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USS Juneau (CL-119)

USS Juneau (CL-119)

USS Juneau (CL-119)

USS Juneau (CL-119) was an Atlanta class light cruiser that entered service too late for the Second World War, but saw action during the Korean War. She received five battle stars for Korean War service.

The Juneau was launched on 15 July 1945 and commissioned on 15 February 1946. After spending a year operating off the Atlantic coast, she was posted to the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. Her first tour lasted from 2 May-15 November 1947 and saw her take part in operations at Trieste, then disputed between Italy and Yugoslavia, and in Greece, where the Americans provided support against the Communist guerrillas. A second tour with the 6th Fleet lasted from 14 June-3 October 1948 and a third from 3 May to 26 September 1949.

On 18 March 1949 the Juneau was reclassified as CLAA-119. In November of the same year she was posted to the Pacific, although she was delayed on the US West Coast and didn't reach Japan until 1 June 1950. Her first task was to patrol the Tsushima Straits, and she was thus immediately available when the Korean War began on 25 June 1950.

Her immediate role was to patrol the coast south of the 38th parallel to guard against possible North Korean amphibious attacks. During this period she also conducted the first US Navy shore bombardment of the war, hitting targets at Bokuki Ko (29 June) and the first US naval engagement, when she sank three torpedo boats near Chumonchin Chan (2 July). On 18 July she was part of an Allied flotilla that bombarded North Korean troops near Yongdok.

Her first Korean tour ended soon after this, and on 2 August she joined the 7th Fleet at Okinawa. She was flagship of the Formosa Force from 4 August to 29 October.

This was followed by her second tour of duty off Korea, this time acting as part of the carrier screen for the Fast Carrier Task Force operating off the Korean east coast. This tour lasted well into 1951, before she was sent back to the US for a refit, arriving at Long Beach on 1 May 1951.

After a spell operating on the US West Coast the Juneau returned to the Far East for a third Korean tour. She reached Yokosuka on 19 April 1952, and supported the carriers off the Korean coast from then until October. She then returned to the US once again, reaching Long Beach on 5 November.

This ended her Korean War service. She was used for training and operations off the West Coast until April 1953. She then joined the Atlantic Fleet for a short spell, before on 13 May leaving to join the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean once again. This lasted until October 1953 and was followed by a short spell off the US East Coast. One final tour with the 6th Fleet followed, but on her return she was placed in reserve (23 March 1956), then decommissioned (23 July 1956). She didn't remain in the reserve for long, and was struck off in 1959. She was sold for scrap in 1962.

Displacement (standard)


Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed



8,500 nm @ 15kts

Armour – belt


- bulkheads


- armour deck


- gunhouses


- deck over underwater magazines



541ft 6in oa


Twelve 5in/ 38 guns (six two-gun turrets)
Twenty eight 40mm guns (four quad and six twin positions)as built
Twenty 20mm guns (all singles)
Eight 21in torpedo tubes

Modified to:
Thirty six 40mm guns (six quad and six twin)
Twenty four 20mm guns (twenty single and two twin positions) later changed to sixteen 20mm guns in eight twin mountings
Torpedo tubes removed

Crew complement


Laid down

15 September 1944


15 July 1945


15 February 1946

Sold for scrap


USS Juneau (CL-119) - History

USS Juneau , a 6000-ton light cruiser, was built at Kearny, New Jersey and commissioned in February 1946. Following initial service in the Atlantic, she made three deployments to the Mediterranean sea during 1947-49. Juneau was reclassified as an antiaircraft light cruiser in March 1949 and redesignated CLAA-119. Late in that year, she transferred to the Pacific and deployed to the Far East in April 1950. With the outbreak of the Korean War the following June, Juneau became the first U.S. warship to enter combat against the invading North Korean forces. She was very active in operations off Korea and in the Formosa Straits area until the Spring of 1951 and made a second Korean War tour in 1952.

In April 1953, Juneau rejoined the Atlantic Fleet, serving in the Mediterranean during that year and again in 1954-55. She decommissioned in July 1956 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and remained there until sold for scrapping in 1962.

This page features views of USS Juneau (CL/CLAA-119) taken in 1945-51.

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

In harbor, 3 April 1946, a few months after she was completed.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 138KB 740 x 625 pixels

Photographed in the Far East, circa 1950-51.

Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 107KB 740 x 510 pixels

Receives ammunition and fuel at Sasebo, Japan, on 6 July 1950.
Flagship of Rear Admiral John M. Higgins, Commander, Task Group 96.5, Juneau actively patrolled and bombarded along the Korean east coast from 28 June to 5 July 1950. She was the first U.S. Navy cruiser to see combat action during the Korean War.
Note Japanese floating crane alongside.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 124KB 740 x 610 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

USS Toledo (CA-133)
USS Juneau (CLAA-119)

Moored at Naval Operating Base, Yokosuka, Japan, following Korean War operations. Photographed during July-October 1950, possibly in late October, just before Toledo departed Yokosuka to return to the U.S. for overhaul.
Note the comparative sizes of these two cruisers.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 130KB 740 x 610 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

Underway with her crew on deck in "Whites", 1951.
Original photo is dated 1 July 1951.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Online Image: 148KB 740 x 615 pixels

Immediately after launching, 15 July 1945, at the Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Kearny, New Jersey.

Naval Historical Center Photograph.

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If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

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The silver was not brought out again until the christening of the U.S.S. Juneau (CL-119), which was commissioned on Feb. 15, 1946, and was active during the Korean War and then scrapped in 1962. Again, the silver was brought out for the christening of the U.S.S. Juneau (LPD-10), which was commissioned on July 12, 1969, and remained onboard until the Juneau was decommissioned in 2008. The silver was then placed in storage in San Diego.

However, before the silver went to San Diego, it made a brief stop in Juneau in 1987 on the Juneau LPD-10 for the memorial of the Juneau CL-52. A few members of the community were allowed to ride on the Juneau LPD-10 as it came into Juneau on July 4. There, Captain Eugene Bailey showed one of the members, a U.S. Navy veteran, the silver, which was kept in the ship's safe. With the promise of sufficient security, the silver was allowed to be at the CL-52's memorial.

Donna Hurley was at the memorial, which took place at the Baranof Hotel where she worked. She said another employee notified her that four armed Marines arrived with a package for the reception.

"It was the punch bowl that had been donated to the first ship 45 years earlier," Hurley said. "It had never been in Juneau, never been used for a party for her crew until that night, when the five remaining survivors of the sinking joined with the captain of the third ship, to toast their lost mates. It was very moving, and the Marines stayed with the bowl the entire time and returned it to the ship's safe."

Decades later, after Hurley talked to her friend about the silver and was inspired to bring it home, she emailed Sen. Lisa Murkowski about locating it. Two weeks later, Murkowski replied along with her naval liaison, opening a discussion on where the silver was and what had to be done to bring it home.

The silver service collection could not be broken up and had to remain in a secure facility. The Juneau-Douglas City Museum expressed interest, and arrangements were made and contracts signed for the silver to be on a long-term loan in Juneau. The Mendenhall Flying Lions covered the cost of shipping the silver from San Diego to Juneau.

"We are all very excited that this piece of history will be returned to our state and community," Hurley said.

Jodi DeBruyne, the curator of collections and exhibits at the City Museum, said that the silver will remain under wraps and no pictures taken until the opening exhibit on Feb. 14, celebrating the original Juneau's 74th anniversary of its christening.

