Atwell, Melvin Kenneth, LT

Fallen
 
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Last Rank
Lieutenant
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1941-1943, 131X, VP-91 Black Cats
Service Years
1942 - 1943
Lieutenant Lieutenant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
Virginia
Virginia
Year of Birth
1909
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Tommy Burgdorf (Birddog), FC2 to remember Atwell, Melvin Kenneth, LT.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Norfolk, VA
Last Address
1911 Llewellyn Ave
Norfolk, VA
(Wife~Helen Gwendolyn Atwell)

Casualty Date
Mar 05, 1943
 
Cause
Non Hostile- Died while Missing
Reason
Air Loss, Crash - Sea
Location
Pacific Ocean
Conflict
World War II
Location of Interment
Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial - Honolulu, Hawaii
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Court 5 (Cenotaph)

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Guadalcanal Campaign (1942-42)/Cape Esperance (Second Savo)
Start Year
1942
End Year
1942

Description
Cape Esperance (Second Savo) October 11–12, 1942. The Battle of Cape Esperance, also known as the Second Battle of Savo Island and, in Japanese sources, as the Sea Battle of Savo Island, took place on 11–12 October 1942, and was a naval battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II between the Imperial Japanese Navy and United States Navy. The battle was the second of four major surface engagements during the Guadalcanal campaign and took place at the entrance to the strait between Savo Island and Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. Cape Esperance (9°15′S 159°42′E) is the northernmost point on Guadalcanal, and the battle took its name from this point.

On the night of 11 October, Japanese naval forces in the Solomon Islands area—under the command of Vice Admiral Gunichi Mikawa—sent a major supply and reinforcement convoy to their forces on Guadalcanal. The convoy consisted of two seaplane tenders and six destroyers and was commanded by Rear Admiral Takatsugu Jojima. At the same time, but in a separate operation, three heavy cruisers and two destroyers—under the command of Rear Admiral Aritomo Goto-were to bombard the Allied airfield on Guadalcanal (called Henderson Field by the Allies) with the object of destroying Allied aircraft and the airfield's facilities.

Shortly before midnight on 11 October, a U.S force of four cruisers and five destroyers—under the command of Rear Admiral Norman Scott—intercepted Goto's force as it approached Savo Island near Guadalcanal. Taking the Japanese by surprise, Scott's warships sank one of Goto's cruisers and one of his destroyers, heavily damaged another cruiser, mortally wounded Goto, and forced the rest of Goto's warships to abandon the bombardment mission and retreat. During the exchange of gunfire, one of Scott's destroyers was sunk and one cruiser and another destroyer were heavily damaged. In the meantime, the Japanese supply convoy successfully completed unloading at Guadalcanal and began its return journey without being discovered by Scott's force. Later on the morning of 12 October, four Japanese destroyers from the supply convoy turned back to assist Goto's retreating, damaged warships. Air attacks by U.S. aircraft from Henderson Field sank two of these destroyers later that day.

As with the preceding naval engagements, around Guadalcanal, the strategic outcome was inconsequential because neither the Japanese nor United States navies secured operational control of the waters around Guadalcanal as a result of this action. However, the Battle of Cape Esperance provided a significant morale boost to the US Navy after the disaster of Savo Island.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1942
To Year
1942
 
Last Updated:
Jul 9, 2010
   
Personal Memories

Memories
A portent of things to come came on 25 October 1942, at the start of the battle of Santa Cruz. This time the first contact with the Japanese was made by a B-17 of the USAAF, operating from Henderson Field, although a PBY of VP-91 was only ten minutes behind. Despite this the PBY, now radar equipped, still played the main part in locating and identifying the Japanese fleet during this battle.

   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  102 Also There at This Battle:
  • Brosnan, Ryan
  • Burlingame, Archie, S1c, (1923-1943)
  • Ward, Harold, PO1, (1940-1959)
  • Webb, Robert, PO3, (1941-1946)
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