Vincennes file photo [2470]

USS Vincennes

CountryUnited States
Ship ClassNew Orleans-class Heavy Cruiser
BuilderFore River plant, Bethlehem Shipbuilding Company,
Laid Down2 Jan 1934
Launched21 May 1936
Commissioned24 Feb 1937
Sunk9 Aug 1942
Displacement9400 tons standard
Length588 feet
Beam62 feet
Draft19 feet
Speed33 knots
Crew952
Armament9203mm, 8127mm, 21.4 kg, 812.7mm
Aircraft4

Contributor:

ww2dbaseThe cruiser Vincennes was named after the city of Vincennes, Indiana, United States. Her shakedown cruise took place to Sweden, Finland, France, and England. Upon return to the United States, she was assigned to Cruiser Division 7, Scouting Force, and operated out of San Diego, California. She was modernized in Apr 1939.

ww2dbaseAs the European War began in Sep 1939, Vincennes patrolled the east coast to protect American ships from any possible hostilities. After overhaul at Portsmouth Navy Yard in Norfolk, she sailed to the the Caribbean Sea in early 1941 to conduct gunnery and landing exercises. On 17 Mar 1941, she sailed for South Africa to bring back a shipment of gold bullion given by the United Kingdom as lend-lease payment. She continued to patrol and make journeys across the Atlantic through the entrance of the United States in WW2.

ww2dbaseIn Mar 1942, Vincennes became a part of Task Force 18 of the Pacific Fleet, which was centered around the carrier Hornet. On 2 Apr 1942, she escort the Doolittle raiders on their journey to bomb Japanese cities.

ww2dbaseDuring the Battle of Midway, Vincennes was attacked by Japanese B5N "Kate" torpedo bombers but successfully fended herself. She also protected her classmate Astoria by providing additional anti-aircraft support. Battle damage sustained during Midway put Vincennes in the yard at Pearl Harbor for repairs until early Jul 1942. She departed Pearl Harbor on 14 Jul for the South Pacific.

ww2dbaseOn 7 Aug 1942, during the Guadalcanal Campaign, Vincennes covered the transports landing Marines on Guadalcanal. At 1320, Japanese aircraft retaliated unsuccessfully, and Vincennes scored two kills against the oncoming aircraft. At 1158 the next day, the Japanese attacked again, this time with 27 G4M "Betty" bombers; this second attack also failed, and Vincennes scored seven kills against Japanese torpedo bombers. That afternoon, reported indicated a Japanese surface force coming down from Rabaul. The Japanese force, led by Vice Admiral Gunichi Mikawa, struck at 0137 in the early hours of 9 Aug. Although the southern group had already engaged in combat, the northern group in which Vincennes belonged to received no warning. Therefore, when Japanese spotlights illuminated Vincennes at 0155, it was a total surprise. She managed to fire off several rounds at the sources of the spotlights with her main battery, but she was quickly overwhelmed by shells; her bridge, carpenter shop, and radio antenna were all hit during the Japanese first salvo. Another hit ignited the aircraft in Vincennes' hangar, causing a stubborn fire with aviation fuel. At 0200, one or two torpedoes, fired long before, struck Vincennes and disabled her within minutes. At 0210, the Japanese force withdrew from combat, but by this time she already suffered from an alarming list to port. Captain Frederick Lois Riefkohl ordered the men to abandon ship at 0230. She rolled over and sank at 0250. The Battle of Savo Island caused 332 deaths aboard Vincennes, wounding 258.

ww2dbaseSources: the Struggle for Guadalcanal, Wikipedia.

Heavy Cruiser USS Vincennes Interactive Map

USS Vincennes Operational Timeline

24 Feb 1937 Vincennes was commissioned into service.
28 May 1940 American ambassador to France, William Bullitt, sent a telegram to the United States asking President Roosevelt to dispatch a cruiser to Bordeaux, France to bring weapons for the French police to quell a feared "Communist uprising" and to embark French and Belgian gold reserves. Heavy cruiser USS Vincennes would sortie from Hampton Roads, Virginia, United States with destroyers USS Truxtun and USS Simpson in response to the ambassador's request.
9 Jun 1940 American cruiser USS Vincennes and destroyers USS Truxton and USS Simpson arrived at Casablanca, French Morocco. They began taking on what would be 200 tons of gold from the French reserves to be brought back to the United States for safekeeping.
10 Jun 1940 American cruiser USS Vincennes and destroyers USS Truxton and USS Simpson departed Casablanca, French Morocco for the United States with 200 tons of gold from the French reserves.
20 Jun 1940 American cruiser USS Vincennes and destroyers USS Truxton and USS Simpson arrived at New York, New York, United States with 200 tons of gold from the French reserves.

