US destroyers ambush Japanese
6th August 1943: Japanese and American participants in The Battle of Vella Gulf, where the US Navy suffers no losses in a stunning attack on the "Tokyo Express"
In the Solomon Islands, US Naval forces were seeking to deny the ability of the Japanese to bring in reinforcements and supplies. Their forces on the islands were already suffering from shortages and were unable to mount a coordinated defence. Even though Japanese troops suffered as a consequence, they were determined to fight on - and were preparing for a last stand on Kolombangara.
The Japanese solution was to bring in troops by fast destroyer under cover of darkness rather than conventional troop transports - the system known as the 'Tokyo Express'. They had avoided interception by PT boats in the early hours of the 2nd August, when PT-109 had been sunk. On the night of 6th August radar-equipped destroyers were to give the US Navy a great advantage.
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