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Tractor Talk Discussion Board

This week in the South Pacific in 1942

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Posted by Ultradog MN on October 13, 2012 at 17:31:06 from (

The top brass in Pearl (Nimitz) and Washington (King) are not real pleased with Admiral Ghormley who had been in charge during the battles of Savo and the Eastern Solomons.
Ghormley is pessimistic about supporting the Marines who were facing a ferocious enemy on Guadalcanal Island.
Enter the stage: William - Bill - Bull Halsey who was sidelined for the battle of Midway by a skin disorder. After recooperating in the US and Hawaii for several months he is sent on the 15th of Oct on a fact finding mission to the south seas. Enroute he recieves orders to relieve Ghormley and delivers the bad news to his old friend from Anapolis days in person.
Halsey has a reputation of being a fighter and
he breathes a new enthusiasm into the fleet, the Cactus Air Force and the Marines on the ground on Guadalcanal.
Since August 7 both the Japanese and American fleets have taken a heavy toll supporting their efforts on the ground. The Americans have seriously gotten their butts kicked at sea till mid October - at least in fighting ships. But from here on out our supply ships will be luckier and more abundant than the Japanese supply effort and that will tell the story on the ground in just a few more months.
The USS South Dakota is just getting out of Pearl where she had to get fixed after running aground a month before. She'll get hammered again a week from now at the Battle of Santa Cruz where we will lose the aircraft carrier Hornet, the poor little tin can USS Porter and the San Juan - a light cruiser will be damaged.
Plus the USS Enterprise - the last carrier we have in the Pacific will be heavily damaged and need to spend time at Pearl getting repaired.
Meanwhile, the USS Washington has just reached the Pacific after running a couple of convoys with the Brits in the No Atlantic and also being handy should the German battleship Tirpitz decide to break out of Norway. She came through the Panama Canal (just barely) refueled in Pearl and is heading for the Solomons. Washington - the shootingest, sailingest American battleship of the war will miss Santa Cruz but surprise everyone when she quietly unmasks her guns in mid November.
This week, as you go about your life, give a thought to the tired, malarial Marines, and the shot up Cactus flyboys who are giving it all their worth - and not coming back - and the sailors who one minute are just good kids off of farms and out of cities and the next minute are fish food. And for Bull Halsey who's under enormous pressure - about this time 70 years ago.


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