Photographs

Vincennes making 10.74 knots during trials off Rockland, Maine, United States, at 1258 on 12 Jan 1937Heavy cruiser USS Vincennes passing through the Panama Canal, 6 Jan 1938SB2U Vindicator scout bomber flying anti-submarine patrol over an American convoy en route for Capetown, South Africa, 27 Nov 1941; note cruisers Vincennes and QuincyVincennes at Pearl Harbor, preparing to depart for Battle of Midway, 26-28 May 1942; note SOC floatplane in foreground
See all 6 photographs of Heavy Cruiser USS Vincennes



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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Stephanie Kincaid says:
21 Jul 2011 09:55:22 PM

I am looking for information about my uncle, Sherman Gore, who served - and died - aboard the Vincennes in August 1942.

Is there a directory of veterans who served on the Vincennes with him?

Thank you,
Stephanie
2. Jennifer Gordon says:
4 Sep 2011 10:53:35 PM

Stephanie:

I was surpried to see your entry on this website because, like you, I am also looking for information regarding MY uncle, Sherman Gore! He was the brother of my grandfater, Everett Gore of Uneeda, WV. He was my mother's (her name is Evelyn Mae Gore Jobe)uncle and she did not get a chance to meet him b/c she was born in July 1942.

I do have alot of information about Sherman that I could send you via email with this information.

An on another interesting note, we also have an uncle who was a POW in WW2 and wa at a prison camp in Germany until the end of the war. His name was Hubert Gore and he was Sherman and Everett's brother. He passed away June 22, 2011.

My email address is jennydgordon@comcast.net. Pleae feel free to contact me.

It really is a small world after all....
3. Anonymous says:
21 Sep 2011 07:36:38 AM

I am looking for information regarding Roger Elliot who I believe was Exc. of the Vincennnes when she sunk. He was a friend of my sister during WWII. His death was a crushing blow to his friends here in the Panama Canal Zone.

Thanks much
4. Patrick says:
12 Jul 2012 12:53:19 PM

looking for info on Edward Dundon who also served and died on the Vincennes at Salvo Island battle
5. Doug Bain says:
18 Aug 2012 04:35:42 AM

I am seeking info about my grandfather Mr. Bennie Bain 1c Water Tender who I believe was on the Vincennes when it was sunk in Aug 1942. I still am not sure if he was on this ship, the records I have found lead to this ship but not a definite. Anyone who may be of assistance please e-mail me at kingstable2003@yahoo.com, thank you and God Bless.
6. Mallory says:
10 Nov 2012 07:56:45 PM

My Grandfather, Ted R. Bayes, a survivor of the
Vincennes passed away this last weekend. If anyone has any information about his time on the ship I would like the information. He never spoke about it.
7. Betty says:
2 Apr 2013 02:41:32 PM

My Uncle, Theodore W. Kennedy served aboard the Vincennes during WWII. He survived the sinking of the Vincennes and the Astoria. I am looking for any information about this period. Ted W. Kennedy served as TC1c and later as CTC. Any information is appreciated
8. Anonymous says:
12 Apr 2013 05:55:25 PM

My father,casmer dipzinski was surviver of the U.S.S Vincennes.. did anyone happen to know him? He also went by the name Carl..
9. Braxton McLain says:
26 May 2013 05:59:56 PM

I am looking for information and/or photos of Seaman 2nd Class J.Lynn McLain, who was killed in the attack. He was Eufaula Ala. THANKS
10. Anonymous says:
26 May 2013 07:49:02 PM

Looking for information regarding my father who served in the US Navy on th Vincennes. His name was Lincoln Elliott and he died in 2004.
11. Matt Parham says:
3 Dec 2013 11:48:40 AM

I am looking for any information on my uncle who was killed on USS Vincennes when it was sunk WWII. He was from near Winona, Ms.
12. Matt Parham says:
3 Dec 2013 11:51:53 AM

I am looking for info on my uncle who was killed on this ship in WWII, left his name off, Dorsey Collins
13. Natascha Northrup says:
6 Feb 2014 11:42:32 PM

