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Signal message to USS HELM

Date: 1939-1945
Dimensions:
Overall: 93 × 202 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Russel Dority
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Message
Object No: 00054859

User Terms

    Description
    A dispatch received by USS HELM from Rear Admiral R K Turner, the commander of Allied Task Force 62, on the eve of the Battle of Savo Island the first naval battle of the WWII Quadalcanal Campaign
    This dispatch summarises both the objectives and the sentiment of this Allied task force that was charged with the protection (against Japanese naval and air forces) of the first American forces and material to land on the Japanese held island of Quadacanal.
    SignificanceUSS HELM was a member of the Allied naval Task Force 62 that took part in the Battle of Savo Island on 7-10 August 1942. This dispatch summarises both the objectives and the sentiment of this Allied task force that was charged with the protection (against Japanese naval and air forces) of the first American forces and materiel to land on the Japanese held island of Quadacanal.

    HistoryFour heavy cruisers (including HMAS CANBERRA), two destroyers and 1077 Allied lives were lost; and three Japanese cruisers and 129 lives were lost in the battle.
    USS CANBERRA (launched April 1943) was named in honour of the lost HMAS CANBERRA at the request of President Franklin D Roosvelt, the only US Navy ship to be named after a foreign capital city.
    The battle was the subject of a controversial investigation in 1949 which resulted in the condemnation of an RAAF aircraft surveillance crew who's observations of the Japanese fleet were not received in time to inform Task Force 62 - reportedly because they had their tea before reporting. In 2014, based on new information, the US Navy History and Heritage Command wrote to the surviving crew member to advised that this criticism was unwarranted.

    The donor of this dispatch was Russ Dority's father, William Dority, an Electrician's Mate 2nd Class on USS HELM in World War II.
    USS HELM was the only vessel to get under way at Pearl Harbour. It attacked a Japanese submarine and sustained damage as it exited the Harbour.
    In Sydney for repairs, William Dority met Russ's mother. After the war she was ready to go to the US as a War Bride, but William decided he would like to stay in Australia.

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