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    Naval Battle of Vella Lavella (Naval Battle off Horanui) Western Province Solomon Islands

Location
The Naval Battle of Vella Lavella occurred in Vella Gulf off Vella Lavella Island in Western Province in the Solomon Islands. The Japanese referred to this battle as the "Naval Battle off Horanui".

Wartime History
During the night of October 6, 1943 the Naval Battle of Vella Lavella occurred to the north of Vella Lavella. An Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) destroyer force was sent to evacuate Japanese assembled Horoniu (Horaniu) on the northern coast of Vella Lavella. The Japanese force included destroyer-transports: Fumizuki, Matsukaze, and Yūnagi escorted by six destroyers: Akigumo, Isokaze, Kazagumo, Yūgumo, Shigure, and Samidare.

At 11:30pm, the Japanese destroyer escorts spotted three USN destroyers approaching from Vella Gulf including USS Selfridge (DD-357), USS Chevalier (DD-451) and USS O'Bannon. During the battle, Yūgumo was hit and sunk. USS Chevalier was hit by a torpedo and sunk. Both USS O'Bannon and USS Selfridge were damaged.

The Naval Battle of Vella Lavella was considered a Japanese victory as they sustained less damage to their destroyers and were able to complete their evacuation mission.

References
Japanese Monograph 99 (Southeast Area Naval Operations)

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Last Updated
October 23, 2019

 

Map
Map
Sept 1943

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