Night Surface Action off New Georgia
6 March 1943
Beginning in January 1943, the Navy’s South Pacific Force (Third Fleet after 15 March), carried out repeated gunfire bombardments of the Japanese airfields being expanded at Munda on New Georgia and Vila on the neighoring island of Kolombagara. On the night of 5–6 March, Cruiser Division 12, commanded by Rear Admiral Aaron “Tip” Merrill, picked up two enemy contacts in the Kula Gulf, which separates the two northern Solomon Islands. Merrill’s ships engaged the Japanese destroyers Murasame and Minegumo and sank them. Cruiser Division 12 then carried out its shore-bombardment mission. The following radarscope images were taken onboard Denver (CL-58) during the engagement and included in the ship's 9 March 1943 after-action report.