Segment 8


The planes from Henderson field on Guadalcanal sank the burning Japanese battleship the next day and went after the escapees. They were also able to damage another cruiser but most of the Japanese group escaped. The USS San Francisco was withdrawing. That same day the USS Juno came along side the San Francisco to lend a hand in treating her casualties. They had so many wounded. Between the aircraft strike of the day before and the night action off of Guadalcanal, they lost almost 100 people overall. Most of the people died that night because of a fire on board that they could not put out immediately. Thirty minutes after the USS Juno helped with the wounded, it was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. Admiral Scott had transferred his flag from the USS San Francisco to the USS Atlanta. The USS Atlanta went down that night. The USS Juno was the only ship left the next day, the day it helped the San Francisco. The USS San Francisco was only able to make 15 knots. The submarine that sank the Juno left the area. The USS San Francisco's task group began making its way away from the area. The Naval battle took play on November, Friday the 13th. Ward was wounded, and was transferred on November 15th to the hospital ship the Hope. Ward was more afraid being lifted onto the Hope then when he was fighting the battle. All Ward could hear was the swish of water between the two ships and all he could think was please do not drop me. Ward was happy when his stretcher clunked on the deck of the hospital ship. When Ward was wounded he recalled seeing bright flashes and hearing loud noises. Next thing he knew, he was flat on his back on the deck of the ship. He was blown off of his battle station. Ward was on a stretcher laying next to Leonard Harmon, a mess attendant who was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross. He died at around 10 in the morning. Ward tried to talk to him but he did not respond. Ward was transferred to the Army Hospital on Fiji. Ward was listening to all of the noise going on and was waiting to be called on to do what he was taught. It was not like the movies or TV. You are not sitting around thinking about what I am going to do, and am I going to survive. You are truly thinking, I hope they don't sink this son of a bitch because it is hard to get off of the ship. If you get some nasty hits and she starts to sink, you do not know where you are going. More than likely it is going to be dark, and there may be fire. You do not think what you are going to do; you hope that the people trained to do their jobs do it well enough so you can get the hell out of there without having to swim. Ward had a friend on the USS Vincenes, he had to swim. The sailors were swimming in oil and the oil eventually lit. The first battle of Savo Island, Ward believes the ships did not follow protocol; they should have been at general quarters. The Japanese came down and within thirty minutes the Japanese laid them down. The San Francisco was almost sunk when Ward was wounded. The USS Helena almost fired on the USS San Francisco, but a quick thinking man aboard the San Francisco sent a flashlight message saying CA-38 CA-38 to avert the potential disaster. Ward was not sure as to how badly damaged the other cruisers were.


All oral histories featured on this site are available to license. The videos will be delivered via mail as Hi Definition video on DVD/DVDs or via file transfer. You will be purchasing the oral history in its entirety but will be free to use only specific clips. Please contact the Museum at if you are interested in licensing this content. Please allow up to two weeks for file delivery or delivery of the DVD to your postal address. See more information at