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The United States Navy Memorial

Navy Memorial Honoring the Men & Women of the Sea Services



Ship Designation: 
Date Lost: 
Wednesday, October 6, 1943
Engagement at Vella Lavella
Chevalier, O'Bannon, and Selfridge intercepted nine Japanese destroyers and destroyer transports attempting to evacuate troops from Vella Lavella, Solomon Islands. Although greatly outnumbered, the American destroyers attacked. After firing half of their torpedoes and scoring several hits with gunfire, the group continued to steam into the line of fire of enemy torpedoes in order to keep their own guns bearing. At approximately 2205 Chevalier was struck on the port bow by an enemy torpedo which tore her bow off to the bridge, throwing the ship entirely out of control. The destroyer O'Bannon which was following Chevalier could not avoid the damaged destroyer and rammed her in the after engine room, flooding that space and stopping Chevalier's port shaft. While making preparations to abandon ship, Chevalier's skipper ordered the torpedoes in her tubes to be fired at the Japanese destroyer Yugumo. The burning Japanese ship blew up soon after. By 2326 it was apparent that Chevalier could not be saved and Abandon Ship! was ordered. Her crew was picked up by O'Bannon's boats, and Chevalier was sunk the following day by a torpedo from a friendly destroyer. Her severed bow was located about a mile to the west and was sunk with depth charges. Chevalier lost 54 killed, and suffered 36 wounded.

Lost At Sea Log

Number of sailors in this log: 54

Name Service Branchsort descending
MM 1c Joseph Ferfoglia USN
Sea 1c Neoman Rotruck USN
CGM Cyril Larkin USN
FC 3c Elon Dushane USN
Lt Edgar Breed USN
MM 3c John Satcho USN
MM 3c Daniel Lapoma USN
EM 3c Nello Dannunzio USN
FC 3c Ervin Brutscher USN
Sea 1c Max Smith USN
MM 3c Albert Kusielewicz USN
SF 3c Edward Yates USN
MM 3c Roy Bullinger USN
BM 2c Eugene Slack USN
Sea 1c Harry Kotlinski USN
CEM Robert Wygle USN
CMM John Burden USN
F 1c Francis Scheidt USN
MM 3c Anthony Kostechko USN
Sea 1c Robert Wise USN


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