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The United States Navy Memorial

Navy Memorial Honoring the Men & Women of the Sea Services



Ship Designation: 
Date Lost: 
Friday, November 13, 1942
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.

Lost At Sea Log

Number of sailors in this log: 168

Namesort descending Service Branch
Lt(jg) Donald Spangler USN
F 1c Roy Stewart USN
Sea 1c Richard Stokes USN
Sea 1c Kenneth Strasburg USN
Lt(jg) Walter Straub USN
Sea 1c William Sullivan USN
CTM Harry Swanson USN
Sea 1c Robert Swick USN
Sea 1c Enrico Taormina USN
Sea 2c Jean Thacker USN
EM 2c Thomas Tuck USN
F 1c George Tucker USN
Cox John Ugrin USN
Sea 1c Mike Veselosky USN
SM 1c Harry Vessels USN
Matt 2c James Waites USN
Sea 2c Thomas Walker USN
RM 2c Ralph Warner USN
RM 3c Charles Weil USN
Lt(jg) Morgan Wesson USN


Prepared by CAPT R.O. Strange USN (Ret.)