April 13

This Day in History

World War II

Apr 13, 1939:

USS Astoria attempts pre-war reconnaissance

On this day, the USS Astoria arrives in Japan under the command of Richmond Kelly Turner in an attempt to photograph the Japanese battleships Yamato and Musashi.

U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Turner, whose motto was "If you don't have losses, you're not doing enough," saw the cruiser Astoria through many assignments, from assessing Japanese naval strength before U.S. entry in the war, to returning the ashes of a Japanese ambassador to Japan, to the amphibious assault at Guadalcanal. The Astoria was unfortunately sunk, along with the Quincy and the Vincennes, during Operation Watchtower, the landing of 16,000 troops on Guadalcanal, in the Solomon Islands, in August 1942.

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