CL-50 U.S.S. HELENA
War Diary and Action Reports November 1942,
                           U.S.S. HELENA 
Cl50/A16-3                                                     10-ghs.

                                                     December 1, 1942. 
S-E-C-E-R-T


From:          Commanding Officer.
To  :          The Chief of Naval Operations (Office of Naval Records
               and Library.

Subject:       War Diary, U.S.S. HELENA, forwarding copy of.

References:    (a) PACIFIC FLEET LETTER 11L-42 of March 11, 1942.

Enclosures:    (A) Copy of War Diary, U.S.S. HELENA, period November 
                   1. 1942, to November 30, 1942. 

    1.         In compliance with reference (a), Enclosure (A) is 
               forwarded herewith.

                                                            C.P. CECIL

    Copy to:
           COMSOPAC with Similar enclosure.



                           U.S.S. HELENA

SECERT

                             WAR DIARY

                   U.S.S. HELENA (TASKFORCE 67)

             From November 1, 1942 to November 30 1942.


Original to FILE:
Copy to CNO (Office of Naval Records and Library).
Copy to COMSOPAC


SECRET                                               November 1, 1942.

REPORT FOR COMMANDER SOUTH PACIFIC FORCE:
Operating in accordance with ComSoPac dispatch 290924 of October.

TASK ORGANIZTION: U.S.S. HELENA - Captain G. C. Hoover, USN.

GENERAL TASK: Operating in Task Group 65.4

LWT (-11)

0000   -   2400     Steaming on various courses at various speeds in
                    accordance to signal from CTF 65.

0720                Sighted Banks Islands bearing 358°

POSITIONS:

0800                Lat 14°, 36'.8 S
                    Long 167°, 15'.6 E

1200                Lat 13°, 12'.5 S
                    Long 166°, 28'.5 E

2000                Lat 14°, 02' S
                    Long 165°, 07' E

Courses, Speed and Distance made good from 1200 Oct 31 to 1200 Nov 1:

                    Course: 306° T.
                    Speed: 15 knots.
                    Distance: 285 miles.

M.T. TYNG,
Lieutenant, U.S. Navy,
By direction.

SECRET                                               November 2, 1942.

REPORT FOR COMMANDER SOUTH PACIFIC FORCE:
Operating in accordance with ComSoPac dispatch 290924 of October.

TASK ORGANIZTION: U.S.S. HELENA - Captain G. C. Hoover, USN.

GENERAL TASK: Operating in Task Group 65.4

LWT (-11)

0000   -   1200     Steaming as before on various courses at various
                    speeds in accordance with signals from CTF 65.

1227   -   1236     Received U.S.S. MANLEY alongside to transfer guard 
                    mail.

1525                Sighted ships, hull down bearing 185° T, distance 
                    15 miles.  Later identified as PENSACOLA group

1808                Reversed fleet course to 150° T.

2310                Cleared formation and took station astern SAN 
                    FRANCISCO.

POSITIONS:

0800                Lat 11°, 09'.5 S
                    Long 163°, 24'.5 E

1200                Lat 10°, 27'.6 S
                    Long 163°, 09'.1 E

2000                Lat 10°, 36'.7 S
                    Long 162°, 35' E

Courses, Speed and Distance made good from 1200 Nov 1 to 1200 Nov 2:

                    Course: 319° T.
                    Speed: 14 knots.
                    Distance: 295 miles.

M.T. TYNG,
Lieutenant, U.S. Navy,
By direction.

SECRET                                               November 3, 1942.

REPORT FOR COMMANDER SOUTH PACIFIC FORCE:
Operating in accordance with ComSoPac dispatch 290924 of October.

TASK ORGANIZTION: U.S.S. HELENA - Captain G. C. Hoover, USN.

GENERAL TASK: Operating in Task Group 65.4

LWT (-11)

0000   -   0900     Steaming as before.  Maneuvering on various 
                    courses at various speeds in accordance with 
                    orders CTF 65.

0348                Radar contact 036° T., distance 11,200 yards.  
                    Destroyer investigated.

0439                Destroyer dropped depth charges on submarine 
                    sighted while investigating radar contact.

0910                Sighted three ships bearing 297° T.  Identified as 
                    Atlanta Group.

1342   -   1345     Sighted ship belonging to transport group.

1538                Sighted ship bearing 320° T., Identified as U.S.S. 
                    CONYNGHAM.

1821                Sighted ship hull down bearing 285° T.  Identified 
                    as U.S.S. SOUTHARD.

1830   -   2400     Steaming as before.

POSITIONS:

0800                Lat 11°, 01'5 S
                    Long 161°, 22' E

1200                Lat 11°, 04'3 S
                    Long 162°, 29'6 E

2000                Lat 10°, 00'6 S
                    Long 161°, 49' E

Courses, Speed and Distance made good from 1200 Nov 2 to 1200 Nov 3:

                    Course: 247 T.
                    Speed: 16 knots.
                    Distance: 95 miles.

M.T. TYNG,
Lieutenant, U.S. Navy,
By direction.

SECRET                                               November 4, 1942.

REPORT FOR COMMANDER SOUTH PACIFIC FORCE:
Operating in accordance with ComSoPac dispatch 290924 of October.

ENCLOSURE (A): Report of bombardment Koil Point.

TASK ORGANIZTION: U.S.S. HELENA - Captain G. C. Hoover, USN.

GENERAL TASK: Operating in Task Group 65.4

LWT (-11)

0000   -   0500     Steaming as before.  Maneuvering on various
                    courses at various speeds in accordance with 
                    signals from CTF65.

0500   -   1800     Operating off northeast coast Guadalcanal Island
                    on various courses at various speeds.

0745                Hoisted out one aircraft for gunnery observations.

1007   -   1112     Conducted bombardment to east of Koli Point (see 
                    enclosure A).

1114                Aircraft reported on way to attack.  Took station 
                    to protect transports.

1322                All clear.  Resumed patrol.

1506   -   1522     Recovered three aircraft - DOG METHOD.

1800   -   2400     Operating as patrol in Indispensible Strait.

POSITIONS:

0800                Lat 09°, 20'5 S
                    Long 160°, 02'.2 E

1200                Lat 09°, 20'2 S
                    Long 160°, 09'6 E

2000                Lat 09°, 14'7 S
                    Long 160°, 48' E

Courses, Speed and Distance made good from 1200 Nov 3 to 1200 Nov 4:

                    Course: 320° T.
                    Speed: 14 knots.
                    Distance: 250 miles.

M.T. TYNG,
Lieutenant, U.S. Navy,
By direction.

SECRET                                               November 5, 1942.

REPORT FOR COMMANDER SOUTH PACIFIC FORCE:
Operating in accordance with ComSoPac dispatch 290924 of October.

TASK ORGANIZTION: U.S.S. HELENA - Captain G. C. Hoover, USN.

GENERAL TASK: Operating in Task Group 65.4

LWT (-11)

0000   -   0600     Steaming as before.  Maneuvering on various
                    Courses at various speeds in accordance with
                    signals from CTF 65.

0600   -   0930     Patrolled off Aola Bay.

0931                Received warning of impending air raid.

1012   -   1035     Launched four aircraft to proceed to Tulagi.

1035   -   1214     Screened transport group.

1212   -   2200     Patrolled off Aola Bay.

1558   -   1612     Recovered four aircraft - DOG METHOD.

2145                Reported radar contact bearing 250° T.

2250                Enemy forces reported off Savo and Lunga Roads
                    area.

2302                Sighted two flares dropped over Guadalcanal. 

POSITIONS:

0800                Lat 09°, 25'5 S
                    Long 160°, 35'.3 E

1200                Lat 09°, 29'2 S
                    Long 160°, 31' E

2000                Lat 09°, 21'2 S
                    Long 160°, 41.7' E

Courses, Speed and Distance made good from 1200 Nov 4 to 1200 Nov 5:

                    Course: 120° T.
                    Speed: 15 knots.
                    Distance: 30 miles.

M.T. TYNG,
Lieutenant, U.S. Navy,
By direction.

SECRET                                               November 6, 1942.

REPORT FOR COMMANDER SOUTH PACIFIC FORCE:
Operating in accordance with ComSoPac dispatch 290924 of October.

TASK ORGANIZTION: U.S.S. HELENA - Captain G. C. Hoover, USN.

GENERAL TASK: Operating in Task Group 65.4

LWT (-11)

0000   -   0020     Steaming as before.

0013                Sighted two flares over Guadalcanal.

0020                Set course to clear Guadalcanal - Tulagi area.

0020   -   2400     Steaming on various courses at various speeds in 
                    accordance with signals from CTF 65.

1906                Radar target bearing 056° T., distance 13,100 
                    yards.
                    Appeared to be submarine from actions. 

POSITIONS:

0800                Lat 09°, 51' S
                    Long 161°, 33' E

1200                Lat 10°, 10'2 S
                    Long 161°, 26'5 E

2000                Lat 11°, 30' S
                    Long 162°, 57' E

Courses, Speed and Distance made good from 1200 Nov 5 to 1200 Nov 6:

                    Course: 130° T.
                    Speed: 15 knots.
                    Distance: 72 miles.

M.T. TYNG,
Lieutenant, U.S. Navy,
By direction.

SECRET                                               November 7, 1942.

REPORT FOR COMMANDER SOUTH PACIFIC FORCE:
Operating in accordance with ComSoPac dispatch 290924 of October.

TASK ORGANIZTION: U.S.S. HELENA - Captain G. C. Hoover, USN.

GENERAL TASK: Operating in Task Group 65.4

LWT (-11)

0000   -   2400     Steaming as before on various courses at various 
                    speeds in accordance with signals from CTF 65.

1315                Launched one aircraft for flight to Buttons. 

POSITIONS:

0800                Lat 14°, 13' S
                    Long 163°, 11' E

1200                Lat 14°, 10'5 S
                    Long 164°, 13'7 E

2000                Lat 14°, 20'5 S
                    Long 166°, 22' E

Courses, Speed and Distance made good from 1200 Nov 6 to 1200 Nov 7:

                    Course: 130° T.
                    Speed: 15 knots.
                    Distance: 72 miles.

M.T. TYNG,
Lieutenant, U.S. Navy,
By direction.

SECRET                                               November 8, 1942.

REPORT FOR COMMANDER SOUTH PACIFIC FORCE:
Operating in accordance with ComSoPac dispatch 290924 of October.

TASK ORGANIZTION: U.S.S. HELENA - Captain G. C. Hoover, USN.
CHANGES: Shifted Task Organization of Task Force 65 in accordance with 
         ComSoPac dispatch 061237 of November.

GENERAL TASK: Operating in Task Group 65.4

LWT (-11)

0000   -   0400     Steaming as before.  Maneuvering on various
                    courses at various speeds in accordance  with 
                    orders from CTF 65.

