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COLT: LEGEND & LEGACY

LEFT TO DIE

THE MARK OF UNCAS

SCHEMITZUN!

USS NAUTILUS

CONNECTICUT

AS WE TELL OUR STORIES

BETWEEN BOSTON & NY

CONNECTICUT  & THE SEA

CRUSADERS & CRIMINALS

EAST OF THE RIVER

FROM HERE TO THERE

THE GREEN

THE NEW PEQUOT

SUBURBIA

NARRATOR: For the next several  months the Juneau patrolled the South Atlantic running convoys and intercepting merchantmen for illegal cargo searches.

ZOOK: Once we reached the battle zone after August and when we went through the canal into the Pacific, we took part in bombarding a few of the islands, but typically we traveled with the fast carrier task forces. 

NARRATOR: After seeing battle action in September and October, the Rogers brothers decided it was prudent to separate.

ROGERS: My brother Joe went to the captain and said "this is not a good idea for the four of us to be on one ship."  He says "I think we should split up."  So the captain says "all right,"

NARRATOR: In early November, the Sullivans also decided to separate.

ROGERS: Al the youngest one -- I went to him and I says "did you hear we're transferring, two of us, Joe and myself."  So, Al says "you know Jim, we've been talking, my brothers and I have been talking and we're going to do the same thing when we come back in again for more supplies." So they just never got back.

NEWSREEL 
“This is Guadalcanal. The marines took it, then held it. The Japs counterattacked time after time, and failed.”

NARRATOR: By November 1942, the Marines had held the island -- and its strategic Henderson airfield --  for three months.

On the afternoon of November 12th, the Juneau was part of a task force supporting the landing of Army troops to relieve battle-weary Marines, when U.S. pilots reported a large group of enemy ships north of Guadalcanal.

The so-called Tokyo Express was coming down with two battleships leading a 17-ship force to bombard Henderson Field on a massive scale never before attempted. It was to be a pivotal battle.

ZOOK: And all we people on the station, combatants (cruisers and destroyers) reported then for duty and we formed a battle line to go and meet the oncoming Japanese.

NARRATOR: In the dark of night, and without benefit of radar, thirteen American ships engaged the Japanese in a surprise meeting off Savo Island. They merged -- almost collided -- into a confused melee of ships.

FRANK HOLMGREN (USS Juneau Crew): The Japs- ships were on both sides and we were in the middle and they were firing one side into the other even if they messed up they were probably hitting their own ships, that's how close we were.

KURZMANN: It was an extraordinary battle which some experts have said is perhaps the most incredible battle in the history of the U.S. Navy. And right in the middle of this battle was the USS Juneau.

NARRATOR: The 34-minute battle was the opening salvo in a series of savage encounters that became a turning point for the war in the Pacific as the Japanese withdrew.

During that first engagement the Juneau took a torpedo hit in its forward engine room, killing all 19 men inside.

ZOOK: It caused electrical failures and it broke our keel it was later determined.  And it, it took down our maneuverability - no end.

 


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Last modified: September 03, 2012