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Atlanta-class light cruiser
541' 6" x 52' 2" x 16' 4"
16 x 5" Guns
9 x 1.1" Guns
8 x 20mm cannons
6 x depth charge proj
2 x depth charge tracks
The cruiser departed for the Pacific Theater on August 22. After stopping briefly at the Tonga and New Caledonia, she rendezvoused on 10 September with Task Force 18 (TF 18) under the command of Rear Admiral Leigh Noyes, flying his flag on USS Wasp. The following day TF 17, which included Hornet, combined with Admiral Noyes' unit to form TF 61, whose mission was to ferry fighter aircraft to Guadalcanal.
On 15 September, Wasp took three torpedo hits from the Japanese submarine I-19, and, with fires raging out of control, was sunk at 2100 by Lansdowne. Juneau and screen destroyers rescued 1,910 survivors of Wasp and returned them to Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides on 16 September. The next day, the fast cruiser rejoined TF 17. Operating with the Hornet group, she supported three actions that repulsed enemy thrusts at Guadalcanal: the Buin-Fasi-Tonolai Raid; the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands; and the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal (Third Savo).
Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands
Early on the morning of 26 October, US carrier planes uncovered the enemy force and immediately attacked it, damaging two Japanese carriers, one battleship, and three cruisers. But while American aircraft were locating and engaging the enemy, American ships were also under fire. Shortly after 1000, some 27 enemy aircraft attacked Hornet. Though Juneau and other screen ships threw up an effective AA barrage which splashed about 20 of the attackers, Hornet was badly damaged and sank the next day. Just before noon, Juneau left Hornet's escort for the beleaguered Enterprise group several miles away. Adding her firepower, Juneau assisted in repulsing four enemy attacks on this force and splashing 18 Japanese planes.
That evening the American forces retired to the southeast. Although the battle had been costly, it - combined with the Marine victory on Guadalcanal - turned back the attempted Japanese parry in the Solomons. Furthermore, the damaging of two Japanese carriers sharply curtailed the air cover available to the enemy in the subsequent Naval Battle of Guadalcanal.
Naval Battle of Guadalcanal
At 0148 on 13 November, Rear Admiral Daniel J. Callaghan's relatively small Landing Support Group engaged the enemy. The Japanese force consisted of two battleships, one light cruiser, and nine destroyers.
Because of bad weather and confused communications, the battle occurred in almost pitch darkness and at almost point-blank range as the ships of the two sides became intermingled. During the melee, Juneau was struck on the port side by a torpedo causing a severe list, stopping her dead in the water, and necessitating withdrawal. Before noon on 13 November, Juneau, along with two other cruisers damaged in the battle — Helena and San Francisco — left the Guadalcanal area to return to Espiritu Santo for repairs. Juneau was steaming on one screw, keeping station 800 yd (730 m) off the starboard quarter of the likewise severely damaged San Francisco. She was down 12 ft (4 m) by the bow, but able to maintain 13 kn (15 mph, 24 km/h). A few minutes after 1100, three torpedoes were launched from I-26. Juneau successfully avoided two, but the third struck her at the same point which had been hit during the battle. There was a great explosion; Juneau broke in two and disappeared in just 20 seconds.
Fearing more attacks from I-26, USS Helena and San Francisco continued-on without attempting to rescue survivors. Although the ship went down with heavy loss of life, more than 100 sailors had survived the sinking. They were left to fend for themselves in the open ocean for eight days before rescue aircraft belatedly arrived. While awaiting rescue, all but 10 died from the elements and shark attacks, including .
The Sullivan Brothers
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