enemy light cruiser, illuminated by star shells. The ten guns of the Salt Lake City barked simul- taneously and ten big fingers of fire and metal jabbed the enemy in vital parts. The order to cease fire came immediately as the enemy ship was ablaze and there was no sense in wasting ammunition. "The second target for the Salt Lake City was a heavy cruiser. We sat there waiting for her to come up. Nobody was excited. lt was like waiting for a cockroach to come across the table, we knew we could step on her any time we wanted to. The Salt Lake City stepped with two salvos, twenty shots, blow- ing up the enemy's whole midsection. "The third victim was an auxiliary. The Salt Lake City and her companions pounced and she went down by the bow, stern up. The fourth was a destroyer, one of three that had launched a torpedo attack. The Salt Lake City gave her one salvo. When the smoke cleared, nothing was to be seen of the destroyer. "At 0005, running out of fresh targets, the Salt Lake City turned again on its first target, the wounded light cruiser and handed her eight salvos. Large fires and explosions were noted. "By 00ll, part of the' American task force had vanished in pursuit of the enemy while the Boise Can American light cruiserl, directly ahead of the Salt Lake City, was afire and falling out tok avoid torpodoes. 12

Page 15 text:

months later, when censorship had been lifted, "was revealed to me in the wardroom of the Salt Lake City by several of her younger officers: Lt. Comdr. David D. Hawkins, the navigator, of Berkeley, Calif., Lt. Comdr. larnes T. Brewer, the gunnery officer, of New York and Conway, N. H., Comdr. Theodore H. Kobey, the engineering officer, of Bisbee, Arizona, Lt. George A. O'Connell, Ir., assistant gunnery officer, of Norfolk, Va., and Lt. Lyle B. Bamsay, fire control officer, of Abilene, Texas." The story of that action-packed night is best told in their own words: "The laps had been running their Express every night until it got monotonous. So this Sunday night, we set out to derail the Express. It was pitch black, except for heat lightning. "We searched in several places and failed to find it. We thought we had muffed the ball. We steered dead ahead for Savo and at close range we discovered the enemy. With the luck that rewards the aggressor, we had Walked into something more important than the Guadalcanal Express. "The enemy had four heavy cruisers, two light cruisers, six destroyers and at least one transport. Apparently, they were out to bombard our marines on Guadalcanal and to land in force. Iapanese battleships were also playing around. We BATTLE OF CAPE ESPERANCE 1 l



Page 17 text:

"The enemy heavy cruiser was pouring incessant, accurate fire on the Boise. We could hear the smacks. There was only one thing to do and we did it. As the Boise fell away, we took her place and closed in, placing ourselves between the Boise and the enemy. The Boise was on fire and silhouetted us, making a perfect setup for the enemy's fire control. We walked into three straddles that hurt us, but not enough to help the Tap. At our first salvo the enemy fell silent and fired no more. Like two immense hands, our ten fingers of fire had gone out and grabbed him by the throat. We gave him four more salvos and he sank." On her part, the Salt Lake City had sustained three major calibre hits and lost five men killed and 21 wounded. She went to Pearl Harbor for repairs and overhaul. And the fighting men of the Pacific, talking of the battle, referred to the Salt Lake City as the "one ship fleet". THE KOMANDORSKIES "The battle of the Komandorskie islands, little heard of at .nl BURIAL AT SEA OF FIVE MEN KILLED IN ACTION IN THE BATTLE OF CAPE ESPERANCE I3

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