My grandfather, Dan Northrup served on the USS
Vincennes. He survived the sinking as well. My grandfather passed away quite some time ago, but would like to find any survivors from WWII that possibly know him during this service.
14. Kimberly Bissell Gibson says:
15 Feb 2014 08:44:35 AM

My grandfather was on the ship when it sank and he was one of the survivors. His name is George Palmer. He has passed away and never spoke about his time he served in the Navy. He had distinctive tattoo's from each time he crossed over the equator. He also kept a log book which we have and he wrote about what was happening and who he was with. He was a ammunition loader..He got a purple heart for surviving and helping to defend our country. So proud.
15. tom says:
9 Mar 2014 05:26:57 AM

My dad was there when it went down and received apurple heart, which he refused.i would like to obtain another for his shadow box, who do I contact for this
16. Mark Hutchins says:
17 May 2014 07:07:33 PM

My dad was on the Vincennes in WWII. Joined before he finished high school. Was a boiler room operator. Had three other brothers that joined the Navy behind him. All three made it home. Only one brother still living.
17. Anonymous says:
30 Sep 2014 01:09:11 PM

Looking for information of Joseph Victor Thomas, he survived the sinking of the Vincennes. He was my father, went by the name Vic. Passed away in 1964, I would like to know more about his life during WWII.
18. Sandra says:
30 Dec 2014 03:44:10 PM

My uncle Thomas Leroy Green, Jr. age 18, died in the attack on the Vincennes. Does anyone know of him? Is there a list of lost soldiers?
19. Michael says:
12 Apr 2015 12:03:44 PM

My Great Uncle, Ralph Alonzo Brown, went down with the Vincennes those early morning hours. His family was told he died instantly but have no info on how and where on the ship he was. He had just been promoted to Fireman 3rd Class V-6 and was already studying to be promoted to Fireman 2nd Class, as he told his mother in a letter written only 9 days before his death. Would love to know if there are currently any surviving members of this crew that had survived or if anyone has any info on Ralph Alonzo Brown, originally from Meridan, Lauderdale County, Mississippi.
20. Barry Caldwell says:
19 Apr 2015 05:25:11 PM

I was an infant and never knew my brother Dewey Charles Caldwell, he went down with the Vincennes
21. Carol Lane Penland says:
24 Sep 2015 12:27:22 PM

My dad, George Lane, was "captain's caller" (his description of his battle station). He survived & was rescued after 8 hours in the water. We have his Purple Heart, cigarette case and the shrapnel that was pulled from his wounds..all in a shadow box. He had R & R on Midway, then finished the war on Navy Base in SF. My mom told us he was the youngest Chief Petty Officer at that time in the Navy. He has been gone since 1980
22. Brenda says:
11 Nov 2015 06:33:40 PM

My father, Lt. Richard Bulman, survived the sinking of the Vincennes, but never really spoke much of it until a year or so before he passed away in 1993. I know he spent days in a lifeboat and then were led through the jungle by the natives who found them.However, in his trunk I found an accounting of his experience on the ship and also a French newspaper with the story. I often wonder if any of the crew are still living as I would love to speak with them.
23. Edward LaMothe says:
3 May 2016 09:30:22 AM

I am looking for information about my uncle Edward LaMothe. I was hoping to find someone that survived the sinking of the uss vincennes and would be willing to talk to me.
Thank you
24. Anonymous says:
4 Jun 2016 10:44:16 PM

Looking for information on a sailor who died on the Vincennes; last name Peavey. His brother Alvie Peavey, he passed some years ago and was on a ship near by during the sinking of the Vincennes and spoke of watching the ship go down and new his brother was on it. Recently his ship was laid to rest on the ocean floor in the gulf to make a reef. This brought about the discussion again of his brother.
25. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
5 Jun 2016 10:12:19 AM

To Comment #24 above:
USS Vincennes Muster Rolls for April 1942 list Peavey, William Francis Jr., SK3c (Storekeeper 3rd class), service number 268 40 97 who enlisted 28 Dec 1939 in Macon, Georgia. Other pages list him as 'Peavy'. He is listed in the final Muster Roll following the sinking but without any indication of whether he was killed, missing, injured, survived, or otherwise.
26. Anonymous says:
1 Jul 2016 03:13:24 PM

To comment 25
Do you have the complete muster roll from the Vincennes, I think my grandfather was on her when she was sunk, but survive to get another boat, but am haveing trouble traceing his career. John P. Reihley. think he was a MM
27. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
1 Jul 2016 11:20:08 PM

To Comment #26 above:
My access to World War II Navy muster rolls is through the website Fold3.com. Anyone can view these records through this website but it is a subscription site so there is a fee for access.

