Friday, January 11, 2013

Temporary repairs to the Minneapolis

After covering the landings of U.S. Marines on Guadalcanal and Tulagi from August 7-9, and landings on Lunga Point and Funafuti in September and October, the heavy cruiser USS Minneapolis opened the Battle of Tassafronga on November 29, 1942, when she fired upon ships from the Japanese fleet attempting to reinforce their troops on Guadalcanal. She sank the destroyer Takanami but took 2 torpedo hits to her bow and fireroom from other Japanese warships. Miraculously, she was kept afloat until reaching Tulagi. There her crew and and a Seabee unit were able to complete temporary repairs enabling her to sail to Espiritu Santo, where repair crews from my dad's ship, Vestal, could repair her hull and boilers for the trip to the states. The temporary repair work commenced on this date in 1943 and was completed on January 27.

Damaged Minneapolis in December 1942
Source: Wikipedia

The USS Minneapolis was launched in September of 1933. She saw distinguished service throughout the war in such action as the Battles of the Coral Sea, Midway, Tassafronga, Philippine Sea, Guam, and Surigao Strait. She had the distinction as serving as the flagship of Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid as he accepted the Japanese surrender of Korea in September, then patrolled the Yellow Sea, covering the landing of Marines in Korea and Northern China. After carrying veterans home to the West Coast at the end of the war, she was placed in reserve. The USS Minneapolis received 17 Battle Stars for her WWII service. She was decommissioned 1947, and sold for scrap in 1959.

Sources: USS Vestal War Diary, January 1943; Wikipedia

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