War Diary and Action Reports November 1942,

                               WAR DIARY                                       
             U.S.S. STRERETT (DD-407)    South Pacific Force

               From November 1, 1942 to November 30, 1942

                               November 1
Enroute Efate to Guadalcanal with Task Force 65.
0800    Lat. 14-31.7S; L. 167-17.6E.
1200    Lat. 14-04.5S; L. 166-34.2E.
2000    Lat. 12-52.2S; L. 165-13.8E.
        Noon to noon - 248 miles - course 329° T.

Task Force 65 - Organization:
C.T.F. 65 - Rear Admiral - Callaghan.
T.G. 65.1 - Captain Reifsnider.

T.G. 65.2 - Col. Jeschke.
Landing Group - Eighth Marines.
T.G. 65.3 - Rear Admiral Scott.
Screening Group:
     ATLANTA                FLETCHER              AARON WARD
     LARDNER                BENHAM                STERETT
     GWIN                   WALKE                 McCALLA

T.G. 65.4
Support Group.
SAN FRANCISCO          HELENA                BUCHANAN
T.G. 65.5 - Captain Ashe.
Eastern Transport Group.
     NEVILLE                HEYWOOD               FOMALHAULT
     MANLEY                 McKEAN

T.G. 65.6 - Col. Sturgis
Eastern landing group:- Fifth Marines ( detachment ) of.
147th Infantry.
246th Field Artillery.
500 Acorn personnel.
Two (2) companies - 2nd Raider Battalion.
T.G. 65.7 - Rear Admiral Tisdale.
PENSACOLA - Eastern Screening Group.
Mission - Reinforce Guadalcanal Garrison and establish new beachhead at Aola Bay.

                               November 2
0800    Lat. 11-05S; L. 163-31.4E.
1200    Lat. 10-20.7S; L. 163-20.7E.
2000    Lat. 10-33.3S; L. 162-35.3E.
        Noon to - 300 miles - course 318 T.
1600    Task Group 65.7 joined.
1700    Formed approach disposition with HELENA, WALKE and STERETT
        in van.
2000    Received radio report that a Japanese force of 4 cruisers 
        and 17 destroyers were headed for Indispensable Straits.  The 
        transports screened by destroyers were ordered to retire.
        HELENA, PENSACOLA, SAN FRANCISCO and six destroyers, including 
        STERETT (screen commander) proceeded at 22 knots to intercept 
        the enemy.  
        Heavy rain most of night.

                               November 3
        Japanese force retired, contact not established.  The enemy, 
        however, landed troops and equipment at Koli Point, 
        Guadalcanal Island.  
        Task Force 65 ordered to rendezvous and carry out mission on 
        morning of November 4th.
1600    Entire Force, less one transport and one destroyer formed up 
        and started approach with STERETT in van.  Passed crippled 
        CONYNGHAM that had been in collision with FULLER.
        Support Group now composed of HELENA, SAN FRANCISCO, BUCHANAN, 
        LAFFEY and STERETT.
2000    Went to General Quarters and so remained until 0600 Nov. 4th.
0800    Lat. 10-59.9S; L. 161-17.9E.
1200    Lat. 11-10.1S; L. 162-17.8E.
2000    Lat. 09.58.5S;  L. 161-46.8E.

                               November 4
        Operating with Support Group in Indispensable Straits covering 
        approach and entrance of our Force.
0630    Entered Sealark Channel.
0810    Went to General Quarters, enemy shore battery at Kokumbona
        opened A/A fire on our planes and enemy shore batteries at 
        Koli Point opened fire on our landing boats, loaded with 
        troops.  Our destroyers bombarded Koli Point.  SAN FRANCISCO, 
        screened by STERETT, proceeded to Kokumbona and shelled area 
        for 35 minutes, silencing battery and starting fires.  Then 
        proceeded to Koli Point.
1008    SAN FRANCISCO, HELENA and STERETT opened fire on enemy 
        positions at Koli, each ship had its own plane for spotting.
1048    Ceased firing, having expended 503 rounds, 5"/38, no 
        casualties.  Large fires were started and our spotters 
        repeatedly reported direct hits on enemy concentrations, dumps 
        and buildings.  Fires burned throughout day.
1100    Secured from G.Q. and set 2 MS and Baker.
1150    Went to General Quarters and screened transport group.  
        Received report 12 enemy planes headed for this vicinity.
1310    Resumed "2 MS", attack failed to materialize.
1800    Stood out through Sealark Channel, patrolling Indispensable 

                               November 5
        Operating in STRAITS with support group.
        Received word a Japanese force of 27 bombers and 24 fighters 
        were headed this way.  No air coverage is available for our 
1050    went to G.Q. and formed close A/A screen about our transports 
        group off Aola Point.  The enemy bombed our air field at Lunga 
        but did not approach this force.
1225    Secured from air alarm and transports resumed unloading.
1230    Task Group 65.1 screened by T.G. 65.3 departed.
1330    GWIN reported to this group.
        Patrolled Indispensable Straits.

                               November 6
0215    Went to General Quarters and Support Group, with STERETT in 
        van, took approach disposition and headed for Sealark Channel.
        Report received that two enemy cruisers were headed for 
        Guadalcanal from westward and enemy planes were headed for 
        Henderson Field.
        Our Support Group and motor torpedo boats headed for enemy, 
        who retired before we could make contact.  Shore battery 
        played searchlights and opened fire on planes.  One of our 
        planes dropped one 500 lb. near CL, no damaged claimed.
0330    All clear.
0400    Mission completed, Task Force 65 departed for Espiritu Santo.
        The Support Group five miles astern, toward possible enemy.
0800    Lat. 09-52S; L. 161-35.7E.
1200    Lat. 10-09.9S; L. 162-32.2E.
2000    Lat. 11-46.6S; L. 162-56.2E.

                               November 7
0800    Lat. 14-07.6S; L. 163-19.2E.
1200    Lat. 14-14.1S; L. 164.12.6E
2000    Lat. 14-22.5S; L. 166-19.8E.
        Noon to noon - 264 miles - course 158 T.

                               November 8
0600    Entered Segund Channel, following heavy units.  Fueled from 
1000    Anchored in berth C-1
        Received ammunition and provisions.
1700    Held C.O.'s conference.

                               November 9
1200    STERETT and six other DDs in "C' berths dragged.  GWIN and 
        LAFFEY had minor collision.  GWIN's bow was dished in and her 
        wildcat was disabled.
2000    CO's conference in CUSHING (CDD-10).

                               November 10
0520    Task Group 67.4 Sortied.

PENSACOLA                   HELENA                 CUSHING (CDD10)
PRESTON                     BUCHANAN               LAFFEY
GWIN                        STERETT

0800    Lat. 15-51S; L. 167-07.SE.
1200    Lat. 15-22S; L. 166-09.5E.
2000    Lat. 14-13.7S; L. 164-39.1E.
1800    PENSACOLA, PRESTON, and GWIN departed to join T.F. 16.

                               November 11
0500    Rendezvoused with remainder of Task Force 67.
        Task Force Commander - Rear Admiral Turner.

Transports - 67.1
  McCAWLEY (Flag)                          PRES. JACKSON  
  CRESCENT CITY                            PRES. ADAMS

Landing Group 67.2
  ATLANTA    -  R. Adm SCOTT.
  MAURY      -  AARON WARD (CDS12)

Support Group 67.4
See November 10 plus PORTLAND, JUNEAU, SHAW.
Mission to reinforce our land forces in Guadalcanal, protect our 
transports and destroy enemy forces as opportunity offers.
1135    Went to General Quarters - Japanese reconnaissance planes 
        sighted our force but remained out of range.
1200    Secured.
1840    General Quarters, Condition Afirm.
2000    Formed battle disposition.
2200    Support Group 67.4 entered Sealark Channel and headed Westward 
        SAVO Island in search of enemy forces.
0800    Lat. 11-39.8S; L. 162-56.9E.
1200    Lat. 11-25.8S; L. 162-23.9E.
2000            do
Noon to noon - 324 miles - course 316 T.

