Bidelot, Albert Raphael, MM1c

 Service Photo   Service Details
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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 

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

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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

Guadalcanal-Tulagi landings/Battle of Savo Island
From Month/Year
August / 1942
To Month/Year
August / 1942

On 7 Aug 1942, the United States committed to its first land based counterattack.  The Marines landed at both Tulagi and Guadalcanal, on both sides of Savo Sound.  The installation at Guadalcanal was mostly construction workers and was an easy landing. The more established base at Tulagi involved heavy fighting, but was captured in two days.  The Japanese responded immediately with air attacks from their bomber bases in New Britain (Rabaul) from the north and fighter strips in the northern Solomons (Bougainville). US carrier planes operating near the invasion fleet in Savo Sound defended. Thirty-three enemy were shot down for a loss of 12 US planes, one destroyer crippled, and a transport, George F. Elliot (AP-13), set afire and lost. The IJN also sent the Eighth Fleet from Rabaul to attack the US beachhead.  This fleet (VAdm Mikawa) consisted of five heavy cruisers, two light cruisers and a destroyer.

The western approaches to Savo Sound were guarded by a screening force of six heavy cruisers and six destroyers (the battle fleet had been destroyed at Pearl Harbor) in two groups covering both passages.  Radar pickets were the destroyers Blue (DD-387) and Ralph Talbot (DD-390) deployed west of Savo Island. The south passage was defended by HMAS Australia (flagship of RAdm Crutchley, RN), HMAS Canberra, USS Chicago (CA-29), Bagley (DD-386) and Patterson (DD-392). The northern group was made up of Vincennes (CA-44), Quincy (CA-39), Astoria (CA-34) and destroyers Helm (DD-391) and Wilson (DD-408).  The eastern approaches also had a screening force, made up of light cruisers San Juan (CL-54  flag), HMAS Hobart, and destroyers Monssen (DD-436) and Buchanan (DD-484).

The IJN 8th fleet of fast cruisers arrived the second night and meet the US screening force for the Battle of Savo Island.   At the same time, the three US carriers and their escorts, including North Carolina (BB-55), six cruisers, and 16 destroyers, were withdrawing to get out of sight of land-based bombers from Rabaul.

The enemy force of fast cruisers sent out scout floatplanes that reported the American forces.  Both radar picket ships (radar range about 10 miles) were at the extreme ends of their patrols sailing away from the Japanese fleet which passed undetected about 500 yards from Blue.  The enemy was lost in the visual and radar shadow of nearby Savo Island.  Allied ships were faintly silhouetted by a freighter burning far over the horizon. The enemy discovered the southern force and fired torpedoes before they were detected. Simultaneously with the explosions, the scout plane dropped flares illuminating the allied fleet.  Canberra was stuck by two torpedoes and heavy shelling.  The US ships fired star shells and opened fire.  Chicago of the southern force was torpedoed.  The Jap force turned north in two columns.  The northern defense force had not gotten the word, there was a rain squall in the area, and they assumed the southern force was shooting at aircraft.  The two Jap columns passed on each side of the US force and opened fire on Astoria, Quincy, and Vincennes.  The American captains ordered "cease fire" assuming they were Americans firing on their own ships.  Vincennes caught a torpedo.  Robert Talbot came charging south and was attacked first by friendly fire and then raked by the enemy escaping to the north.  Quincy and Vincennes went down.  During rescue operations for Canberra, Patterson was fired on by Chicago.  Canberra was sunk the next morning to prevent capture as the US fleet left the waters that was hereafter called Iron Bottom Sound.  Astoria sank about noon while under tow.  Chicago had to undergo repair until Jan'43.

In just 32 minutes the enemy had inflicted massive damage.   Four heavy cruisers were sunk and a heavy cruiser and destroyer badly damaged.  1,270 men were killed and 708 injured.   The enemy had comparative scratches on three cruisers.
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Month/Year
August / 1942
To Month/Year
August / 1942
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
Personal Memories
Units Participated in Operation

USS Nicholas (DD-449)

My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  123 Also There at This Battle:
  • Besson, John Henry, RADM, (1931-1959)
  • Burlingame, Archie, S1c, (1923-1943)
  • Froze, Francis Donald, Cox, (1941-1945)
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