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WEBPAGE QUICK LINKS


Commissioning Ceremonies Gilbert Islands
Shakedown Runs Underway for Pearl Harbor

1943


January February March April May June
July August September October November December

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American Patrol

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PACIFIC AREA WW II
HISTORY 1943 

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HISTORY OF THE USS OAKLAND TEXT IN BLUE
Gilbert Islands operation--13 Nov 1943 to 08 Dec 1943 star

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THANKS TO UNITED STATES NAVAL CHRONOLOGY, WORLD WAR II
I have edited the above files for the South Pacific area only.The edited text is shown in BLACK.

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1943


01/05 Tue. Cruiser and destroyer group (Rear Adm. W. L. Ainsworth) heavily bombards airfield and enemy installations at Munda, Solomon Islands.

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01/06 Wed. United States naval vessel damaged: Light cruiser SAN JUAN (CL-54), by dive bomber, Solomon Islands area, 08 d. 30' S., 166 d. 40' E.

01/12 Tue. Army forces occupy Amchitka, Aleutian Islands. United States naval vessels sunk: DestroyerWORDEN (DD-352), by grounding, Amchitka, Aleutian Islands. PT-28, by grounding, Dora Harbor, Alaska.

01/19 Tue. Japanese land atWewak, New Guinea. 

01/20 Wed. Destroyer escort BRENNAN (DE-13), is commissioned at Mare Island, Calif.; first ship of this type to be placed in commission.

01/29 Fri. Battle of Rennell Island (29-30 January) commences as cruiser and destroyer task force (Rear Adm. R. C. Giffen), covering movement of troop transports to Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, is bombed near Rennell Island by Japanese aircraft.

01/30 Sat. Land and carrier-based naval aircraft engage Japanese aircraft attacking Rear Admiral Giffen's cruiser and destroyer force (Battle of Rennell Island, 29-30 January). Naval Station, Akutan Harbor, Fox Island, Alaska, is established. United States naval vessel sunk: Heavy Cruiser CHICAGO (CA-29), by aircraft torpedo, 11 d. 25' S., 160 d. 56' E. United States naval vessel damaged: Destroyer LA VALLETTE (DD-448), by aircraft torpedo, 11 d. 25' S., 160 d. 56' E.

02/08 Mon. Evacuation of over 11,000 Japanese troops from Guadalcanal, , Solomon Islands, is completed. 

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02/09 Tue. Organized resistance on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, ends. [The bitter struggle to capture Guadalcanal and other islands in the southern Solomon Islands spanned 6 months and was the initial United States offensive move in the Pacific War. It was extremely costly in men, ships, and material, for both sides.]

02/17 Wed. Carrier LEXINGTON (CV-16) is commissioned at Quincy, Mass.; this vessel is named for carrier LEXINGTON (CV-2), sunk 8 May 1942 in the Battle of the Coral Sea. 

02/21 Sun. Marines and Army troops occupy Russell Islands, Solomon Islands. 

02/22 Mon. Battleship IOWA (BB-61) is commissioned at New York, N. Y.

03/15 Mon. Commander in Chief United States Fleet (Adm. E. J. King) establishes numbered fleet system; all fleets in the Pacific to have odd numbers and those in the Atlantic even numbers. 

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03/26 Fri. Battle of the Komandorski Islands is fought between a task group comprising 2 cruisers and 4 destroyers (Rear Adm. C. H. McMorris) and a Japanese force of 4 cruisers and 4 destroyers escorting reinforcements to Attu, Aleutian Islands. In this day light action 1 United States cruiser and 1 destroyer are damaged. One enemy cruiser is damaged. Japanese reinforcements fail to reach Attu. United States naval vessel damaged, Battle of Komandorski Islands: Heavy cruiser SALT LAKE CITY (CA-25), by naval gunfire, 52 d. 47 N., 172 d. 45' e. Destroyer BAILEY (DD-492), by naval gunfire, 53 d. 20' N., 168 d. 36' E. 