                               November 12
STERETT in Support Group in Battle Formation searching SAVO Island 
area for enemy forces.
500 yards between DD's, 700 yards between types and cruisers.
0550    BUCHANAN had sound contact and delivered attack.
0600    Secured from night general quarters,  Transports anchored and 
        began unloading, screened by cruisers at 3,000 yards, and by 
        DDs plus ATLANTA and JUNEAU at 6,000 yards.
0730    Enemy shore batteries began firing on our HIGGINS boats loaded 
        with troops.  No direct hits observed.  HELENA, SHAW, and 
        BARTON were designated and began shore bombardment.
1010    SOME of our cruisers and destroyers opened fire on Douglas 
        transport and 8 Grumman fighters.
1230    CUSHING and BUCHANAN ordered to destroy enemy landing boats to 
        westward.  They destroyed about 25 craft.  BUCHANAN was hit in 
        after stack by a 5"/38 during the T.B. attack killing 5 men 
        and damaging stack.
1320    Air alarm - general quarters - condition afirm - transports 
        got underway, formed 3 columns, base course 340 T.  
        Combatants ships formed close screen 1,000 yards.  Maneuvered 
        by turn signals.
1406    Sighted formation of 21 enemy bombers standing in from north 
        over Florida Island.  STERETT reported sight contact to O.T.C. 
        over T.B.S.  Attacking planes made one circle over Florida 
        Island, then fanned out and started approach 50 to 100 feet 
        off water.  STERETT was in perfect position in direct line of 
        approach between planes and our transports.  Began tracking 
        and had fire control solution well before planes came in 
        During the approach our fighter planes destroyed some of the 
        attackers.  One of our Higgins boats hit one plane with .50 
        cal. machine gun fire.
1413    Surface craft opened fire.  STERETT shot down two with 5"/38 
        and two with 20 mm. machine gun fire.  These four are 
        definite.  We most probably damaged a fifth with 20 mm.
1417    ceased firing.  20 of the 21 torpedo bombers were shot down.
        Many of them before they could release their torpedoes.  Three 
        torpedoes were sighted by us and easily avoided.  We had to 
        maneuver radically to miss hitting one plane that crashed and 
        went up in flames close aboard.  One burning plane crashed 
        into SAN FRANCISCO and did minor damage.  One of our fighters 
        crashed in sea close to our formation, pilot was rescued.
        No other damage was sustained by surface units.
        At same time a formation of high level bombers and Zero 
        fighters headed for this force were engaged by our fighters.  
        They never reached their objective.
        All told 52 enemy planes were engaged and 32 of them shot 
        down.  The water was one mess of burning planes.  STERETT 
        suffered two personnel casualties, not critical, one from 
        shrapnel, one from bullet wound in chest.
1450    Secured from air attack and transports resumed unloading.
1830    transports got underway and stood out through Lengo Channel.
        Task Group 67.4 covered sortie, departing through Sealark 
        Channel.  Covered transport group until 2200 in Indispensable 
        Straits then we reversed course, through south to west and 
        headed for Lengo Channel and the enemy.  PENSACOLA, GWIN and 
        PRESTON were sent ahead of transports to protect them and then 
        join Task Force 16.
2000    Task Group 67.4 went to General Quarters and formed battle
        disposition.  Order in column: - CUSHING (CDD1O), LAFFEY, 
        Adm. Callaghan O.T.C), PORTLAND, HELENA, JUNEAU, AARON 

                               November 13
1700    Conducted Burial at sea services.  Buried 28 late shipmates.

0800    Lat. 09-51S;   L. 161-06E.
1200    Lat. 10-52.1S; L. l61-12.8E.
2000    Lat. 12-27.5S; L. 162-51E.

                               November 14
0800    Lat. 13-52.5S; L. l66-08.9E.
1200    Lat. 14-40.3S; L. 167-02.2E.
        Noon to noon - 377 miles - course 123 T.

0955    HELENA reported periscope.
1016    STERETT had sound contact.
1352    FLETCHER had sound contact. 
1635    Stood in to Segund Channel and fueled from tanker.
2030    Minor fire on tanker - sent our fire and rescue party and
        prepared to cast off.
2040    Secured.

                               November 15
0130    Received orders from Comairsopac, to report on board CURTISS.
        The "Staff", despite the fact that they had a despatch report 
        on the battle damages to STERETT, wanted to know if vessel 
        could return to Guadalcanal and join R. Adm. Lee's force.
0400    Returned on board ship.
0800    Cast off from tanker and moored alongside TANGIER for 
        emergency battle repairs.
1100    Transferred 13 seriously wounded cases to SOLACE.
1330    Attended conference held by R. Adm. Turner in McCAWLEY, 
        regarding engagement November 13th.
2030    Went to General Quarters - Jap submarine shelled harbor
        leisurely for half hour.  No damage, nuisance value only.

                               November 16
Undergoing emergency repairs alongside TANGIER.
Transferred all unsafe (overheated and flooded ammunition to shore

                               November 17
Undergoing emergency repairs.

                               November 18
1520    GWIN, BUCHANAN and STERETT stood out and patrolled entrance.
1640    HELENA and SAN FRANCISCO stood out.  DD's formed A/S screen,
        enroute to Noumea, N.C.
2035    GWIN had underwater sound contact and delivered depth charge
2234    STERETT had sound contact and delivered an urgent depth charge

                               November 19
0800    Lat. 19-17.2S; L. 167-54E.
1200    Lat. 20-18.8S; L. 168-19.2E.
2000    Lat. 22-18.8S; L. 168-20E.

1143    GWIN sighted a periscope and made a D.C. attack.

                               November 20
0730    Task Group began entering Harbor of Noumea, New Caledonia.
0830    Fueled from tanker.
1400    Moored alongside WHITNEY in nest.

                               November 21
1000    Payed official call on Admiral Halsey, Comsopac.
1400    Admiral Halsey returned call and inspected our damages.

                               November 22
Undergoing emergency repairs alongside WHITNEY.

                               November 23
Alongside WHITNEY.

                               November 24
0900    Attended conference in SAN FRANCISCO.
1000    Admiral Halsey awarded several decorations, including Navy
        Cross to writer.
        Group 66.7, enroute Noumea to Pearl Harbor, T.H., speed 16.5 
2000    Lat. 23-30S; L. 167-01.3E.

                               November 25
0800    Lat. 23-23.8S; L. 170-15.6E.
1200    Lat. 23-13.7S; L. 171-19.4E.
2000    Lat. 22-38.6S; L. 173-21.3E.
        Noon to noon - 275 miles - course 102T.

                               November 26
0800    Lat. 21-53.4S; L. 176-22.1E.
1200    Lat. 21-25.8S; L. 177-20.5E.
2000    Lat. 20-36.6S; L. 179-24.9E.
        Noon to noon - 351 miles - course 072T.

                               November 26 (PLUS 12 ZT)
0800    Lat. 19-13S;   L. 177-35.7W.
1200    Lat. 18-37.6S; L. 176-40W.
2000    Lat. 17-28S;   L. 174-50.8W.
        Noon to noon - 386 miles - course 064°T.

                               November 27
0800    Lat. 15-43.1S; L. 172-15.4W.
1200    Lat. 15-16.4S; L. 171-37.6W.
2000    Lat. 13-50.6S; L. 170-09.7W.
        Noon to noon - 354 miles.

                               November 28
0800    Lat. 11-03.5S; L. 168-53.6W.
1200    Lat. 10-10.5S; L. 168-32.2W.
2000    Lat. 08-21.3S; L. 167-33.9W.
        Noon to noon - 355 miles - course 030T.

                               November 29
0800    Lat. 05-33.9S; L. 166-15.2W.
1200    Lat. 04-42.1S; L. 165-55.4W.
2000    Lat. 02-54.4S; L. 165-01.3W.
        Noon to noon - 365 miles - course 025T.

                               November 30
0800    Lat. 00-04.8S; L. 163-51.5W.
1200    Lat. 00-56.5N; L. 163-29.8W.
2000    Lat. 02-52.8N; L. 162-78.4W.
        Noon to noon - 367 miles - course 023½ T.


DD407/TS133                        U.S.S. STERETT
___________                                     November 20, 1942.

From:          The Commanding Officer.
To:            The Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Via:       (1) The Commanding Officer, U.S.S. HELENA (Senior Officer 
               Task Group 64.7).
           (2) The Commander, South Pacific Force.

Subject:       Report of Action on Night of November 12-13, 1942.

Reference:     (a)  U.S. Navy Regs., 1920, Arts. 712 and 874(6).
               (b)  PacFltConf.Ltr. #24CL-42.

     1.        As directed by references, the following is submitted:


               Task Group 67.4, consisting of thirteen ships listed
below, on the night of November 12-13, 1942 stood in from the Eastward 
through Lengo Channel, Guadalcanal Island area to contact and destroy 
a Japanese force reported standing in from the Westward.  The 
immediate mission of the enemy force was to bombard our forces on 
Guadalcanal Island, preparatory to landing large troop reinforcements 
and to recapture this vital air base.

               The STERETT, equipped only with F.D. and S.C. radars 
made contact with only two enemy groups, estimated course about 110 
speed 23 knots.  These later proved to be the right and center units
of three groups.  Sight contact revealed two cruisers (probably both 
CL's) and three destroyers in the right wing.  The center force was 
later estimated to consist of two battleships and two or three heavy 

               During the battle, the STERETT engaged three enemy 
vessels; a light cruiser, a battleship and a destroyer.  Numerous 5 
inch direct hits were made on the bridge and forward structure of the 
cruiser.  Fires were started.  This cruiser was later destroyed by 
other unit or units of our force.  The STERETT fired a salvo of four 
torpedoes at the battleship scoring two positive hits.  Bridge 
structure of battleship was hit with several salvos of 5 inch.  The 
enemy destroyer was blown up by two torpedoes and two 5 inch salvos.  
This destroyer did not get a chance to fire a single shot at STERETT 
and was seen to sink.

               The explosion on the enemy destroyer illuminated the 
entire area.  This occurred about 0220 and caused resumption of heavy 
cross-fire from sharp on our starboard bow and on our port beam.  It 
was during the next few minutes that the STERETT received most or her 
damage.  It is believed that all our units had started retirement 
prior to this last engagement and it is quite definitely established 
that the enemy ships at this time, were confused and fired at their 
own units.  At 0230 the STERETT was burning fiercely aft, both after 
guns were disabled and when it was certain that the two remaining 
torpedoes could not be fired the STERETT retired at high speed.

               The STERETT had received eleven direct hits and 
fragments from several near misses.  Serious fires had started in #3 
and #4 handling rooms and up through the mounts; several compartments 
were on fire.  Over twenty percent of our ship's company had been 
killed or seriously wounded.  Yet the STERETT managed to retire at 
flank speed (a short time later boilers #1 and #2 had to be secured 
and speed was limited to 23 knots) and about0615 joined up with 
remainder of our retiring force.  This can be attributed only to the 
high state of training for battle; the prompt action on the part of 
the gunnery officer in flooding all magazines aft and ordering all 
power to mounts #3 and 4 cut; to the prompt and efficient action of 
the damage control officer and his repair parties and the coolness and 
efficient co-operation of every officer and man in the ship.


               (a) Air reconnaissance indicated that a strong Japanese 
force from the West would arrive Guadalcanal area about midnight 
November 12-13, 1942.  Contact was first made by S.C. radar in HELENA.

               (b) See below.

               (c) Wind was force 1.  Sea was smooth (area nearly 
landlocked).  Visibility about 5000 yards for ships; about 15,000 for 
prominent land objects.  This was before any fires or firing.  Moonset 
was at 0248 this morning, but the sky was 8/10 overcast.


     November 12

     2000 - Ship at General Quarters; Material Condition Afirm.
     2203 - Task Group 67.4 completed covering retirement of 
            transports group Reversed course through South and headed 
            for Lengo Channel, course 270° T, speed 18 knots.

            In battle formation, in column in following order van to 
            rear: CUSHING (Comdr. Stokes), LAFFEY, STERETT, O'BANNAN, 
            ATLANTA, SAN FRANCISCO, (Admiral Callaghan, 0.T.C.), 
            PORTLAND, HELENA, JUNEAU, AARON WARD (Capt. Tobin), 
            BARTON, MONSSEN, FLETCHER. Distance between DD's 500 
            yards.  Distance between types 700 yards.  Distance 
            between cruisers 700 yards.

     November 13.

            Served hot soup and coffee to all hands in relays.
            Making transit of Lengo Channel.

     0026 - Changed course to 275° T.
     0028 - Changed course to 285° T.
            Received "Condition Red" over warning net from 
            Guadalcanal.  Enemy planes coming in from North, Distant 
            26 miles.

     0130 - Received T.B.S. report of contact with enemy ships.
            Picked up enemy ships on our F.D. radar on our port bow, 
            14,500 yards, and began tracking nearest large unit.

     0148 - Received order to commence fire, odd numbered ships to 
            starboard, even to port.  Had a complete fire control 
            solution of heavy unit on port bow but immediately ordered 
            action starboard in order to avoid any confusion or undue 
            concentration of targets.  Our course was then 000° T, 
            speed 18 knots.  
            We had sight contact of three ships on our starboard bow 
            and one to port.  One of the ships to starboard appeared 
            to be the size of a cruiser.  
            Shortly after sight contact ComDesDiv 10, in CUSHING, 
            leading destroyer, turned to left apparently to parallel 
            enemy track.  LAFFEY followed and STERETT had started left 
            when O.T.C. ordered ComDesDiv 10 to resume column 
            formation.  Some ships commenced fire immediately.  One 
            enemy ship to port played searchlight on our formation.

     0149 - Opened fire on largest vessel in starboard group, range 
            4,000 yards, opening.  This target was sharp on bow and 
            silhouette too vague for torpedo attack,  The order for 
            leading destroyer to resume column prevented this unit 
            from making a co-ordinated torpedo attack at this time.  
            Shortly after STERETT opened fire to starboard, an enemy
            large ship on port hand began firing at our cruisers and 
            opened a searchlight.  This made it more difficult, to see 
            our target.  Fire control radar was of great assistance at 
            this time.  Thirteen salvos were fired at this target.  
            Fire broke out on target illuminating forecastle of 
            cruiser.  Two turrets could be definitely seen: forward of 
            Several observers insist they saw three turrets forward.  
            Only two stacks were sighted but there could have been 
            three.  Best estimate is that this was of the NATORI 

     0151 - Received hit on port quarter cutting starboard cable to 
            steering gear and rudder was momentarily jammed.  Ship was 
            maneuvered by engines.  During this period 0'BANNON came 
            up on our starboard hand and STERETT checked fire.  The 
            cruiser was burning fiercely forward at this time.  
            Several minutes later there was a heavy explosion in this 
            cruiser.  It is believed she blew up, probably due to fire 
            from some other ship in our group.  The CUSHING and LAFFEY 
            were under heavy cross fire during this period and sight 
            contact of them was lost.

     0155 - Received order over T.B.S. from 0.T.C. to "Cease Fire".

     0205 - Under heavy fire from port.  Numerous near misses and many 
            shells passed overhead.  About this time foremast was hit 
            disabling S.C. radar, emergency identification lights, and 
            T.B.S. transmitting antenna, and wounding 1 officer and 2 
            men in gun director.  Temporary emergency lights and 
            antenna were rigged.  
            Ordered action port and designated KONGO class battleship 
            as target.  This target was plainly visible, Illuminated 
            by starshells and by flare from a burning ship to the
            southward.  Closed range to 4000 yards, then 2000 yards.  
            Fired full salvo of four torpedoes, normal Spread shortly 
            thereafter, and opened fire with 5"/38 on bridge 
            structure.  Two torpedoes were seen to hit, causing two 
            explosions aft.  A number of direct 5" hits were observed.
            This battleship had been under fire by other ships in our 
            force.  A few minutes later, saw men abandoning battleship 
            going over the side fore and aft.  STERETT was then within 
            2000 yards of battleship and under heavy cross fire.

     0220 - (approx).  A Jap destroyer of the FUDUKI class was 
            silhouetted, 1000 yards on STERETT's starboard bow, target 
            angle 120°.  Immediately ordered torpedo battery to fire 
            two torpedoes and 5 inch battery to open fire on 
            destroyer.  Two torpedo hits were definitely scored.  Only 
            two salvos of 5 inch had been fired and were hitting 
            squarely when the torpedoes hit the destroyer causing 
            large explosions lifting ship out or water and starting 
            fires forward and aft.  This destroyer positively sank 
            almost immediately.

     0227 - Received numerous hits on port quarter.  STERETT was 
            thoroughly illuminated when enemy destroyer to starboard 
            exploded.  Enemy salvos from relative bearing 280° 
            (approximate) struck port side of #3 handling room, gun 
            shelter and #4 handling room.  These hits started fires in
            each of the stations noted, causing detonation of several 
            5# ready service powder tanks in each handling room and 
            inflicting severe casualties to both material and 
            personnel.  Both after guns were thus put out of action.  
            Later inspection revealed two 4 or 5 inch shell hits in 
            the hull which passed through #4 handling room, one hit of 
            the same size in #3 gun shelter and three hits closely 
            grouped in #3 handling room.  These latter were of 
            undetermined calibre, the holes made by their entry 
            measuring 15 inches across the smallest diameter; only 
            small fragments of these were recovered.  A second salvo 
            of 5 inch struck the ship in the quarterdeck area, one 
            pierced the corner of the port inboard torpedo tube, while 
            the others passed through the midships clipping room, 
            causing 6 personnel casualties, but little material damage 
            other than holes in. the superstructure and damage to the 
            starboard torpedo tube nest.  This hit also caused a fire 
            on the quarterdeck.  Nearly complete 4 inch projectile was 
            recovered in #4 upper handling room.  Word was passed 
            immediately to guns #3 and 4 to flood both magazines and 
            handling room, and the repair party was dispatched to the 
            scene of the fires.  Power was ordered cut out to guns #3 
            and #4 in order to prevent fires and explosions from 
            severed electrical leads.  Ready service ammunition, much 
            of it on the verge of explosion from the heat of the 
            fires, was dumped overboard from both handling rooms.  
            Hoses and C02 extinguishers were quickly brought into 
            action and the fires brought under control.  Personnel 
            casualties were then carried to the battle dressing 
            station and turned over to the Doctor.

