Monday, December 24, 2012

TFH 12/24: Red Arrow Heroes of Christmas Eve, 1942

The 32nd Infantry Division was comprised of Army National Guard units from both Wisconsin and Michigan when it was first organized 1917. The division served with the active United States Army in France for combat during World War I. The 32nd was the first Allied division to penetrate the Imperial German defenses of the Hindenburg Line in October, 1918. The Red Arrow on their division patch symbolized that, and they were thenceforth known as the "Red Arrows". For their tenacity on the battlefield, they were also nicknamed by our French allies "Les Terribles." Whatever enemy position the 32nd was given to attack, they always penetrated the defenses like an arrow. The division was demobilized in 1919 after the war's end.

After the fall of France to Nazi Germany in 1940, the Army felt that the United States' entry into World War II was only a matter of time and eighteen National Guard divisions, the 32nd among them, were federalized and called up in September and October of 1940. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the 32nd was originally going to be one of the first American units sent to Europe, but it was decided to send them instead to Australia and use the Red Arrows in the South Pacific. Even though they were understrength and undertrained, they were sent to fight in the New Guinea campaign beginning September 13, 1942.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

TFH 12/23: The Greatest Play, A Dynasty Launched

Before the 1972 regular season, the National Football League's Pittsburgh Steelers had never finished better than second in their division. They won the American Football Conference's Central Division that year to secure their first ever playoff berth, and their 11-3 record brought the franchise's record to a pathetic 179-273. That's a .396 winning percentage.

Forty years ago today, the Steelers played their first ever playoff game at Three Rivers Stadium versus the Oakland Raiders. Pittsburgh and the surrounding communities were dying economically in those days. The steel industry was collapsing. Related jobs in mining and transportation were also on the decline. Other manufacturers such as Westinghouse were also reducing their presence. The Steel City was in pain, and the rise of the Steelers to competitiveness was one of the few bright points.

With the 13th pick in the first round of the 1972 NFL Draft, the Steelers had picked Penn State's stand-out fullback, Franco Harris. Harris delivered on his first-round selection by racking up 1,055 yards and 10 touchdowns during the season. Little did the rookie know that in the Steelers' first ever playoff game, he'd become the focus of the greatest single play in the history of professional football: the Immaculate Reception.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Running on the Third Rail

It is past time conservatives start running their campaigns with a "third rail" issue - the supposed politically untouchable - as a centerpiece. We're all fully knowledgeable that government spending is fraught with waste, fraud, and abuse. Our spending levels on government programs that are nothing but wealth redistribution whose costs far outweigh the value received and are completely unsustainable as we saddle future generations with more and more debt.

"Wait!", I hear you say, "Aren't conservatives already fully on board with entitlement spending reform?" Of course they are, for the most part. That isn't what I'm talking about. I'm talking about defense spending.

That's right, defense spending. If conservatives are going to truly and honestly stand for fiscal sanity and to win spending arguments in the future, fiscal policy proposals and narratives are going to have to include not just touching a third-rail of conservatism, but seizing it enthusiastically.

Our nation deserves it, our children who are being saddled with more and more debt deserve it, and most importantly, the brave men and women who wear the uniform of our Armed Services deserve the best of each and every dollar we give them to defend us with.

Apollo 17 Reprise & Thanks to My Readers

I'd like to thank everybody who helped make my series of posts on Apollo 17 and the end of the Apollo era some of the most read ever here at Their Finest Hour! In case you missed any of them, here they all are in one convenient landing page:

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Apollo+40: "Hope for all...we can do anything."

For century upon century, to explore the Moon was considered the dream of the addle-brained or the foolhardy. Only divine beings or supermen could withstand the rigors and distance of such a journey. But then, early in the twentieth century, mortal humans went aloft on mechanical wings, defying gravity and redefining the realm of possibility. For ever after, the Moon became a goal within the grasp of those on Earth: for if man could build a machine to make him fly, he would eventually build one to take him to the Moon. When and how and who was only a matter of time. 
From December of 1968 to December of 1972, twenty-four representatives of the human race voyaged to the Moon, and half as many walked upon its surface. In all, nine voyages across the quarter-million mile distance from Earthly safety to Lunar emptiness, each one of them dangerous and expensive. The requirements to make the voyage a reality were the qualities that make humankind unique: our desire to achieve, our wear-with-all and perseverance, our willingness to sacrifice time, energy, and even life in the long labor needed to solve the problems one by one over the course of the endeavor. Most important of all was humankind's tendency to imagine things that are not possible. Imagining that it could be done was the very first step taken in the journey from the Earth to the Moon. 
-- opening narration by Blythe Danner, Episode 12: "Le Voyage Dans La Lune", From the Earth to the Moon (1998)
At 2:24:59PM, Eastern Standard Time, December 19, 1972, Apollo 17 splashed down in the south Pacific Ocean. Less than an hour later, astronauts Gene Cernan, Ron Evans, and Jack Schmitt were safe aboard their recovery ship, the aircraft carrier USS Ticonderoga (CV-14). Their flight - man's final flight to the Moon - had lasted 12 days, 13 hours, 51 minutes, and 59 seconds.

Apollo 17 Commmand Module America with the USS Ticonderoga in the background
Ticonderoga was an appropriate ship for the voyage to end aboard. Six years and eight months before, Ron Evans was flying combat missions over Vietnam from her deck when he found out he had been picked to be an astronaut.

The Apollo Program was over.

Now forty years on, where do we stand as a nation of greatness, and when can we expect the human race to exceed its high point of achievement?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Apollo+40: Seventeen Leaves the Moon

When I last posted on the amazing journeys of Apollo 17, astronauts Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt had just left the lunar surface in LM Challenger to rendezvous with Ron Evans and the CSM America. I had intended to write a summary of the lunar and planetary science experiments that the mission executed from lunar orbit, but the events of Friday put me out of the mood.

A good rundown of the lunar science experiments carried aboard America during Apollo 17's time in lunar orbit can be found at the website of the Lunar and Planetary Institute. The orbital experiments were predominately contained in the Scientific Instrumentation Module (SIM) contained in the Service Module of the CSM spacecraft. A SIM was also included on both Apollo 15 and Apollo 16.

As Apollo 17 was going to be the last manned mission to the Moon for some time (little was it known then for how long) the astronauts spent more time in lunar orbit - over six days - than any other Apollo mission.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Apollo+40: Last Departure from the Lunar Surface

After three lunar surface EVAs (posts on EVA-1, EVA-2, and EVA-3), it was time for mankind's last two lunar surface explorers to start the process of heading home.

At 188:01:39 Ground Elapsed Time (GET), 5:54PM EST, December 14, 1972, human beings left the Moon's surface for the last time when Apollo 17's Commander (CDR) Gene Cernan and Lunar Module Pilot (LM) Jack Schmitt fired the engine in Lunar Module Challenger's ascent stage to return to lunar orbit and rendezvous with the Command/Service Module (CSM) America waiting in lunar orbit, having spent the last three days being solo flown by Command Module Pilot (CMP) Ron Evans.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Apollo+40: The Third EVA - "As We Shall Return"

For those who haven't read the plaque, we'll read the plaque that's on the front landing gear of this LM. First there's two hemispheres, one showing each of the two hemispheres of the Earth. Underneath it says "Here Men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon, July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind." It has the crew members' signatures and the signature of the President of the United States. -- Neil Armstrong, Apollo 11, 109:52:40 GET, July 20, 1969 at the Sea of Tranquility

Lunar Module (LM) Eagle's front landing leg carried that plaque to the Moon to commemorate and mark where Man first set foot upon a world that wasn't his. The journey, wonder, exploration, and discovery on the surface of another world experienced by just twelve representatives of all humanity was about to have its coda.

