The bridge lookout spotted the rushing torpedo as the Porter’s crew excitedly concentrated on rescuing the two American airmen bobbing helplessly beside the towering destroyer. In the fury of the Battle of Santa Cruz, the veteran Porter had relaxed her vigil only for bare moments to pause to save the lives of two carrier Enterprise airmen who had ditched at sea moments earlier. Sadly, this act of mercy was to have tragic consequence, for the destroyer, almost dead in the water as the rescue proceeded, became the perfect target for the Japanese submarine I-21.
Lieutenant Commander Douglas Roberts, Porter’s skipper, ordered the helm hard over as the torpedo sped toward them. Overhead, an American Hellcat pilot watching the progress of the rescue saw the torpedo’s boiling wake and dove to attack it - his wing guns peppering the deadly warhead with little effect. But the
“fish” beat the Hellcat’s guns and seconds later tore into Porter’s mid-ships, exploding in a fiery blast that wiped out both fire rooms and instantly killed eleven crewmen.
Oh yes...this story goes on....and similiar stories are repeated many, many times for these Pace-Setting Destroyer-leaders of a new concept in Naval warfare....they did have there problems...but these new 1850 ton warships.....built to replace the expensive light crusiers...proved to be the victims of the new Naval thinking.
This is about a 9 pager that I think is an excellent article of being informative to the reader...as well as displaying in words what these mighty warriors of the sea could accomplish....as well as the hell that they went through.
If you'd care to give this one a go...you can click on this link: AMERICA'S FIRST EIGHT-GUN DESTROYERS....just set back and sip that cup of 'joe' and see what you think.....