0446                Launched one aircraft for inner anti-submarine 
                    patrol.

0500                Commenced maneuvering on various courses to 
                    approach and enter port.

0517   -   0519     Launched two aircraft for inner anti-submarine 
                    patrol.

0623                Moored port side to U.S.S. GUADALUPE for fueling.

0645   -   0700     Recovered three aircraft - BAKER METHOD.

0705                Commenced fueling.

1025                Completed fueling.

1056                Underway to shift berths.

1129                Anchored berth B-3. Prepared to shift berth as the 
                    present one was too small.

1158                Anchored berth Y-1. Espiritu Santo, N.H. in 28
                    fathoms of water with 75 fathoms of chain to the 
                    starboard anchor.

1200   -   2400     Anchored as before.

Courses, Speed and Distance made good from 1200 Nov 7 to anchoring.

                    
M.T. TYNG,
Lieutenant, U.S. Navy,
By direction.

SECRET                                               November 9, 1942.

REPORT FOR COMMANDER SOUTH PACIFIC FORCE:
Operating in accordance with ComSoPac dispatch 061237 of November.

TASK ORGANIZTION: U.S.S. HELENA - Captain G. C. Hoover, USN.

GENERAL TASK: Operating in Task Group 65

LWT (-11)

0000   -   1100     Anchored as before.

1109   -   1223     Underway to shift berths.

1223                Anchored berth B-4 Segond Channel, Espiritu Santo, 
                    N.H.

1223   -   2400     Anchored as before.


M.T. TYNG,
Lieutenant, U.S. Navy,
By direction.

SECRET                                              November 10, 1942.

REPORT FOR COMMANDER SOUTH PACIFIC FORCE:
Operating in accordance with ComSoPac dispatch 061237 of November.

TASK ORGANIZTION: U.S.S. HELENA - Captain G. C. Hoover, USN.
CHANGES: Task organization shifted to Task Force 67 for temporary 
         assignment.  Operating in Task Group 67.4 in accordance with 
         ComSoPac dispatch 080222 of November.

GENERAL TASK: Operating in Task Group 67.4

LWT (-11)

0000   -   0550     Anchored as before.

0557                Underway.  Steaming on various courses at various 
                    speeds to clear harbor and channel.

0652                Cleared harbor.  Steadied on base course 140° T.

0700   -   1120     Steaming on various courses at various speeds in 
                    accordance with signals from C.T.G. 67.4.

1120                Left formation to take station for San Francisco 
                    offset firing practice.

1413   -   1436     Conducted test firing automatic weapons and six 
                    inch H.C. projectiles.

1445   -   1538     Conducted main battery tracking exercise while 
                    rejoining formation.

1547                Rejoined formation.

1735                Pensacola and escorts left formation.

1800   -   2400     Steaming as before.  

POSITIONS:

0800                Lat 15°, 49'5 S
                    Long 167°, 08'8 E

1200                Lat 15°, 17'5 S
                    Long 166°, 17'0 E

2000                Lat 14°, 21' S
                    Long 164°, 30'3 E

Courses, Speed and Distance made good from getting underway to 1200 Nov 10 

                    Course: 290° T.
                    Speed: 17 knots.
                    Distance: 55 miles.

M.T. TYNG,
Lieutenant, U.S. Navy,
By direction.

SECRET                                              November 11, 1942.

REPORT FOR COMMANDER SOUTH PACIFIC FORCE:
Operating in accordance with ComSoPac dispatch 080222 of November.

TASK ORGANIZTION: U.S.S. HELENA - Captain G. C. Hoover, USN.

GENERAL TASK: Operating in Task Group 67.4

LWT (-11)

0000   -   0800     Steaming as before. Maneuvering on various courses 
                    at various speeds in accordance with signals from 
                    CTG 67.4

0841                Sighted transport group.  Commenced maneuvering on 
                    various courses at various speeds in accordance 
                    with signals from CTG 67.4 to join forces.

0905                Steadied on base course 330° T.

1000   -   1005     Received DD alongside to transfer guard mail.

1127                Unidentified aircraft reported bearing 200° T 
                    distant 22 miles.

1132                Aircraft identified as Jap sea-plane.

1257                Unidentified aircraft 275° T., distant 23 miles.  
                    Plane identified as four engine Jap seaplane.

1500   -   1508     Launched three aircraft for flight to Tulagi.

2123                Sighted two white lights in vertical row dead 
                    Ahead.

2217                Passed Nugu Island abeam to starboard bearing 
                    000° T., distant 1.75 miles.

2251                Passed through Sealark Channel. 

POSITIONS:

0800                Lat 11°, 34'7 S
                    Long 162°, 59' E

1200                Lat 11°, 26'3 S
                    Long 162°, 22'7 E

2000                Lat 09°, 30'5 S
                    Long 160°, 58'6 E

Courses, Speed and Distance made good from 1200 10 November to 1200 11 November:

                    Course: 315° T.
                    Speed: 17 knots.
                    Distance: 315 miles.

M.T. TYNG,
Lieutenant, U.S. Navy,
By direction.

SECRET                                              November 12, 1942.

REPORT FOR COMMANDER SOUTH PACIFIC FORCE:
Operating in accordance with ComSoPac dispatch 080222 of November.

TASK ORGANIZTION: U.S.S. HELENA - Captain G. C. Hoover, USN.

Enclosures:  (A)  Report of shore bombardment Mouth of Kokimbona 
                  River.
             (B)  Report of torpedo plane attack on Task Force 67.

GENERAL TASK: Operating in Task Group 67.4

LWT (-11)

0000   -   0530     Steaming on various courses at various speeds in 
                    accordance with signals from CTG 67.4.  Making 
                    sweeps off Savo Island - Guadalcanal Area to find 
                    any enemy forces present.

0548                Destroyer reported sound contact and started 
                    dropping depth charges.

0554                Resumed base course.

0600   -   0700     Patrolled station off transports.

0728   -   0825     Conducted shore bombardment on enemy installations
                    at mouth of Kokumbona River. (See enclosure "A").

0830   -   1320     Patrolled station off transport landing group.

1007                Friendly planes approached.  Fired on by several 
                    ships.  No hits observed

1320                Received warning of impending air attack.

1320   -   1340     Maneuvered to take station in port quarter of 
                    transport group.

1405                Enemy planes reported approaching over Florida 
                    Island.

1408                Changed course to 340° T.

1410   -   1452     Repelled enemy torpedo planer attack.  (See 
                    enclosure "B').

1500                Resumed patrol off transport group conducting 
                    landing operations.

1500   1800         Steaming as before. Patrolling stations.

1800   1840         Maneuvered on various courses at various speeds to 
                    take station in formation.

2009                Passed Nugu Island abeam to port distant one mile.

2214                Changed base course to 270° T. 

POSITIONS:

0800                Lat 09°,  23'0 S
                    Long 159°, 58'9 E

1200                Lat 09°, 23'3 S
                    Long 159°, 59'5 E

2000                Lat 09°, 18' S
                    Long 160°, 18'9 E

Courses, Speed and Distance made good from 1200 11 November to 1200 12 November:

                    Course: 311° T.
                    Speed: 17 knots.
                    Distance: - - - - miles.

M.T. TYNG,
Lieutenant, U.S. Navy,
By direction.

SECRET                                              November 13, 1942.

REPORT FOR COMMANDER SOUTH PACIFIC FORCE:
Operating in accordance with ComSoPac dispatch 080222 of November.

TASK ORGANIZTION: U.S.S. HELENA - Captain G. C. Hoover, USN.

CHANGES:  0242 - U.S.S. Helena took charge of vessels of Task Group
          67.4.
                 U.S.S. HELENA             U.S.S. FLETCHER
                 U.S.S. SAN FRANCISCO      U.S.S. O'BANNON
                 U.S.S. JUNEAU             U.S.S. STERETT

Enclosures:  (A)  Report of battle off Guadalcanal.
             (B)  Report of torpedoing and sinking of U.S.S. JUNEAU.

GENERAL TASK: Operating in Task Group 67.4

LWT (-11)

0000   -   0100     Steaming as before.  Maneuvering on various 
                    courses in accordance with orders from CTG 67.4.

0108                Changed base course to 280° T.

0122                Changed speed to 18 knots.

0125                Reported radar contact bearing 310° T., distant 
                    31,000 yards.

0125   -   0400     See enclosure (A).

0422                Changed speed to 15 knots.

0430                Changed course 135° T.

0432                Changed speed to 20 knots.

0458                Changed course to 100° T.

0459                Radar contact 206° T., distant 10,000 yards.

0520                Changed course to 145° T.

0523                Changed course to 130° T.

0528                Commenced zig-zagging on base course 130° T.

    Note:           Between period 0300 and 0600 was joined by U.S.S. 
                    JUNEAU, U.S.S. FLETCHER, U.S.S. O'BANNON and 
                    U.S.S. STERETT.

0548                Changed base course to 110° T.

0600                Changed speed to 10 knots.

0622                Changed speed to 15 knots.

0637                Changed speed to 10 knots.

0638                Changed base course to 175° T.

0725   -   0755     Slowed formation to transfer doctors from HELENA 
                    and JUNEAU to O'BANNON.  Detached O'BANNON to 
                    proceed to point clear of formation and transmit 
                    dispatch 122005 to ComSoPac.

0755                Steadied on base course 180° T, speed 10 knots, 
                    zig-zagging according to plan #8.

0830                Changed speed to 18 knots.

0950                STERETT reported sound contact.  Executed 
                    emergency turn to right.  STERETT dropped depth 
                    charges.  Results unknown.

0954                Resumed base course.

1020                U.S.S. BUCHANAN reported for duty.

1100                Torpedo reported on port side distant about 400 
                    yards bearing 260° relative.

1101                U.S,S, JUNEAU torpedoed, exploded and disappeared 
                    from sight. (See enclosure "B").  Ships maneuvered 
                    radically.

1116                Unidentified aircraft sighted.

1118                Resumed base course.

1121                Aircraft identified as a B-17.  Reported sinking
                    and position of JUNEAU accident and requested 
                    plane inform ComSoPac.

1124                Changed speed to 20 knots.

1129                Changed base course to 135° T.

1145                Torpedo wake reported by SAN FRANCISCO.  Emergency 
                    turn to right, increased speed to flank.

1148                Steadied on base course, resumed zig-zagging.

1400                Sighted ship bearing 015° T., distant 28,000 
                    yards.  Identified as U.S.S. O'BANNON.

1506                U.S.S. O'BANNON rejoined formation.

1500 - Sunset       Escorted by one to four PBY planes acting as anti-
                    submarine patrol.

1918                Yellow flare reported on starboard quarter.

2000                Changed base course to 110° T.

2000   -   2400     Steaming as before. 

