Bidelot, Albert Raphael, MM1c

 Service Photo   Service Details
3 kb
View Time Line
Last Rank
Petty Officer First Class
Last Primary NEC
MM-0000-Machinist's Mate
Last Rating/NEC Group
Machinists Mate
Primary Unit
1942-1943, MM-0000, USS Helena (CL-50)
Service Years
1935 - 1943
MM-Machinists Mate
One Hash Mark

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

265 kb

Home Country
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Tommy Burgdorf (Birddog), FC2 to remember Bidelot, Albert Raphael, MM1c.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Ft. Wayne, IN
Last Address
512 E. Suttenfield St
Ft Wayne, IN
(Wife-Martha Ann)

Casualty Date
Jul 05, 1943
Hostile, Died
Other Explosive Device
Pacific Ocean
World War II
Location of Interment
Manila American Cemetery - Taguig City, Philippines
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Courts of the Missing (cenotaph)

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
World War II FallenUnited States Navy Memorial The National Gold Star Family RegistryWWII Memorial National Registry
  2015, World War II Fallen
  2015, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
  2015, The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2015, WWII Memorial National Registry

Northern Solomon Islands Campaign (1943-44)/Battle of Kula Gulf
From Month/Year
July / 1943
To Month/Year
July / 1943

The naval Battle of Kula Gulf took place in the early hours of 6 July 1943 during World War II and was between United States and Japanese ships off the coast of Kolombangara in the Solomon Islands.
On 5 July, United States Navy Task Group 36.1 (TG 36.1)—commanded by Rear Admiral Walden L. Ainsworth and consisting of the light cruisers USS Honolulu (CL-48), USS St. Louis (CL-49), and USS Helena (CL-50), plus four destroyers, had received word of another "Tokyo Express" mission down "the Slot" in the Solomon Islands, and the task group proceeded northwest past New Georgia Island.

The Allies were in the process of launching their next offensive in the Solomon Islands, having just landed troops on the island of Rendova as a preliminary step to seizing the major Japanese airstrip at Munda on New Georgia Island. In support of this landing, which was to set up an initial beachhead for moving U.S. troops across Blanche Channel to New Georgia, Admiral Ainsworth had the night before conducted a cruiser bombardment of Vila on Kolombangara Island and Bairoko on New Georgia and, short of fuel and ammunition, was in the process of retiring to the Coral Sea to replenish. A U.S. Marine landing was scheduled on the northern shore of New Georgia on 10 July, that would require further naval support.

At 01:06 off Kolombangara, the task group came into contact with a Japanese reinforcement group commanded by Admiral Teruo Akiyama which consisted of ten destroyers loaded with 2,600 combat troops that were bound for Vila, which they used as a staging point for moving into Munda. The Japanese were divided into two forces, a formation of three escorts trailing the main column first came under attack.

The U.S. ships opened fire at 01:57, firing 612 shells in 21 minutes and six seconds, quickly sinking the destroyer Niizuki and killing Admiral Akiyama. However, Helena had expended all of her flashless powder the previous night, she was forced to use smokeless powder, thus illuminating herself to the Japanese ships with every salvo. Two of the Japanese destroyers launched their Long Lance torpedoes and hit Helena, fatally damaging her. The main Japanese force, which had countermarched away from Vila with the first contact, then broke away, having landed only 850 of the 2,600 troops. The Japanese destroyer Nagatsuki ran aground, while Hatsuyuki was damaged.

Both forces began to withdraw from the area, but one Japanese and two American destroyers remained to rescue survivors. At about 05:00, the destroyers Amagiri and USS Nicholas exchanged torpedoes and gunfire. Amagiri was hit and retired. The beached Nagatsuki was abandoned by her crew in the morning, she was bombed and destroyed by American aircraft.

The destroyers USS Radford and Nicholas both stayed behind to rescue survivors from Helena. While rescuing over 750 men, Radford and Nicholas had to reengage the enemy three times, they were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for their rescue. Amagiri escaped and later rammed and cut in half the motor torpedo boat USS PT-109, captained by future President of the United States John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), in Blackett Strait southwest of Kolombangara on August 2.
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Month/Year
July / 1943
To Month/Year
July / 1943
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
Personal Memories

The landing of troops was completed successfully by dawn, but in the afternoon of 5 July 1943, word came that the Tokyo Express was ready to roar down once more and the escort group turned north to meet it. By midnight 5 July, Helena's group was off the northwest corner of New Georgia, three cruisers and four destroyers composing the group. Racing down to face them were three groups of Japanese destroyers, a total of ten enemy ships. Four of them peeled off to accomplish their mission of landing troops. By 01:57, the Battle of Kula Gulf had begun, Helena began blasting away with a fire so rapid and intense that the Japanese later announced in all solemnity that she must have been armed with "6 inch machine guns". Ironically, Helena made a perfect target when lit by the flashes of her own guns.

My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  76 Also There at This Battle:
  • Brosnan, Ryan
  • Garrett, Earl, PO2, (1941-1953)
Copyright Inc 2003-2011