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Lieutenant Helena

The light cruiser Helena was sister ship of St Louis and had the same specification. On 7 December 1941 she was moored inshore of Oglala at Ten Ten Pier. In the First Attack Wave the commander of 3rd Torpedo Attack Unit, Lieutenant Tsuyoshi Nagai (Nagai, Tsuyoshi) targeted the two ships and released a torpedo from his Nakajima B5N2 Kate. It passed under the Oglala which was of shallow draught and hit the starboard side of Helena. It damaged the cruiser and the wooden-hulled Oglala was even more seriously hurt. Captain Robert English of Helena reported that his guns were in action by 0801 and, as no further hits were sustained by his ship, the damage control men soon had the situation in hand. Rear Admiral William R. Furlong (Furlong, William R.) contrived to move his flagship, the sinking Oglala, astern and moor her before, at about 1000, she capsized. Helena was moved to Drydock Two on 10 December and temporary repairs were completed by 21 December. She sailed for Mare Island, California, on 5 January 1942 for permanent repairs. Helena fought at Cape Esperance in October and at Guadalcanal in November 1942 and was sunk when she was hit by three torpedoes at 0203 on 2 July 1943 in the Battle of Kula Gulf, off Kolobangara, Solomon Islands.

You can find out more about the Helena in the following Osprey books:

CAMPAIGN 62 Pearl Harbor 1941; CAMPAIGN 18 Guadalcanal 1942