At 163:32:48 Ground Elapsed Time (GET), 5:25PM Eastern Standard Time, December 13, 1972, Apollo 17 astronauts Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt depressurized their LM Challenger, opened her hatch, and began their third and final EVA - to date, Man's last trek out onto the surface of another world.
163:41:29 Cernan: Okay, Bob. I'm going down the ladder. 
163:41:31 Parker: Roger, Geno. (Long Pause) 
163:41:46 Cernan: Yup, still there, Jack. "Godspeed the crew of Apollo 17." 
163:41:52 Schmitt: Good. 
163:41:53 Parker: Amen there, Gene. Amen. 
163:41:58 Cernan: Okay, Bob, I'm on the (foot)pad. And it's about 4:30 [CST, time at Mission Control] (on) a Wednesday afternoon, as I step out on to the plains of Taurus-Littrow. Beautiful valley.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Apollo+40: The Second EVA - It's Orange!!!

Taurus-Littrow was chosen as the landing site for Apollo 17 because it was thought, based on observations by unmanned spacecraft and the astronauts on previous Apollo flights to be a "younger" area of the Moon; an area where volcanism had as much, if not more, an effect on the local geology than the tens of thousands of impact events that are self-evident just from glancing at the surface.

Lunar geology however, was at the bleeding edge of science. Eight months before Apollo 17, John Young and Charlie Duke landed in the Descartes Higlands with Apollo 16, briefed for and expecting to find volcanic rocks...and instead found almost nothing but breccias; rocks formed by impact events. Every discovery made from the Moon was significant, whether it proved an existing theory of the Moon or disproved one. Planetary geologists longed for a truly revolutionary find like the 4 billion year-old piece of anorthosite discovered by Apollo 15's Dave Scott and Jim Irwin, known as the "Genesis Rock".

Who better to look for something amazing on man's last voyage to the Moon than the only geologist astronaut? Jack Schmitt was also only one of two geoscientists in the astronaut corps (the other, geophysicist Tony England, had acted as Apollo 16's mission scientist from Mission Control). For an organization focused on the Moon, one would think NASA would have picked up a few more specialists in that area.

Gene Cernan and Schmitt, well rested after their first EVA the day before, depressurized their Lunar Module (LM) Challenger and began EVA-2 at 140:35:06 Ground Elapsed Time (GET)/6:28PM Eastern Standard Time (EST), December 12, 1972 - forty years ago.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Apollo+40: The First EVA - A Flag Returns

When Apollo 11 Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed their LM Eagle in the Sea of Tranquility on July 20, 1969, they brought three flags with them. One was left there at the landing site, and two were returned to Earth. One of the flags that was returned was displayed in Mission Control in Houston until a short time before the flight of Apollo 17. That particular Stars and Stripes were stowed aboard Challenger for a return voyage to the Moon.

So far, we have met the crew of Apollo 17, launched with them, journeyed to the Moon, and landed. Forty years ago from the time of this post, the first of Man's three final excursions for discovery on the lunar surface began.

Command Module Pilot (CMP) Ron Evans maintained America in lunar orbit and conducted his own scientific program with the instruments onboard her while Commander (CDR) Gene Cernan and Lunar Module Pilot (LMP) Jack Schmitt prepared for their first EVA, just four hours after their landing at Taurus-Littrow.

The A7LB space suit model worn by Cernan and Schmitt on the lunar surface had also been used on the two previous "J" missions: Apollo 15 and Apollo 16. The suit was designed to be more comfortable and capable for the extended lunar stays of the later flights. The astronauts further benefited from being able to take it off inside the LM between EVAs.

At 117:01:49 Ground Elapsed Time (GET)/6:54 PM EST, mankind's last two Moon walkers depressurized Challenger, and began the first of the final three lunar EVAs.

Apollo+40: The Sixth Lunar Landing

The Apollo Lunar Module (LM) was the first true spacecraft - it was only designed for and able to fly in space, in a vacuum. Grumman completed twelve of them. Ten of the twelve flew, and eight made the journey to their intended environment: the Moon.

Apollo 17's LM Challenger was the 12th produced and would be the last craft to carry humans to the surface of Earth's Moon. She was built by hand in Grumman's plant in Bethpage, New York. When LM-12 was delivered to NASA, hundreds of men and women who built the crafts that had delivered ten Americans to the lunar surface - and which had saved the lives of three - had lost their jobs. It's a tribute to them all that Challenger was as ready, and performed as flawlessly, as her predecessors Spider, Snoopy, Eagle, Intrepid, Aquarius, Antares, Falcon, and Orion.

