American Forces

  • Rear Admiral W.L. Ainsworth

Cruiser Division 9

  • Honolulu (CL-48) (force flagship)(force flagship)
  • Helena (CL-50)
  • St. Louis (CL-49)

Destroyer Squadron 21

  • Capt. F.X. McInerney
  • Nicholas (DD-449) (flagship)(flagship)
  • Strong (DD-467) (sunk)(sunk)
    Notes: 46 crew killed.
  • O'Bannon (DD-450)
  • Chevalier (DD-451)

Japanese Forces

Destroyer Squadron 3
  • Rear Admiral Akiyama Teruo
  • DD Niizuki (force flagship)(force flagship)

Destroyer Division 21

  • Capt. Kanaoka Kunizo
  • APD Nagatsuki (flagship)(flagship)
  • APD Satsuki
  • APD Yunagi


The Americans were conducting a night bombardment of shore batteries around Bairoko Harbor, which is south of Rice Anchorage on the island of New Georgia. The Japanese were trying to land reinforcements on New Georgia when they detected the Americans via Niizuki's radar.

The Japanese aborted their mission and withdrew, but not before firing torpedoes; Niizuki and Yunagi each fired four, Nagatsuki fired six. One torpedo struck Strong, breaking her in two. At eleven miles, this may have been the longest successful torpedo strike of the war.


  • The US Navy Against the Axis: Surface Combat 1941-1945 by Vincent P. O'Hara