POSITIONS:

0800                Lat 09°,  51' S
                    Long 161°, 04'9 E

1200                Lat 10°, 52'9 S
                    Long 161°, 23'6 E

2000                Lat 12°, 27' S
                    Long 162°, 51'2 E

Courses, Speed and Distance made good from 1200 12 November to 1200 13 November:

                    Course: 318° T.
                    Speed: 20 knots.
                    Distance: 115 miles.

M.T. TYNG,
Lieutenant, U.S. Navy,
By direction.

SECRET                                              November 14, 1942.

REPORT FOR COMMANDER SOUTH PACIFIC FORCE:
Operating in accordance with ComSoPac dispatch 080222 of November.

TASK ORGANIZTION: Task Group 67.4 Captain G. C. Hoover, USN.

                 U.S.S. HELENA             
                 U.S.S. SAN FRANCISCO      
                 U.S.S. O'BANNON 
                 U.S.S. STERETT
                 U.S.S. FLETCHER
CHANGES:         U.S.S. BUCHANAN joined group as additional
                                 escort.

GENERAL TASK: Retiring to base.

LWT (-11)

0000   -   0400     Steaming as before.  On base course 110° T; speed 
                    20 knots; zig-zagging according to plan #6.

0400                Changed base course to 125° T.

0716                PBY anti-submarine patrol took station ahead of 
                    formation.

0745                Sighted transport group (CTF 67) bearing 200° T., 
                    distant 18 miles.

0823                Changed base course to 180° T.

0834                Changed base course to 125° T.

0845                Sighted Banks Island bearing 140° T., distant 39 
                    miles.

0945                SAN FRANCISCO reported periscope astern of her.  
                    Emergency turn right.  Increased speed flank.

0951                Resumed base course and zig-zagged.

0954                Resumed speed to 20 knots

1002                Changed base course to 100° T.

1015                Destroyer reported submarine contact.  Emergency 
                    turn right.  Contact not developed.

1027                Resumed base course and zig-zagging.

1105                Changed case course to 120° T.

1145   -   1300     Vessels of Task Group unloaded all guns through 
                    muzzles.

1300                Changed base course to 170° T.

1337                SAN FRANCISCO reported torpedo wake.  Emergency 
                    turn to the right.

1349                Resumed base course and zig-zagging.

1350                Torpedo wake reported.  Emergency turn to the 
                    right.

1400                Resumed base course.

1503                San Francisco reported sighting submarine.  
                    Emergency turn to port.

1510                Resumed base course.

1513                Changed base course to 180° T.

1532                Changed base course to 260° T.
                    Commenced maneuvering on various courses at 
                    various speeds to enter port.

1639                Moored starboard side to U.S.S. GUADALUPE, 
                    Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides.

1735                Commenced fueling.

2030                Completed fueling.

2030   -   2400     Anchored as before.

POSITIONS:

0800                Lat 13°, 59' S
                    Long 166°, 04'3 E

1200                Lat 14°, 40' S
                    Long 161°, 23'6 E

2000                
                    

Courses, Speed and Distance made good from 1200 13 November to 1200 12 November:

                    Course: 305° T.
                    Speed: 20 knots.
                    Distance: 380 miles.

M.T. TYNG,
Lieutenant, U.S. Navy,
By direction.

SECRET                                              November 15, 1942.

REPORT FOR COMMANDER SOUTH PACIFIC FORCE:
Operating in accordance with ComSoPac dispatch 080222 of November.

TASK ORGANIZTION: Task Group 67.4 Captain G. C. Hoover, USN.

                 U.S.S. HELENA             
                 U.S.S. SAN FRANCISCO      
                 U.S.S. O'BANNON 
                 U.S.S. STERETT
                 U.S.S. FLETCHER
                 U.S.S. BUCHANAN

CHANGES:  Task Force 67disbanded in accordance with CTF 67 despatch 
          142000 of November       

GENERAL TASK: Awaiting orders.

LWT (-11)

0000   -   0850     Moored as before.

0851                Underway to shift berths.

0914                Anchored berth A-12 Segond Channel, Espiritu 
                    Santo, New Hebrides with 90 fathoms of chain to 
                    starboard anchor in 22 fathoms of water.

0930   -   2400     Anchored as before.

Courses, Speed and Distance made good from 1200 14 November to 
anchoring:

                    Course: 170° T.
                    Speed: 20 knots.
                    Distance: 55 miles.

M.T. TYNG,
Lieutenant, U.S. Navy,
By direction.


SECRET                                              November 16, 1942.

REPORT FOR COMMANDER SOUTH PACIFIC FORCE:
Operating in accordance with ComSoPac dispatch 061232 of November.

TASK ORGANIZTION: U.S.S. HELENA - Captain G. C. Hoover, USN.

GENERAL TASK: Awaiting orders.

LWT (-11)

0000   -   2400     Anchored as before.


M.T. TYNG,
Lieutenant, U.S. Navy,
By direction.


SECRET                                              November 17, 1942.

REPORT FOR COMMANDER SOUTH PACIFIC FORCE:
Operating in accordance with CTF 62 dispatch 061232 of November.

TASK ORGANIZTION: U.S.S. HELENA - Captain G. C. Hoover, USN.

CHANGES:  In accordance with CTF 62 despatch 160622 of November formed 
          Task Group 62.7       

                 U.S.S. HELENA - Captain G.C. HOOVER.
                 U.S.S. SAN FRANCISCO
                 U.S.S. STERETT
                 U.S.S. BUCHANAN 
GENERAL TASK: Awaiting orders.

LWT (-11)

0000   -   2400     Anchored as before.


M.T. TYNG,
Lieutenant, U.S. Navy,
By direction.

SECRET                                              November 18, 1942.

REPORT FOR COMMANDER SOUTH PACIFIC FORCE:
Operating in accordance with ComTaskFor 62 dispatch 061232 of November.

TASK ORGANIZTION: Task Group 62.7 - Captain G. C. Hoover, USN.

                 U.S.S. HELENA 
                 U.S.S. SAN FRANCISCO
                 U.S.S. STERETT
                 U.S.S. BUCHANAN

CHANGES:  U.S.S. GWIN ordered to join Task Group 62.7       

GENERAL TASK: Proceed to WHITE POPPY.

LWT (-11)

0000   -   1600     Anchored as before.

1640                Submarine reported at west entrance to Segond 
                    Channel.

1603                Underway, steaming on various courses at various 
                    speeds to clear harbor and channel.

1634                Changed speeds to 20 knots.

1638                Steadied on course 157° T.

1640                Steadied on course 125z T.

1645                Commenced zig-zagging according to plan #8.

1700   -   1815     Steaming on various courses at various speeds, 
                    zig-zagging according to plan to pass through
                    Bouganville Strait.

1818                Steadied on base course 270° T. Zig-zagging 
                    according to plan #8.

1900                Changed base course to 180° T.

2000                Changed base course to 165° T.

2032                Sound contact reported.  Emergency turn right.  
                    Increased speed to flank.

2041                Steadied on base course.

2229                STERETT made close sound contact.  Dropped depth 
                    charges.  Formation maneuvered clear.  Result - 
                    STERETT believes submarine sunk.

2245                Resumed base course.

2245   -   2400     Steaming as before.

POSITIONS:

2000                Lat 16°, 12' S
                    Long 166°, 51' E


M.T. TYNG,
Lieutenant, U.S. Navy,
By direction.

SECRET                                              November 19, 1942.

REPORT FOR COMMANDER SOUTH PACIFIC FORCE:
Operating in accordance with ComTaskFor 62 of November.

TASK ORGANIZTION: Task Group 62.7 - Captain G. C. Hoover, USN.

                 U.S.S. HELENA 
                 U.S.S. SAN FRANCISCO
                 U.S.S. STERETT
                 U.S.S. BUCHANAN
                 U.S.S. GWIN

GENERAL TASK: Proceed to WHITE POPPY.

LWT (-11)

0000   -   0900     Steaming as before.

0800                Changed base course to 158° T.

1144                GWIN reported submarine contact bearing 170° T.  
                    Emergency turn right 90°, increased speed to
                    flank.  GWIN left formation to develop contact. 

1202                Resumed base course at standard speed.

1230                Changed base course to 165°

1700                Changed base course to 235°

1830                Changed base course to 180°

2045                Changed base course to 220°

2045   -   2400     Steaming as before.

POSITIONS:

0800                Lat 19°, 07'1 S
                    Long 167°, 47' E

1200                Lat 20°, 15'6 S
                    Long 168°, 23'8 E

2000                Lat 22°, 17'2 S
                    Long 168°, 16'8 E

Courses, Speed and Distance made good for getting underway 18 November to 1200 19 November:

                    Course: 166° T.
                    Speed: 18.5 knots.
                    Distance: 290 miles.

M.T. TYNG,
Lieutenant, U.S. Navy,
By direction.

SECRET                                              November 20, 1942.

REPORT FOR COMMANDER SOUTH PACIFIC FORCE:
Operating in accordance with ComTaskFor 62 of November.

TASK ORGANIZTION: Task Group 62.7 - Captain G. C. Hoover, USN.

                 U.S.S. HELENA 
                 U.S.S. SAN FRANCISCO
                 U.S.S. STERETT
                 U.S.S. BUCHANAN
                 U.S.S. GWIN

CHANGES:  Task Group 62.7 dissolved. 
GENERAL TASK: Proceed to WHITE POPPY.

LWT (-11)

0000   -   0100     Steaming as before.

0100                Changed base course to 270° T.

0300                Radar contact - land bearing 025° T.

0600                Changed base course to 030° T.

0627                Sighted Amedee Light bearing 025° T., distance 23
                    miles.

0700                Changed base course to 047° T.

0730                Commenced steaming on various courses at various 
                    speeds to enter port and conform with channel.

0941                Anchored berth B-2, Port Noumea, in 7 fathoms of 
                    water with 60 fathoms of chain to starboard 
                    anchor.

1035                U.S.S. SAN FRANCISCO moored alongside to 
                    starboard.

1035   -   2400     Anchored as before.

Courses, Speed and Distance made good from 1200 19 November to anchoring. 

                    Course: 218° T.
                    Speed: 18 knots.
                    Distance: 101 miles.

M.T. TYNG,
Lieutenant, U.S. Navy,
By direction.

SECRET                                              November 21, 1942.

REPORT FOR COMMANDER SOUTH PACIFIC FORCE:
Awaiting tender overhaul.
Operating under ComSeronSoPac dispatch 210407 of November.

TASK ORGANIZTION: U.S.S. HELENA - Captain G. C. Hoover, USN.

GENERAL TASK:  Tender overhaul.

LWT (-11)

0000   -   1600     Anchored as before.

1601                Underway to go alongside tender.

1609                Moored starboard side to U.S.S. PROMETHEUS.

1610   -   2400     Moored as before.    

M.T. TYNG,
Lieutenant, U.S. Navy,
By direction.

SECRET                                              November 22, 1942.