     0230 - STERETT was burning fiercely aft and was at this time 
            completely separated from own force.  Colors and after 
            part of ship were illuminated.  Only two guns were 
            serviceable.  Two torpedoes were still in the starboard 
            nest but one 5 inch hit had put this battery out of 
            commission.  When torpedo officer stated that it was 
            impossible to fire this battery, STERETT retired at high 
            speed, slowing from time to time to reduce 'draft' when 
            fire appeared to be getting out of control.  Remainder of 
            our force had already retired.  D.R.T. had been disabled 
            during afternoon air attack.  Ship was headed east to 
            clear area then South until close to Guadalcanal shore.

     0255 - Headed for Lengo Channel course 090° T.

     0258 - Avoided what nay have been a torpedo that crossed our bow 
            port to starboard.  Increased speed to 23 knots to clear 
            area then maneuvered toward Lengo Channel running at 10 to 
            23 knots depending on condition of fire art.  Boilers #l 
            and 2 were secured about this time due to failure of 
            firemain forward and loss of cooling water to forced draft 
            blowers and loss of ventilation blowers in this fireroom.  
            Transformers had been grounded when firemain carried away.  
            Temporary firemain jumper was quickly rigged.

     0311 - Heard and sighted heavy explosion in large ship bearing 
            345° T.  That ship was burning from stem to stern but did 
            not sink at this time.  Six or seven burning ships were in 
            sight during our retirement.

     0322 - Reported by T.B.S. to HELENA.

     0327 - Rudder jammed at full right.  Backed full both engines to 
            avoid going ashore on Guadalcanal Island.

     0332 - Went ahead using trick wheel and rudder director from 

     0345 - Entered Lengo Channel.

     0415 - Proceeded at 23 knots to overtake own forces which had 
            gone out Sealark Channel.

     0425 - Crossed 100 fathom curve to eastward of Lengo Channel.



                    (a) STERETT encountered two groups of enemy ships, 
    on roughly easterly heading making twenty three knots.  These 
    groups consisted of two battleships, five cruisers, two or three 
    were heavy, and about three or four destroyers.  One or more 
    searchlights were used first by the enemy, then several starshells 
    or aircraft flares high over the area between the forces, and 
    thirdly a form of firecracker or sparkle effect with brilliant 
    white flashes fired low between the two forces with apparent 
    intention of blinding our cruisers.

                    (b) -

                    (c) -

                    (d) When STERETT was under heavy fire, the 
    majority of shells fell over or short or astern.  No hits were 
    received below waterline.  What hits were received were quite 
    effective except for low order burst in one 4. inch projectile 
    recovered (see above), and two 5 inch projectiles which went 
    through ship without exploding.

                    (e) Unable to estimate total damage to enemy.  A   
    cruiser and a destroyer were seen to explode.  Two battleships 
    were seriously damaged.  When STERETT left area seven ships were 
    seen burning fiercely.


                    (a) See paragraph 3 above for number and type.

                    (b) Communications were all via TBS.  Our 
    transmitter was disabled by hit on mast.  Almost impossible to 
    hear TBS on destroyer bridge during height of battle.

                    (c) No smoke was used.

                    (d) Torpedo battery functioned perfectly until 
    disabled by enemy gun fire.  All six torpedoes wore fired with 45 
    knot speed setting.  Gun performance was excellent.  Fire control 
    radar was of invaluable assistance against light cruiser.  Also 5" 
    ammunition was very effective.

                    (e) No criticism of gunnery.

                    (f)  Following ammunition was expended:

                                5"/38 common    - 90 rounds.
                                Mk XV torpedoes -  6

                    (g) Radar search was with FD radar only as 
    directed by Task Group Commander.  Two groups at enemy ships were 
    located, first at 14,500 yards.

                    (h) Engineering department answered every bell at 
    once, including 1 emergency full astern to avoid ramming own 
    destroyer.  Performance of medical department was outstanding.  
    Three leg amputations were performed, and one splint compound 
    fracture treated shortly after the battle.  Only one wounded man 
    was lost after he had reached the doctor's care, and he had been 
    nearly torn in two.

                    (i) Summary of own damage:

                        STERETT received eleven direct hits and 
    fragments from several near misses.

                        Three hits were from major calibre shells set 
    with instantaneous fuses, possibly for shore bombardment,  Two or 
    three hits were 4", source not known.  All others are believed to 
    have been 5".  Two 5" shells pierced ship completely from port to 
    starboard without exploding.  

                        Hit #1 pierced the hull, port side, at frame 
    159 about one foot below the main deck and passed through ship 
    diagonally and pierced the starboard hull at frame 166 just below 
    the main deck without exploding.  This shell severed the starboard 
    steering gear cable which was then in use.  Fragments from 
    bulkheads pierced the starboard degaussing gear cable.  Other 
    damage was of minor nature to centilating system and lookers.

                        The second shell hit the fore mast below the 
    yard arm, gouging a 6 inch hole in mast.  Fragments severed the 
    main stays and cut the mast ladder in two.  Several fragments hit 
    the director and slightly wounded five of the personnel.  This hit 
    demolished the emergency recognition lights, the S.C. radar 
    antenna and the TBS transmitting antenna.

                        The third shell, believed to be in the same 
    slave, hit above the yardarm bending the ladder and flying 
    fragments knicked the yardarm and stays.

                        The fourth shell went through the port side of 
    the hull frame 160, through compartment C-203-L, damaging lockers 
    and exploding 5 or 6 tanks of 5" ready service powder killing six 
    men by burns, concussion and shrapnel.  This hit also severed all 
    power leads to #4 handling room, and fragments entered the power 
    panel at the bottom of the shell hoist.

                        The fifth hit (a 15" hole) pierced the port 
    bulkhead of the crews' washroom, frame 155, destroying the 
    urinals, damaging the flushing system, and piercing the 
    ventilation system, twisting and bending the forward frame to #3 
    handling room fragments pierced the prophylactic station and sheet 
    metal partitions in head.  This hit killed two men.

                        The sixth hit, a 15" diameter hole through 
    port side #3 handling room, frame 157 caused the ignition of 5 
    tanks of 5" ready service powder creating fierce fires, bending 
    and gutting the C-103-L bulkhead by the gun crews' passageway.  
    Fragments and shrapnel tore and twisted a transverse frame, 
    pierced holes in after deck house; severed battle, lighting 
    general power and general lighting cables.  The ammunition joist 
    and bulkhead were pierced by numerous pieces of shrapnel.  The 
    center column cable trunk and projectile hoist were also pierced 
    by fragments.  This hit killed about five men.  

                        The seventh hit shattered the port side 
    superstructure deck after deck house piercing the armor shield of 
    gun mount number 3 in numerous places, killing and severely 
    burning several men.

                        The eighth hit pierced the port side of gun 
    mount #3 and continued on through the starboard side, fragments 
    damaging rammer motor and killing one man.

                        The ninth hit pierced the lower after corner 
    of the amidships clipping room, making a hole about 14" in 
    diameter, severed upright in clipping room, cut the sprinkling 
    system pipe from #1 engine room, bent frame of WT door, fragments 
    setting off numerous pieces of small calibre and 20 mm ammunition.  
    Fragments passed through clipping room and carried away roller 
    path shield to #1 torpedo tube.

                        The tenth hit shattered the shield and O.D.D. 
    desk destroying it and fragments hitting the starboard torpedo 
    tube killing one man.

                        The eleventh hit pierced door and adjacent 
    section or inboard barrel of port torpedo tube, fragments piercing 
    machine shop, #4 barrel and torpedo airflask in starboard tube, 
    damaging trainers seat of starboard tube, and severing gland 
    exhauster line from forward engine room.  It killed two men and 
    seriously injured two men.

