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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
On 11 October 1942 Duncan in the screen of TF 64 assigned to protect a vital transport convoy carrying reinforcements to Guadalcanal. Contact was made with a large enemy surface force. Duncan having a clear radar contact and seeing her flagship apparently steady upon a course which would close the target, believed the destroyers were closing to attack, and found herself charging alone toward the enemy force. In the resulting battle off Cape Esperance, she pumped several salvos into a cruiser, then shifted fire to a destroyer, at the same time maneuvering radically to avoid enemy fire and that from her own forces who were now joining in the attack. She got off two torpedoes toward her first target, the cruiser Furutaka, and kept firing until hits she had received put her out of action. The Captain ordered the bridge, isolated by fire, abandoned by the only route possible, over the side, and the wounded were lowered into life rafts. The men on board attempted to beach the ship on Savo Island, but then, believing she might yet be saved made a gallant fight to halt the raging fires until power failed, forcing the ship's abandonment. McCalla (DD-488) rescued 195 men from the shark-infested waters and made an attempt to salvage Duncan but she sank about 6 miles north of Savo Island. 48 men died in the action.

Lost At Sea Log

Number of sailors in this log: 48

Namesort descending Service Branch
SM 2c Sam Albright USN
WT 1c David Allen USN
Lt Frank Broccolo USN
Sea 2c Maxwell Case USN
Sea 2c Frank Cechario USN
EM 1c Clarence Christensen USN
Sea 1c John Cormack USN
Sea 2c George Corrigan USN
F 1c Norman Dailey USN
Sea 2c Arthur Davis USN
F 2c George Davis USN
WT 2c Thomas Deitz USN
BM 1c Howard Dernehl USN
Sea 2c Stanley Dubiel USN
F 1c Donald Dunisch USN
CRM Thornton Fillebrown USN
Lt(jg) Robert Fowler USN
Sea 2c David Fowler USN
RM 2c Tilman Freels USN
Sea 1c George Ginder USN


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