04/15 Thu. Carrier YORKTOWN (CV-10) is commissioned at Newport News, Va.; this vessel is named for carrier YORKTOWN (CV-5), sunk 7 June, 1942, after the Battle of Midway.

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04/18 Sun. Admiral Yamamoto, Commander in Chief Japanese Combined Fleet, is killed when his aircraft if shot down by Army P-38 aircraft.

05/11 Tue. Army troops land on Attu, Aleutian Islands; landing is covered by naval forces under Rear Adm. T. C. Kinkaid and Rear Adm. F. W. Rockwell.

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05/13 Thu. Cruisers and destroyers (Rear Adm. W. L. Ainsworth) bombard Munda and Vila, Solomon Islands, while minelayers lay mines across northwestern approaches to Kula Gulf. United States naval vessels damaged: Light cruiser NASHVILLE (CL-43), by accidental explosion, Solomon Islands area, 08 d. 28' S., 158 d. 49' E. Destroyer NICHOLAS (DD-449), by accidental explosion, Solomon Islands area, 08 d. 30' S., 158 d. 01' E.

05/23 Sun. Battleship NEW JERSEY (BB-62), is commissioned at Philadelphia, Pa. 

05/25 Tue. Carrier BUNKER HILL (CV-17) is commissioned at Quincy, Mass.

05/30 Sun. Organized Japanese resistance ends on Attu, Aleutian Islands.

06/21 Mon. Marines and Army troops land at Segi Point, New Georgia, Solomon Islands.

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06/30 Wed. Beginning shortly before midnight on 29 June, 4 cruisers and 4 destroyers (Rear Adm. A. S. Merrill) bombard Vila-Stanmore on Kolombangara and Buin-Shortland, Bougainville, Solomon Islands; mines are laid of Shortland Harbor, Bougainville. Third Fleet Amphibious Force (Rear Adm. R. K. Turner) supported by land-based aircraft (Vice Adm. A. W. Fitch) lands Marines and Army troops on Rendova and other islands in the New Georgia area, Solomon Islands.
 

Naval vessels on hand (all types).....18,493

Personnel:

          Navy................1,741,750                     Marine Corps..........310,994

       Coast Guard...........154,976                     Total personnel.....2,207,720 

07/05 Mon. Cruisers and destroyers (Rear Adm. W. L. Ainsworth) bombard Vila, Kolombangara, and Bairoko Harbor, New Georgia, Solomon Islands. Marines and Army troops land at Rice Anchorage, New Georgia, Solomon Islands. United States naval vessel sunk: Destroyer STRONG (DD-467), by submarine torpedo, Solomon Islands area, 08 d. 05' S., 157 d. 15' E.

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07/06 Tue. Battle of Kula Gulf is fought in the darkness as a task group consisting of 3 cruisers and 4 destroyers (Rear Adm. W. L. Ainsworth) engages 10 Japanese destroyers carrying troops and supplies to Kolombangara, Solomon Islands. One United States light cruiser and two Japanese destroyers are sunk. Cruiser and destroyer task group (Rear Adm. R. C. Giffen) bombards Kiska, Aleutian Islands. United States naval vessel sunk: Light cruiser HELENA (CL-50), by destroyer torpedoes, Kula Gulf, Solomon Islands, 07 d. 46' S., 157 d. 11' E. Japanese naval vessels sunk: Destroyer NIIZUKI, by naval gunfire, Kula Gulf, Solomon Islands area. Destroyer NAGATSUKI, grounded and abandoned, Kula Gulf, Solomon Islands area. 