REPORT FOR COMMANDER SOUTH PACIFIC FORCE:
Operating under ComSeronSoPac dispatch 210407 of November.

TASK ORGANIZTION: U.S.S. HELENA - Captain G. C. Hoover, USN.

GENERAL TASK:  Tender overhaul.

LWT (-11)

0000   -   2400     Moored as before.

M.T. TYNG,
Lieutenant, U.S. Navy,
By direction.

SECRET                                              November 23, 1942.

REPORT FOR COMMANDER SOUTH PACIFIC FORCE:
Operating under ComSeronSoPac dispatch 210407 of November.

TASK ORGANIZTION: U.S.S. HELENA - Captain G. C. Hoover, USN.
                                  Captain C.P. Cecil, USN.

GENERAL TASK:  Tender overhaul.

LWT (-11)

0000   -   2400     Moored as before.

M.T. TYNG,
Lieutenant, U.S. Navy,
By direction.

SECRET                                         November 24 - 30, 1942.

REPORT FOR COMMANDER SOUTH PACIFIC FORCE:
Operating under ComSeronSoPac dispatch 210407 of November.

TASK ORGANIZTION: U.S.S. HELENA - Captain C.P. Cecil, USN.

GENERAL TASK:  Tender overhaul.

LWT (-11)

- - - - - -         Moored as before.

M.T. TYNG,
Lieutenant, U.S. Navy,
By direction.