"I have heard through the years a story about the U.S.S. Juneau that has been so fascinating to me, about collecting dimes and milk and lunch money for the U.S.S. Juneau silver service set," City Museum Executive Director Jane Lindsey said. "I imagine Juneau families during wartime of the '40s, a community of about 5,700, who in many ways may not have understood or appreciated each other but collectively felt the pride, patriotism and tradition as the host city in paying for a silver set to be placed aboard the ship. This capacity for giving and unity at a time of great uncertainty has always resonated with me as a touchstone of this community."

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

USS Juneau CL-119 (1946-1962)

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Just Found: A WWII Ship that Killed 5 brothers When it Sank

About two weeks after he found the sunken aircraft carrier USS Lexington (CV 2), Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has located another legendary wreck. This time, according to a release, it’s the Atlanta-class anti-aircraft cruiser USS Juneau (CL 52), best known as the vessel that the five Sullivan brothers served on.

USS Juneau had been one of two anti-aircraft cruisers (the other was USS Atlanta (CL 51), the lead ship of the class) sent to join the light cruiser USS Helena (CL 50), the heavy cruisers USS San Francisco (CA 38) and USS Portland (CA 33), and eight destroyers under the command of Rear Admiral Daniel Callaghan. Callaghan’s orders were to stop a Japanese force that included the fast battleships Hiei and Kirishima. In a furious naval battle, Callaghan’s force succeeded — but at great cost.

The Juneau survived the initial battle but was badly damaged when hit by a Japanese Type 93 “Long Lance” torpedo. As she was steaming home, some of her crew had transferred to assist casualties on USS San Francisco — that’s when the Japanese submarineI-26fired a spread of three torpedoes. One hit, right where Juneau had taken the previous torpedo.

The anti-aircraft cruiser exploded, broke in two, and sank in 20 seconds. Captain Gilbert C. Hoover radioed a plane with the location, but ordered the ships not to stop. In doing so, he left behind over 100 survivors. Only three of those would live. Among the lost sailors were the five Sullivan brothers. Hoover was promptly relieved by Vice Admiral William F. Halsey for leaving the survivors behind.

The USS Juneau rests a little over two and a half miles below the sea’s surface. A new USS Juneau (CL-119), a modified Atlanta, served after World War II. A third USS Juneau (LPD 10) was an Austin-class amphibious transport dock that served until 2008 and is still being held in reserve.

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Silently. Quickly. By Sea, in Darkness.

By Nathaniel Patch

The skipper of the USS Perch praised the British commandos and admired their "can-do" spirit. (80-G-421626)

As the American submarine USS Perch surfaced just off the east coast of North Korea, not far from the border with China, her crew and a detachment of Royal Marine commandos hurried on deck to open a large hangar.

Under the night sky on October 1, 1950, they began to inflate seven boats, six for commandos and Perch crewmen and one for high explosives and mines. At the same time, they also launched a 24-foot skimmer, a plywood boat with an outboard motor.

At just before 9 p.m., the skimmer set off toward the target area, which was a span of railroad tracks, bracketed by two tunnels that ran along the northeastern coast of North Korea, near the town of Shoko-Do (40° 22ʹ N and 128° 49ʹ). The plan was to set mines in the tunnels and to blow up the culvert on the open part of the track.

In a little more than an hour, the skimmer was within 500 yards of shore two of the small boats took off in one direction to serve as lookouts for any North Korean troops, and four of them headed to the beach to put the explosives and mines in place. The men laying the explosives encountered a small group of North Koreans but drove them off.

The combat engineers first prepared pressure-triggered mines in the east and west tunnels. Then they retrieved the remaining high explosives that were left with the skimmer and began to work on placing them down a culvert in the mountainside. The resulting explosion in the culvert would cause a landslide, covering the rail tracks with rock and debris. When the North Koreans sent a repair train to clear the tracks, the pressure mines would detonate, blocking the tunnels and cutting off an important North Korean supply line. As the combat engineers were placing the explosives, small parties of North Koreans encroached upon them. The security patrols drove them off, but time was running out.

At around 12:30 a.m., as the work on the culvert was being completed, another party of North Koreans, possibly a group that had attacked before, tried to outflank the commandos. With all the charges set, the raiding party withdrew to the beaches with one of the groups under fire. Shortly after 1 a.m., they blew up the culvert, blocking the railroad tracks, then left the beach. The six boats rendezvoused at the skimmer.

Back on board the Perch, the Royal Marines reported a single casualty, Marine Peter Raymond Jones. He had been shot through the neck while the commandos were departing the beach. Later that day, Jones was buried at sea with a full honor guard firing three volleys. On the Perch, the United Nations flag was struck and lowered to half-mast.

This mission was the work of the crew of the USS Perch and the British 41st Independent Royal Marine Commandos and part of a strategy to repel the North Korean invasion of late June 1950 by cutting off their supply lines. This was one of a number of daring raids against North Korean railways conducted by the U.S. Navy with elite American and British special forces.

One, and only one, of these raids was launched from an American submarine, the USS Perch (ASSP 313), with her British commando guests, on the night of October 1, 1950.

The Perch’s First, and Last, Undersea Raiding Mission

Ironically, the USS Perch was notified shortly after the Royal Marines departed on this mission that this would be its first, and last, raiding mission. The discovery of mines along the eastern coast of North Korea prohibited any future missions of the Perch because she did not have any mine-detecting equipment.

The role of the British 41st Independent Royal Marine Commandos as an undersea raider was not a new concept. During World War II, Marines, soldiers, and an underwater demolition team (UDT) had been sent ashore from a submarine with mixed results.

In the Makin Raid in August 1942, a diversion for Guadalcanal landings, the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion was deployed from the USS Nautilus (SS 168) and USS Argonaut (SM 1) and successfully used to deliver armed troops behind enemy lines. But the mission was not without its difficulties in coordinating troops and submarines and with communication between the various units. Although the raid was successful, there were no other attempts of direct assaults during the war.

The next attempt brought elements of the 7th Army Scouts to the island of Attu in the Aleutian Islands in May 1943. The Nautilus and USS Narwhal (SS 167) landed 100 scouts at Scarlet Beach, several miles north of Massacre Bay, where the main landing force arrived. This operation was repeatedly postponed due to weather and the short time the submarines had to refresh their air during the Arctic spring nights. Again, this was a “one-off” mission.

The last mission was in August 1944, when the USS Burrfish (SS 312), while on a photo-reconnaissance mission, deployed a detachment of UDT swimmers to do beach reconnaissance on the islands of the Palau and Yap in the Caroline Islands in the Western Pacific. Because of simultaneous air strikes by the U.S. Army Air Force and the U.S. Navy, the Japanese were on constant alert, making the reconnaissance teams vulnerable to discovery. In the end, the three men of the UDT detachment were discovered and taken prisoner while they were surveying one of the beaches on Yap Island.

The 41st Independent Royal Commandos and Perch crewmen gather on the deck of the submarine while in Japan, en route to Korea. (80-G-421629)

Undersea Raiding Required Changes in Design of Subs

During World War II, the concept of using a submarine to transport troops or elite forces covertly was never fully brought to fruition because there were some technical obstacles that needed to be overcome. Some of these obstacles included improvements in the environment aboard a submarine to accommodate 100 or more troops and storage space for all the equipment they would need.

The Navy’s desire to use the submarine to deploy Marine raiders, special forces, or light infantry continued into the Cold War. The proof of concept was there, but now it was time to refine the process with improved design and equipment and to increase safety for both the submarine and the away troops.

In February 1948 the USS Finback (SS 230) and the USS Grouper (SS 214) were on a simulated war patrol off the coast of Vieques, Puerto Rico. The Finback deployed members of the Troop Reconnaissance Company and a UDT to perform reconnaissance of beaches prior to landing a major force. The simulated patrol report praised the exercise and made a number of suggestions to improve the design of future transport submarines taking on this kind of mission.

The first suggestion, which dealt with inflatable boats used by landing troops, recommended that the boats be easy to access and to inflate and deflate. The report also advised that submarines cease their practice of remaining on the surface during the mission and instead surface only to launch troops, then submerge until the completion of the mission. This would minimize the detection of the submarine. The Finback may have hit a training mine during the exercise, sending up a flare, so the report recommended that future transport submarines be equipped with mine-detecting equipment.

Between the end of World War II in 1945 and the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, the U.S. Navy modified several “fleet” submarines to fulfill several different, very specific missions, including a fleet oiler (SSO), a picket-RADAR submarine (SSR), a guided-missile submarine (SSG), and the troop transport (SSP). The Navy also used the innovations for submarines that the Germans and the Japanese had developed during World War II, such as the snorkel, high-capacity batteries, and a more hydrodynamic hull reconfiguration.

Not all submarines received all of the modifications, and depending on their mission, some modifications were preferred over others. In the case of the transport submarine, the USS Perch and the USS Sealion (ASSP 315) only had snorkels installed because the other modifications, such as additional batteries, took up space that was needed for the additional troops. To make more room for troops, the forward and aft torpedo rooms and the forward engine room were removed for berthing space. The transport submarines had their outer hull more streamlined, the deck guns were removed, and a distinctive 48-foot, water-tight hangar was placed aft of the sail to store large equipment such as an amphibious tractor (LVT), a number of inflatable rubber boats, or a large outboard boat.

The submarine transport and her equipment were only one half of the equation. The other half was the raiding party. The Navy waffled between using a Marine unit and an underwater demolition team (UDT). Although the Marine reconnaissance company and UDTs were considered equally suitable for submarine duty, the Navy began to train the crew of the Perch with a detachment of Marines before the outbreak of the Korean War.

Early Action in Korea: Hold Off North’s Army

North Korea’s invasion of South Korea in June 1950 took the world by surprise—there was a real concern that the invasion was a prelude to a wider war both in the Far East and possibly Europe.

The American forces already in the Far East had to hold off the North Koreans until reinforcements could arrive. The Korean War showed the United States that future conflicts would be regional instead of global but would still need to be contested with conventional weapons, using proven warfare doctrine, and fought with assistance from coalition allies rather than using nuclear weapons.

One of the chief advantages that the United States and the United Nations Forces had was control of the sea. The North Koreans did not have a navy that could oppose the U.S. Navy, so the United States and the allies could move troops and supplies around the Korean peninsula unchallenged. The U.S. Navy seized this advantage to resupply and reinforce the Pusan Perimeter from Japan, conduct amphibious landings at Inchon and later Wonsan, and conduct raids along the coasts of areas controlled by North Korea.

The North Koreans’ reliance on railroads to move troops and supplies made the rail lines a vulnerability. The Korean peninsula’s mountainous terrain forces rail lines out to the coastlines, through tunnels, and next to tall hills and mountains.

How best could the allies exploit this Achilles’ heel?

The lightening-quick invasion from the north pushed the American and South Korean forces down to the southeast portion of the peninsula around the city of the Pusan. To attack the North Korean supply lines, American aircraft carriers from the Seventh Fleet flew sorties to bomb roads, bridges, and railway lines, and cruisers and destroyers shelled transportation corridors.

The problem was that the United States had not yet developed precision weapons like cruise missiles, and bombs and shells were too inaccurate or required a large amount of ordnance to achieve the mission.

USS Juneau Performs Raid Close to the Target Area

The solution to the problem of accurately and efficiently attacking North Korean railways nestled in the coastline mountains came from the executive officer of the USS Juneau (CL 119), Commander W. B. Porter. On the night of July 11, 1950, Porter, a demolition expert, and eight other crewmen attacked the east coast rail lines in the area of Rashin.

Porter and his men transferred to the USS Mansfield (DD 728), which took them within two miles of the coast of the target area. Using a whaleboat, the 10 men, armed with charges, detonators, carbines, maps, compasses, and walkie-talkie radios, paddled ashore. The group placed the demolition charges in a train tunnel, which blew up a train after the party departed.

The success of this raid gave genesis to the Special Operations Group (SOG) on August 6, 1950, which was tasked with the mission to continue such demolition raids against North Korean rail lines. The SOG used the First Marine Reconnaissance Company and Underwater Demolition Team One from surface vessels called fast-transports (APDs) to conduct similar missions. On August 8, 1950, the USS Perch arrived in Yokosuka, Japan, to participate in these special demolition operations. Upon arrival, the crew of the Perch learned that their detachment of Marines was being reassigned to their regiment at the Pusan Perimeter. This left a transport submarine without anyone to transport.

The Navy attempted to find a suitable replacement for the Marines who had trained on the Perch. First, they assigned a detachment from UDT 1. After a short training period, the two groups synched and were ready for their first mission against the North Koreans. But UDT 1 was assigned to another mission and flown to Korea. The next two candidates were two Army special activities companies. Lt. Comdr. Robert Quinn, the commander of the Perch, had a lukewarm opinion of them: “They came to us recommended as real ‘hot shots’. They were not as inspired or as well trained as the UDT’s or U.S. Marines but by the end of the week they were fairly proficient in debarking from Perch.”

But as with UDT 1, the two Army units were reassigned to other missions. At the end of August, 17 British volunteer raiders were invited aboard for a one-day demonstration. They conducted a few disembarking drills and were shown the submarine and outboard boats. On September 18, the 67-man unit of the 41st Independent Royal Marine Commandos reported aboard at Camp McGill, Japan.

British Commandos Learn American Ways

Lt. Col. Douglas Drysdale commanded the 41st Royal British Marines and led them on several raids to destroy enemy rail and supply routes. (80-G-428253)

The 41st Independent Royal Marine Commandos, a 300-man British brigade size unit, was an unusual group, and the use of “Independent” in the name denotes the haste in which the unit was formed. The new unit of Royal Marines was composed of three groups: volunteers and reservists in the United Kingdom, volunteers from the sailors and Marines from the British Pacific fleet, and reinforcements bound for Malaysia to combat the communist insurgency in the Malayan Emergency. The first group that was organized in England was flown to Japan dressed in civilian clothes to disguise their true purpose.

The Marine commandos were placed under the operational control of the U.S. Navy and were assigned to report to Camp McGill, Japan, for training with the Perch. The commander of the new commando unit was Lt. Col. Douglas B. Drysdale, a seasoned officer in the Royal Marines and a veteran of World War II, having served as a commando in the Far East.

In addition to training on how to embark and disembark from the Perch, the Marine commandos had to become familiar with American small arms and equipment. It was agreed between the British and the Americans that the commandos should use the same weapons being used by the U.S. Marines and U.S. Army. The commandos also learned to use the standard American issue SCR 536 short-range radio (an oversized handset with a pull-out antenna) and the SCR 300 net set radio. Lt. Commander Quinn was impressed with the commandos’ “can do” attitude and their quick adaptation to American equipment and to life aboard a submarine.

The 41st Commandos and the Perch went on several amphibious landing exercises during the one-week training period, which included a full-scale simulated demolition raid.

The Royal Marines and the crew of the Perch appeared to get along. The commandos remarked on the quality of submarine food, stating that “one of the steaks is a week’s meat ration in England.” Typically the commandos averaged about six eggs for breakfast. While ashore on liberty after the full-scale exercise, the crew of the Perch were made honorary members of the Chowder, Marching, Singing and Shakespeare Society, celebrating through the streets around Camp McGill until 1:30 a.m., which inspired a few “conversations” at the officers club.

Before the training got under way and even before the Royal Marines arrived, the particulars of the mission for the undersea raiding force had to be determined. In July 1950, top commanders established several joint target zones along the east coast of North Korea where there were vulnerable railroad lines that were a direct conduit from the Soviet Union to North Korea. To plan out the raids, Far East Command sent the USS Pickerel (SS 524) to photograph prospective sites in August. From that photoreconnaissance mission, four target sites were prioritized in the Perch’s operational plan.

Perch, British Commandos Scrub a First Attempt

The mission parameters listed four targets that the undersea raiders were to attack during their patrol. The Perch was to first conduct a reconnaissance of the target areas and, working with Drysdale, determine the best means to deploy the commandos against the desired objectives.

On September 25, the Perch and her undersea raiding force set sail toward her patrol area. On the night of September 30, the Perch arrived at the first target area, and the commandos prepared to make their first demolition raid.

The previous day, Quinn had received a dispatch warning that there could be mines and not to go beyond the 50-fathom curve. That meant the submarine had to stay offshore about four miles, or where the depth was about 50 fathoms or deeper, where there was less likelihood of sea mines. In the morning they inspected their target area, a railroad bridge. The smoke of a passing train was seen as a good sign.

The Perch stationed herself more than four and a half miles off the shore, and just before seven in the evening, the submarine surfaced and the crew began to prepare for that night’s raid. The crew inflated the seven rubber boats, and at 7:30 the Perch lowered her aft end to launch the skimmer from the hangar section.

This was where the problems began.

The skimmer’s outboard motor would not start. The engine apparently got flooded and failed to turn over.

A few months after the raid launched from the USS Perch, the 41st Royal British Marine Commandos plant demolition charges along the railroad track of an important North Korean supply line in a daring raid eight miles below Song-Jin. (80-G-428315)

While the maintenance crew worked on the skimmer, the officers on the bridge observed the landing area. First, an enemy patrol boat transited the landing area. Then lights appeared at either end of the bridge, and then suddenly they went out. Two trucks appeared on the beach of the landing area. Soon after the lights of the trucks went out, a myriad of smaller lights went out across the beach all at the same time. Quinn determined that the North Koreans had picked them up on radar after surfacing and set up a trap.

He called off the raid, and crew and commandos packed everything back up. It was fortuitous that the skimmer’s engine failed that night because the commandos would have landed right in the middle of a well-laid ambush.

After getting the equipment stowed away, Quinn, Drysdale, and their officers began to consider their options for the next target the following night. The new plan included two destroyers, with one going south to create a diversion while the other stayed with the Perch to provide cover fire for the landing force if needed.

On the night of October 1, the Perch chose a second target, a few miles north and east of the previous night’s landing area. At 7:30 p.m., the USS Herbert J. Thomas began a diversionary mission and was ready to attack any patrol craft coming out of Shoko-Do. The Perch and the USS Maddox proceeded to their position off of the landing area. The Maddox, which was 4,000 yards to the west of the Perch, was to fire only if the landing got into trouble.

At 7:45 p.m., before surfacing, the Perch spotted a patrol boat through the periscope responding to the diversion created by the Herbert J. Thomas. The diversion appeared to be successful, and the new landing area was clear. The submarine surfaced and got the undersea raiding force off to their one and only demolition raid from the Perch. As the commandos set about their work on shore, Quinn and the crew of the Perch, listening to activity ashore over the radio, felt the tension rise, and those on the bridge of the submarine could see sporadic gun flashes and roving lights. In his description in the patrol report, Quinn remarked on his sense of powerlessness while gaining ever more respect for the Royal Marines.

When the commandos were retrieved at 2:39 a.m. on October 2, the raiders reported that the North Koreans were building pillboxes along the coast in this sector. The raids had had their effect, causing the North Koreans to divert men and material from the front to address the clandestine attacks from the sea. The Maddox reported hearing an additional explosion after the raiding force left the beach, and it was thought that one of the mines left in the tunnels had gone off.

USS Perch and the Commandos Return for New Assignments

With the cancellation of the attacks on the remaining targets, the destroyers sailed off to complete their sweeping patrol, and the Perch with her Royal Marines returned to Japan for new assignments. The British commandos continued to conduct raids until November 1950, when the weather turned too cold to conduct such raids, and United Nations Forces were pushing the North Koreans up toward the Yalu River. The commandos then played an important role in the tactical retreat at Chosin Reservoir and the evacuation at Hungham when the Chinese joined the fray in force in December 1950.

Lt. Colonel Drysdale and the others of the 41st Independent Royal Marine Commandos who served on the USS Perch were surprised that they had been so quickly recommended for awards. Quinn recommended several of the Royal Marines for medals and letters of commendation. Cyrus Cole, commander of Submarine Division 31, put forth a formal letter requesting that Drysdale and Marine Peter Jones be awarded the Silver Star. Several others received the Bronze Star with Combat “V,” and several more received letters of commendation. The Silver Star, along with the White Ensign that had covered his body, was presented to Marine Peter Jones’s mother.

Several members of the commando unit and crew of the Perch were recommended for awards and commendations. Lt. Commander Quinn was put forward for a Gold Star. Colonel Drysdale of the Royal Marines was awarded a Silver Star. (RG 24, Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel)

(Page 2) The commando who died in the raid, Marine Peter Jones, was also awarded a Silver Star. Others on the mission received the Bronze Star with Combat "V," and several more received letters of commendation. (RG 24, Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel)

The Perch, now without a mission, was recalled to Yokosuka, Japan, where the 41st Commandos and the Perch parted company. She would not be used again in this capacity during wartime until the Vietnam War in 1965. Commander Cole remarked in his endorsement of the Perch’s patrol report that the transport submarine was the “beginning of a new phase in submarine warfare . . . in which a submarine designed for a special purpose other than attack by torpedoes has been put to offensive use.”

Following the demolition raid by undersea raiders from the USS Perch, the Navy had to reevaluate the transport submarine concept and address the problems that occurred during the mission in Korea. The hazards of not having a mine detector on a transport submarine was identified in 1948 as a problem that jeopardized beach reconnaissance missions and clandestine raids. Two years later, the problem had still not been fixed. The experience of the Perch and the undersea raiders in Korea had shown how far out at sea a transport submarine had to go to achieve her mission and to avoid sea mines.

Another issue was enemy radar. On the night of September 30, the Perch had been discovered even though she was four miles out, and the North Koreans were able to quickly lay a trap for the raiders. The proliferation of radar technology since World War II was beginning to undermine the stealth of submarines and hamper surface-launched raiders. Finally, the “Undersea Raiding Force” itself was an issue. Since World War II and again in the Korean War, Adm. A. W. Radford, commander-in-chief of the Pacific Fleet, believed that the raiding force of a transport submarine should be part of the submarine crew. This innovation has never really taken hold, although today there are special units of U.S. Navy SEALs that specialize in submarine operations.

For their effort and being the first submarine to launch an attack against the enemy since World War II, the USS Perch and her crew were awarded the Submarine Combat Insignia. It award was one of only two such awards issued during the Korean War.

Nathaniel Patch is an archivist in the Reference Branch at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland, where he is on the Navy and Marine Corps Reference Team. He has a B.A. in history and an M.A. degree in naval history with an emphasis on submarine warfare.

Note on Sources

The story of the USS Perch and the Royal Marine Commandos in Korea first came to my attention when I was in graduate school working on a paper on amphibious warfare. True to my nature, I was unwilling to settle for the standard story of soldiers or Marines taking an opposed beach from landing craft.

In my research, I was surprised to learn that amphibious raiding had lived on beyond the 2nd Marine Raiders assaulting Makin Island in World War II and found that British commandos were being sent to attack railway lines in Korea from a submarine. The paper only touched the surface, so I wanted to expand it and develop a story to describe one of the few submarine operations during the Korean War.

The National Archives in College Park holds some recently accessioned and processed records relating to the U.S. Navy in the Korean War. One includes the post-1946 submarine patrol reports in Record Group 38, Records of the Chief of Naval Operations. The reports primarily relate to the immediate postwar period and the Korean War.

By coincidence, I discovered that the Finback and the Grouper had conducted a mission in the Caribbean, where a special unit was added. The report also suggested that future transport submarines should have mine-detecting equipment. This deficiency was the one that sent the Perch back to Japan after only one mission two years later.

The war patrols of the USS Perch and the USS Pickerel were also available and provided the context of the mission.

Also in Record Group 38 are the post-1946 war diaries of U.S. naval commands, which primarily cover the Korean War period.

Record Group 313, Records of the Naval Operating Forces, includes a number of recently processed records of Commander, Amphibious Forces, Pacific, and Commander, Submarine Forces, Pacific, that relate to the Korean War. Because the Undersea Raiding Force consisted of the British 41st Independent Royal Marine Commandos, and their report was included in the war patrol of the Perch, I sought added details from the Royal Marines Museum in Portsmouth, England. The Royal Marines Museum also has the White Ensign that had been placed over the body of Marine Peter Jones and later presented to his mother.

I would like to thank Amy Adams, George Malcolmson, and Alison Firth for their assistance in answering questions and making research materials available to my friend, Lawrence Lee, who took time out from a business trip to visit the museum on my behalf. I wanted the commandos to be well represented in this story, and to do so I felt it was necessary to get it from the source.

Although an American submarine and a British commando unit worked together only briefly, the concept of such missions was kept alive even though there is still a need for advances in technology to make the submarine safer in enemy waters and more hospitable to the crew and raiders.

File:USS Juneau (CLAA-119) at anchor in Kagoshima, Japan, on 25 June 1950 (NH 52364).jpg

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World War II Database

ww2dbase The first Juneau of the Atlanta-class light cruisers was designated CL-52 in the United States Navy. She was commissioned three months after the United States entered WW2 with Captain Lyman K. Swenson in command. She had an accelerated shakedown cruise along the Atlantic coast due to the demand of the war and sailed for the Caribbean Sea to patrol off Maritinique and Guadeloupe Islands against Vichy French naval forces in the region. After some time in the North Atlantic, she departed from the Caribbean Sea for the Pacific Theater on 22 Aug 1942. She joined Rear Admiral Leigh Noyes' Task Force 18 on 19 Sep 1942. On 15 Sep, carrier Wasp was hit by three torpedoes from the Japanese submarine I-19, and was scuttled by destroyer Lansdowne at 2100 that evening Juneau and destroyers rescued the survivors and delivered them to Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, on 16 Sep. On 17 Sep, she joined Task Force 17 and sailed for Guadalcanal. On 26 Oct, she participated in the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands, where she was a part of the anti-aircraft screen that together downed about 20 Japanese aircraft during the battle however, the screen was not able to save carrier Hornet, which was badly damaged and sank the next day. Because of the loss of Hornet, Juneau was transferred to the Enterprise group to provide additional anti-aircraft capability just in time for the next round of Japanese air attacks before the battle waned several hours later. On 8 Nov, she sailed from Nouméa, New Caledonia as a unit of Task Force 67 under the command of Rear Admiral Richmond K. Turner to escort transports to Guadalcanal. During the day of 12 Nov, the convoy was attacked by Japanese torpedo bombers, and Juneau, once again as anti-aircraft ship, downed six. That evening, the convoy was engaged in what was later named the First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. Cruisers Helena, Portland, and Juneau sailed in a close line into the battle one of the torpedoes of a spread that aimed at the group of three ships struck Juneau on the port side, disabling her almost at the onset of the battle, rendering her useless. On the next day, she sailed for Espiritu Santo for repairs, but was intercepted by Japanese submarine I-26 and was hit by two torpedoes. She exploded, broke in two, and sank. Helena and San Francisco, both damaged from the previous night's battle, continued on without turning back to rescue Juneau's survivors. More than 100 survivors floated on the open waves, waiting for rescue that would not arrive for another eight days by then, only 10 remain. Captain Swenson also died while waiting for the rescuers.

ww2dbase The second Juneau of the Altanta-class was launched during the war (15 Jul 1945) but WW2 ended before she was completed and commissioned she was designated CL-119 in the US Navy.

ww2dbase Source: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Jun 2007

Light Cruiser Juneau (CL-52) Interactive Map

Juneau Operational Timeline

27 May 1940 The keel of light cruiser Juneau was laid down by Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company in Kearny, New Jersey, United States.
25 Oct 1941 Juneau was launched at the Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company yard in Kearny, New Jersey, United States, sponsored by wife of Mayor Harry Lucas of Juneau, US Territory of Alaska.
14 Feb 1942 USS Juneau was commissioned into service with Captain Lyman K. Swenson in command.
20 Feb 1942 Chiaki Matsuda was made the commanding officer of old battleship Hyuga.
22 Aug 1942 USS Juneau set sail from the Caribbean Sea for the Pacific Theater of War.
16 Sep 1942 USS Juneau arrived at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides and disembarked survivors of USS Wasp.
17 Sep 1942 USS Juneau was assigned to Task Force 17 and departed from Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides for Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands.
19 Sep 1942 USS Juneau was assigned to Task Force 18.
5 Oct 1942 Task Force 17 (USS Hornet, Northampton, Pensacola, Juneau, San Diego, 3 destroyers) struck Japanese installations around the southern end of Bougainville in the Solomon Islands (Buin-Faisi-Tonolai Raid).
26 Oct 1942 USS Juneau served as a part of the anti-aircraft screen during the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands.
8 Nov 1942 USS Juneau departed Nouméa, New Caledonia.
12 Nov 1942 During the day, USS Juneau downed six Japanese aircraft while protecting Task Force 67. After sundown, during the First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, she was struck by a torpedo on the port side, rendering her useless.
13 Nov 1942 USS Jueanu, while sailing for Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides for repairs sustained during the previous night, was intercepted by I-26, which fired two torpedoes. One struck on the port side, sinking the light cruiser very quickly. 687 lives would eventually be lost only 10 survived.
17 Mar 2018 In the Solomon Islands, the crew of Research Vessel Petrel made sonar contact with what would later be identified as the wreck of USS Juneau.
18 Mar 2018 In the Solomon Islands, the crew of Research Vessel Petrel identified the wreck that they had found on the previous day was that of USS Juneau.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Tim Gardner says:
17 May 2010 08:41:26 AM

My grandfather was one of the 10 survivors, Henry Gardner. If he did not survive my dad would have never been born, nor I.