07/13 Tue. Battle of Kolombangara is fought in the darkness off Kolombangara, Solomon Islands, as a task force, consisting of 3 cruisers and 10 destroyers (Rear Adm. W. L. Ainsworth), engages 1 Japanese cruiser and 5 destroyers escorting destroyer transports. One United States destroyer is sunk; two United States cruisers, one New Zealand cruiser and two United States destroyers are damaged. One Japanese cruiser is sunk. United States naval vessel sunk: Destroyer GWIN (DD-433), damaged by destroyer torpedo, Battle of Kolombangara, Solomon Islands, and scuttled by United States forces, 07 d. 41' S., 157 d. 27' E. United States naval vessels damaged, Battle of Kolombangara, Solomon Islands: Light cruiser HONOLULU (CL-48), by destroyer torpedo, 07 d. 31' S., 157 d. 19' E. Light cruiser ST LOUIS (CL-49), by destroyer torpedo, 07 d. 37' S., 157 d. 16' E. Destroyers WOODWORTH (DD-460), and BUCHANAN (DD-484), by collision, 07 d. 40' S., 157, 14' E. Japanese naval vessel sunk: Light cruiser JINTSU, by cruiser gunfire and destroyer torpedo, Battle of Kolombangara, Solomon Islands, 07 d. 38' S., 157 d. 06' E.

07/18 Sun. Naval and Army aircraft attack Buin-Kahile area, Bougainville, Solomon Islands. United States naval vessel sunk: LST 342, by submarine torpedo, Solomon Islands area, 09 d. 03' S., 158 d. 11' E. United States naval vessel damaged: Submarine chaser PC-562, by mine, Sicilian area, 37 d. 10' N., 12 d. 35' E.

07/17 Sat. Captain William K. Phillips assumed command of the OAKLAND at Commissioning Ceremonies. The present OAKLAND was the first United States Man-of-War to bear that name.

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07/17 to 08/11 Fitting out opertions and trial runs were conducted in San Francisco Bay.

07/22 Thu. Naval task force consisting of 2 battleships, 5 cruisers, and 9 destroyers (Rear Adm. R. C. Giffen and Read Adm. R. M. Griffin) bombard Kiska area, Aleutian Islands. Japanese naval vessel sunk: Seaplane tender NISSHIN, by naval land-based aircraft, off New Georgia, Solomon Islands, 06 d. 33' S., 156 d. 10' E. 

07/28 Wed. Japanese complete evacuation of Kiska, Aleutian Islands, without detection by United States forces. (See 15 August 1943.)

08/02 Mon. Naval task groups consisting of 2 battleships, 5 cruisers, and 9 destroyers (Rear Adm. H. F. Kingman and Rear Adm. W. D. Baker) bombard Kiska, Aleutian Islands. Kiska is bombarded 10 times between this date and 15 August. United States naval vessel sunk: PT-109, by collision with enemy ship, Solomon Islands area, 08 d. 03' S., 156 d. 58' E. Japanese naval vessels sunk: Torpedo boats Nos. 112 and 113, by Army aircraft, near Lae, New Guinea.

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08/05 Thu. Munda, New Georgia, Solomon Islands, falls to Army forces. United States naval vessel sunk: Gunboat PLYMOUTH (PG-57), by submarine torpedo, 36 d. 17' N., 74 d. 29' W. 

08/06 Fri. Battle of Vella Gulf is joined shortly before midnight and continues through the opening minutes of 7 August. Four Japanese destroyers attempting to bring troops and supplies to Kolombangara, Solomon Islands, are attacked by six destroyers (Comdr. F. Moosbrugger) in Vella Gulf. Three Japanese destroyers are sunk and one damaged. United States force suffers no damage. Japanese naval vessel sunk: Destroyer KAWAKAZE, by destroyer torpedoes, Battle of Vella Gulf, off Kolombangara, Solomon Islands, 07 d. 50' s., 156 d. 47' E.

