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    Komandorski Islands (Командо́рские острова́) Kamchatka Krai Russia

Location
Islands located in the in the Bering Sea, 109 miles east of the Kamchatka Peninsula. Also known as the "Commander Islands". The islands are part of the Aleutsky District of Kamchatka Krai. Contains the larger islands Bering Island and Medny Island plus fifteen smaller islands including Puffin Rock (Kamen Toporkov, Ostrov Toporkov) and Kamen Ariy Island.

Battle of the Komandorskies (Battle of the Bering Sea)
A brief battle near the Komandorski Islands in the North Pacific Ocean, roughly 150 miles west of Cape Wrangle on Attu Island. Since the battle occurred over the International Date Line, the Japanese state the date of the battle as March 27, 1943 while American forces recorded the battle as March 26, 1943. Also known as the "Battle of the Bering Sea"

When American forces became alerted to a Japanese attempt to send a supply convoy to the Japanese occupied Aleutian Islands, US Navy Task Group Mike commanded by Rear Admiral Charles McMorris was sent to intercept them including USS Salt Lake City, USS Richmond and destroyers USS Coghlan, USS Bailey, USS Dale and USS Monaghan. The Japanese "Northern Force" was escorted by Nachi, Maya, Tama and destroyers Wakaba and Hatsushimo escorted a convoy including Abukuma, destroyers Ikazuchi, Inazuma, Asaka Maru, Sakito Maru, Usugumo and Sanko Maru.

During the morning of March 27, 1943 off the Komandorski Islands, the Japanese convoy spotted on radar at 7:30am by the US Navy force. At 8:40am Nachi opened fire, and USS Richmond returned fire. The battle was entirely between surface ships, making it one of the last solely ship versus ship gunnery and torpedo duels in Naval history.

Both sides suffered damage, with the US Navy ships being as badly damaged by the superior firepower of the Japanese. Although the Japanese force could have prevailed, Admiral Hosogaya withdrew at 12:30pm, unaware they had severely damaged the USS Salt Lake City and no American air power was patrolling the vicinity. This brief battle is considered a strategic defeat for the Japanese, since they were unable to resupply Attu Island or Kiska Island by surface ships.

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

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