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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
"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
"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
"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.
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
"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
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 battle of the Komandorskie islands, little heard of at
BURIAL AT SEA OF FIVE MEN KILLED IN ACTION IN THE BATTLE
OF CAPE ESPERANCE
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