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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
RM 3c James Staton USN
Cox Max Miller USN
Cox Woodrow Nall USN
F 1c Alfred Inocenti USN
Sea 1c Joseph Mclaughlin USN
CCS Maurice Newnan USN
Sea 1c Frank Iannazzo USN
MM 2c Albert Leclerc USN
Y 2c Charlie Parker USN
Sea 1c Lloyd Ihde USN
GM 3c Samuel Goode USN
Sea 2c Gordon Pfersich USN
Sea 1c Paul Hunter USN
Sea 2c Boyd Hilton USN


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