Battle of Cape St. George

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of Cape St. George


caption=U.S. destroyer "Charles Ausburne" operating in the Solomon Islands around 1943.
partof=the Pacific Theater of World War II
date=November 26, 1943
place=Near Buka Island, north of Bougainville
result= U.S. victory
combatant1=United States
combatant2=Empire of Japan
commander1=Arleigh Burke
commander2=Kiyoto Kagawa
strength1=5 destroyers
strength2=5 destroyers
casualties1=None
casualties2=3 destroyers sunk,
647 killed [Morison, "Breaking the Bismarcks", p. 353, & Nevitt, "Combinedfleet.com". Nevitt says 228 were lost on "Onami" and 200 on "Makinami" and, along with Morison, says that there were 278 survivors from "Yugiri". Morison says there were 300 troops on "Yugiri", which along with a normal complement of 197 means about 497 were on board during this engagement. Subtracting 278 from 497 equals 219 killed on "Yugiri".] |

The Battle of Cape St. George was a naval battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II fought on November 26, 1943, between Cape St. George, New Ireland, and Buka Island (now part of the North Solomons Province in Papua New Guinea). It was the last engagement of surface ships in the Solomon Islands campaign.

Background

Americans had landed troops on Bougainville on November 1 1943. This posed a threat to the Japanese base on Buka Island to the west, and 900 Japanese Army troops were loaded on the destroyer transports "Amagiri", "Yugiri", "Uzuki" and sent together with the destroyers "Onami", "Makinami" under the command of Captain Kiyoto Kagawa to reinforce the garrison.

The United States Navy learned of the convoy and sent the five "Fletcher"-class destroyers "Charles Ausburne", "Claxton", "Dyson", "Converse", and "Spence" under the command of Captain Arleigh Burke to intercept it.

Battle

The Japanese destroyers landed the 900 troops and supplies, embarked an equivalent number of Navy personnel (that the Army troops replaced), and were returning to Rabaul when at about 01:40 they were spotted on radar by the U.S. warships. Superior radar allowed the American ships to approach and launch their torpedoes at about 01:55 before the Japanese sighted them. "Onami" was hit by several torpedoes and sank immediately. "Makinami" was hit by one torpedo, disabled, and then sunk by gunfire. The transport destroyers fled in different directions; Burke pursued "Yugiri" and sank her about 03:30.

Aftermath

The battle marked the end of the Tokyo Express and the end of Japanese resistance in the Solomon Islands, and the success of Allied efforts to achieve superiority in night combat using radar. There were no more surface engagements in the Pacific War until the Mariana and Palau Islands campaign began with the invasion of Saipan in June 1944.

Notes

References

*cite book
last = Brown
first = David
authorlink =
year = 1990
title = Warship Losses of World War Two
publisher = Naval Institute Press
location =
id = ISBN 1-55750-914-X

*cite book
last = D'Albas
first = Andrieu
authorlink =
year = 1965
title = Death of a Navy: Japanese Naval Action in World War II
publisher = Devin-Adair Pub
location =
id = ISBN 0-8159-5302-X

*cite book
last = Dull
first = Paul S.
authorlink =
year = 1978
chapter =
title = A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1941-1945
publisher = Naval Institute Press
location =
id = ISBN 0-87021-097-1

*cite book
last = Hara
first = Tameichi
authorlink = Tameichi Hara
year = 1961
chapter =
title = Japanese Destroyer Captain
publisher = Ballantine Books
location = New York & Toronto
id = ISBN 0-345-27894-1

*cite book
last = Jones
first = Ken
authorlink =
coauthors =
year = 1997
chapter =
title = Destroyer Squadron 23: Combat Exploits of Arleigh Burke's Gallant Force
publisher = Naval Institute Press
location =
id = ISBN 1-55750-412-1

*cite book
last = Kilpatrick
first = C. W.
authorlink =
coauthors =
year = 1987
chapter =
title = Naval Night Battles of the Solomons
publisher = Exposition Press
location =
id = ISBN 0-682-40333-4

*cite book
last = McGee
first = William L.
authorlink =
coauthors =
year = 2002
chapter = Bougainville Campaign
title = The Solomons Campaigns, 1942-1943: From Guadalcanal to Bougainville--Pacific War Turning Point, Volume 2 (Amphibious Operations in the South Pacific in WWII)
publisher = BMC Publications
location =
id = ISBN 0-9701678-7-3

*cite book
last = Morison
first = Samuel Eliot
authorlink = Samuel Eliot Morison
coauthors =
year = 1958
chapter =
title = Breaking the Bismarcks Barrier", vol. 6 of "History of United States Naval Operations in World War II
publisher = Castle Books
location =
id = ISBN 0-7858-1307-1

*cite book
last = Potter
first = E. B.
authorlink =
coauthors =
year = 2005
chapter =
title = Admiral Arleigh Burke
publisher = Naval Institute Press
location =
id = ISBN 1-59114-692-5

*cite book
last = Roscoe
first = Theodore
authorlink =
coauthors =
year = 1953
chapter =
title = United States Destroyer Operations in World War Two
publisher = Naval Institute Press
location =
id =ISBN 0-87021-726-7

External links

*cite web
last = McComb
first = David W.
authorlink =
coauthors =
date =
year = 2008
month =
url = http://www.destroyerhistory.org/desron23/bat_capestgeorge.html
title = Battle of Cape St. George
format =
work = Destroyer History Foundation
pages =
publisher =
language =
accessdate = 2008-04-16
accessyear =

*cite web
last = Parshall
first = Jon
coauthors = Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp, & Allyn Nevitt
year =
url = http://www.combinedfleet.com/kaigun.htm
title = Imperial Japanese Navy Page (Combinedfleet.com)
work =
accessdate = 2006-06-14

* [http://www.microworks.net/pacific/battles/cape_stgeorge.htm Description by Vincent O'Hara]
* [http://www.navweaps.com/index_oob/OOB_WWII_Pacific/OOB_WWII_Cape-St_-George.htm Order of battle]
* [http://www.ww2db.com/battle_spec.php?battle_id=8 WW2DB: Solomons Campaign]


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