Naval History and Heritage Command

National Museum of the U.S. Navy

Battle of Cape St. George:  November 25, 1943

At the Battle of Cape St. George on November 25, 1943, Destroyer Squadron 23, led by Captain Arleigh A. Burke, USN, intercepted the Japanese Buka Reinforcement Echelon of five destroyers led by Captain Kiyoto Kagawa, attempting to land reinforcements at Buka on Bougainville.   During this night engagement, the Japanese destroyers Onami, Makinami, and Yurgiri were sunk, with Uzuki being damaged, proving the U.S. Navy had mastered the art of night fighting at sea.   Only Amagiri would escape the battle.  She is also known for the ramming of PT-109 on August 2, 1943.   The squadron destroyers were USS Charles Ausburne (DD-570), USS Claxton (DD-571), USS Dyson (DD-572), USS Converse (DD-509), and USS Spence (DD-512).   None of the destroyers were damaged in what the Naval War College's President termed, "an almost perfect action."  

Image:  NH 59864:  Destroyer Squadron 23.  Officers of the squadron enjoy a beer at "Cloob Des-Slot", Purvis Bay, Solomon Islands, May 22, 1944.  U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.