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Baptiste was involved in 12 or 14 different battles in the Solomons. They lost heavily on the heavy cruisers like the San Francisco [Annotator's Note: USS San Francisco (CA-38)], the Chester [Annotator's Note: USS Chester (CA-27)], and the Chicago [Annotator's Note: USS Chicago (CA-29)].In one of the battles the Quincy, an Australian cruiser [Annotator's Note: USS Quincy (CA-39) is a US Navy ship, not Australian. Baptiste means the HMAS Canberra (D-33)], the Vincennes [Annotator's Note: USS Vincennes, (CA-44)], Astoria [Annotator's Note: USS Astoria (CA-34)] and the Quincy were lost with a loss of 3600 men within 12 hours.The Vincennes, Quincy, and Canberra were sunk outright [Annotator's Note: Vincennes and Quincy were sunk outright. Canberra was sunk the following day by torpedoes from US Navy destroyers.]. They had received incorrect information about the Japanese ships moving down from Bougainville. The Astoria was still afloat the next morning so Baptiste's ship helped take off wounded and tried to tow the Astoria toward the beach. The order went out to abandon ship. There were sharks in the area with wounded and unwounded men in the water from the night before. The skipper was wounded.The cruiser had taken a beating.One night they went to Kolombangara to rescue the Marines. They had been shot up badly. They were suffering from gangrene. Baptiste's ship was set up as a hospital ship. The doctor who was aboard caring for the wounded happened to be the same doctor who had given Baptiste his medical exam at the Customs House [Annotator's Note: in New Orleans, Louisiana] when he enlisted. The men recognized each other.Baptiste has to go to Mare Island to have his dental work done.He spent 6 years and 7 months in [Annotator's Note: in the navy].
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