Engagement near Salvo Island
Gwin, in company with three other destroyers formed around battleships Washington and South Dakota; the task group found the enemy off Savo Island: battleship Kirishima, 4 cruisers, 11 destroyers, and 4 transports, The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal was hot and furious. ... Gwin found herself in a private gun duel with cruiser Nagara and four destroyers. She took a shell hit in her engine room. Another shell struck her fantail and enemy torpedoes began to boil around the destroyers. Though shaken by exploding depth charges Gwin continued to fire at the enemy within gun range In a short time the other three American destroyers were out of action two sinking and Benham surviving with her bow partially destroyed. But a masterful battleship duel fought by South Dakota and Washington wrecked Japanese battleship Kirishima. She had to be abandoned and scuttled as was Japanese destroyer Ayanami. ... The battle was over. The gallant American ships had saved Guadalcanal from a savage bombardment in this naval action that marked a turning point toward victory for U.S. forces in the Solomons.