A Tribute

To those who Served

Personal Accounts  
Battles are much more than just broad stories of men, ships etc. involved. To have a real understanding of events one must look much deeper than the history books.

This page was established to provide a forum for survivors and family members of survivors to relate their experiences or relatives experiences, in an effort to "bring home" to the reader some idea of what it was really like!

The stories are organized in a manner that facilitates easy reading. Long stories have their own page so loading time of the main page is limited. Links and a description to such stories are provided first on this page.

1943 Interview with Mr. Lawerence Endicott which appeared in a Cincinnati news paper about his experience aboard the USS Atlanta.

Press Here.

Personal Story told by Victor "Whitey" Kelmelis about his experience aboard the USS Atlanta, as told to his son Victor Kelmelis Jr.

Press Here. - (Link reestablished)

Story told by Mike Grassi, son of Toby Grassi, relating how his dad's war time experiences brought them a special bond.

Press Here

Epic of the Mighty "A"- This story was originally told by an Officer of the USS Atlanta in 1943 and appeared in a number of newspapers. The story was donated by Gwen Blough along with copies of some Atlanta artifacts. Posted now is the story which while very long (might take some time to load if you are using a dial-up modem) its worth it. Press Here. (Link reestablished)
Eugene Sorrenson Story - Press Here. Combat History of Sam Hicks as told by Dan Murphy - Historian.

Press Here  - (Link reestablished)

Story of Orval Briggs, killed on the USS Atlanta. Includes letters and official citations. - written by Raymond Stoddard.

Press Here  (Link reestablished)

A 21 page manuscript narrated by Joseph Hartney, a survivor on the USS Juneau, was recently found among some papers belonging to the grandmother of Margo Riedel. Her grandmother's brother, Kyle Barbour, was killed aboard the Juneau. This is an incredible find and many thanks to Margo Riedel for allowing us to publish this on the site! .

Press Here  (Link reestablished)

A short story written by Atlanta survivor Giles J. Roethle describing his experiences aboard the USS Atlanta the night she was sunk and his plight afterwards. Kindly submitted by Donna Steeber.

Press Here -

(Link reestablished)

A series of Navy department documents concerning Jack Boatright GM 3c who was killed while serving aboard the USS Juneau during the Night Battle of Guadalcanal Nov 13th, 1942. This information was kindly donated by Steve Bramlett, the great nephew of Mr Jack Boatright. .

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An Article written during WW2 which appeared in a military magazine regarding James "Gunner" Neely's experiences aboard the USS Atlanta when she was sunk .The story was supplied by Joe Neely .

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Story of John Harvey who was station board the USS Atlanta and was the only surviving signalmen after the Battle. Mr Harvey was the one who sent and received all communications after the battle. He worked beside Capt. Jenkins and was privey to all command decisions at this point. The information was kindly supplied by his granddaughter Christine Burmeister who is organizing all his records.

Press Here (Link reestablished)

Service story of Glen Clifford Rogers, QM1c, USS Atlanta kindly supplied By Gwen Rogers Blough.

Press Here (Posted 10/25/2011)

Tribute to John Konecny who was killed in action aboard the USS Atlanta Nov 13 1942. Thanks you to his grandson Craig Grosvener and his family for providing the information.

Press Here (Posted - 10/24/2011) 

“Days He’ll Never Forget” By:  Anthony DiAngelis    USS Atlanta CL-51 - November 1942 As I Remember

Mr. DiAngelis served  in 5"/38 Mount #2

Press Here (Posted  Oct 26 2011)

Joseph Rogers - one of four brothers who served aboard the USS Juneau Cl52 which was sunk with all but 10 men lost!- as told by his grandson.


Press Here  (posted Oct 26 2011)

Service story of Edward Huddleston who was aboard the USS Atlanta and most recently told his story to the GUE Atlanta documentary project which will appear  on DVD.

Press Here  (Posted Nov 6th 2011)

Service history of Denver Miller who served aboard the USS Atlanta. Information was supplied by his granddaughter Billie Jean Gooch.

Press Here (Posted Nov 7th 2011)

Service memorial for George Arthur Willoughby S1C who was aboard the USS Juneau where  only 10 crew survived the sinking of the ship. This was supplied by his nephew Mike Stevens


Press Here (Posted Nov 7th 2011)

Service History of Jessie Walker Davis as supplied by his daughter Brenda Davis Crabtree. Read this incredible story describing the life long service of  Mr Davis as he spent his career in both the US Navy and then in the US Army. He was involved  in major battles in both services - a true warrior and defender of our nation.


Press Here  (Posted Nov 12th 2011)


Other Short Stories

I'am a former Marine that served on Guadalcanal during the 2nd World War.

I read your article in the echo's (Guadalcanal Echo's) about your husband passing away and your son putting a web site on the internet. I dont understand the internet stuff. I'am an old goat so I'll just keep writing.

I'll never forget the one day on Guadalcanal. I looked over the horizon on the ocean and seen this ship. Never seen one in the waters around there like that one. ( and beleive me, we had plenty of them around). The word was passed around that it was the USS Atlanta. It was our new anti-aircraft cruiser.

After the war, I was always going to this coffee shop to shoot the bull with these old timers. One guy came in and sat at my table.

Naturally ya gotta investigate these new comers, so I did. So I find out that he came from Council Bluffs, Iowa and his name was John King!

