Follow Us

Follow us   

The United States Navy Memorial

Navy Memorial Honoring the Men & Women of the Sea Services



Ship Designation: 
Date Lost: 
Friday, October 13, 1944
Torpedo Attack Near Formosa
On 13 October, only 90 miles off Formosa, close to the enemy and far from safe harbor, Canberra was struck below her armor belt at the engineering spaces by an aerial torpedo which blew a huge, jagged hole in her side and killed 23 of her crew instantly. Before damage control could isolate the compartments, some 4,500 tons of water rushed in to flood her after fireroom and both engine rooms, which brought the cruiser to a stop. Then began one of the most notable achievements of the war in saving wounded ships. Canberra was taken in tow by Wichita (CA-45). The task force reformed to provide escort for her and Houston (CL-81) who had been torpedoed on the morning of the 14th. Retiring toward Ulithi, Cripple Division 1 fought off an enemy air attack which succeeded in firing another torpedo into Houston. Admiral Halsey (CTF 38) attempted to use the group, now nicknamed Bait Division 1, to lure the Japanese fleet into the open, but when the enemy sortied from the Inland Sea, air attacks from the rest of TF 38 roused enemy suspicions of the trap, and the Japanese force withdrew. Canberra and her group continued unmolested to Ulithi, arriving 27 October, 2 weeks from the day she was hit.

Lost At Sea Log

Number of sailors in this log: 23

Namesort descending Service Branch
WT 3c Joseph Anderson USN
MM 2c Richard Bonnafe USN
WT 1c Robert Chambers USN
CEM Robert Clarke USN
WT 3c Joseph Cronin USN
F 1c Matthew Daniel USN
WT 1c Vito Dibello USN
WT 3c James Franco USN
MM 2c John Gellas USN
Ens Howard Goodman USN
MM 1c Charles Hobbs USN
EM 3c Harold Horner USN
EM 3c Gerald Keenan USN
WT 3c Stefan Laskowsky USN
EM 3c Virgil Ligrisse USN
F 1c Arthur Marchi USN
Bmkr 1c Merl Mccarter USN
WT 3c William Messina USN
CWT Herbert Miller USN
WT 3c John Nahanchuk USN


Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships