Monday, July 1, 2013

USS Northampton (CA-26)-- Part 2

After attacking Witje Island (Atoll). the Northampton next bombarded Wake Island and escorted the aircraft carrier Hornet in the famous Doolittle Raid in April.  Then, it fought at the Battle of Coral Sea and screened the carrier USS Enterprise at the Battle of Midway.  This was one really busy ship.

In mid-August, it joined the Guadalcanal Campaign then patrolled southeast of San Cristobal.  On September 15th, the Northampton was attacked by submarines, but received no damage.  The battleship USS North Carolina and carried USS Wasp were hit by torpedoes, though and the USS O'Brien was hit just 800 yards off the Northampton's port beam.

Next, it screened carriers at Bougainville Island and at the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands on 25 October came to the aid of the sinking USS Hornet.

The Battle of Tassafaronga was fought to prevent the Japanese from reinforcing their troops on Guadalcanal.  Here, the Northampton's luck ran out and it was hit by two Japanese torpedoes and sank three hours later.  American losses at the battle were heavier than the Japanese, but it was a strategic victory as the reinforcements were prevented.

Two other ships had the name Northampton and all three will have a reunion September 10-13 in Branson, Missourit.  The 2014 reunion will be in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The Story of a Ship.  --GreGen

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