                        Many fragments or shrapnel also pierced the 
    trainer's sight window on gun #4, shattering the telescope glass.  
    Origin of these fragments is undetermined.  Probably they came 
    from a near-miss.

                        At the close of the action the conditions on 
    board the ship were as follows:

                        1. Gun #3 and 4 were out of commission.

                        2. Fires burning in #4 handling room, 
    compartmentO-203-L, #3 handling room and O-103-L.

                        3. S.C. radar out of commission.

                        4. Starboard torpedo tubes out of commission.

                        5. Port torpedo tubes empty.

                        6. Engineering plant was intact.

                        7. Starboard steering gear cable severed.

                        8. Degaussing cable starboard side severed.

                        9. T.B.S. antenna severed temporarily out of

                        10. The emergency power cable to the steering 
    motors was severed.

                        Following the battle, damage control measures 
    as outlined below were taken.  Fires were fought in C-203-L, #3 
    and 4 handling rooms with C02 extinguishers and hose led into 
    compartment C-203-L to extinguish burning clothing and mattresses.  
    The after magazines had been flooded.  The four holes in the 
    ship's side were plugged and shored.  The water was drained from 
    compartment into magazine below and from here pumped out with a 
    portable submersible pump to maintain proper level.  About two 
    inches of water was bailed out of compartment C-203-L and #4 
    handling room.

                  (j) Casualties to Personnel:


        JACKSON, George R.   CTM(PA)      KOPROSKI, Lawrence J.  Sea2c
        PETE, Leo J.         F2c          STAPELTON, James P.    Sea2c
        KOSS, Clifford N.    Sea2c        PONCHIN, Robert D.     Sea2c
        FLACK, Perry C.      Sea1c        KREILICK, Kenneth L.   Sea2c
        KULA, Mathew A.      SC1c         TYNAN Joseph M. Jr.    Sea2c
        WALKER, Williams S.  Matt2c       SPAULDING, Ronald G.   Cox
        LANOZAK, Chester J.  F2c          RUTH, Charles D.       F2c
        LACHAPELLE, Harry D. F2c          MARM, Harry H.         S1c
        FRENCH, Loyd J.      Sea2c        NORMANDIE, Arthur M.   Sea1c
        WHITE, William J.    Sea2c        MARTIE, Vernon R.E.    GM2c
        SMITH, Joseph        RM3c         PERRY, Carmen D.       S1c
        KLEPACKI, Alphonse B. SC3c        ROBINSON, "J" "E" Jr.  SC2c
        SMITH, Morris E.     Sea2c        HAZARD, Edward S.      F2c
        SMITH, Dale R.       Sea2c        PIKE, Amos F.          F2c

                        Seriously injured and transferred to

        NORGROSS, D.W.       Sea2c - Multiple second and third degree
        SKUTLEY, R.L.        Sea1c - Burns.
        LAYTON, S.R.         Cox   - Burns.
        RICH, J.E.           S2c   - Burns, shrapnel wounds.
        PARKIS, B.W.         MM1c  - Shrapnel wounds.
        RHODES, H.G.         TM3c  -        do
        TAFIA, ON            F2c   -        do
        SHRIEVES, D.F.       S1c   - Burns.
        TERRANO, R.R.        RM3c  - Shrapnel wounds.
        Martin, L.A.         F2c   -        do      , burns.
        HAWKINS, E.J.        TM3c           do
        SEYMOUR, R.          S1c   - Burns.
        KELLEY, D.W.         S2c   - Burns.

                                    Minor injuries

        Lt(jg) J.D. Jeffery, USN   - Multiple small shrapnel wounds.
        HAMMACK, W.R.        SF2c  -             do
        SHELTON, J.W.        FC1c  -             do
        FORSMAN, C.L.        Sea1c -             do
        DYERS, R.O.          BM1c  -             do
              The following named men were burned and jumped overboard 
    to extinguish the flames:

                            GODECKER, Hubert T.        RM2c
                            SIMMONS, Clarence M.       GM2c
                            GRANN, James I. Jr,        Sea1c
                            CARTWRIGHT, William H.     GM3c


              During the entire action and subsequent fires all 
    officers and men conducted themselves with the utmost coolness and 
    bravery.  There was no panic.  There was no confusion, and every 
    officer and man proceeded to do his own job regardless of 
    personnel risk.

              The medical department was remarkable for the efficiency 
    with which it functioned under difficult conditions. The medical 
    officer and his staff could not have done a better job.  They were 
    assisted by CONN, G.E., Y2c, HAMMACK, W.R., SF2c, LOVAS, C.R., 
    MM2c, and BOUDREAUX, F.A., F2c, who cared for the wounded 
    voluntarily in addition to their regular duties and watches until 
    reaching port, getting no sleep for at least 48 hours.

              The following officers are deserving of special 

              Lieutenant C.H. Calhoun, U.S.N., gunnery officer, for 
    the accuracy of his control of the gun battery, and the fact that, 
    as we were retiring from tile battle area, he proceeded aft and 
    personally checked the work of fire fighting parties.  At great 
    risk he entered the smoke filled handling rooms #3 and 4 and saw 
    that the after magazines were properly flooded.

              Lieutenant (jg) G.W. Hanna, USNR, first lieutenant and 
    damage control officer, for the manner in which he directed the 
    damage control parties and the removal of the wounded, without 
    thought to his own safety.

              Ensign P. Hall, U.S.N., assistant first lieutenant for 
    his courage in personally supervising the fire fighting below 
    decks, despite the dangers of smoke, gas, and overheated powder.

              The following men are especially deserving of 

              ROBINSON, J.A. SFlc - During action #3 handling room was 
    hit and set on fire and 4 shell holes put in compartment C-203-L.  
    ROBINSON led fire party to extinguish fire and later patched holes 
    and shored up bulkheads.  He worked continuously all night and the 
    next day reinforcing shores and operating pumps.  It is 
    recommended that this man be advanced to Chief Shipfitter for his 
    efficient work in handling men and directing the repair party 
    under dangerous conditions.

              MORRIS, D.B. MM2c - for heroic action under extremely 
    hazardous conditions helping fight fire and shoring bulkheads.

              BLANKENSHIP, H. CCM(AA) - for his cool and efficient 
    work in fighting fires in #4 handling room and his leadership in 
    directing the fire party to successfully extinguish the fire which 
    helped the ship continue its fighting efficiency. 

              SPENCE, M.R. Sealc - for his assistance in removing 
    casualties from gun #3 and getting #7 life raft into water for men 
    from gun #4 who were thrown over the side.

              MAYEFSKY, Jospeh, Sea2c - for assistance in removing 
    casualties from gun #3 and getting #7 life raft over the side to 
    men of gun #4.

              KOEAK, J.J. Sea2c - for assistance in removing 
    casualties from gun #3 to wardroom and assisting in getting life 
    raft #7 overboard.

              TALBOT W.W. CEM(AA) - for his tireless effort and 
    continued excellent performance of duty which was responsible for 
    repairing the sick bay and other electrical units necessary to 
    carry on the fighting efficiency of the ship.

              WELLER, L.A. Sea1c - for gallant action under extremely 
    hazardous conditions.  After #3 handling room was hit he led hose 
    into #4 handling room and shoring bulkheads.

              DEAN, J.D. MM2c - rendered valuable aid in putting out 
    fire in compartment C-203-L and handling room or No. 4 gun.

              KELLY, B.A. Sea1c  - for fine assistance in handling 
    casualties of gun    #3 and getting life raft over the side.

              WHOLLEY, J.B. F3c - for assistance in handling 
    casualties of gun #3 and getting life raft over the side.

              HODGE, H.J. CGM - for his immediate courageous and 
    efficient actionafter the ship was hit by enemy shells.  HODGE 
    immediately ascertained the damage done, took charge in the 
    vicinity of #3 and 4 handling rooms, fought the fire, removed 
    wounded, and personally removed ready service ammunition which was 
    sizzling hot and on the point of exploding (some of this powder 
    did explode in mid-air after it was thrown overboard).

              FRAY, V.W. WT2c - for his assistance in righting the 
    fires in handling rooms #3 and 4, including his help in removing 
    burning mattresses, clothing, and overheated ready-service powder.

              BURRIS, G. Sea1c, LASTRA, L.J. Sea2c, and HOMER, F.A. 
    Seac2c - for their assistance in running hoses into #1 handling 
    room, for removing burning material from vicinity of fires, and 
    for assisting HODGE in handling ready-service powder which was 
    close to the point of explosion.