08/15 Sun. Third Amphibious Force (Rear Adm. T. S. Wilkinson) lands Naval, Marine, and Army personnel at Vella Lavella, Solomon Islands. This landing by-passes enemy position on Kolombangara, Solomon Islands. Naval task force under Commander North Pacific Force (Vice Adm. T. C. Kinkaid) lands United States Army and Canadian troops at Kiska, Aleutian Islands. Kiska is found to have been evacuated by the Japanese. (See 28 July 1943.) 

08/16 Mon. Carrier INTREPID (CV-11), is commissioned at Newport News, Va. United States naval vessels damaged: Destroyers WALLER (DD-466) and PHILIP (DD-498), by collision, Solomon Islands area, 08 d. 11' S., 156 d. 43' E.

08/12 to 09/15 Shakedown Runs were held off the California coast.

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08/27 Fri. Marines and Seabees occupy Nukufetau, Ellice Islands. Army troops are landed on Arundel Island, Solomon Islands. 

08/28 Sat. Marines occupy Nanumea, Ellice Islands. 09/04 Sat. United States naval force (Rear Adm. D. E. Barbey) lands Australian troops on Huon Peninsula, near Lae, New Guinea. United States naval vessels damaged: Destroyer CONYNGHAM (DD-371) by dive bomber, eastern New Guinea, 07 d. 28' S., 147 d.44' E. LST 471 and LST 473, by torpedo and dive bombers, eastern New Guinea area, 07 d. 45' s., 148 d. 01' E.

09/16 to 10/29   At Mare Island Navy Yard, California, for post shakedown alterations and repairs.

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09/22 Wed. United States naval force of destroyers and landing craft (Rear Adm. D. E. Barbey) puts Australian troops ashore at Finschhafen, New Guinea.

10/03 Sun. Japanese complete evacuation of Kolombangara, Solomon Islands. United States naval vessel sunk: Destroyer HENLEY (DD-391), by submarine torpedo, eastern New Guinea area, 07 d. 40' S., 148 d. 06' E. 

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10/05 Tue. Task force including 6 carriers, 7 cruisers and 24 destroyers (Rear Adm. A. E. Montgomery) bombs and bombards Wake Island; attack is repeated on 6 October. United States naval vessel sunk: LST 448, from damage received on 1 October, Solomon Islands area, 08 d. 03' S., 156 d. 43' E.

10/06 Wed. Battle of Vella Lavella take place at night when 3 destroyers (Capt. F. R. Walker) intercept and attack 9 Japanese destroyers evacuating troops from Vella Lavella, Solomon Islands. Submarine KINGFISH (SS-234) lands personnel and supplies on northeast coast of Borneo. United States naval vessel sunk: Destroyer CHEVALIER (DD-451), damaged by destroyer torpedo, Battle of Vella Lavella, 07 d. 30' S., 156 d. 14' E.; sunk by United States forces. United States naval vessels damaged, Battle of Vella Lavella, Solomon Islands: Destroyer O'BANNON (DD-450), by collision with destroyer CHEVALIER (DD-451), 07 d. 30' S., 156 d. 15' Destroyer SELFRIDGE (DD-357), by destroyer torpedo, 07 d. 27' S., 156 d. 13' E. Japanese naval vessel sunk: Destroyer YUGUMO, by destroyer torpedo, Battle of Vella Lavella, Solomon Islands.

10/07 Thu. Japanese complete evacuation of Vella Lavella, Solomon Islands.

10/27 Wed. Troops land on Mono and Stirling Islands in the Treasury Island Group, Solomon Islands; pre-invasion bombardment and covering for the landings are provided by United States naval vessels and aircraft. United States naval vessels damaged: Destroyer CONY (DD-508), by horizontal bomber, off Treasury Islands, 07 d. 23' S., 155 d. 27 ' E. LST 399 and LST 485, by coastal mortar, Solomon Islands area, 07 d. 25' S., 155 d. 34' E.

10/30 Underway for Pearl Harbor.

