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The United States Navy Memorial

Navy Memorial Honoring the Men & Women of the Sea Services

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Duncan

Ship Designation: 
DD-485
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
EM 3c George Goodman USN
RM 1c Warren Guenther USN
SOM 3c Bentley Halbert USN
Y 3c John Haveman USN
SOM 2c James Hawkins USN
FC 3c Ernest Hess USN
SC 1c Emil Johnson USN
Sea 1c Thomas Johnson USN
CPhM Isaac King USN
RM 2c Frank Kline USN
Ens Arthur Lane USN
Sea 1c Delbert Lappin USN
Sea 1c Joseph Manna USN
CM 2c Robert Mcadams USN
CEM Hubert Morton USN
GM 3c Leo Obrien USN
SM 3c Robert Purgett USN
WT 2c John Puzines USN
Lt(jg) Theodore Rhodes USN
Sea 1c Rosalio Rizzi USN

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