Cape Esperance by BeyondVR ()
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In a counterpoint to the disastrous Battle of Savo Island, on October 11, 1942 it was the Japanese who were unprepared for battle, and the Americans who had a plan. Rear Admiral Goto's force of 3 CAs Aoba, Furutaka and Kinugasa supported by DDs Fubuki and Hatsuyuki, was to shell Henderson Field on Guadalcanal. Sure that no American force would dare challenge them at night, and told that the way was clear, Goto proceeded to the bombardment of Henderson Field. The heavy cruisers were loaded with AA shells to tear up the American planes instead of AP shells to fight ships.
Patrolling SW/NE line off Cape Esperance, west of Savo, Rear Admiral Norm Scott's force of CAs San Francisco and Salt Lake City, CLs Boise and Helena, supported by DDs Farenholt, Duncan, Laffey, Buchanan and McCalla had just begun a turn by column. While all the other ships got the word, one deck below the officers of Scott's flagship, San Francisco, understood it to be a turn by division, spinning the 3 van destroyers out of formation. Regardless of the botched formation, Scott had achieved an admiral's dream, crossing the Japanese "T." Instead of following the other van destroyers trying to get back into position, USS Duncan, the ship in the distance on the right in the picture, made a lone charge at the Japanese ships. Destroyer Hatsuyuki, on the port side of the cruiser column, is seen here making a U-turn to port. Not sealed up for battle and with the wrong ammunition, the Japanese also had their worst luck with the Long Lance torpedoes.
Here, USS San Francisco fires on the Japanese flagship Aoba, not visible. In the confused battle that followed, the Japanese lost CA Furutaka and DD Fubuki. Duncan was also sunk. Two more Japanese destroyers were sunk by American planes the next day as they were trying to aid survivors of Furutaka. Poser 6/Bryce 6