11/01 Mon. Amphibious force (Rear Adm. T. S. Wilkinson) lands First Marine Amphibious Corps (Lt. Gen. A. A. Vandegrift) at Cape Torokina, Bougainville, Solomon Islands; assault is covered by aircraft and destroyer gunfire. Cruiser and destroyer force (Rear Adm. A. S. Merrill) and carrier task force (Rear Adm. F. C. Sherman) shell and bomb Japanese airfields and installations in Buka-Bonis area, Solomon Islands. Rear Admiral Merrill's force later bombards enemy airfields on Shortland Island, Solomon Islands. United States naval vessel damaged: Destroyer FULLAM (DD-474), by grounding, Solomon Islands area, 06 d. 25' S., 154 d. 53' E. 

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11/02 Tue. Battle of Empress Augusta Bay is fought during darkness as task force comprising 4 light cruisers and 8 destroyers (rear Adm. A. S. Merrill) intercepts Japanese force of 2 heavy and 2 light cruisers and 6 destroyers steaming to attack transports at Empress Augusta Bay, Bougainville, Solomon Islands. Two United States light cruisers and three destroyers are damaged. One Japanese light cruiser and one destroyer are sunk; two enemy heavy cruisers and two destroyers are damaged. Japanese force is turned back. Carrier task force (rear Adm. F. C. Sherman) attacks enemy airfields in Buka area, Solomon Islands. United States naval vessels damaged, Battle of Empress Augusta Bay, Solomon Islands: Light cruiser MONTPELIER (CL-57), by dive bomber. Light cruiser DNEVER (CL-58), by naval gunfire. Destroyer FOOTE (DD-511), by torpedo from surface craft. Destroyer SPENCE (DD-512), by naval gunfire and collision with destroyer THATCHER (DD-514). Japanese naval vessels sunk, Battle of Empress Augusta Bay, Solomon Islands: Light cruiser SENDAI, by surface craft. Destroyer HATSUKAZE, by surface craft.

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11/03   Arrived Pearl Harbor.

11/08   Sortied with Cruiser Division 5, and 2 destroyers, en route to Ellice Islands and rendezvous with the fleet.

11/13   Crossed the equator and the international date line; all pollywogs becoming trusty shellbacks.

SHELLBACK INITIATION 1943 LONG. 180 LAT 0 (INTERNATIONAL DATE LINE AND EQUATOR) - Crossing the equator was full of tradition in the Navy. An entry is made in the new shellbacks record notating the event and he then enters the Domain of King Neptune. Each shellback receives a certificate and a wallet sized replica of that certificate for his personal use.... but first he had to earn it. FROM LOWLY POLLYWOG TO TRUSTY SHELLBACK BY SHELLBACK INITIATION.

11/16   Arrived off Funafuti and joined Task Group 50.3, 2 CV, 1 CVL, 3 CA and 1 CL (AA).

11/18   Initial aircraft strikes launched against the Gilbert Islands.

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11/20 Sat. Naval, Marine, and Army force land on Tarawa and Makin, Gilbert Islands. The operation is under the overall command of Commander Central Pacific Force (Vice Adm. R. A. Spruance). Bitter resistance is encountered on Tarawa. [The Gilbert Islands are in east longitude, but since west longitude dates are used in most of the operational reports, they have likewise been used in these entries concerning the Gilbert Islands.] United States naval vessels damaged, Gilbert Islands: Battleship MISSISSIPPI (BB-41), by accidental explosion, 03 d. 10' N., 172 d. 58' E. Light carrier INDEPENDENCE (CVL-22), by aircraft torpedo, 01 d. 30' N., 172 d. 40' E. Destroyer RINGGOLD (DD-500), by coastal batteries on Tarawa, O1 d. 24' N., 172 d. 58' E. Destroyer DASHIELL (DD-659), by grounding, 01 d. 00' N., 173 d. 00' E.

11/20   Our formation was attacked by a large group of "Betties," twin engine torpedo bombers. Oakland shot down two and assisted in the destruction of two others in her first action against the enemy.

