Naval Battle of Guadalcanal
While operating off Guadalcanal, Japanese dispatched 25 aircraft to destroy the US forces and disrupt the invasion. Atlanta was credited with shooting down two of the aircraft, but as the air attack ended. A Japanese surface action group was detected entering the area. During the early morning hours the Japanese surface force comprised of 2 battleships and twelve other ships was detected steaming into the area. Atlanta, the lead ship in a column of 13 ships was initially illuminated by Japanese searchlights and within 10 minutes of engagement commencement, she had taken two surface launched torpedo hits and 50 major caliber hits from the battleships and cruisers. As a result of battle damage Atlanta lost all ship's power other than auxiliary power. Before drifting out of the fight in the urgency of battle, darkness and confused intermingling of friend and foe, San Francisco mistook Atlanta for an enemy cruiser and took 2 additional hits from eight inch projectiles. ... Shipboard damage control parties valiantly set to work repairing battle damage, shoring up holes and jettisoning topside weight to improve stability. Remaining powerless, other than auxiliary power Atlanta drifted perilously close to enemy held island east of Cape Esperance and was forced to anchor rather than going aground. ... A total of 172 men died and another 79 were seriously wounded during the battle.