Editorial: U.S. victory in Kula Gulf in Navy’s finest tradition (7-9-43)

Brooklyn Eagle (July 9, 1943)

Editorial: U.S. victory in Kula Gulf in Navy’s finest tradition

We have heard a lot about the efficiency of the Japanese Navy, about its fight-to-the-death tradition, about the unerring marksmanship of its gunners. Furthermore, we have heard of nothing in the Pacific fighting to warrant any belittling of the little brown seamen as used to be the fashion in many circles before Pearl Harbor.

What has happened off Midway, in the Coral Sea, off Guadalcanal and now in the Kula Gulf does not in the least belie the descriptions of our Oriental enemy. It merely demonstrates the conspicuous all-around excellence of the U.S. Navy.

In official sources, it has been stated that Kula Gulf was not a major battle in the sense that the biggest units of the fleet did not participate. But we doubt if the proportionate damage wreaked on the enemy – in spite of the fact our forces were outnumbered – has ever been equaled.

It is stated that every Jap warship sighted by our men was either destroyed or damaged – latest estimates being eight sunk and two in the latter category. Against this, we lost the new light cruiser Helena.

This is a remarkable showing. It proves that American marksmanship is still unexcelled. A glance at the map shows that our fleet had the benefit of daring leadership – as is to be expected when Adm. Halsey is in command. For this sea victory made possible the landing on New Georgia Island of troops that threaten from the rear the important Japanese base of Munda which was the immediate objective of the present offensive.

The events of the past few days are in the glorious tradition of Jones and Decatur, of Farragut and Dewey. Certainly, they furnish ample grounds for the complete confidence of the American people in the invincibility of our navy.

1 Like