11/23 Tue. Betio, Tarawa Atoll, and Makin in the Gilbert Islands, are declared secured. Cruiser and destroyer force (Rear Adm. A. S. Merrill) bombards Buka-Bonis area, Bougainville, Solomon Islands. United States naval vessel sunk: PT-322, by grounding, eastern New Guinea area, 06 d. 09' S., 147 d. 36' E.; sunk by United States forces. Japanese naval vessel sunk: Frigate WAKAMIYA, by submarine GUDGEON (SS-211), East China Sea, 28 d. 49' N., 122 d. 11' E. 

11/24 Wed. Carrier WASP (CV-18) is commissioned at Quincy, Mass.; this vessel is named for carrier WASP (CV-7) sunk 15 September 1942 near Espirtu Santo, New Hebrides. United States naval vessel sunk: Escort carrier LISCOMBE BAY (CVE-56), by submarine torpedo, Gilbert Islands area, 02 d. 58' N., 172 d. 26' E. 

11/25 Thu. Battle of Cape St. George is fought during the early hours as squadron of 5 destroyers (Capt. A. A. Burke) intercepts 5 Japanese destroyers off Cape St. George, New Ireland. Three enemy destroyers are sunk and one damaged. United States ships suffer no damage. Carrier-based aircraft bomb Kavieng, New Ireland. United States Advanced Amphibious Base, Salcombe, Devonshire, England, is established. Japanese naval vessels sunk: Destroyers ONAMI, MAKINAMI, and YUGIRI, by destroyer torpedoes and gunfire, Battle of Cape St. George, New Ireland. Submarine I-19, by destroyer RADFORD (DD-446), north of Gilbert Islands, 03 d. 10' N., 171 d. 55' E

11/29 Mon. Carrier HORNET (CV-12), is commissioned at Newport News, Va.; this vessel is named for carrier HORNET (CV-8) sunk 27 October 1942 after Battle of Santa Cruz Islands.

11/26  The Oakland transferred to Task Group 50.1, composed of 2 CV, 1 CVL. 4 CA, 1 CL (AA) and 6 DD. This ship assumed duties of Screen Commander and operated with the screen.

12/04 Sat. Aircraft from task force which includes six carriers (Rear Adm. C. A. Pownall) bomb Kwajalein and Wotje Atolls, Marshall Islands. United States naval vessels damaged, Marshall Islands: Carrier LEXINGTON (CV-16), by aircraft torpedo, 13 d. 30' N., 171 d. 25' E. Light cruiser MOBILE (CL-63), by accidental explosion, 12 d. 47' N., 170 d. 57' E. Destroyer TAYLOR (DD-468), accidentally by United States naval gunfire, 10 d. 00' N., 170 d. 00' E.

12/04  Attack launched against the Marshall Islands after high speed run-in from the northeast. The Oakland was assigned "down moon" picket station, detached temporarily from her group. While driving off raids, the ship possibly shot down one attacker. The Lexington (CV16) was hit by a torpedo and this ship covered her with-drawal.

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12/09  Returned to Pearl Harbor.

12/15 Wed. Army troops are landed on Arawe Peninsula, New Britain.

12/26 Sun. 1st Marine Division (Maj. Gen. W. H. Rupertus) is landed at Cape Gloucester, New Britain, by Seventh Amphibious Force (Rear Adm. D. E. Barbey) after heavy pre-invasion bombardment and bombing by ship gunfire and aircraft. United States naval vessel sunk: Destroyer BROWNSON (DD-518), by dive bomber, Cape Gloucester, New Britain, 05 d. 20' S., 148 d. 25' E. United States naval vessels damaged, Cape Gloucester, New Britain: Destroyers LAMSON (DD-367), SHAW (DD-373), and MUGFORD (DD-389), by dive bombers. LST 66, by horizontal bomber

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