              KENNUM, L.G. CTM(AA) - for his assistance in fighting 
    the fire on gun #3 and in #3 handling room, and for his heroic 
    action in entering the flames from this handling room in order to 
    operate the magazine flooding valves, which operation doubtless 
    saved the ship.

              SEYMOUR, H.A. Jr. Sea1c - for his courageous and 
    unselfish action when after being severely burned in gun #4, he 
    immediately, with complete disregard for his own safety, broke out 
    fire hose, coupled it together (judging from the present condition 
    of his hands this was really remarkable) and fought fire on #3 
    mount.  He also helped extinguish fires on clothing of SEUTLEY and 
    NORCROSS, and assisted in removal of wounded from gun #3.

              SKELTON, J.W. FC1c - for his cool and efficient 
    performance of duty as rangefinder operator when after being 
    painfully struck by shrapnel he (although he could in no way 
    determine the extent of his wounds except to feel flood soaking 
    his shirt) calmly identified silhouettes as they appeared, gave 
    target angles and speeds, and ranged under the most trying 

              BYERS, R..O. BM1c - for his cool and efficient 
    performance of duty as director trainer when after being struck in 
    the neck by shrapnel he stuck to his post until ordered by the 
    gunnery officer to leave during a lull in the action.


               It is recommended that:    All TBS orders be paralled 
    by C.W. radio.

               A spare temporary emergency identification light string 
    be ready to run up with a halyard for night action.

               A cease firing gong contact maker be installed on the 
    bridge for use of the captain in stopping gun fire, with a sounder 
    in the gun director in addition to those already mounted in gun 

               The flagship must be equipped with the most modern 

               Consideration should be given to locating remote 
    control release to magazine flooding and sprinkling valves on the 
    top aide.  It is very difficult to operate them in smoke and 

                                        J. C. COWARD  

    Copy to:  Cominch   (direct).
              Comdespac (direct).
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    FIRST ENDORSEMENT           U.S.S. HELENA            10-s
                                              November 21, 1942.

    From:        The Commanding Officer, U.S.S. HELENA.
    To  :        The Commander south Pacific Force.

           1.    Forwarded.

                                          GILBERT C. HOOVER


A16-3/(90)                   SOUTH PACIFIC FORCE

CO USS STERETT Secret ltr.                
DD407/ A16-3(005) dated
November 20, 1942.

    From:        The Commander South Pacific Area and 
                     South Pacific Force.
    To:          The Commander in Chief, U. S. Pacific Fleet.

    Subject:     Report of Action on Night of November 12 - 13 

         1.      Forwarded.

         2.      Another splendid example of the fighting spirit of 
    the men in our destroyer force. Only after having all offensive 
    armament except forward 5" guns put out of action and being 
    completely ablaze aft did the STERETT retire. Fire control and 
    damage control are considered outstanding.

         3.      Specific comments are as follow:

           (a)   F.D. radar proved invaluable.

           (b)   Attention invited to possible enemy use of a new 
          type pyrotechnic reported on page 7, par.l IV (a).

           (c)   Another instance when the TBS could not be heard 
          during gunfire.

                                           W.F. HALSEY.
    Copy to:
       CTG 64.7


     DD407/TS133                U.S.S. STERETT
                                          December 6, 1942

    From:          The Commanding Officer.
    To:            The Chief of the Bureau of ships.

    Subject:       War Damage to U.S.S. STERETT (DD407).

    Reference:     (a) BuShips Conf. Ltr. C-FS/L11-1(374) C-EN26/A2-11
                       of April 17, 1942.

         1.        The damages listed below were received from enemy 
    action by this vessel on the night of November 12-13, 1942.  
    Preliminary repairs were made by the U.S.S. TANGIER and 
    photographs taken.  Supplementary repairs were made by the U.S.S 

        I. GENERAL:

           (a) Date damage received - November 13, 1942.
           (b) Geographic position - Lat. 09-10S; L. 159-55E.
                 (5 to 10 miles east of Savo Island).
           (c) Depth of water - over 100 fathoms.
           (d) Weather - fair.
               Sea     - smooth.
               Visibility - about 4,000 yards for ships, 15,000 yards
                            for prominent land objects.
           (e) Draft (approx) before battle - Fwd. 12'-06"
                                              Aft. 11'-01"
                              after  battle - Fwd. 11'-02.5"
                                              Aft. 12'-07" 
           (f) Slight list, immediately corrected.
           (g) Before battle - course 310° T.
                               speed  18 kts.
               After battle  - course; in general easterly.
                               speeds 10 to 37 kts.

           (h) Narrative of events:
               Preliminary: Task group 67.4 under Rear Admiral 
    Callaghan consisted of CUSHING (CDD10), LAFFEY, STERETT, O'BANNON, 
    ATLANTA, Rear Admiral Scott, SAN FRANCISCO, Rear Admiral 
    MONSSEN, and FLETCHER was operating in GUADALCANAL area.

           Nov. 12, 1942 - 2000 - Ship at general quarters.
                                  Condition Afirm set.
                         - 2203 - Reversed course after covering 
                                  transport retirement.
           Nov. 13, 1942 - 0026 - c/c to 275° T. passing through
                                  Lengo Channel in column with 
                                  Task Group 67.4 (Admiral Callahan) 
                                  in order listed above.
                           0028 - c/c to 285° T.  Enemy planes over
                           0130 - Enemy forces located by radar.
                           0148 - Illuminated briefly by enemy
                                  searchlight to port.
                           0149 - Open fire on cruiser on star-
                                  board bow.  Range 4,000 yards 
                                  opening.  Fired 13 salvos of 5".  
                                  Not practicable to fire torpedoes at 
                                  this time.  Numerous direct 5" hits 
                                  were made and a fire started around 
                                  number two turret.  Range was then 
                                  fouled by O'BANNON and fire was 
                           0151 - Received hit No. 1 (see below).
                           0155 - Task Group received orders from
                                  O.T.C. to "cease firing".
                           0205 - Received numerous near misses
                                  and hit No. 2.  Fired broadside 
                                  salvo of four torpedoes at Kongo 
                                  type battleship on port bow, range 
                                  3,000 yards.  Fired eight salvoes 
                                  of 5"/38 at battleship bridge 
                                  structure.  Two torpedoes were seen 
                                  to hit, starting large fires.  A 
                                  couple minutes later men were seen 
                                  abandoning the battleship fore and 
                           0220(approx) - Fired two torpedoes and
                                  two salvoes of 5"/38 at DD on
                                  starboard bow range 1,000 yards.  
                                  Enemy DD blew up and sank in about 
                                  one minute without being able to 
                                  fire a single shot.
                           0227 - Received hits No. 3-11.
                           0230 - Flooded all magazines aft.  Fought
                                  fires in gun #3, #3 and 4 upper 
                                  handling rooms, and compartments 
                                  mattresses against holes in hull.  
                                  Commenced retirement at various 
                                  Speeds and courses.  All other ships 
                                  of our force, that were able to, had 
                                  started retirement prior STERETT's 
                                  last engagement.  Blowing up the 
                                  Japanese destroyer at this time 
                                  confused the enemy.  He not only 
                                  fired at the STERETT but also at his 
                                  own ships for several minutes.
                           0255 - Headed for Lengo Channel, course
                                  090° T.
                           0327 - Rudder jammed hard right.  Backed
                                  full to avoid grounding on Guadal-
                           0329 - Continued retirement using trick
                                  wheel and rudder order indicator.

           (i) The fighting efficiency of the ship was reduced about 
    80% by the battle.  Twenty percent of the ship's company had been 
    killed or seriously wounded.  Both torpedo tubes were disabled (2 
    remaining torpedoes were jammed in barrels, and one air flask was 
    punctured); guns 3 and 4 were out of commission; 2/3 of the 5"/38 
    ammunition was under water; the degaussing cables were out and the 
    starboard steering cable was severed.  As soon as STERETT was out 
    of the enemy heavy cross fire boilers #1 and 2 (2/3 of total 
    boiler power) had to be secured.  The fire main in the forward 
    fireroom had ruptured due to shock.  All ventilation was out due 
    to grounding of transformers.  Water supply to forced draft blower 
    lubricating oil coolers was lost.  A jumper was rigged using fire 
               The 5" gun director and 5" guns 1 and 2 were in full 
    commission; all six depth charge throwers were in commission; all 
    six machine guns were undamaged; both depth charge racks were 
    available; QC units were functioning; both main engines, #3 boiler 
    and the steering engine were satisfactory.
               The STERETT had engaged three enemy ships, a light 
    cruiser (probably of the Natori class), a Kongo type battleship, 
    and Fubuki type destroyer (sometimes spelled Hubuki).  Fires were 
    started on the cruiser and it later exploded while under fire from 
    one of our heavy ships.  Two positive torpedo hits were scored on 
    the battleship, fires were started and the ship abandoned.  This 
    battleship received severe punishment from several of our ships 
    and was sunk later by our torpedo bombers.  The destroyer exploded 
    and was seen to sink in less than a minute. 