2. Chris Cooper says:
11 Nov 2010 09:02:36 AM

My great uncle parished on the USS Juneau. His name was James Edward Mallett. He was just 18 yrs old.

3. Ruth Gardner Uhlman says:
13 Nov 2010 09:49:00 AM

My Dad was one of the survivors ( Henry J. Gardner). he spoke of how he survived in the shark infested waters and saw many die. He also had written a short account of his story for the Navy. Although he may not have been "top-notch" in rank, he will ALWAYS be a man I will respect, honor and love. He passed away in 1984. RIP Dad.

4. Jeremy Pitchford says:
1 Dec 2010 11:45:52 AM

My uncle James Edward Mallett, whom I never got to meet. Died on The USS Juneau.
My mother Janet Pitchford still talks about him.

5. Helen Ross says:
25 Oct 2015 08:19:14 PM

My husband's brother died on the USS Juneau CL-52 He was
21 years old. I wonder if they will ever find any debre of the
ship-they did go to the bottom and take pics of the Atlanta--
there has to be some wreckage-quite a bit on the Atlanta even
tho' one person said it was burning from one end to the other
and they blew it up after taking survivors off.

6. Kadrick Powell says:
11 Jan 2018 05:32:08 PM

I have been working on a Silent Hero project for my ww2 seminar and have researched a man named Clarence Daniel Powell who was a 25 year old coxswain aboard the ship, presumed MIA. Is truly a tragic story may all 673 men aboard rest in peace

7. Carolyn says:
21 Mar 2018 09:21:18 AM

My Great Uncle Jimmy was on died on the Juneau. I never met him either but my father talked about hi all the time.

8. Stephen Voorhees says:
23 Mar 2018 08:04:43 AM

Juneau has been found by Paul Allen's people on the R/V Petrel.

9. Patricia Russell says:
13 Apr 2018 06:13:09 AM

I understand that my distant cousin John Walker Page, Jr. son of John Walker Page, Sr. from White Sulphur Springs, W. VA was listed as missing January 26th 1942 or 1943 on the navy department casualty list. Mrs. Imelda Hughes Smith of Charleston was noted as a cousin. If anyone has more information on John please email me. Thank you. I am doing an extensive Ancestory study on my relatives.

10. Danny Camden says:
13 Mar 2021 06:05:12 AM

My grandfather's older brother (Elmer J. Travis, Sea 2nd class), from Liberty NY, went down on the Juneau. Wish I could find a pic of him. RIP, thank you for your sacrifice! (. and all the others!)

11. Anne Marie says:
31 May 2021 06:45:18 AM

Danny Camden looking for pictures of Elmer J Travis, Liberty,NY.

All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.

Sunken USS Juneau Famous for the Sullivan Brothers Discovered on St. Patrick’s Day

Wreckage from the USS Juneau (CL-52) was discovered on March 17, 2018, by the expedition crew of Research Vessel (R/V) Petrel. The Juneau was sunk by a Japanese torpedo during the Battle of Guadalcanal, ultimately killing 687 men including all five of the Sullivan brothers. The Atlanta-class light cruiser was found 4,200 meters (about 2.6 miles) below the surface, resting on the floor of the South Pacific off the coast of the Solomon Islands.

“We certainly didn’t plan to find the Juneau on St. Patrick’s Day. The variables of these searches are just too great,” said Robert Kraft, director of subsea operations for Paul Allen. “But finding the USS Juneau on Saint Patrick’s Day is an unexpected coincidence to the Sullivan brothers and all the service members who were lost 76 years ago.”

The R/V Petrel’s autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) first identified the ship in its side scan sonar on March 17. Upon analysis of the sonar data, the Petrel crew deployed its remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) on March 18 to verify the wreckage through its video capabilities.

The USS Juneau In New York Harbor, 11 February 1942. Courtesy the U.S. National Archives.

The prop of the USS Juneau resting on the seafloor.

“As the fifth commanding officer of USS The Sullivans (DDG 68), a ship named after five brothers, I am excited to hear that Allen and his team were able to locate the light cruiser USS Juneau (CL 52) that sunk during the Battle of Guadalcanal,” said Vice Adm. Rich Brown, commander, Naval Surface Forces. “The story of the USS Juneau crew and Sullivan brothers epitomize the service and sacrifice of our nation’s greatest generation.”

The USS Juneau had a short service history only being commissioned just under a year prior to it sinking.

During its fateful battle on November 13, 1942, a second torpedo hit on its port side creating a significant explosion that cut the ship in half and killed most of the men onboard, including all five Sullivan brothers. Because the Juneau sank in 30 seconds and due to the risk of further Japanese attacks, the American task force did not stay to check for survivors. Although approximately 115 of Juneau‘s crew reportedly survived the explosion, including possibly as many as two of the five Sullivan brothers, naval forces did not undertake rescue effort for several days and only 10 men were rescued from the water eight days after the sinking.

The Sullivan family of Waterloo, Iowa lost their sons George, Francis “Frank,” Joseph, Madison “Matt” and Albert despite the naval policy that prevented siblings from serving in the same units. The brothers refused to serve unless assigned to the same ship and the policy was ignored. According to naval historians, the brothers’ deaths became a rallying cry for the allied forces.

The Sullivan brothers on board the USS Juneau, 14 February 1942 From left to right: Joseph, Francis, Albert, Madison and George Sullivan Courtesy U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command.

“I had the opportunity to visit The Sullivans earlier this month and I can tell you the fighting spirit of the Sullivan brothers – George, Frank, Joe, Matt and Al – lives on through the fantastic crew that mans the ship today. The crew embodies the ship’s motto, ‘We Stick Together’ each day. My time on The Sullivans and the relationship I formed with the ship’s sponsor, Kelly, the granddaughter of Albert, are some of my most cherished memories,” said Brown.

Allen-led expeditions have also resulted in the discovery of the USS Lexington (March 2018), USS Indianapolis (August 2017), USS Ward (November 2017), USS Astoria (February 2015), Japanese battleship Musashi (March 2015) and the Italian WWII destroyer Artigliere (March 2017). His team was also responsible for retrieving the ship’s bell from the HMS Hood for presentation to the British Navy in honor of its heroic service.

Allen’s expedition team was permanently transferred to the newly acquired and retrofitted R/V Petrel in 2016 with a specific mission around research, exploration and survey of historic warships and other important artifacts. The 250-foot R/V Petrel is fitted with state-of-the-art subsea equipment capable of diving to 6,000 meters (or three and a half miles).