The date was December 11, 1972. Forty years have passed since a human prepared to land their craft and set foot on another world.

TFH 12/11-12: Lieutenant Lester H. Gamble, USNR

Motor Torpedo Boats (PT, by hull designation) were small craft armed with four anti-ship torpedoes and a variety of automatic weapons. These boats provided the United States Navy with a quick strike and raiding capability that was essential in the early days of World War II in the Pacific.

One variety of PT boat was the 77-foot Elco, so known since they were built by the Electric Launch Company. One of these specific boats, PT-45, was commanded by a 25-year old Navy Reserve Lieutenant from South Dakota named Lester H. Gamble. During a series of engagements in the larger Guadalcanal Campaign on December 11-12, 1942, and then January 2-3 and 14-15, 1945, Lieutenant Gamble pressed home successful torpedo attacks against Japanese destroyers despite the enemy's best attempts to sink him. He was awarded the Navy Cross for his courage.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Apollo+40: Apollo 17 to Lunar Orbit

When we last left Apollo 17, they had just set off on their long, two and a half day coast to the Moon. Astronauts Gene Cernan, Ron Evans, and Jack Schmitt - the 6th (Cernan, having previously gone on Apollo 10), 23rd, and 24th men to ever make the voyage - had an uneventful Earth-Moon transit and completed check-outs of their Lunar Module (LM) Challenger, conducted some scientific experiments on board their Command/Service Module (CSM) America, and finally on Flight Day 4 (December 10, 1972) reach the Moon and enter lunar orbit.

Here is a summary of major flight activities, times in Ground Elapsed Time (GET) unless otherwise noted:

Sunday, December 09, 2012

TFH 12/9: Major General Alexander A. Vandegrift, USMC

Alexander Archer Vandegrift was born in Charlottesville, Virginia on March 3, 1887. After three years at the University of Virginia, Vandegrift was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps on January 22, 1909.

As a junior officer Vandegrift was a troublemaker and not thought of well in any way by his superiors. His first fitness report included this comment:
This officer has not shown that he appreciates the responsibilities of his position as an officer, and unless there is a decisive improvement, his relations will not be to the advantage of the service.
Good for the Marines they chose to keep him around and give him a chance, because he definitely seasoned with age - a glimmer of which was also seen in 1909 when he wrote an essay calling aviation the "cavalry of the future".

Vandegrift did not serve in France during World War I, but was posted around the world including seeing combat in Veracruz, Nicaragua, and Haiti. By the United States' entry into World War II he was a Brigadier General assigned to the 1st Marine Division. In March 1942 he was promoted to Major General and assumed command of the divsion. As the United States moved into the offensive against our Japanese enemy in August 1942 with the Guadalcanal Campaign, Vandegrift's division was the lead assault force.

For his valor and leadership on the day of the initial landings, he was decorated with the second-highest award his Corps could grant: the Navy Cross. For his resolute and indefatigable fighting spirit over the next four months, he received our Nation's highest: the Medal of Honor.

Friday, December 07, 2012

TFH 12/7: Service Cross Awards from Pearl Harbor

Last year for the 70th Anniversary of the Japansese Attack on Pearl Harbor, I penned a blog post entitled "On the Darkest Day, Sixteen Shined" that spoke to the courage and sacrifice of the sixteen Medal of Honor recipients for their conspicuous valor during the attack.

Thanks to the Military Times' Hall of Valor, I have been able to identify fifty-eight American heroes who received either the Distinguished Service Cross (Army Air Forces) or the Navy Cross (Navy, Navy Reserve, and Marine Corps) for gallantry in action on December 7, 1941 on the Hawaiian Islands.

Please take a moment to read a few of the award citations for these brave men who showed the best the American fighting man can, even in defeat. Names preceded by an asterisk indicate the man was killed in action durin the Pearl Harbor attack. All awards are for the Navy Cross, save five indicated by "[DSC]" at the end.

Pearl 70: A Reprise

Last year was the 70th Anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, hurtling the United States into World War II.

I invite you today to go back and look at my posts from last year commemorating the event:

Never Forget.

