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World War II Database

5 Jul 1943

British Western Pacific Territories
  • The US Northern Landing Group under Colonel Harry Liversedge landed at Rice Anchorage on the northern coast of New Georgia, Solomon Islands. On the same day shortly after midnight, US cruisers USS Honolulu, USS Helena, and USS St. Louis escorted by destroyers USS Nicholas, USS Strong, USS Chevalier, and USS O’Bannon entered Kula Gulf to shell Japanese positions on Kolombangara and New Georgia in support of the landings at Rice Anchorage. At the same time, Japanese destroyers Niizuki, Nagatsuki, Yunagi, and Satsuki arrived at the north end of Kula Gulf loaded with 1,300 reinforcement troops and 180 tons of provisions bound for Vila, Kolombangara at the south end of Kula Gulf. Upon the commencement of the American shelling at Bairoka Harbor, New Georgia, the Japanese commander, Commander Kunizo Kanaoka, aborted the mission and ordered a withdrawal. As they turned, Niizuki, Nagatsuki, and Yunagi launched a spread of 14 Type 93 “Long Lance” torpedoes into the gulf. At a range of 22,000 yards (11 nautical miles), one of the torpedoes struck and sank destroyer USS Strong. This is believed to be the longest successful torpedo attack of the war. The Americans never detected the presence of the Japanese destroyers and believed Strong was torpedoed by a submarine. ww2dbase [Solomon Islands Campaign | Walden Ainsworth | Nagatsuki | Helena (St. Louis-class) | Honolulu | St. Louis | Nicholas | Type 93 | Kula Gulf, New Georgia | CPC]

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis




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