U.S.S. HELENA CL50/A16-3 10-s November 15, 1942. From: Commanding Officer. To : Commander-in-Chief, United States Pacific Fleet. Subject: Action off North Coast Guadalcanal, Early Morning of November 13, 1942, report of. (3rd Savo Island Night Action.) References: (a) U.S. Navy Regulations, 1920, Arts. 712 and 874(6). (b) PacFlt Conf. ltr 24CL-42 of June 21, 1942. (c) USS HELENA Secret Airmailgram 140001 to CTF 67. (d) USS HELENA secret Airmailgram 152121 to CTF 67. (e) CTF 67 Secret 151012 to ComSoPac. (f) USS HELENA Secret Ltr. CL50/A16-3(005) of Nov. 14, 1942, on sinking of JUNEAU. (g) CTF 67 Secret dispatch NPM 225 - 120133. (h) NPM 387 - 130200. (i) USS HELENA Secret dispatch 121610 to Radio Tulagi. (j) USS HELENA Secret dispatch 122005 to ComAirSoPac. (k) USS HELENA Secret ltr. CL50/A16-3(004) of Oct. 20, 1942 on Action Night 11-12 October. Enclosures: (A) Track Chart of HELENA. (B) Extracts from TBS Log. (C) Copy of Report of Lieutenant Roger W. O'Neil, MC-V(G), USNR, senior survivor JUNEAU. (D) Copy HELENA BT to B-17 Plane on Nov. 13, 1942. (E) Sail George Radar Officer's Report. 1. In accordance with references (a) and (b) the following report is submitted following the sequences given in enclosure (A) of reference (b). (1) Comments on and summary of outstanding events. As stated in the HELENA's report of the Night Action off Savo Island on 11-12 October, reference (k) par. 1(1) and 1(5-c), the value of the a Sail George Radar cannot be overemphasized. It was invaluable, and was the sole means of keeping the OTC informed of the enemy prior to sight contact. The OTC was informed of the approximate formation, general size of ships (large or small), bearing, distance, course and speed. This information started at about 31,900 yards on true bearing 310°, as is shown in Enclosure (B). It was necessary to send this in voice code via TBS as the flagship was not equipped with SG Radar and therefore must rely on outside information.. With this invaluable instrument available every possible effort should be made to at least equip flagships with it. An enemy cruiser illuminated this ship by searchlight, simultaneously opening fire, prior to our force commencing fire, two hits doing minor material damage were at once registered. Size of projectile fragments and base plug, height and size of searchlight, and radar image confirm this. The enemy were very evidently equipped with bombardment ammunition for that mission, or it is believed much greater material damage would have resulted to us. Parts of projectiles recovered on board this and others of our ships verify this statement. As the main battery of the HELENA was tracking the target that illuminated it, and was completely ready to open fire with fire control problem solved by radar, our fire was effective at once and large fires with quick sinking resulted. This burning ship illuminated others in this force and greatly assisted the destroyers in directing torpedo fire on major ships. This is the ideal method of Night Illumination. Four important decisions were involved in this action, and its aftermath, which the commanding officer of this ship had to make. (l) The ship was illuminated and under fire of the enemy. When should fire be returned as no orders to "commence firing" had been Received? Just "stand-by to open fire". This ship had furnished most of the information on the enemy and had a very good picture of them showing our force surrounded on three sides, or soon would be. The enemy was hitting us at once and a delay might be fatal. See reference (k), paragraph 1 (7-b). This was discussed at the preliminary conference with Rear Admiral Callaghan prior to sailing. I opened fire at 0148. (2) At about 0218 the PORTLAND appeared to be out of control and on questioning reported a torpedo hit jamming her rudder. They asked for a tow at 0231. Should the HELENA stop and do this under the circumstances? Action was still taking place. The position of our forces was not definitely known. Every effort was being made to close the SAN FRANCISCO. The PORTLAND and JUNEAU had been torpedoed, and from previous observation probably the ATLANTA. Enemy destroyers were in all directions and a grave danger of torpedoing existed. See reference (k) paragraph 1 (7-d). I tried to contact the OTC by TBS and to find the SAN FRANCISCO visually. After the action described in reference (k), Rear Admiral Scott emphasized the desirability of all remaining forces keeping closed up and assembling for possible further action. (At about 0228 the only ship that would answer on TBS were the O'BANNON and FLETCHER). Returning to the area of the PORTLAND was not considered justified. At 0240 the SAN FRANCISCO was contacted by blinker tube on our port bow and instructed us to take charge. Reference (i) was then sent to Radio Tulagi requesting tow and air coverage for the PORTLAND. (3) When should the night action be broken off and a retirement started? At about 0214 while attempting to get the course of the rest of the ships in the force I received no answer. As I knew the PORTLAND was damaged, the ATLANTA appeared to have been hit, the SAN FRANCISCO was known to have been hit, and the JUNEAU was not seen. I called all ships and at about 0226 attempted to assemble what forces remained. Firing then was sporadic and numerous ships were burning. The O'BANNON and FLETCHER only were contacted. Course 092, speed 20 knots and form 18 was given in code by TBS to all ships, and destination Sealark. Soon after this the SAN FRANCISCO was contacted ahead on our port bow headed for Sealark Channel and some idea of her crippled condition was obtained. SAN FRANCISCO asked HELENA to lead her out. This together with the few ships contacted caused my decision to retire with the remaining forces via Sealark Channel, which was done with the aid of the Sail George Radar. The FLETCHER preceded us, and the O'BANNON joined to the eastward having transited Lengo Channel. At 0420 the STERETT having transited Lengo and being damaged joined near Nura Island at the rendezvous I had given for 0425. At 0455 sighted JUNEAU ahead on the port bow. At 0526 the JUNEAU was directed to join us. (4) At 1101 the JUNEAU was torpedoed as reported in reference (f). Should an attempt have been made to search the area for survivors? The SAN FRANCISCO and HELANA were screened by the STERETT (damaged) and the FLETCHER, as the O'BANNON was at about 0815 sent to send reference (j), and it rejoined at 1530. Due to the small screen, the crippled condition of the ships, and the devastating nature of the explosion, it was not considered that the risk of further torpedoing was justified. No sound or sight contact was made. The hope that a plane would soon appear was held, as the message sent by the O'BANNON asking for air coverage had been already received by us on the Fox Schedule. At 1121 a B-17 did appear and Enclosure (D) was the message transmitted to him for forwarding. This message was acknowledged for by the plane, but apparently not forwarded to Commander South Pacific Force. (2-a) Enemy forces: #1 See NPM NR 205 D/T 120030. #2 See NPM NR 232 D/T 120625. #3 See NPM NR 200 D/T 112345. #1 Concerning 2 BB or 2 CA. #2 Concerning 2 CV. #3 Concerning 5 DD. See Enclosure (E) for general disposition of enemy. (2-b) Own formation entered the area via Lengo Channel in battle disposition "Baker One". Order of ships as follows: Column of station units van unit Commander Stokes CUSHING, LAFFEY, STERETT, O'BANNON; Base unit ATLANTA, SAN FRANCISCO, PORTLAND, HELENA, JUNEAU; Rear units Captain Tobin AARON WARD, BARTON, MONSSEN, FLETCHER. Distance in yards Destroyers 500, Cruisers 700. Distance between rear and first ship adjacent units 800 yards. (Refer CTG 67.4 despatch 120615 of November). (2-c) Wind from 120, 9 knots; sea smooth swells from 125; Sky partly cloudy but clear overhead. Jagged lightning over land areas especially in mountains on Guadalcanal and Florida Island. (3-a) While our forces was steaming on course 280° T, speed 18, in special battle disposition (column with four destroyers leading in column, five cruisers (HELENA fourth cruiser in column), followed by four destroyers), off Guadalcanal between Lunga Point and Cape Esperance, Radar Plot reported a contact at 0124, bearing 312° T, range 27,100 yards. One or two minutes after this Radar Plot reported that three separate groups of targets were distinguishable, two at 27,000 yards, and one at 32,000 yards. At about 0130 Radar Plot reported that target course was approximately 134° T, speed 20. Between 0125 aand 0130 our course was changed to 000 and speed increased to 20 knots. At about 0135 range to left closest target group was 15,000 yards, bearing 324° T, and tracking gave enemy course 120°, speed 20. According to plotting room at about 0137 we changed course to 315° T and speed to 25 which was directly toward the farthest of the three enemy groups and between the two closest enemy groups. (3-b) The forward FC radar picked up one target group at about 18,000 yards and in conjunction with radar plot tracked this group. It was the left hand group of the two closest groups of targets. It never appeared to change course or speed. At a range of about 6000 or 7000 yards the Gunnery Officer checked and found that we were not on the left hand ship of this group and by use of "SG" radar shifted to a ship farther to the left in this group. This enemy group passed ahead of and crossed to port of our leading destroyers which had at about 0140 changed course to about 270° T. (3-c) Director I was tracking the target using the Forward FC radar for range and train. Director II was doing likewise. All turrets were loaded and in automatic train and elevation. Director I controlling in train, Director III in elevation. At about 0148 we were illuminated by a searchlight bearing about 285° relative and exactly in line with the train of Director I. Commence firing was ordered immediately and the main battery opened fire in continuous fire at a range of about 4200 yards. Rapid continuous fire was maintained for about two minutes using a 200 yard rocking ladder. Almost at the same time that we opened fire we started our turn to the left following in column the ships ahead which had changed course to about 270° T. The searchlight on the target (which appeared too high and large to be on a destroyer) was immediately turned off or shot away. Spot I reports that the target was visible to him, that our tracers appeared to be perfect in deflection and that practically all of our shots appeared to hit, and that before cease firing the target was afire forward and amidships and was sinking. Cease firing was given as ordered by Task Force Commander and Commanding Officer after about two minutes of firing at which time the range was about 3000 yards. At about the moment of opening fire on this target a large and compact salvo was seen to hit directly in our wake and 50 to 100 yards astern. During this firing we received two hits in the vicinity of the stacks and searchlight tower, one of which has been definitely determined to have been eight inch. It is also probable that the hit we received on the airplane crane was received at this time. It is believed that our target was an eight inch cruiser and that it was sunk. Two destroyers, the O'BANNON and the FLETCHER, both report that it was a cruiser and both report seeing it sink. Its burning silhouetted a BB target for the O'BANNON. (3-d) The forward Fox Dog picked up the target at about the same time as the Fox Cast and tracked a target ship in the same group obtaining the same enemy course and speed as did the main battery. The 5" battery was in automatic using radar train. Upon opening fire the 5" was on a target slightly to the left of the main battery target and at a range of 6200 yards. The director control officer and spotter reports seeing hits on this target. The 5" battery ceased firing at the same time as the main battery. (3-e) During this first phase of the action the main battery expended about 175 rounds, the 5" battery about 20 rounds. (3-f) The succeeding few minutes were mostly absorbed in avoiding damaged ships and identifying own vessels on most of which before challenging the batteries were trained. During this period we almost rammed but managed to avoid by about 100 yards a large capsized vessel bottoms up, the beam of which I am certain was greater than that of this vessel. (It appeared to the Gunnery Officer just like the OKLAHOMA did on December 7th at Pearl Harbor). Within about 2000 yards of this a vessel with outlines aft generally similar to that of the SAN FRANCISCO was burning fiercely and completely from bow to stern. It was at first thought to be the SAN FRANCISCO but the SAN FRANCISCO was then sighted nearby and definitely identified. With both in sight it was obvious that the burning vessel was definitely larger than the SAN FRANCISCO. It is not considered possible that the burning vessel could have survived as it was already well down. During this period there was considerable firing between vessels mostly to the southwestward. Also during this period we narrowly avoided being rammed on the starboard side by the ATLANTA or JUNEAU. (It is believed to have been the ATLANTA. (3-g) At about 0203 radar plot reported at least six enemy ships on our starboard hand heading in northerly direction. While putting the main battery on one of these targets one was observed to be firing on the SAN FRANCISCO then on our starboard bow. Both FC radars got on this target and at 0204 opened fire with the main battery in full automatic using forward FC radar in train. Opening range was 8800 yards. Fired for approximately 1 ½ to 2 minutes and ceased firing at range of 9400 yards when SAN FRANCISCO on our starboard hand came in line of