           (a) Hit #1.

               1. Common projectile - weight undetermined -
                  4" diameter - either delayed action or faulty 
               2(a). Range of enemy - estimated 3,000 to 4,000
                  yards, relative bearing 280°.
               3. Impact at frame 159 port, 2½ feet above fuel
                  oil tank top.
               4. This projectile passed through bunks, numerous
                  lockers, two side bulkheads of ready service powder 
                  stowage in #4 handling room and exited through 
                  starboard hull frame 166, one foot below main deck.
               5. Thickness of plating pierced - ¼ inch.
               6. Projectile did not detonate.
               7. -
               8. (a) -
                  (b) -
                  (c) Fragment cut starboard steering cable.
                  (d) Several minor fires were started.
               9. - 
              10. Fires were put out quickly, holes in ship's hull
                  were plugged and secured by shoring.  Steering 
                  control was shifted.  There was also a momentary 
                  mechanical jam of steering wheel which was handled 
                  by maneuvering with engines.

               Hit #2.
               1. Projectile common - 6" diameter, instantaneous 
               2. (a) Range of enemy about 4000 yards: relative
                  bearing 230°.
               3. Hit 4 feet below yardarm of foremast.
               4. -
               5. Thickness of plating penetrated ½ inch.
               6. Detonated on impact.
               7. High order detonation - no fragments recovered.
               8. Impact gouged a hole 6" in diameter cutting about
                  half the diameter of the mast away.
                  (c) Fragments severed the main stays and cut mast
                  ladder in tow.  Several small fragments hit director 
                  and dented housing and radar antenna.  Fragments 
                  demolished emergency recognition lights, "SC" radar 
                  antenna and TBS transmitting antenna.
                  (d) -
                  (e) -
               9. -
              10. Rigged temporary manila stays to support mast.
                  Rigged temporary T.B.S. antenna and emergency 

               Hit #3.
               1. Projectile - 6" common - instantaneous fuze.
               2. (a) Enemy range 4000 - bearing 230°.
               3. Impact 3 feet above yardarm on foremast.
               4. -
               5. -
               6. -
               7. -
               8. No serious damage except to dent the mast, bend
                  mast ladder, knick the yardarm in several places
                  and demolish recognition lights.
               9. -
              10. See hit No. 2.
               Hit #4.
               1. Projectile - 4" common - weight of 75% of
                  complete projectile shell recovered 20 lbs;
                  delayed action fuze.
               2.(a) Enemy range 3000 to 4000 yards - relative
                 bearing 295°.
               3. Impact at port side of hull, frame 160, 5 feet
                  below main deck.
               4. Projectile passed through bunks and lockers, struck
                  center support of handling room doorway, passed
                  through handling room, penetrating the end of ready
                  service projectile bin and starboard bulkhead of
                  handling room, expended its energy on after bulkhead
                  of compartment C-203-L, frame 167, where it was 
                  found on deck.
               5. Shell penetrated plating ¼" - handling room door-
                  way frame 5/16", center doorway panel 5/16",
                  corner of ready service projectile stowage 1/8",
                  handling room bulkhead 5/32", vertical upright
                  support ¼".
               6. -
               7. Low order detonation.    
               8. (a) - (b) - (c) Very little fragmentation of 
                  Projectile.  Damage sustained almost entirely
                  from extensive fragmentation of handling room
                  doorway frame and panel. Large splinters from
                  this structure flew in almost every direction, one
                  pierced handling room bulkhead, cutting all of
                  gun 4# power cables and penetrated the hull at
                  frame 165 starboard, 3 feet above the water line.
                  Other large fragments pierced the power panels
                  at bottom of gun center column, tore apart the
                  ready service projectile stowage, and out the
                  degaussing cable.
                  (d) Fragments struck ready service powder stowage.
                  Fires were started. Six cartridges exploded.
                  (e) - 
               9. Heavy smoke and acrid fumes were present.
              10. Holes were plugged with mattresses and plugs held
                  in place by shoring.  Fires started by this
                  hit were fought, using house from all over ship,
                  and CO2 extinguishers from all spaces aft including
                  engineering spaces.  All after magazines were
                  flooded and all power cut out to guns #3 and 4.
                  Main generators tripped out but were immediately
                  cut in again, after cutting out power aft.

               Hit #5.
               1. Projectile - common, major caliber, undetermined
                  diameter.  Hole of entrance measured 15 inches
                  across shortest diameter.  Instantaneous fuze.
               2. (a) Enemy range between 270 and 300°.
               3. Impact occurred against port bulkhead of crews
                  washroom, frame 155, 3 feet above main deck.
               4. Detonated on impact.
               5. Projectile penetrated ¼" bulkhead.
               6. Apparently detonation occurred instantly.
               7. High order detonation.
               8. (a) - (b) Explosion tore large pieces off from
                  the handling room doorway frame, also severely
                  bending and twisting it, and destroyed the crews
                  (c) Severe damage resulted from flying fragments.
                  Large fragments pierced the center column of the
                  gun, severing all power cables; pierced projectile
                  hoist in several places; pierced after bulkhead
                  (1/2") and starboard bulkhead of handling room
                  (1/4") in several places; pierced the upper end of
                  the lower ammunition hoist; pierced ventilation duct
                  gas ejection); pierced bulkhead near the 
                  prophylactic urinal; pierced handling room doorway 
                  (d) -
                  (e) -
               9. Dense smoke was present.
              10. Fires were put out to localize damage, one member
                  of repair party, despite fierce fires and dense 
                  smoke climbed through opening, made by projectile,
                  in bulkhead and opened magazine flood valves.  
                  Normal access to these valves was blocked by 
                  distorted doors and dished in bulkheads.

               Hit 6
               1. Projectile - same as hit #5.
               2. (a) Same data ad hit #5.
               3. Impact at port side #3 upper handling room frame 
                  157, about 4½ feet above main deck.
               4. Same data ad hit #5.
               5. Same data ad hit #5.
               6. Same data ad hit #5.
               7. Same data ad hit #5.
               8. (a) Impact caused 15" hole in the port handling room 
                  (b) Explosion warped overhead deck plating and gun 
                  #3 foundation and caused severe fire.
                  (c) Fragments pierced projectile hoist, center 
                  column cable trunk, pierced the overhead (3/8"),
                  pierced starboard (1/4") and after handling room
                  bulkhead (1/2"), pierced one large overhead 
                  longitudinal frame (1/4").  Distances of fragment 
                  holes from point of detonation between 4 and 15 
                  (d) Subsequent explosions resulted when fragments
                  detonated several tanks of ready service powder.  
                  This caused severe deformation and buckling of light
                  bulkhead in compartment C-103-L and severe fires.
                  (e) Entire handling room and adjacent gun crew 
                  shelter and crews head caught fire.
               9. Dense smoke and acrid fumes.
              10. Damage control party put out fires.  All men that
                  could be spared from engineering spaces were ordered
                  to bring additional fire fighting equipment to 
                  vicinity #3 handling room.