Apollo+40: Godspeed the Crew of Apollo 17 - The Launch

Thousands assembled on December 6, 1972 on Florida's space coast for the launch of Apollo 17. It was sure to be an incredible show as the launch would take place at night due to the launch window required to meet the mission's date with the Taurus-Littrow region of the Moon.

Among the VIPs seated in the bleachers near the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center was Charlie Smith, thought at the time to be the oldest living American and a staggering 130 years old (since debunked). Smith was a doubter, and was quoted as saying about the Saturn V sitting on Pad 39A, bathed in spotlights:
I see that's a rocket, but th' ain't nobody goin' t' no moon. Me, you, or anybody else.
But, go they would, one of the men for the second time, like the eight flights and twenty-two men before them.

Commander (CDR) Gene Cernan, Command Module Pilot (CMP) Ron Evans, and Lunar Module Pilot (LMP) Jack Schmitt boarded their spacecraft, Command/Service Module 112 (CSM-112) named America, atop their Saturn V in the early evening hours

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Apollo+40: Prelude to Man's Last Voyage to the Moon

Back on April 20, 2012, as I was attending BlogCon CLT, I wrote an essay entitled "Where We've Been, and Where We Need to Go Back", as I observed that the date coincided with the 40th anniversary of the fifth manned landing on the Moon by Apollo 16. In it, I lamented my failure to complete my "Apollo+40" series. The United States of America executed the greatest achievement in human history, and we did it six times. I'm not going to let the sixth and final one go unrecognized here at Their Finest Hour.

I hope you come back regularly to join me as we recount the final flight of Apollo - Apollo 17 - over the next two weeks.

At 11:53AM Eastern Standard Time on December 7, 1972 (40 years before the time of this post), the launch countdown resumed at T-minus 9 hours for the final flight of a manned Saturn V launch vehicle the world would ever see. The rocket, also known as SA-512, was made up of S-IC stage #12, S-II stage #12, and S-IVB stage #512.

Atop the Saturn V was Apollo Command/Service Module (CSM) 114, Lunar Module (LM) 12, and Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) 3. The assembled hardware stood on Pad A of Launch Complex 39 at the Kennedy Space Center - an expendable tribute to the thousands of Americans who made Apollo's journeys to the Moon possible, many of whom had already lost their jobs with the end of the program, and many more who would be unemployed with the launch and mission completion.

Apollo 17's crew chose names for their spacecraft that reflected both the Nation that sent them and the enormity of the endeavor. The CSM would be known as America; the LM Challenger.

Three Astronauts would make Man's final journey to the Moon. One of them had been to the Moon before. Two had never been in space. One would be the first non-pilot to fly in space; appropriately, as the first pure scientist to travel in space and to the Moon, he was a geologist. Who were these great Americans?

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

TFH 12/5: Major Thomas E. Dayton, USAF

Thomas E. Dayton was born in New York on June 3, 1933. He began his military service on July 7, 1953 when he entered the United States Military Academy, West Point. As the United States Air Force hadn't opened their own service academy yet, he opted to join that service and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant after graduating in June of 1957. Dayton earned his pilot's wings and in various roles flew the North American F-86 Sabre, the Convair F-102 Delta Dagger, and the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter.

When it came time for Dayton to fly into battle over Southeast Asia with the 22nd Special Operations Squadron at Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Force Base, he piloted a Douglas A-1 Skyraider. The 22nd's primary mission was to interdict and destroy enemy forces and supplies along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, as well as other attack missions and the vital role of escorting and coordinating search and rescue missions for downed American fliers. It was during one of the last on December 5-7, 1969 that then-Major Dayton repeatedly flew into hostile fire during fifteen attempts to rescue a shot-down colleague. The rescue was finally successful on the sixteenth attempt, and for his incredible courage in the skies Dayton was awarded the Air Force Cross.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

TFH 12/4: LTJG Thomas J. Hudner, Jr., USN

In recent days, Their Finest Hour has chronicled the stories of several heroes from the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, part of the Korean War's first winter. Medal of Honor recipients such as Lieutenant Colonel Raymond G. Davis, Lieutenant Colonel Don C. Faith, Jr., Sergeant James E. Johnson, and First Lieutenant Frank N. Mitchell - along with Navy Cross recipient Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Fred T. Foster - braved and battled not just a brutal Chinese Communist enemy but the brutal cold and conditions of the Korean winter.

