Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

80-G-20824 Captain Daniel J. Callaghan, USN

Photo #: 80-G-20824   Captain Daniel J. Callaghan, USN
Description: Photographed on the bridge of USS San Francisco (CA-38), circa 1941-1942. As a Rear Admiral, with San Francisco as his flagship, he led U.S. Navy task force during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, 12-13 November 1942, and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his extraordinary heroism in that action. Note Callaghan's cloth-covered binoculars, and the pelorus at left. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.
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Medal of Honor citation of Rear Admiral Daniel J. Callaghan, USN. (as printed in the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 166):


"For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty during action against enemy Japanese forces off Savo Island on the night of 12-13 November 1942. Although out-balanced in strength and numbers by a desperate and determined enemy, Rear Admiral Callaghan, with ingenious tactical skill and superb coordination of the units under his command, led his forces into battle against tremendous odds, thereby contributing decisively to the rout of a powerful invasion fleet and to the consequent frustration of a formidable Japanese offensive. While faithfully directing close-range operations in the face of furious bombardment by the superior enemy fire power, he was killed on the bridge of his Flagship. His courageous initiative, inspiring leadership, and judicious foresight in a crisis of grave responsibility were in keeping with the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the defense of his coutnry."

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