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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

Name Service Branchsort descending
EM 1c Clarence Christensen USN
F 1c James Rosenfelt USN
Lt(jg) Robert Fowler USN
Sea 1c John Cormack USN
Sea 1c Joseph Manna USN
Sea 2c David Fowler USN
Sea 2c George Corrigan USN
CM 2c Robert Mcadams USN
CRM Thornton Fillebrown USN
F 1c Norman Dailey USN
RM 2c Frank Kline USN
Y 3c John Haveman USN
F 1c Ted Tripp USN
CPhM Isaac King USN
SOM 2c James Hawkins USN
GM 2c Robert Taylor USN
Sea 1c Delbert Lappin USN
FC 3c Ernest Hess USN
SM 3c Robert Purgett USN
Ens Arthur Lane USN


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