ジュノー (CL-52)

ジュノー ( USS Juneau, CL-52 ) は、アメリカ海軍の巡洋艦 [1] 。 アトランタ級軽巡洋艦の2番艦 [2] 。 艦名は当時準州の扱いであったアラスカ州の都市ジュノーに因む。1942年(昭和17年)2月に就役。訓練や哨戒活動を経て、同年9月よりガダルカナル島攻防戦に参加、10月下旬の南太平洋海戦では空母ホーネットを護衛する。11月12日深夜から13日未明の第三次ソロモン海戦(第一夜戦)で損傷し、戦場離脱中に伊26の魚雷攻撃により轟沈した [3] 。生存者は10名にすぎず、戦死者の中にはサリヴァン兄弟も含まれていた [4] 。

起工 1940年5月27日
進水 1941年10月25日
就役 1942年2月14日
その後 1942年11月13日に戦没
排水量 6,000 トン
全長 541 ft 6 in (165.05 m)
最大幅 52 ft 2 in
吃水 16 ft 4 in
最大速力 32 ノット
乗員 士官、兵員623名
兵装 127mmMk12連装両用砲8基:16門
20 mm 機銃:8門

アトランタ級軽巡の1938年度計画艦のうち、1番艦(アトランタ)と2番艦(ジュノー)はニュージャージー州カーニーのフェデラル・シップビルディング・アンド・ドライドック社で建造された。ジュノーは1940年(昭和15年)5月27日に起工 [1] 。1941年(昭和16年)10月25日に進水し [5] 、アラスカ州ジュノーの市長夫人、ハリー・I・ルーカスによって命名される。艦長 ライマン・K・スウェンドン (英語版) 大佐の指揮下、1942年(昭和17年)2月14日に就役した [5] 。慣熟航海後、5月はじめからフランス・ヴィシー政権の海軍艦隊の逃走阻止のためカリブ海マルティニーク、グアドループ沖で海上封鎖に当たった。7月1日から8月12日までは北大西洋とカリブ海で哨戒や護衛任務に従事していたが、8月22日、太平洋へ向けて出発した。

太平洋戦線 編集

トンガおよびニューカレドニアに短期間滞在したあと、9月10日に空母ワスプ ( USS Wasp, CV-7 ) を中心とする第18任務部隊(指揮官 レイ・ノイズ (英語版) 少将)と合流した。第18任務部隊はガダルカナル島のヘンダーソン飛行場基地に戦闘機を輸送する任務についた [6] 。 9月14日、空母ホーネット ( USS Hornet, CV-8 ) を含む 第17任務部隊 (英語版) (指揮官ジョージ・D・マレー少将)と合流する [6] 。ガダルカナル島にむかうアメリカ軍輸送船団の間接護衛任務に従事するが [7] [8] 、アメリカ軍機動部隊が展開するサンタクルーズ諸島とサン・クリストバル島の海域には日本軍潜水艦多数が配置されていた [9] 。連合軍側は、この海域を「魚雷交差点(トピード・ジャンクション)」と呼んでいた [10] 。 このような状況下、ヘンダーソン飛行場基地に対して日本陸軍の川口清健陸軍少将が指揮する川口支隊が総攻撃を敢行しようとしており [11] [12] (Battle of Edson's Ridge) [13] 、日本陸軍支援のため第二艦隊(近藤部隊)と第三艦隊(南雲機動部隊)がソロモン諸島北方に進出してきたのである。

9月15日14時50分ごろ [8] 、第18任務部隊の旗艦ワスプ ( USS Wasp, CV-7 ) と、第17任務部隊でホーネットを護衛していた戦艦ノースカロライナ ( USS North Carolina, BB-55 ) と駆逐艦オブライエン ( USS O'Brien, DD-415 ) に、伊19(潜水艦長木梨鷹一少佐)の発射した魚雷が命中した [14] [15] [16] 。 酸素魚雷複数が命中したワスプは大火災となり [17] 、手のつけようがなくなる [18] [19] 。ノーマン・スコット少将が旗艦サンフランシスコより臨時に指揮をとる [20] 。僚艦ソルトレイクシティで曳航を試みたが果たせず、ワスプは駆逐艦 ランズダウン (英語版) ( USS Lansdowne, DD-486 ) の魚雷で処分された [21] 。軽巡ヘレナ ( USS Helena, CL-50 ) および随伴駆逐艦は約1,900名のワスプ生存者を救助した [20] 。 残存部隊 [注釈 1] に戦艦ワシントン部隊(第12任務部隊第2群)が合流し、9月23日には別働隊(ソルトレイクシティ、ヘレナ、アトランタ、駆逐艦3隻)も合流した [注釈 2] 。 ジュノーなど一部の艦艇はニューヘブリディーズ諸島のエスピリトゥサント島にワスプ生存者を送り届けたあと、第17任務部隊に再合流して船団護衛任務に戻った。

なお『戦史叢書62 中部太平洋方面海軍作戦(2)』など一部二次資料で、重巡ポートランド ( USS Portland, CA-33 ) と軽巡ジュノーがタラワを艦砲射撃したり、付近の艦艇を攻撃したという記述がある [23] [注釈 3] 。

南太平洋海戦 編集

10月26日に行われた南太平洋海戦 [24] (連合軍呼称:サンタ・クルーズ諸島海戦)は [25] 、ジュノーが経験する最初の大規模な戦闘となった。この海戦の直前、南太平洋部隊司令官はゴームレー中将からウィリアム・ハルゼー中将に交代し [26] [27] 、ハルゼーは「攻撃せよ、繰り返し攻撃せよ!」と命じた [28] 。 10月24日、第16任務部隊(空母エンタープライズ、新鋭戦艦サウスダコタ [29] 、重巡ポートランド、軽巡サンフアン、随伴駆逐艦)が最前線に進出してきた [30] 。第17任務部隊(ホーネット基幹、マレー少将)と、第16任務部隊により、 第61任務部隊 (英語版) (トーマス・C・キンケイド少将)が再編成される [31] 。第61任務部隊はサンタクルーズ諸島の北方に、第64任務部隊(ウィリス・A・リー少将、戦艦ワシントン部隊)はレンネル島方面に配置される [32] 。日本陸軍第17軍のガ島第二次総攻撃を支援するためソロモン諸島北方海域で行動中の日本艦隊支援部隊 [33] (第二艦隊、第三艦隊)に備えた [34] 。

10月26日朝、第61任務部隊から発進したSBDドーントレス(索敵爆撃隊)は、第一航空戦隊(翔鶴、瑞鶴、瑞鳳)を基幹とする南雲機動部隊を発見し [注釈 4] 、米軍攻撃隊の一連の攻撃で、空母2隻(翔鶴、瑞鳳)、重巡筑摩と駆逐艦照月が損傷した [36] [注釈 5] 。 しかし、アメリカ軍攻撃隊と入れ違いに翔鶴飛行隊長村田重治少佐が指揮する一航戦第一次攻撃隊が第61任務部隊上空に出現した [37] 。空母エンタープライズ ( USS Enterprise, CV-6 ) 以下第16任務部隊はスコールに隠れたので [38] 、一航戦第一次攻撃隊は晴天下の第17任務部隊(空母ホーネット、重巡ノーザンプトン、重巡ペンサコーラ、軽巡ジュノー、軽巡サンディエゴ、随伴駆逐艦)を攻撃する [30] 。 直衛のF4Fワイルドキャット戦闘機と各艦の対空砲火で村田少佐機を含む多数を撃墜したが、魚雷と爆弾の命中でホーネットが大破した [39] [40] 。一航戦第二次攻撃隊は第16任務部隊を攻撃し、エンタープライズを撃破した [41] 。キンケイド提督は航行不能になったホーネットに僅かな直衛艦をつけると、全艦艇を避難させる [42] 。ジュノーは第16任務部隊(エンタープライズ)に助太刀として向かった。ジュノーは第16任務部隊に対する4度の攻撃に応戦し、サウスダコタ ( USS South Dakota, BB-57 ) に至っては本海戦で26機撃墜を主張した [43] [注釈 6] 。一方、第17任務部隊ではマレー少将がホーネットからペンサコーラに移乗し、ノーザンプトン ( USS Northampton, CA-26 ) でホーネットの曳航を試みた [45] 。だが一航戦第三次攻撃隊や、第二航空戦隊(司令官角田覚治少将)空母隼鷹攻撃隊の反覆攻撃で、ホーネットは完全に打ちのめされた [45] 。ホーネット生存者を収容した各艦は東南方向に避退し [46] 、ホーネット処分のために僅かな数の駆逐艦が残留した [24] 。だが追撃してきた第二艦隊司令長官近藤信竹中将指揮下の水上艦部隊においつかれ、最終的にホーネットは日本側の駆逐艦秋雲と巻雲によって処分された [45] 。

