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Battle of Vella Gulf


This Day in History

This event repeats every year forever

Event details

This battle saw the first independent operation of US Destroyers in the Solomons while trying to interrupt the "Tokio Express" supply runs. Using the lessons from the previous night battles, Cdr. Moosbugger split his force into two divisions, planning to use DesDiv 12 as a hammer and DesDiv 15 as an anvil in a combined gun and torpedo ambush.




Thanks to the new SG radars, the American destroyers of DesDiv 12 were able to launch their torpedoes undetected and their salvo hit all four Japanese destroyers, crippling three of them right under the guns of DesDiv 15. The only Japanese destroyer to escape the ambush was Shigure, where torpedo hitting her punched straight through the rudder without detonating. Shigure was able to get away, adding to her commander, Tameichi Hara's, "Unsinkable" reputation.


Note: In the Order of Battle, intentionally displaying the detailed Japanese organization - by this stage of war, where US Navy preferred to deploy Destroyer Divisions together, IJN tended to mix and match ships and commanders who did not operate together before.


23px-Flag_of_the_United_States_(1912-195 Task Group 31.2 (Cdr. Moosbrugger)

  • Destroyer Division 12
    • USS Dunlap (flagship)
    • USS Craven
    • USS Maury
  • Destroyer Division 15
    • USS Lang
    • USS Sterett
    • USS Stack


 22px-Flag_of_Japan_(1870%E2%80%931999).s (Cpt. Kaju Sugiura)

  • 3rd Fleet
    • Destroyer Squadron 10
      • Destroyer Division 4
        • Hagikaze (Flagship) - sunk
        • Arashi - sunk
  • 2nd Fleet
    • Destroyer Squadron 2
      • Destroyer Division 24
        • Kawakaze - sunk
      • Destroyer Division 27
        • Shigure - damaged
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