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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 26, 1942
Air Attack near Guadalcanal
On 26 October in company with the Enterprise Task Group off Guadalcanal, Smith was attacked by a formation of 20 torpedo planes. Twenty minutes later, a Japanese torpedo plane crashed into her forecastle, causing a heavy explosion. The forward part of the ship was enveloped in a sheet of smoke and flame from bursting gasoline tanks and the bridge had to be abandoned. The entire forward deck house was aflame, making topside forward of number one stack untenable. Smith's gunners splashed six of the planes. By early afternoon, the crew had extinguished all of the fires forward. With 57 killed or missing, 12 wounded, her magazines flooded, and temporary loss of steering control from the pilot house, Smith retained her position in the screen with all serviceable guns firing.

Lost At Sea Log

Number of sailors in this log: 57

Name Service Branchsort descending
AS Berties Smith USN
Sea 2c Raymond Gallagher USN
Sea 2c Walter Church USN
Sea 1c Hayward Slack USN
Sea 1c Leland Hiatt USN
Sea 1c Max Clark USN
Sea 1c Jerome Siebler USN
SC 1c George Hauber USN
Sea 2c Ralph Coartney USN
SC 2c Elmo Smith USN
Sea 2c Homer Hall USN
Sea 2c Howard Crawford USN
Ens Neal Scott USN
Sea 2c George Messinger USN
F 3c Harry Thorn USN
Sea 2c Morris Schwedt USN
F 1c Frank Mackura USN
F 3c Arthur Ashton USN
F 3c Roy Stephens USN
AS James Shepherd USN


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