Pacific Wrecks
Pacific Wrecks    
  Missing In Action (MIA) Prisoners Of War (POW) Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)  
Chronology Locations Aircraft Ships Submit Info How You Can Help Donate
 
    Battle of Savo Island (First Battle of Savo Island)  Solomon Islands
Click For Enlargement
USN August 9, 1942

Click For Enlargement
Daley August 9, 1942

Click For Enlargement
USN August 9, 1942
Location
The Battle of Savo Island occurred in Iron Bottom Sound off Savo Island between Guadalcanal to the south and the Florida Island and Tulagi Island to the north in the Solomon Islands. Also known as the First Battle of Savo Island or First Battle of the Solomon Sea. The battle was a surface action between the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) and the Allies including the U.S. Navy (USN) and Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The Battle of Savo Island was first major naval engagement of the Guadalcanal campaign during the night of August 8, 1942 until the early morning of August 9, 1942 and resulted in a Japanese victory.

Wartime History
On August 7, 1942 the Japanese were unprepared for the U.S. landings at Tulagi and Guadalcanal and planned a reinforcement with two transports both were recalled when the Allied force was revealed to be stronger than initially reported. The Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) 8th Fleet under the command of Vice Admiral Gunichi Mikawa planned sortied a force of heavy cruisers, light cruisers and destroyers to engage the U.S. Navy at night to avoid attacks by U.S. aircraft.

The Japanese force included Chokai (flagship of Vice Admiral Mikawa) plus light cruisers Tenryu, Tubari and destroyer Yunagi that sortied from Rabaul. Enroute, joined by heavy cruisers Aoba, Furutaka, Kako and Knugasa from Cruiser Division 6 under the command of Rear Admiral Aritomo Goto that sortied from Kavieng. By evening, the Japanese force proceeded via Staint Georges Channel when spotted by USS S-38 that reported "two destroyers an three larger ships of unknown type" but was unable to attack. The Japanese proceeded to the north of Buka Island then followed the eastern coast of Bougainville when spotted by a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Hudson that reported "three cruisers, three destroyers, and two seaplane tenders" followed by another Hudson but neither report were relayed to the Allied warships until the late afternoon of the next day.

In the morning of August 8, 1942 the force waited off Kieta for six hours to avoid daylight then proceeded via Bougainville Strait then down "The Slot" of the central Solomon Islands after dark to avoid detection by Allied planes and was not detected. Arriving from the west, the Mikawa planned to attack south of Savo Island attack the Guadalcanal anchorage and Tulagi anchorage then withdraw north of Savo Island.

During the night of August 8, 1942 to August 9, 1942 as Allied cruisers and destroyers were patrolling between Guadalcanal and Savo. A Japanese Navy cruiser force attacked, resulting in the sinking and loss of four Allied cruisers including USS Quincy (CA-39) sunk, USS Astoria (CA-34) sunk, USS Vincennes (CA-44) sunk and HMAS Canberra (D33) scuttled during the morning of August 9, 1942.

USS Quincy (CA-39)
Sunk August 9, 1942 during the Battle of Savo Island.

USS Astoria (CA-34)
Sunk August 9, 1942 during the Battle of Savo Island.

USS Vincennes (CA-44)
Sunk August 9, 1942 during the Battle of Savo Island.

HMAS Canberra (D33)
Scuttled August 9, 1942 at 8:00am after the Battle of Savo Island.

Contribute Information
Do you have photos or additional information to add?

Last Updated
August 8, 2021

 

Map
Map
August 8, 1942

Map
Map
August 8-9, 1942

Map
Map
August 9, 1942

Map
Map
Iron Bottom Sound

Photos
Photo Archive
  Discussion Forum Daily Updates Reviews Museums Interviews & Oral Histories  
 
Pacific Wrecks Inc. All rights reserved.
Donate Now Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram