Follow Us

Follow us   

The United States Navy Memorial

Navy Memorial Honoring the Men & Women of the Sea Services



Ship Designation: 
Date Lost: 
Monday, October 12, 1942
Battle of Cape Esperance
October, 1942, was a black month in the Pacific war. Although the Marines had landed on Guadalcanal, Jap re-enforcements threatened to push them back into the sea. ... The Navy had only a few cruisers and destroyers, but on the night of October 11, they moved up to deal with the Jap counterattack. Captain Small's Salt Lake City, one of the oldest cruisers in the fleet, followed astern of the sleek new Boise. The cruisers patrolled a line the Japs had to cross to reach Guadalcanal. Ten o'clock….even o'clock….all quiet. ... Then at 11:40, the Helen reported unidentified ships on her radar. Searchlights probed the dark. Suddenly light splashed against enemy craft - slim cruisers darting between bulky troop transports. Shorty Small barked his command: Commence firing! Star shells bloomed in the night, and 8-inch shells lashed a Jap cruiser until she exploded in flame. The gunners shifted fire, and another enemy ship split under the attack. Suddenly the Boise got it. Shorty Small, from his own bridge, could see her turrets hurtling toward the sky as the Jap cruiser Furutaka caught the Boise broadside. ... Small watched the American vessel stagger out of column, flaming. ... She seemed doomed. Instantly Small threw the Salt Lake between the Jap and his crippled sister ship. Silhouetted by the Boise's flames, the Salt Lake was a perfect target. At less than 5,000 yards the Furutaka turned her guns on her new victim, raking the Salt Lake. A second Jap salvo cracked into her armor belt. Then the Salt Lake gunners talked back, Yankee style. It took less than a minute---the crack crews were firing a salvo every 12 seconds and the fourth blast split the Furutaka wide open. ... The Salt Lake and the Boise limped home. The Japs were stopped - but for the Salt Lake men, the battle had a pay-off. The first Salt Lakers to visit the Boise came aboard at chow time. Instead of the usual wait in line, a grateful crew virtually forced them into the No. 1 spots. And below decks in the Navy, that's a real decoration.

Lost At Sea Log

Number of sailors in this log: 100

Namesort descending Service Branch
BM 1c Alexander Abugel USN
Sea 2c Johnnie Adams USN
Sea 2c Marvin Amack USN
Sea 2c Wallace Applegate USN
Sea 2c John Aronson USN
Sea 1c George Ashley USN
Sea 2c Royal Barnes USN
AS Joel Barron USN
AS Michael Benko USN
F 2c William Borders USN
Sea 2c Albert Boyer USN
BM 2c Claude Bradner USN
Sea 2c James Brinkley USN
Sea 2c John Brown USN
Sea 2c Harold Chamberland USN
Sea 2c Frank Cherry USN
Sea 2c Ferne Clayton USN
Sea 1c Charles Coe USN
Sea 1c Robert Cole USN
Sea 2c Leroy Combs USN


Fletcher Pratt