He was a Chief Petty Officer on the Atlanta. Boy did I ever feel proud sitting next to a "gob" that I had seen on the horizon off the "Canal".

It (our talks) lasted for about 4 years then he passed away. He had left two books that were confidential at the time he got them. It told all about the many engagements over and around the "Canal" and other places. He left word with his wife that if he ever passed away I was to get them books. I got them and gave away to another "gob" friend of mine over there in Detroit. He was on the heavy cruiser Wichita.

This is the first letter I wrote in quite awhile. My hand is starting to get stiff so I'll close it out here. If your son wants to publish this in the "Echo's" its Ok with me. In the mean time pray we have no more wars. I've seen enough of that stuff.


Ed "Red's" Clark


Dear Mr. Edwards:

My compliments and many thanks for the great links regarding the USS ATLANTA. It has special interest to me inasmuch as my uncle, Lawrence R.Endicott,Storekeeper First Class, was aboard the ATLANTA during the"Barroom Brawl" battle of November 13, 1942. My uncle passed away in 1977,but as we were business associates for many years he had imparted some info on the battle to me--not as much as I would have desired--for he didn't really like talking much about it or going into great detail regarding that fateful night.

He did tell me that he had just entered a structure over the bridge at the time that shells struck the structure; he was bringing coffee up to that site. He said the next thing he remembered, he came to and there was about five or six bodies covering him. He attributed those shipmates saving his life at the time. He received massive shrapnel wounds to his back and right shoulder. He stated that he eventually was transferred to a foxhole by Marines from a neighboring island; his injuries were so severe to his right shoulder that the doc was going to amputate his right arm, but that the Japs were counter-attacking and they didn't have time, or couldn't because of the attack.

He endured night shelling in the foxhole and was shuttled about for a day and a night before being flown to a hospital in the islands. In December of 1942 he was taken to hospital in California. I am in possesssion of a news article that appeared in a Cincinnati newspaper in early 1943; My uncle was visiting his brother in Ohio and he was interviewed by a local paper. It goes into detail of my uncle's experiences during and after the battle of Nov. 13, 1942.

Another interesting item concerning my uncle. Mr. Endicott has been stationed at Pearl Harbor immediately prior to the December 7th attack. He had, just a few days before December 7th, as I understand it, just been transferred back to San Francisco as he was to be discharged on December 7th,1941. He related to me that he had been discharged on December 6th; had gone to an all night movie in San Francisco, waiting for his train to depart for Kansas City (his home town). He came out of the movie theatre and noticed the headlines, etc., about the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor. I asked him what he did right then; he stated, "I went right down and re-enlisted in the Navy and headed for a bar!"

Again, thanks for your ATLANTA site.

Chuck Smith

Pittsburg, Ks.


My uncle Arthur Thomas was seconded from the Royal Australian Navy to USS Atlanta as Navigation Officer. He must have died on the bridge 13 November 1942. My family never got to know any details of his time with the US Navy because of wartime censorship.

Prior to his secondment about 1942??? he commanded in Australian small ships called corvettes. During the 1930's he commanded trading ships in the South Pacific and gained immense knowledge of the uncharted areas which no doubt led to him being on the bridge that fateful night.

I guess not many people would have been aware my uncle was an RAN officer navigating Atlanta, but as they say local knowledge comes in useful. Of course the ironic side is that this knowledge lead to his death on Atlanta; without it he may have survived in another theater of war. One of the frustrating things is that nobody seems to know the circumsatnces of his posting to Atlanta. Australian Naval records give no details; and of course war time censorship meant my family had no information at all. My Dad thinks he may have been on board USS Chicago for a while, obviously prior to joining Atlanta. Chicago was based in Sydney for a while and escaped narrowly when the harbour was attacked by midget submarines May 31, 1942. Early 1942 he was first officer on HMAS Maryborough mine sweeping the Straits of Johore, and participated in the evacuation after the fall of Singapore. I have met some of his shipmates from that voyage, but they have no idea where he was posted after the ship returned to Australia March 1942. They told me due to the rushed exodus from Singapore they had no proper charts and my uncle had to navigate using a school atlas all the way back to Perth.

With thanks,

Ken Le Lievre

My dad Larry Dittoe Sr.was the C.T.C. on the Atlanta, on the night of the 13th his turret took a direct hit killing all his crew except for two who survived. I still have the letter from one of his superiour officers sent then to my mother, telling her of the loss and that he and the gallent men who fought so gallently and gave their lives,it would only be right to bury them with there comrades and ther ship. If any one Knows of my dad I'd like to hear from them.Bless you Don for keeping there memory alive.

Larry J Dittoe Jr



Alexander Goldstein

hi Don! thanks for the mail. i was on the Atlanta from the bginning to the end! is your father and uncle still living? i live in Buffalo NY look through this and you will find my name as a crew member. Alexander Goldstein i was in the lower powder handling room in the 3rd division when the action started. i didnt see any thing untill they anounced bandon ship but it was a mess when went topside. i was in the water from 2:00AM till the break of day when i was picked up by marines on the canal. we were taken back to the ship which was still afloat.then stayed on it till it was time to scuttle it. then i stayed on guadalcanal for almost a year do to malaria and other things. its a long story!!! so any way i thought i would ans your mail Good luck Alex for short for Alexander my name was never alexander, but i guess when i signed up they thought it was :)

bye again

Alexander Goldstein

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