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.
“This is Guadalcanal. The marines took it, then held it. The Japs
counterattacked time after time, and failed.”
By November 1942, the Marines had held the island -- and its strategic
Henderson airfield -- for three
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.
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.
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.
(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.
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.
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
first engagement the Juneau took a torpedo hit in its forward engine room,
killing all 19 men inside.
caused electrical failures and it broke our keel it was later determined.
And it, it took down our maneuverability - no end.