fire. Approximately 125 rounds were expended in this phase and were believed to be very effective. (3-h) At the same time the 5" battery was getting on the enemy ships to starboard as coached by radar plot it picked up a destroyer on our starboard quarter firing at us and opened fire on it at a range of 7200 yards. About 40 rounds were fired and cease firing ordered when SAN FRANCISCO came into line of fire, this fire was also most effective. (3-i) During the above firing of the main and 5" batteries the automatic weapons control officer observed between the lines of fire of the batteries and at about 3000 yards, a vessel with four stacks passing on diverging course. Fire was opened with the forward starboard 40mm mount on this vessel and 159 rounds expended. This firing was very effective being directly in the bridge area, and at least 2/3 were seen to hit. Cease firing was ordered at the same time as the other batteries. During this phase of the action two hits were received, one on the face plate of turret four and one on the forecastle deck by a large projectile. (3-j) Results of the above firing in the second phase are not definitely known but both spotters report that hits were being obtained and it is believed both main battery and 5" targets were on fire. The automatic weapons control officer reports observing about two thirds of all shots fired hitting in the area of the forward stack and bridge structure. (3-k) After clearing several of own vessels the main battery again opened fire on a vessel of the same group as before. The opening range was 16,400 yards, target course 330, speed 17. It had been tracked out from about 10,000 yards by radar plot and the main battery and FC radars. Rapid continuous fire was maintained for about one minute at a very high rate of fire when the range was again fouled and ceased firing given. About 60 rounds were fired. The target appeared to be on fire. (3-l) At about the same time during this third phase the 5" battery fired about 40 rounds at a target believed to be a destroyer just forward of starboard beam at a range of about 5000 yards. Cease firing was ordered when the range was fouled by own vessel. This target also appeared to be in flames. TIME SCHEDULE - NIGHT ACTION Task Group 67.4 - Early morning November 13, 1942. (All time Love). Times and data collected from Quartermaster's Log, Signal Log, and TBS Log kept by Navigation. TIME EVENT November 12, 1942 2214 Changed course to right to 270° T. 2218 Changed speed to 18 knots (187 rpm). 2236 Changed speed to 15 knots (155 rpm). November 13, 1942 0010 Changed course to left to 180° T. 0013 Changed course to right. 0024 Changed course to right to 280° T. 0040 Changed course to left to 270° T. 0108 Changed course to right to 280° T. 0122 Changed speed to 18 knots (187 rpm). 0124 Radar contact (SG Radar) bearing 312° T, distance 27,100 yards. 0125 Radar contact (SG Radar) bearing 310° T, distance 31,100 yards. (Note - above two contacts appeared to be several large ships with screen). 0135 Changed course to right to 310° T. 0137 Changed speed to 20 knots (208 rpm). 0138 HELENA steering 315° T, speed 10 knots. 0139 Four targets on port bow. HELENA course 315° T, speed 10 knots. 0140 Changed speed to 18 knots (187 rpm). 0141 Leading destroyer reported seeing ships dead ahead and on port bow. 0142 Changed course to right to 000° T. 0143 HELENA making 18 knots. 0143.5 Leading destroyer told to fire torpedoes. 0145 Prepared to open fire. HELENA course 015° T. 0146 HELENA course 010° T. 0147 HELENA course 000° T. 0148 Commenced firing. Opening range 4300 yards. Fired on furthest target to left. Fired two or more minutes after target illuminated ship and hit our searchlight platform. (Clock in D/F shack stopped at 0148). 0149 Changed course to left. Hard left rudder. 0149 Changed speed to flank (Maximum speed). 0150 HELENA stopped all engines. 0151 HELENA increased speed to maximum. 0152 HELENA swinging past 250° T. 0153 Changed course to right to 000° T. Rudder hard right own course 000° T. Speed 17 knots. 0153 Ceased firing. 0154 Changed speed to full (18 knots). 0155 Large explosion (off port bow). Considered target fired at by HELENA and sunk. 0156 Planes reported overhead (/) 355° T, 0157 Hard right rudder to avoid ship which passed from starboard to port at right angles. Ship either ATLANTA or JUNEAU. (Believed ATLANTA). Very close call. 0158 Changed course to 000° T. 0159 More gunfire reported {Where?). 0200 Ship ahead of HELENA illuminating. 0201 Heavy cruiser (believed PORTLAND) turning to right. 0202 Large explosion to starboard. 0203 Changed course to left to 290° T. HELENA making 16 knots. 0204 Commenced firing. Opened fire at range 9200 yards. 0206 Ceased firing. 0206.5 "6 enemy ships over 5000 yards on starboard side." 0207 Changed course to left. Hard left rudder. HELENA making 20 knots. 0210 Changed course to right. JUNEAU or ATLANTA (believe ATLANTA) on fire on starboard beam (by 160°T). 0211 Changed course to left to 120° T. HELENA making 15 knots. 0212 "Enemy cruiser on starboard bow." 0213 Hard right rudder. 0214 Took position astern of PORTLAND(?). 0215 Commenced firing. HELENA on course 115° T. "Hard right rudder". Opened fire at 16,300 yards bearing approximately 1100 rel. Enemy course 330° T. Enemy speed 17. 0216 Ceased firing; changed course to right to 230° T. HELENA making 10 knots. 0217 Changed course to left to 092° T, HELENA increased speed to full. 0218 PORTLAND lost steering control. 0220 HELENA making 18 knots. 0221 HELENA streeing course 092° T. 0224 HELENA illuminated by srewach light. 0226 Changed speed to flank (28 knots). 0027 Small boat reported off starboard bow. 0230 Changed couirse t oleft to 090° T. 0231 Received message from PROTLAND requesting tow. 0232 HELENA on course 050° 0234 HELENA on course 090° 0237 HELENA on course 100°, speed 27 knots. 0238 Changed speed to 17 knots. 0239 HELENA making 20 knots on course 090° T. 0240 SAN FRANCISCO on port bow. 0240 SAN FRANCISCO told this vessel to take charge. 0244 Changed course to right to 100° T. 0249 Changed speed to 25 knots, 0255 Changed course to left to 080° T. HELENA making 20 knots. 0259 Changed speed to 15 knots. 0300 Changed course to 090° T. Speed 10 knots, 0301 Changed speed to 20 knots. HELENA on course 090° T. 0302 Changed right to 098° T. 0307 Changed speed to 10 knots. 0310 HELENA on course 098° T. Speed 15 knots, 0312 Changed speed to 15 knots. Large explosion bearing about 278° T. 0318 Changed course left to 075° T. 0321 Changed course right to 080° T. 0325 Changed course right to 090° T. 0332 Changed course left to 081° T. 0344 Changed speed to full (20 knots). 0345 Passed clear of Sealark Channel. 0354 Changed course right to 110° T. 0422 Changed speed to 15 knots. 0430 Changed course to 135° T. 0432 Changed speed to 20 knots. 0458 Changed couree to 100° T 0520 Changed course to 145° T. 0523 Changed course to 130° T. (4-a) Reference (e) gives an estimate of enemy forces involved and their losses. Three groups definitely existed as shown by Enclosure (D). The center group appeared as four or five large ships (BB's, CA's or Battle Cruisers) and perhaps two transports or smaller ships a distance astern, The left (nearest) and right hand groups contained from five to eight ships each, and were in the nature of a screen having destroyers and two or more cruisers in each. (4-d) Illuminated and opened fire before we did. Only search light noted was the first one opening on the HELENA. It soon went out or was turned off. Starshells and possibly flares were in the sky. Enemy planes were overhead and may have dropped flares. Some of our destroyers and the SAN FRANCISOO are known to have fired starahella which appeared well placed. Bombardment ammunition used by the enemy is believed to have reduced their effectiveness. (4-e) See reference (e) and RDO Guadalcanal NPM 416 - 130428. (5-a)(1) Performance of the batteries. The performance of all batteries is considered to have been excellent. There were no material casualties which in any way affected the firing except two and possibly three misfires in turret one, both of which were immediately fired by percussion, and the failure of the center gun of turret four to return to battery after a hit sustained on the face plate of that turret. Fire was continued by the wing guns of this turret. Damage to search lights resulted in one light being put out of commission and one operative by local control only. However there was never any need for the use of searchlights. Damage to wiring to forward FC antenna level control did not affect the operation of the radar since automatic level was not being used during the action. (5-a)(2) A very high degree of fire discipline was imperative throughout the action due to rapid and frequent maneuvers and close proximity of own vessels which frequently blanketed line of fire. There was also the necessity frequently to point the batteries on ships believed to be our own as a precautionary measure before attempting to identify by challenge or recognition. The fire discipline maintained throughout was most gratifying and there is complete confidence felt that at no time was a friendly ship fired upon. In the opinion of the Gunnery Officer this action has again demonstrated that with our present equipment illumination of the target by searchlight or star shell is not necessary and that the use of searchlights serves to draw enemy fire. (5-b) The effectiveness of tie radar installation and its performance cannot be praised too highly. Everything said in reference (k) was doubly confirmed again in this Night Action. (5-c) Summary of damage - location cause, effect. (Include photographs. Five hits were sustained during the engagement, details as follows: (Hits numbered from forward aft). No. l. - One major caliber (assumed to be 14 inch) hit waterway lip at frame 29 and main-deck over pyrotechnic locker and officers' suitcase room. The shall presumably exploded after hitting deck, scattering fragments over face of No. 1 turret, which was pointing about 150° relative, and various deck fittings. The wooden deck was splintered 8' x 4' across run of deck planking. The steel deck was torn-and folded down 6' x 1 ½". Watertight bulkhead, frame 27, starboard, upper quarter torn out and cracked. The pyrotechnic locker sprinkling system broken. Number one turret gas send punctured over an arc of about 60 degrees (about 25 feet) by fragments. Although fragments punctured at intervals repairs should include entire arc of 60 degrees rather than intermittent patching. Pointer's check sight port out and jammed by fragment. Check sight itself broken. Bloomer of left gun, turret one out and torn. Steel bloomer securing rim broken. Many gouges on face it plate. Effect: Rendered pyrotechnic locker untenable as such; dumped small remaining supply of pyrotechnics overboard. Turret one continued firing without difficulty. No. 2 - Hit on port forward part of forward stack, penetrating, and exploding while going through after part, tearing out a section of the steam exhaust pipe and diesel exhaust pipe. Fragments also damaged the searchlight platform n follows: Radio Direction Finder loop punctured Power cable FE-176-DO feeder to #4 searchlight punctured. Ventilating motors of $1 and 4 36" searchlights slightly damaged. Lenses on #2 and 3 searchlights cracked. Various lighting boxes and cable destroyed. Searchlight control cable GE- 32 partly damaged. Individual leads may be spliced to repair. Various holes in searchlight platform, and radio direction finder. Effect: Broke 14 searchlight power supply. Broke remote controls of #2 and 3 searchlights. Rendered Radio direction finder useless. No. 3 - Major caliber hit (assumed 8" or larger) in port after legs of searchlight platform. Angle bar supporting #2 40MM director stand torn away. After stack punctured by fragments. One piece, base plug of shell, pierced stack and hit starboard forward section of secondary conn tearing out a section about 12" long and 5" wide. The fragment hit the steering control stand, puncturing the case and breaking electrical leads. Port boat crane structure pierced by numerous fragments; wire cable broken by fragment. #1 motor launch and #1 motor whaleboat hulls punctured. The two stack guys from the after stack leading forward were out and broken by fragments, The port forward mainmast guy was likewise broken. Effect: Rendered two boats useless until patched; boat crane out of commission. Secondary conn steering telegraph and rudder angle indicator useless. No. 4 - Hit on face plate of turret four, 9 inches directly below center gun port. At the point of impact the face plate is dished in 11/64 inch; area of dished surface about 12 inches in diameter. On back of face plate a crack 4 inches long has been noted 5 1/2 inches above point of impact Paint cracked and weld apparently broken around entire periphery of face plate both inside and out (water leaking through gives evidence of such a crack). Securing weld cracked on bolts holding angle iron to face plate on inside under center gun. Rivets securing face plate to top of turret appear to be loose. The gas seal protector guard demolished throughout, arc subtended by face plate (about 5 feet). Gas seal itself twisted and torn. Three gun bloomers demolished and retaining rime twisted and torn. Numerous deck fittings such as ventilator cowls and #3 20mm gun gunshield pierced by fragments. Three fire hoses out up by fragments. Effect: Other than damage to guns, no effect other than a light inconvenience caused by hit. Turret face plate damage may, in time, be serious but does not impair military efficiency at present. No., 5 - A section of the starboard brace of aviation crane pierced by direct hit of 5 to 8 inch shell. Shell exploded after hitting; no fragmentation damage. Effect: Rendered aviation crane useless. Damage sustained to guns during action. 