Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Battle of Vella Gulf
The Battle of Vella Gulf was a naval battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II fought on the night of August 6, 1943 – August 7, 1943 between the islands of Vella Lavella and Kolombangara in the Solomon Islands.
After their victory in the battle of Kolombangara on July 13 the Japanese had established a formidable garrison in Vila, the principal port on that island, using fast destroyers as transports. Three supply runs on 19 July, 22 July, and 1 August were successful, although the last of these resulted in a battle with fifteen PT boats in which the destroyer Amagiri rammed and sank PT-109.
On the night of 6 August they sent a force of four destroyers under Captain Kaju Sugiura (Hagikaze , flagship, Arashi , Shigure and Kawakaze ) carrying 950 troops and supplies.
The American Task Group 31.2 of six destroyers (Dunlap , Craven , Maury , Lang, Sterett , and Stack ) commanded by Captain Frederick Moosbrugger was lying in wait and made radar contact at 23:33. Having learned painful lessons of night-fighting after the Battle of Tassafaronga, the Americans did not give away their position with gunfire, but waited until their torpedoes were in the water. All four Japanese destroyers were hit. Hagikaze, Arashi and Kawakaze burst into flames and were quickly sunk by gunfire. The torpedo that hit Shigure was a dud, damaging the rudder only, and she escaped in the darkness.
The battle was the first American victory in a torpedo duel. The Japanese could no longer supply the garrison on Kolombangara, and the Americans bypassed it, landing instead on Vella Lavella to the west.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details