Today's honoree beyond any shadow of a doubt embodied both what it means to go "above and beyond the normal call of duty" and the lengths to which the American fighting man will go to see that no man is left behind. While this post bears the name of just one man, it is really about two officers of the United States Navy whose lives are forever linked by the events of December 4, 1950.

Monday, December 03, 2012

TFH 12/3: Lieutenant Colonel Raymond G. Davis, USMC

Raymond Gilbert Davis was born in Fitzgerald, Georgia on January 13, 1915. He graduated from Georgia Tech in 1938, and soon afterwards was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. During World War II, he served with the 1st Marine Division and participated in the Guadalcanal and Cape Gloucester campaigns.

By April 1944, Davis had been promoted to Major and given command of the 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment. He led the battalion in the attack on Peleliu in September 1944. Davis was wounded in the first hour of the landings, refused evacuation, and led his Marines in the attack for seven days against the heavily fortified Japanese enemy. He was decorated with the second-highest award for valor as a result: the Navy Cross.

After World War II, Davis remained in the Marines and was given command of the 1st Marine Division's 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment when they were committed to combat in the Korean War in August 1950. Now a Lieutenant Colonel, Davis let the battalion in the attack to relieve Company F, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir.

Davis' leadership of 1/7 through intense winter combat seized the Toktong Pass and allowed both the 7th Marines and their sister 5th Marine Regiment to escape destruction or capture at the hands of the Chinese Communists. For this instance of battalion command above and beyond the normal call of duty in the face of an armed enemy, he was decorated with the Medal of Honor.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

TFH 12/2: Sergeant James E. Johnson, USMC

James Edmund Johnson was born in Pocatello, Idaho on New Year's Day, 1926. At age 17 he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on the service's 168th birthday: November 10, 1943. He served honorably with the Marines for the rest of World War II in the Pacific, including taking part in both the Peleliu and Okinawa landings. He was discharged back to civilian life on February 7, 1946.

Two years of life as a college student and a machinist didn't satisfy the 22-year old Idahoan. He reenlisted with the Marines on January 13, 1948. When the Korean War broke out in 1950, he was part of the 1st Marine Division and participated in the Inchon landing in September.

By November, the UN forces led by the Americans had almost conquered North Korea when the Chinese Communists intervened. Thousands of Americans found themselves surrounded at the Chosin Reservoir, including Johnson.

One of the Marines' mantras is "every man a rifleman." On December 2, 1950, Johnson was a squad leader of a provisional rifle platoon made up of artillerymen from the 11th Marine Regiment attached to Company J, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment. As his unit was about to be overwhelmed, he looked death in the face and stood alone to cover the withdrawal of his comrades. His heroism above and beyond the normal call of duty resulted in the presentation of the Medal of Honor.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

TFH 12/1: The Battle of Tassafaronga

American forces ashore on Guadalcanal had made great progress against our Japanese enemies by the close of November 1942. From the Japanese perspective, the situation was desperate. Their occupying forces were effectively cut off by sea and air and were slowly being strangled by lack of supplies.

The Japanese detailed a force of eight destroyers - six of which would be carrying supply barrels to be floated ashore to their beleaguered troops - to try and run past American vessels during the night of November 30-December 1, 1942. The Japanese knew it would be a dangerous mission as the ships would likely be far outgunned if discovered. The Imperial Japanese Navy units had one thing in their favor though: the Type 93 "Long Lance" torpedo.

The United States Navy assumed that enemy torpedoes could only be launched from about six miles away when in reality their range was double that. Enemy surface ships could fire torpedoes at our ships before they came into gun range - with disastrous effect.

Eleven American ships sailed into Ironbottom Sound in between Guadalcanal and Savo Island on November 30, 1942 to confront the Japanese supply attempt. That night into December 1, 1942 would later be known as the Battle of Tassafaronga (for the destination of the Japanese ships).