1. 6"/47 cal. Gun No. 10. Lower side of chase, five minor gouges about half inch diameter, maximum depth .062 inches, 2. 6"/47 cal. Gun No. 11. Lower side. of chase, eight gouges over area ten by thirteen inches, depths vary .125. to .375 inches. 3. 6"/47 cal, Gun No, 12, Lower side of chase, twelve superficial gouges plus three of about one inch diameter, maximum depth .125 inches, 4. 6"/47 cal. Gun No. 3. Lower side of chase, two gouges, each about one inch diameter, depths .125 inches. 5. 5"/3S cal. Gun No. 1. One gouge 100 inches from muzzle, 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch, depth .375 Inch. 6. Face plate turret four dented about two feet below center gun, dent about 3 inch diameter. Maximum depth about .125 inches. 7. Slide bushing 6"/47 Gun No. 11, deeply scored and grooved on recoil. subsequent to gouging of gun. (5-d) The following casualties incurred as a result of actions: (a) Number killed 1 (b) Number requiring hospitalization (stretcher) 2 (c) Number remaining on board for treatment 20 total casualties 23 (6} Once more the performance of all officers and men has been magnificent and inspiring without exception. Of particular note should be the most courageous performance of our searchlight crews, many of whom, though wounded, stayed at their stations and maintained their lights ready for instant use, Several men of the 40mm crews, though wounded, did likewise. Following the hit on turret four a small fire was started among life jackets, etc, at No. 7 20mm mount. ROBINSON, E. C., AOMM, USN, and MULLER, P.L., AMM1c, USN, proceed to the spot and, extinguished the fire although turret four was at the time trained out over this mount ready to fire. The steersman STEWART, E. L., QM1c, USN, has performed in exemplary fashion in both the Night Action of 11-12 October and 12-13 November, being of enormous assistance in con-ning the ship under most difficult conditions while under fire at night. The following officers are especially worthy of commend action for their performance of duty during this and the previous Night Action of 11-12 October: Lieut. Cmdr. Elmer C. Buerkle,. USN - Ship's Material Officer Lieut. Comdr. Rodman D. Smith, USN. - Gunnery Officer. Lieut. Comdr. Charles L. Carpenter, USN. - Navigator. Lieut. Comdr. John L. Chew, USN. - Assistant Gunnery Officer. Lieutenant Michael T. Tyng, USN - Communication Officer. Lieut. (jg) Russell W. Gash, USNR - Radar Officer. Lieut. (jg) William D. Fisher, USNR - Signal Officer. There are probably many more instances of exemplary action on the port of our personnel and the above is indicative of the performance of the entire crew. (7) Attention is invited to reference (k) paragraph 7. Every statement made in this paragraph was confirmed in this action. Commenting by paragraphs as used in the reference. (a) The first enemy ship opened a searchlight and was hit and destroyed. (b) The HELENA faced the decisions as to opening fire. (c) Fully confirmed as SAN FRANCISCO was again flagship and had no S.G. Radar. (d) Ships were injured and no instructions to those as- tern furnished or possible. (e) Fighting lights were again used. The SAN FRANCISCO and STERETT away at once, and again how establish identity? It was finally done by challenge and blinker. GILBERT C. HOOVER Distribution: CincPac (original and 1) Cominch ComSoPac War Diary U. S. S. HELENA TBS TRAFFIC FROM 1400 to 1800 12 NOVEMBER 1942, TIMES ALL GCT 1400 No signals 1405 ComDesDiv 10 V Course 275 acknowledge San Francisco ---- V 10 Wilco 1408 TF 67.4 V CTF Keep will close up report any contacts 1410 10 V CTF Execute immediately course 280 acknow. ---- V 10 Wilco 1422 CTF V 10 Light 7 degrees on port bow 1426 10 V CTF Execute speed 18 1430 CTF V Helena 2 contacts bearing 310 distance 31,900 ---- V CTF R 1432 V 10 Wilco 1435 TF Cactus reports condition red planes 26 miles 000 degrees. Do not ans. ---- Helena V CTF How is she doing 1436 CTF V Helena Now three targets bearing 312 dist 26,000 ---- V CTF R ---- CTF V Helena Their course 107 speed possibly 23 ---- 10 V CTF Course 000 1440 Arnold to Lee (Transfer of operators, several transmissions not in log including one from Helena that tar- gets also to port 1441 All ships V -- 3 Unidentified ships port bow (page 1) ---- CTF V HELENA We have four in line fan shaped like cruising disposition. ---- O'Bannon V CTF What is the range. 1445 CTF V Helena Dist 3400 ---- Helena V CTF Repeat ---- CFT V Helena Closing dist 3400 ---- CFT V Cushing Ships dead ahead on port bow ---- Helena V CTF ---- ---- V 10 4,000 or 5,000 yds maximum, ship crossing our bow ---- 10 V CTF What do you make of it now ---- V Helena We have a total of ten targets ---- 10 V CTF Have you come around ---- 10 V Shall I let them have a couple of fish 1443 V CFT Do so ---- V 10 Wilco ---- V CTF What is bearing ---- HELENA Do you have targets to port ---- V Helena Affirmative 1445 TF V CTF Enemy is on our starboard bow and there are ships to port. Stand by to open fire ---- Atlanta V CTF What are you doing ---- CTF V Atlanta Avoiding our own DD ---- 10 V CTF What have you now to starboard ---- 10 V CTF Are you back on course ---- 10 V Juneau Two to starboard several to port (page 2) ---- CTF V10 I am coming back on course 1454 All ships Hold course 0000 ---- All ships Cease firing, are ships cease firing our ships cease firing our ships cease ect. ---- CTF V Portland What is the dope ---- CTF V Portland Did you order cease firing, authenticate, authenticate ---- All ships Take 0000 1458 CTF V Helena Authenticate that ---- TF V CTF Speed 18 course 000 stand by to open fire when ordered enemy all around us battleship on star- board bow and DD's all around him other targets too ---- V Portland What is true bearing of battleship ---- CTF V Portland We are ready ---- Portland V CTF Give her hell 1500 Portland V CTF Acknowledge ---- 10 V Laffey Testing ---- Laffey V 10 Receive you ok ---- CTF V Helena Four ships in column bearing 060 ---- V CTF What distance ---- V Sterrett We have jammed rudder. Would like recognition signals ---- Laffey Turn on your lights for three seconds ---- Portland V CTF Do you have the battleship ---- CTF V Helena Can we open fire if we have targets ---- V CTF Advise type of targets we want the big ones ---- Portland V CTF Do you have the BB we have him 100 (page 3) ---- Portland V CTF Go ahead ---- Helena V CTF Affirmative on your last request 1507 CTF V Helena What is your course ---- CTF V Helena Request course 1512 Portland V What is course Helena ---- Any ship V Can you hear me Helena ---- V Monssen Go ahead 1513 V Helena R 1514 Portland, CTF Request course Juneau, Atlanta V Helena 1514 Lee to Nugent (change of operators) 1517 Portland V Answer please Helena 1524 Portland, CTF Answer please Juneau, Atlanta, V Helena 1526 All ships V Form 18 course 092 speed 18 don't answer Helena 1528 Nugent to Lee (change of operators) ---- CTF V O'Bannon Repeat course please ---- O'Bannon and Unable raise other big boys from 18 course all ships V 092 speed 18 Helena 1529 V O'Bannon R 1532 All ships V Form 18 course 092 speed 20 sealark (all coed) Helena ---- CTF or Helena Am on your starboard bow going ahead of you V Fletcher 1535 ASP V Helena Show fighting lights momentarily execute (page 4) 1539 Fletcher V Show fighting lights Helena ---- V Fletcher Am complying 1540 V Helena R 1541 CTF V Helena Answer 1542 ASP V Helena My course 100 1545 Lee to Nugent (Change of operators) 1548 ASP V Helena Course 090 speed 20 Fletcher answer ---- V Fletcher R We are well ahead of you 1549 Fletcher V Close up Helena 1550 Helena V Poist sealark (coded) speed 5 Fletcher ---- V Helena R 1552 ASP V Helena Course 100 speed 25 ---- ASP V Helena In channel two ships on starboard bow close to shore Fletcher answer ---- V Fletcher Just a second ---- Helena V Time (coded) accomplishment of present mission O'Bannon 1555 O'B V Helena Your coded part not understood 1556 Helena V O'B (Code) Change that wait 1558 Helena V O'B No strangers near us ---- Helena V O'B Does the following code make sense ---- O'B Helena Your code understood V 1600 V Fletcher R 1602 ASP v Helena Course 180 speed 20 don't answer 1603 ASP V Helena Show fighting lights (page 5) 1604 ASP V Helena Cancel my last course. Course now 090 1607 O'B V Helena Retire sealark (coded) 1609 Helena V O'B Am proceeding Lengo (coded) about midway will join to eastward keep me advised your course 1614 O'B V Fletcher My nugu (coded) my course 90 acknowledge ---- O'B V Helena Acknowledge ---- V O'Bannon R 1615 Nugent to Lee 1621 Helena V Fletcher We are ahead of you and will flash light 1622 V Helena R ---- Helena V I have taken lower one have made temporary Sterrett hookup on this I have no recognition lights a Bad fire aft but now under control 1623 V Helena R ---- Helena V O'B Have you someone with you if so whom 1624 V Helena Wait 1628 O'B V Helena As far as we can tell San Francisco astern Fletcher ahead Sterrett in vicinity. S.F. Can't talk on this 1629 Helena V O'B I think I have you bearing 135 can you check me 1630 V Helena Wait ---- O'B V Fletcher If you are in position as indicated by last message there is another ship ahead of you not yet visable to you 1632 V Sterrett I am astern of that 1635 Sterrett V Have you reduced speed Helena ---- O'B V Helena Believe your message on your location to be correct (page 6) 1636 V O'Bannon R 1637 V O'Bannon Will join immediately --- V Helena R 1639 O'B V Helena My course 081 my speed 15 still going through be careful 1640 V O'Bannon R ---- Helena V My bearing 078 distance 10,500 from you speed Fletcher 5 course 90 1642 V Helena R ---- O'Ba V Fletcher Can you identify that one on your starboard bow 1643 V O'Bannon No 1644 Lee to Nugent 1649 ASP V Helena My speed 20 O'Bannon acknowledge ---- V O'Bannon R 1650 ASP V Helena At 0425 rendezvous lat 9-22 long 60-35 Fletcher O'B anon acknowledge (above coded) ---- Helena V O'B Have you Atlanta or Juneau with you 1652 V Helena Negative ---- Fletcher V Take station on port bow acknowledge Helena ---- O'Bannon V Take station on starboard bow acknow. ---- V Fletcher R ---- V O'Bannon R 1655 Fletcher O'B Acknowledge for encoded message V Helena ---- V Fletcher Understood 1659 Helena V We have you in sight now and are moving out to take station 1701 ASP V Helena My course 110 Fletcher acknowledge (page 7) ---- V Fletcher R ---- O'B V Helena Expedite taking station ---- V O'Bannon I can not hear you repeat 1705 O'B V Helena Expedite taking station 1706 Sterrett V Join screen Helena 1707 Ster. V Helena Answer 1711 Ster. V Helena Answer 1713 Nugent to Lee ---- Ster. V Helena Are you on our starboard beam 1720 Helena V O'B Am on your starboard side am limping a little on one that is why I am not getting into position faster 1723 S.F. V Helena Answer ---- Helena V ? Think something has happen to S.F. he is turning 1726 V Helena My speed 15 ---- ASP V Helena Senior DD officer take charge screen ---- Helena V Ster Request your latitude course as well 1732 Sterrett V Wait ---- ASP V Helena At 0430 course 135 (coded) Fletcher acknowledge ---- V Fletcher R V O'Bannon R ---- Helena V Is that Sterrett ahead of you Fletcher 1735 V HELENA Believe so ---- ASP V Helena Speed 20 (page 8) 1737 ASP V Helena Execute speed 20 1749 Lee to Nugent ---- Sterrett V Believe you bearing 140 from me my course 315 Helena my speed 15 1740 V Sterrett R 1749 Lee to Nugent (actually) 1755 Helena V Ster Ship on your port beam looks more like Juneau than any other ship ---- V Helena R 1800 Helena V Surface radar contact (signal) bearing 203 Fletcher distance 12,000 1801 Fletcher I did not get your last transmission but you Sterrett see me do you not 1802 ASP V Helena Course 100 don't acknowledge Helena ---- V Fletcher R 1818 Helena V Believe that ship on port side id either Atlanta Fletcher or Juneau ---- Flet V Helena Establish that identity and investigate 1819 Juneau V Answer Helena 1815 Nugent to Lee 1822 Fletcher When you establish identity tell him to join Helena us 1823 ASP V Helena My course 145 1824 ASP V Helena Execute course 145 1826 Helena V Flet Juneau ordered to join us (page 9) ---- Helena V Flet Do you see that one stacker coming up astern of you 1827 V Helena Wait 1828 ASP V Helena Execute to follow course 135 ---- ASP V Helena Execute course 135 ---- Flet V Helena Your last message affirmative 1830 ASP V Helena Execute to follow zig zag plan eight ---- Flet V Helena Pass course and speed on to Juneau 1831 V Fletcher R 1833 ASP V Helena Execute zig zag plan eight (page 10) U.S.S. HELENA November 14, 1942. From: Radar Officer. To : Commanding Officer. Subject: Radar Report of the Night Action of November 13, 1942. 1. Radar Plot's report of the battle of the morning of November 13, 1942, as seen by observations of the PPI scope of the HELENA's Sail George Radar. A. Picture at the time of contact. (0124). ENCLOSURE (E) 2. Our force was steaming on course 280, speed 18. 3. At 0124 (zone time) we sighted enemy forces in three groups bearing 312, distance 27,100, bearing 310, distance 28,000, bearing 310, distance 32,000. 4. The two nearer groups gave weak radar signals, where- as the more distant groups gave a strong signal. This indicated a large force of ships with large units being screened by two groups of smaller units. 5. Radar Plot commenced tracking the enemy and at 0129 determined the enemy to be on course 134, speed 20. 6. By 0142 our force had come to course 000. 7. The enemy force was now on course 120, speed 20. 8. At 0142 our forces started a column movement to the left midway between the two forward groups of enemy ships. 9. Our column steadied on course 280. 10. At 0146 our leading destroyers were in the center of the enemy force and seemed to be attacking the enemies heavy units. 