The Vincennes muster rolls for Dec 1940 list John Patten Reihley reporting aboard on 21 Dec 1940 from the Naval Training Station at Newport, RI. That record lists a rating of AS (Apprentice Seaman), a service number of 243 80 16, an enlistment date of 30 Oct 1940, and an enlistment location of Philadelphia, PA. The final muster roll after the sinking lists him as a F1c (Fireman 1st class; fireman as in tending the fires in the boilers) and that on 3 Sep 1942 he was transferred to the Naval Hospital at Pearl Harbor.

Other muster rolls say he was transferred to San Francisco where he reported aboard the destroyer USS Wadsworth on 22 Mar 1943. A month later, he was transferred from the Wadsworth to the Naval Hospital at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for treatment. A week later he reported aboard the stores ship USS Ariel for transportation to the United States. On 4 May 1943 he was transferred to the Naval Hospital at Norfolk, VA. That is the last record for him I could find in the muster rolls.

To learn more about his service, request a copy of his service record from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). See http://www.archives.gov/research/military/ww2/ww2-participation.pdf.
28. Austin Kauderer says:
5 Jul 2016 10:26:07 AM

My Great Great Uncle Jesse S. Hutchinson was aboard the USS Vincennes when it sunk. He was in the Marines but I don't know what part he was in. Does anyone know where I can find the list of Marines that was on board during the time of the sinking?
29. Anonymous says:
17 Aug 2016 07:33:59 PM

Was just reading through these posts and recanting. I did interview Ted Kornowski about 15 years ago. He said the Vincennes was sunk by Japanese torpedoes on a top secret gold transport mission. He was a gunner on the side of the ship. He almost died from a piece of shrapnol but his belt buckle saved him. He ended up in the water and was picked up by another ship that threw a net over after perhaps a day or so in the water. He had to pull himself up by his arms as his leg was badly injured. He injected himself with morphine on the deck as the more critically wounded were tended too first. I cant guarantee the precision of the story as my memory is still hazy, but it is fairly accurate. Ted unfortunately passed away about 6 years ago maybe. Im not a family member, but I was his neighbor for 20+ years and we became good friends. I hope this helps clear things up for those without answers.
30. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
17 Aug 2016 11:18:31 PM

To Anonymous #29 above:
According to the official Navy history of the USS Vincennes, the secret gold shipment took place in June 1940 when Vincennes transported French gold from French Morocco to the United States for safekeeping. I cannot imagine what gold there would be in the Solomons in 1942 that would be loaded onto a cruiser that was then sent into combat it does not seem to fit together.
31. debbie garvey says:
14 Oct 2016 11:06:31 AM

My Uncle John (Jack) Garvey was injured on this ship. He has passed away now, but trying to find some history on him being in this battle.
32. Andy Pucek says:
8 Dec 2016 10:25:05 AM

My father, John, was a Marine aboard the Vincennes when it was sunk. Fortunately he survived with minor wounds. I remember him saying he spent hours in the sea holding onto a life raft.
33. Anonymous says:
7 Jan 2017 02:24:03 PM

My Uncle "Smoke" was a Marine aboard the USS Vincennes when it sunk and he floated at sea for several days
34. Kai pair o feet says:
1 May 2017 03:15:30 PM

Debbie garvey. My name is kai. Jack was my father felix best friend. I have a 6 year old boy. His middle name os Jack, after Jack Garvey. Jack always had a smile on his face. A wonderful man and tough as nails. I tell my son Cayman his story often.
35. Cheryl wright says:
10 May 2017 07:26:05 PM

My father-in-law Paul Wright was aboard the Vincennes when it went down. He was interviewed by a reporter some years back, in the 70's. The story he told was that he was afloat in a raft for weeks before he was picked up. But according to the Naval records all men were picked up right away. After reading the comments on here. I am wondering if maybe his story is true. Can anyone help me with this.

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Personnel:
» Kleiss, Norman

Event(s) Participated:
» Doolittle Raid
» Battle of Midway and the Aleutian Islands
» Guadalcanal Campaign
» Typhoon Cobra
» Raid into the South China Sea

Heavy Cruiser USS Vincennes Photo Gallery
Vincennes making 10.74 knots during trials off Rockland, Maine, United States, at 1258 on 12 Jan 1937
See all 6 photographs of Heavy Cruiser USS Vincennes




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