第三次ソロモン海戦 編集

11月初旬、戦艦ワシントン ( USS Washington,BB-56 ) 航海長のウィリアム・ホビー中佐 [47] がジュノー副長を命じられ、本艦に転勤してきた [44] 。 11月8日、ダニエル・J・キャラハン少将が指揮する第67任務部隊第4群は、ガダルカナル島への連合軍増援部隊輸送船団を護衛してニューカレドニアのヌーメアを出撃した [48] 。スコット少将(旗艦アトランタ) [49] の別働隊も、飛行場要員を載せた輸送船3隻を護衛して出撃した [48] [注釈 7] 。 11月12日朝、連合軍増援部隊(護衛艦艇、輸送船団)はガダルカナル島北岸の揚陸地点に到着する [53] 。ジュノーは揚陸作業中の輸送艦と貨物船の護衛につき、午後2時過ぎにラバウル航空隊の零戦と一式陸上攻撃機が空襲を仕掛けてくるまで、作業は一切邪魔されなかった [54] 。ジュノーは対空砲火で6機を撃墜し、残存機も1機を除いて味方戦闘機隊の攻撃から逃れることは出来なかった。陸攻の体当たりで旗艦サンフランシスコが小破し [55] 、誤射で駆逐艦 ブキャナン (英語版) ( USS Buchanan,DD-484 ) が損傷したが [56] 、輸送船団に特筆すべき被害はなかった [54] 。任務部隊は「有力な日本艦隊がガダルカナル島に向かいつつあり」という情報を受信しており、リッチモンド・K・ターナー少将は苦しい決断を迫られる [57] 。ターナー提督は輸送船団を退避させると共に、キャラハン少将とスコット少将の巡洋艦戦隊を、飛行場砲撃をめざす金剛型戦艦に立ち向かわせた [58] [注釈 8] 。日本軍は挺身艦隊の艦砲射撃で飛行場の機能を麻痺させ、この隙に第38師団を安全にガ島へ輸送・揚陸させるつもりだった [60] 。

海戦は、悪天候と誤解および錯綜する情報による混乱が重なった [65] 。駆逐艦夕立と春雨が第67.4任務部隊の鼻先を横切ったことをきっかけに任務部隊の単縦陣が乱れる [66] 。真っ暗闇の海上で [4] 、至近距離での撃ち合いがはじまった [58] [67] 。 あるアメリカ側将校は「停電した後の酒場の大騒ぎ」と表現している [68] 。ジュノーは海戦で日本艦隊が発砲する瞬間をとらえて攻撃し、駆逐艦夕立 [69] と思われる艦艇を炎上させた [注釈 11] 。 しかしジュノーの発砲する瞬間も、日本艦隊のよい目標となっていた。やがて、ジュノーの左舷機関室に駆逐艦天津風 [69] あるいは夕立 [72] からのものと思われる魚雷が1本命中し、本艦は一時航行不能に陥った [注釈 12] 。海戦終了後、ジュノーは艦首を約4メートル沈めつつ [73] 、速力13ノットしかだせなくなった [74] 。大破した重巡洋艦サンフランシスコ ( USS San Francisco, CA-38 ) 、軽傷の軽巡洋艦へレナ ( USS Helena, CL-50 ) および無傷の駆逐艦3隻(オバノン、ステレット、フレッチャー)と合流し、エスピリトゥサント島に向けて退却を始める [75] 。サンフランシスコでは、艦橋への直撃弾でキャラハン少将とヤング艦長など高級幹部がほとんど戦死していた [76] 。そこでヘレナ艦長 ギルバート・C・フーバー (英語版) 大佐が戦場を離脱する艦艇を率いることになった [74] 。サンフランシスコはジュノーの右舷艦尾から730メートル離れたところを航行し、艦隊は13ノットの速力でインディスペンサブル海峡を通過しつつあった。

ところが午前11時過ぎ(日本時間午前9時頃) 南緯10度27分 東経161度05分  /  南緯10.450度 東経161.083度  / -10.450 161.083 地点にて [77] 、この海域で哨戒していた伊26がヘレナ艦長指揮下の米軍巡洋艦部隊を発見する [75] 。伊26はアメリカ艦隊の左舷側から接近した [78] [注釈 13] 。 駆逐艦が巡洋艦3隻(ヘレナ、サンフランシスコ、ジュノー)の前方に進出して横列に並び、ヘレナ - サンフランシスコが縦列で航行、ジュノーはサンフランシスコの右舷側を航行していた [78] 。伊26は哨戒中に艦首発射管のうち3門が事故で使用不能となっていたので [80] 、残る3門から魚雷を3本発射する [81] 。目標はサンフランシスコだったが [注釈 13] 、全て命中しなかったほか [82] 、外れた1本がヘレナに向かったがそれも命中しなかった。しかし、同じく外れた魚雷1本がジュノーの左舷中央部に命中し、おそらく魚雷が誘爆した [83] 。ジュノーは大爆発を起こし、砲塔と上部構造物が吹き飛んだ [84] 。やがて船体が2つに折れ、20秒で轟沈する。爆発の爆風はすさまじく、サンフランシスコの甲板にいた者が衝撃波で投げ出されたほどだった [83] 。伊26潜水艦長横田稔(当時、海軍中佐)は「もう二、三秒落ち着いて発射号令をかけていれば、2隻とも仕留めることができたのに」と回想している [82] 。

ジュノーの大爆発を目撃した各艦では、大多数の者が「ジュノーの生存者はいない」という印象をもったという [83] 。ヘレナ艦長は更なる攻撃を恐れ、ジュノー生存者の捜索をおこなわずに指揮下艦艇を離脱させた [83] 。ところがジュノーが爆沈したとき、約120名が生き延びていた [83] 。彼等は連結した筏につかまって救助を待ったが、8日間の漂流中に大多数が死亡した [83] 。サリヴァン兄弟を含む [4] 、スウェンドン艦長やホビー副長 [75] 以下乗員90名がサメの攻撃などで落命した。生存者は10名にすぎなかった [83] 。

五人兄弟全員がジュノーの乗組員だったサリヴァン兄弟は、全員戦死した [85] 。いくつかのレポートを総合すると、残る3名は漂流したものの間もなく水中に消えていった。ジョージ・サリヴァンは救命筏の上で死んだ [85] 。陸軍でも ボーグストロム兄弟 (英語版) など同様の事例があり、アメリカ軍では、親類を分散配置する方針が徹底した(ソウル・サバイバー・ポリシー)。またサリヴァン兄弟の実話は『 戦うサリヴァン兄弟 (英語版) 』として映画化されたほか、映画「プライベート・ライアン」(スティーヴン・スピルバーグ監督)のプロットに影響を与えている。また、10名の生存者のうちの1人だったオーレル・セシルはカリフォルニア州 ポウェイ (英語版) に住んでおり、2008年10月30日にサンディエゴで行われたドック型揚陸艦ジュノー ( USS Juneau, LPD-10 ) の退役式に招待された。