11. A t0148 we commenced firing at the enemy ships on our port bow. 12. At 0149 the HELENA followed the PORTLAND around in column with the other ships to course 280. 13. Our formation now commenced breaking up from our column in all directions as did the enemy formation from its former formation. 14. The SAN FRANSCISCO sheered to the right and headed toward the enemy ships on our starboard beam placing the enemies heavy forces on her port beam. 15. The enemy forces on our port side reversed course and joined her heavy ships in a ragged column formation. 16. The enemy forces now almost surrounded our forces with the bulk of her power to the northward. 17. At about 0215 the enemy broke into two groups and retreated to the north in a very disorderly manner. It was not possible to determine accurately the exact number of enemy ships at this time but they seemed to have noticeably decreased in number. 18. At 0230 Radar Plot commenced using the Sail George radar for navigational purposes to determine the correct course to take to retire through Sealark Channel. 19. At 0248 the HELENA, two destroyers and a cruiser made an orderly withdrawal from the scene of action and retired through Sealark Channel. R. W. GASH, Lieut. (jg). USNR. Radar Officer, U.S.S. HELENA ENCLOSURE (E) B. Picture at the time of Commence Firing. (0148) C. Picture at about 0200 at the height of the battle. CL50/A16-3 U.S.S. HELENA 10-s At sea, 14 November, 1942. From: Commanding Officer. To: Commander-in-Chief, United States Pacific Fleet. Subject: Submarine Torpedo Attack on Task Unit and Sinking Of U.S.S. JUNEAU, report of. Reference: (a) Pacific Fleet Confidential letter 16 CL-42 dated March 19, 1942. (b) Pacific Fleet Confidential letter 24 CL-42 dated June 21, 1942. (c) U.S. Navy Regulations, 1920, Art. 712. Enclosures: (A) Sketch of Action. (B) Report of A.A. Automatic Weapons Watch. 1. Forwarded herewith is a report of a torpedo attack on task unit and sinking of U.S.S. JUNEAU November 13, 1942. Time of attack 1101 zone minus eleven, latitude 10°-34'-06" south; longitude 161°-04'00" east, base course 180° T, speed 18 knots, zigzag plan No. 8. 2. Circumstances at the time of the attck: (a) Employment of ship steaming on base course 180° T. Order in column: USS HELENA, (Guide) USS SAN FRANCISCO, USS JUNEAU on stbd quarter SAN FRANCISCO distant about 800 yards as requested by JUNEAU due to difficulty inn maneuvering on one screw. Anti- submarine screen provided by USS STERRETT on port bow and USS FLETCHER on starboard bow. Ships zigzagging in accordance with plan number eight, speed 18 knots. (b) Weather. Late morning, partly cloudy, alto cumulus clouds, seventy percent, surface visibility unlimited (c) Sea smooth, wind 095° True 10 knots. (d) Special circumstances. (1). Condition of JUNEAU: Following despatch report of battle damage to JUNEAU morning of 13 November re- ceived: "From: JUNEAU DATE/TIME 121840 To : HELENA Torpedo hit flooded forward engine room and fire room x down by head four feet x estimate 18 knots speed x flooding under control x all forward fire rooms personnel lost x TBS No ECM expect gyro in com- mission later. (2) Following dispatch received concerning station in formation answered with "AFFRIMATIVE". "From: JUNEAU To : HELENA date/time 122145 Would like to remain on your starboard hand to give mutual AA support and to turn quickly to starboard in view of saving only one screw and one uncertain gyro x will keep well clear. 3. Summary and description of attack: At 1100 formation was steaming at 18 knots on base course 180° T zigzagging according to plan number eight. The plan called for a 15° turn to right to 195° T at 1100 and the formation was in the process of doing this when JUNEAU was hit. JUNEAU was steaming on starboard quarter of SAN FRANCISCO (see sketch). A few seconds after 1100 USS HELENA 20 MM gun #6 (located - aft Mount 4-5") reported to sky control "disturbance in water, 260° (relative) just inside of destroyer wake." Talker reported disturbance looked like usual eruption made by porpoise. Surface lookout mount four - 40 MM (loca- ted - port quarter) saw fine wake of torpedo and vertical fin as it passed through water. Reported torpedo headed for SAN FRANCISCO. Director operator mount #1 - 40 MM (located - starboard side amid- Ships on searchlight platform) saw torpedo wake as it passed astern Of ship. JUNEAU was turning to right during this time. Torpedo Believed hit port side of fantail as she was turning. 4. When torpedo hit there was a large single explosion and the air was filled with debris, much of it in large pieces. There appeared to be no distinct series of small explosions and the whole ship disappeared in a large cloud of black, yellow black, and brown smoke. Debris showered down among ships of the formation for several minutes after the explosion to such an extent as to indicate erron- eously a high level bombing attack. 5. On receiving word of torpedo sighted ships increased speed to maximum and commenced maneuvering radically to clear area. No sight or sound contact was made on the submarine. Due to but two screening destroyers, crippled ships, and complete disappearance of JUNEAU, no search was made but area cleared at once. At 1121 cir- cumstances were reported to a B-17 which was contacted visually for forwarding to Commander South Pacific Force. 6. Summary of damage - JUNEAU completely destroyed. GILBERT C. HOOVER Copy to: CTF 67 ComSoPac CincPac War Diary REPORT OF ANTI AIRCRAFT AUTOMATIC WEAPONS WATCH 1. Gun6 reported to Sky Control: "Disturbance in water, 260, just inside of destroyer wake." Salet talker said this dis- tubance looked like the usual eruption of water made by a porpoise. 2. Surface lookout on Mount 4 saw the very fine wake of the torpedo and the vertical fin of the torpedo as it passed through the water. He thought the torpedo was going to hit the SAN FRANCISCO. He made this report to Sky Control. 3. Director Operator Mount 1 saw the torpedo's fin and fine wake as it passed the HELENA's stern. The JUNEAU turned to star- board. The torpedo hit directly on the port side of the fantail as the ship was turning. Director Operator Mount 1 reported this tor- pedo to Sky Control. CL50/A16-3 U.S.S. HELENA 10-s November 19,1942. From: Commanding Officer. To : Commander-in-Chief, United States Pacific Fleet. Subject: Air Attack, Afternoon of November 12, 1942; report of. References: (a) PacFlt Conf. Ltr. 24CL-42 of June 21, 1942. (b) PacFlt Conf. Ltr. 16CL-42 of March 19, 1942. (c) U.S. Navy Regulations 1920, Art. 712. 1. In order that no details of interest may be omitted, the information required by the special report form of enclosure (A) to reference (b) is submitted in amplified form, followed by a nar- rative of the action. 2. Information required by enclosure (A) to reference (b); (1) The attack was not a surprise. Warning of about forty five minutes was given which was ample to get the convoy underway and form the screen. (2) Planes were picked up by binoculars, radar and naked eye as they approached over Florida Island. Type Radar "FD" and "SC-1". (3) Planes were picked up about twenty miles away. Visibil- ity in direction of the attack being excellent. (4) Twenty one planes were counted I groups of 7, 9, and 5. (5) Planes were believed to be MITSUBISHI type 98 heavy bombers, used as torpedo planes. (6) Planes approached at a speed of about 160 m.p.h. at low altitude (intermediate and low). (7) (a) Batteries firing: 6"/47 cal. Turrets I and II. 5"/38 cal. 4 twin AA mounts 40 MM 4 quadruple mounts. 20 MM 12 guns. (b) Control and spotting: 6"/47 battery - pointer fire. 5"/38 battery - Direct type, Director method, direct spotting. 40 MM battery - Initial burst barrage followed by direct control, spotting by tracer. 20 MM battery - Tracer control. (8) Ammunition expended: a - 6"/47 21 rounds common b - 5"/38 192 rounds AA common c - 40 MM 567 rounds d - 20 MM 1188 rounds. (9) Percent service allowance expended: a - 6"/47 0.6% b - 5"/38 14.1% c - 40 MM 1.5% d - 20 MM 1.6% (10) Approximate time of tracking to first shot - 3 minutes. (11) Approximate time of first hits: Initial bursts were very close and were believed to Have hit. (12) Approximate time first shot to last - 4 minutes. (13) Approximate position angle - 1° - 1½° (14) Approximate position cease fire - 3° to 5° (15) Approximate bearing first shot - 135° relative. (16) Approximate bearing last shot - Last shot were fired on starboard bow by automatic Weapons, and on port bow by 5" battery. (17) Approximate range first shot - 14,000 yards. (18) Approximate range last shot - 12,000 yards. (19) Torpedo released height was between 50 and 150 feet. (20) Approximate range of torpedo release: Attempts were made to drop at close range, but the fire of the formation was so heavy that a few drops were observed. Size of torpedo unknown. (21) No hits on ship. Ship not strafed. (22) No near misses; no casualties. (23) Planes shot down: 5'/28 Cal. - 1 sure. 40 MM - 2 sure. 20 MM - 1 sure. Total 4 sure. (24) The planes shot down by the 5" fire seemed to be liter- ally hammered down. Those shot down by 40 MM and 20 MM appeared to be hit in gas tanks and burst into flames. (25) The performance of all ammunition was excellent. (26) Pattern size 5" was small. Grouping of 40 MM and 20 MM was good with still the majority of the shots low and behind. 3. Narrative. The attack began on schedule, as warning had been re- ceived that enemy planes would arrive at 1415. At 1414 planes were sighted approaching over and around Florida Island flying low. The attack consisted of three flights of twin engine MITSUBISHI bombers operation as torpedo planes. One group of seven attacked from the starboard bow of the formation. The HELENA did not fire on these planes. Two of the group were seen shot down by other ships anti- aircraft fire. Two groups, the first of approximately nine planes, and the second of approximately five planes attacked from the star- board quarter, flying low and fanned out slightly. Sky Aft, control- ling the starboard 5" battery, opened fire at a range of approximately 14,000 yards. 40 MM Mount 3 opened fire shortly thereafter in order to build up a barrage in front of the attacking planes. One plane was attacked by two F-4-Fs and crashed on the beach crossing far astern of the HELENA. The initial fire was believed effective, as the formations were seen to waver and break up. Some of the planes crossed astern of the ship and diverged off to port. The port 40M and 20 MM battery opened fire on one of these planes and it was seen to be hit in the belly and shot down. Sky Forward, controlling the port battery, took one plane under fire at about 5000 yards and finally shot it down on the port beam, range about 12,000 yard. Fighters attacked the remaining planes as they passed out of range. Two planes passed to starboard of the ship about 600 yards distant, Between the ship and convoy. The leading plane was hit by the forward 20 MM guns and crashed in flames. The second plane was fired on by the entire starboard automatic weapon battery, was hit squarely and crashed in flames. Owing to the position of the trans- ports on our starboard beam fire of the battery was restricted after the attacking planes passed forward of the quarter. Fortunately a good clear shot was offered as they came in on the quarter, and after they had passed ahead. The main battery fired five salvos from turret No. 2 and two salvos from turret No. 1 as the planes passed from starboard to port bow. No hits were observed. 4.(a) The performance of the batteries was excellent. The fire of 5" mount 2 was interrupted temporarily by jammed case in the right gun. The case was extracted, thrown overboard and fire resumed No other casualties occurred. (b) There were no casualties affecting the fire of the 40 MM battery. However, power drive failures were numerous and the mounts were controlled in local or hand except Mount 1, which had no casualties. Some of the 20 MM gunners failed to observe the lower limit of elevation of their guns and fired into ship's structure. This was due to the fact that the planes were flying very low and the gunners were excited at their first plane attack. Bad burns were suffered by the crew of gun No. 9 when they shot into the star- board smoke screen generator and were sprayed with FS mixture. 5. The firing of the main battery against low flying planes is not considered generally advisable inasmuch as the fire is inef- fective and to a certain extent reduces the efficiency of the auto- matic weapons battery as well as the 5" because of blast and smoke. (6) The fire control radars 9FD) were not effective during the attack owning to the myriad signals on the screen and the inability to determine the proper target. The problem was further complicated by land signals and signals from the convoy. Distribution: CINCPAC (orig & 1) Cominch GILBERT C. HOOVER Ctf 62 War Diary


Information on the U.S.S. HELENA CL-50


DICTIONARY OF FIGHTING SHIPS

History of the U.S.S. HELENA CL-50

ARCTURUS Class
Completed - 1939 

AKA-1  Arcturus
AKA-6  Alchiba
AKA-7  Alcyone
AKA-8  Algorab
AKA-11 Betelgeuse (AK-28) 


Dimensions

Displacement:
   13,875 (Full load)
Length: 459' (oa)
Beam: 63'
Draft: 26' (max)

Armament

1 5"/ 38 DP
4 40mm twins
14 20mm twins

Carrying capacity

Cargo DWT: 5,120
8 LCM (3)
10 LCVP

Propulsion

Speed: 11 knots (econ)
Horsepower: 6,0000 (shaft)
Drive: 1 screws; Diesel
Fuel: 1,202 tons oil (max)




Links to other web-sites with information on the
U.S.S. HELENA


To learn more about the U.S.S. HELENA Please visit these Web-site

Naval Historical Center  Has info. and photos of the U.S.S. HELENA
NavSource Online  Has photos of CL-50



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