               Hit #7
               1. Projectile - same data as hits #5 and #6.
               2. (a) Same as hit #5.
               3. Impact occurred against port side superstructure
                  deck after deck house.
               4. Same date as hit #5.
               5. Thickness of plating penetrated, deck ¼" and
                  bulkhead ¼".
               6. Same data as hit #5 and 6.
               7. Same data as hits #5 and 6.
               8. (a) - (b) Explosion shattered deck and bulkhead at
                  point of impact.
                  (c) Pieces of shrapnel pierced armor shield (1/4")
                  of gun mount number three in numerous places and
                  pierced the projectile hoist, severed hydraulic pipe
                  lines, and pierced elevating and training motor.
                  In addition fragments dented the base ring in the
                  vicinity of the roller path, causing probable 
                  deformation or crushing of rollers, so that gun 
                  cannot be trained.
                  (d) -
                  (e) -
               9. -
              10. Several hoses were played on fire through top of
    No. 3 mount.  Burning clothes on men were ripped off and seriously
    burned men were sent forward.
               Hit #8
               1. Projectile - common - weight undetermined 4"
                  diameter - either delay action or faulty fuze.
               2. Enemy range estimated between 3000 and 4000 yards,
                  relative bearings 280°.
               3. Impact port side of gun mount number 3 about 2 feet
                  from deck of gun mount.
               4. Pierced shield of gun mount and continued on through
                  starboard side.
               5. Thickness of plating penetrated, gun shield ¼".
               6. Projectile did not detonate.
               7. No detonation occurred.
               8. (a) Impact caused 4" hole in port side of gun shield
                  also about 10" hole in starboard side shield.
                  (b) - (c) - (d) - (e) -.
               9. -
              10. - 

               Hit #9
               1. Projectile - common, undetermined weight and 
                  diameter though probably 5 inch, instantaneous fuze.
               2. (a) Enemy range - 3000 yards, relative bearing 280°.
               3. Impact at lower after corner of amidships clipping
               4. -
               5. - Detonation at impact.
               6. -
               7. High order explosion.
               8. (a) Made a hole about 14" in diameter in bulkhead of
                  clipping room.
                  (b) -
                  (c) Fragments pierced port bulkhead of clipping room
                      (aluminum ¼"), severed vertical support (1/8"),
                      severed sprinkling system pipe line, bent W.T.
                      door frame, pierced four 20 mm magazines 
                      detonating several rounds of 20 mm, passed 
                      through after clipping room bulkhead, carried 
                      away roller path shield (1/8") of #1 torpedo 
                      tube and shattered gear teeth of training rack 
                      of #1 tube.
                      (d) Slight explosions initiated by detonation of
                      20 mm and 45 calibre ammunition in clipping 
                      Flash started minor fires and set fire to 
                      clothing on torpedo men.
                      (e) -
               9. No noxious gases.
              10. Put out fires.

               Hit #10
               1. Projectile - estimated type common, weight unknown,
                  diameter 5"; instantaneous fuze.
               2. (a) Enemy range 3000 yards.  Enemy relative bearing
               3. Impact on after port upper corner of gangway desk.
               4. -
               5. -
               6. Projectile detonated on impact.
               7. Detonation was high order.
               8. (a and b) impact and/or explosion demolished light
                  aluminum gangway desk and shield.
               9. -
              10. - 

               Hit #11
               1. Projectile - estimated type, common - weight 
                  unknown, diameter 5", instantaneous fuze.
               2. (a) Enemy range about 4000 yards - enemy relative
                  bearing 300°.
               3. Impact at door of inboard barrel, port torpedo tube.
               4. -
               5. Thickness of plating penetrated: Door (3/8") and
                  side wall (1/8") of #1 torpedo barrel of #2 torpedo
                  tube mount.
               6. Projectile detonated immediately after piercing 
               7. Detonation was :high order".
               8. (a) Impact tore 5" hole in door and wall of torpedo
                  (b) -
                  (c) Fragments pierced machine shop bulkhead (¼"),
                  side wall of #4 torpedo barrel starboard (5/32") and
                  torpedo airflask (3/8"), severed glad exhauster line
                  from forward engine room.
                  (d) -
                  (e) -
               9. -
              10. -

                                         J. G. COWARD

   Copy to: Cominch (direct)
            BuOrd   (direct)
            Nyd MI  (direct)
            ComDesPac (direct)

(006)                          U. S. S. STERETT

                                             November 22, 1942
S E C R E T 

From:              The Commanding Officer.
To  :              The Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Via :              The Commander South Pacific Force.

Subject:           Sinking of the U.S.S. JUNEAU, report on.
Reference:         Art. 712, U.S. Navy Regs. of 1920.
                   (b) CinCPacConf. Ltr. 16CL-42 of March 19, 1942.
                   (c) CinCPac Conf. Ltr. 24 CL-42 of June 21, 1942.

Enclosure:         (A) Sketch of tactical situation at time of
                       explosion on JUNEAU.

    1.             The U.S.S. JUNEAU was torpedoed and sunk at 1101
(-11 ZT) November 13, 1942, in latitude 10-34 S; Long. 161-04 E.

    2.             At time of attack:-

                   (a) Task group 67.4 was retiring from battle, base
course 180° T, speed 18 knots, zig zag plan #8, formation as per
enclosure (A).

                   (b) Weather: surface visibility unlimited, seventy
five percent overcast, alto cumulus clouds.

                   (c) Sea smooth; wind force 3, 090° T.

                   (d) All ships in this formation, less the FLETCHER,
    had been damaged in battle on the morning of November 13, 1942.
    The STERETT was limited to 21 knots.  The JUNEAU had been 
    torpedoed in forward engine room and was several feet down by the 
    bow,  Due to this condition the JUNEAU had taken station on the 
    starboard quarter of the SAN FRANCISCO.  The SAN FRANCISCO had 
    been severely damaged, exact condition unknown to STERETT.  The 
    O'BANNON had been in the formation in the early morning but had 
    been sent off to transmit an urgent radio message.  The O'BANNON 
    had been selected for this duty because both sound units were out    
    of commission and she therefore was of no value in the A/S screen.  
    Maximum speed of O'BANNON was 23 knots.

              Chronological Log
              0615 - STERETT joined HELENA, SAN FRANCISCO, JUNEAU,
O'BANNON and FLETCHER.  O'BANNON reported both sound units out of
commission.  STERETT took A/S screen position 4330 and assigned
FLETCHER station 4030, circle spacing 1,000 yards.

              0809 - O'BANNON left formation as per below quoted

       "From:   HELENA.
        To:     O'BANNON, INFO: All ships present.
        AT 10 DASH 20 S 161 DASH 03 E AT ABOUT 1000 X EXPEDITE".

              0950 - STERETT had sound contact.  Reported contact
by general signal and T.B.S. STERETT delivered and urgent depth
charge attack and other units maneuvered radically to clear area.
Results of attack unknown.  Contact was definitely submarine as
good hydrophone effect was obtained.  This submarine could not
possibly have been the one that delivered an attack one hour and
ten minutes later. 

              1035 - Sighted several unidentified planes in clouds
on starboard quarter.  A/S screen immediately closed to 2000 yards
General quarters and condition Afrim were set.  Planes soon departed,
still unidentified.  STERETT ordered A/S screen so resume normal

              1058 - STERETT was on A/S screen station and resumed
condition two mike sail and baker.

              1101 - JUNEAU was blown up in one tremendous explosion.
The entire ship was instantaneously enveloped in a cloud of yellow,
black and grey smoke.  Large particles of debris were thrown several
hundred feet in the air.  When the smoke cleared the JUNEAU had
completely disappeared.  No debris of any size could be seen.  No 
survivors were seen.  Everything apparently had been "sucked" under
when the JUNEAU sank.

              The remaining units maneuvered radically at high
speed to clear the area.  No attempt was made to search for sur-
vivors, none seemed warranted.  The ships were in extremely
dangerous submarine waters.  An enemy force of one battleship,
one cruiser and four destroyers had been reported in Indispensible
Strait, course 125° T, speed 20 knots (NPM #326 of November 13,
1942).  Our unit had suffered heavy battle damage and two destroyers
were definitely needed in screen.

              The STERETT had no sound contact at this time,
possibly because she had just returned from A/A station to A/S
screen at 21 knots.

              1125 - One B-17 stood in close to formation.  HELENA
transmitted a message to this plane.  It was believed the plane
had seen the explosion and would immediately submit necessary

              1430 - O'BANNON stood in and rejoined formation
shortly thereafter and was assigned position 1000 yards ahead of
HELENA, sound gear being still out of commission.

                                 J. G. COWARD

Copy to: Cominch (direct)
         CinCpac (direct)
         HELENA (direct)

Information U.S.S. STRERETT

Dictionary of Fighting Ships

                                    Benham Class
                             Completed - 1939 - 40



   1,500 tons (stand)
   2,300 tons (Mean War Service)
Length: 341' (oa)
Beam: 35
Draft: 17' (max)


4 5"/38 DP
2 40mm twins
4 20mm
2 DC tracks
4-6 DC projectors
2 21" TT (quads)


Speed: 34 knots (max)
Max. Cruising radius:
  2,300 miles @ 25 knots 
  4,900 miles @15 knots
Horsepower: 50,0000 (shaft)
Drive: 2 screws; geared turbine
Fuel: 528 tons oil (max)

      The BENHAM's are slightly improved GRIDDLEY's.  Outwardly, the 
principal difference consist of a smaller, oval stack, enclosed single 
mounts for the after guns, and a lowering of the trunked boiler 
uptakes leading into the stacks.  Torpedo tubes are still in side 
mounts, but reduced from 16 to 8 in favor of heavier close-defense AA 

War losses include:

To learn more about the U.S.S. STERETT
visit their Web-site http://www.sterett.org
NavSource Online  Has photos of DD-407


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