On November 13, 1942, at 1:48 a.m., USS Juneau (CL-52), as part of Rear Admiral Daniel J. Callaghan’s (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_J._Callaghan) small landing support group, engaged the enemy during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. The Japanese force consisted of two battleships, one light cruiser, and nine destroyers.
During the battle, Juneau was struck on the port side by a torpedo launched by the Japanese destroyer, Amatsukaze.
Just before noon the next morning, Juneau and several additional damaged ships were limping toward the port of Espiritu Santo for repairs. Juneau was then hit by a torpedo from the Japanese submarine I-26. Juneau broke in two and quickly sank.
This “Juneau incident” is particularly infamous for the loss of the five Sullivan brothers, as recalled in the movie “The Fighting Sullivans.”
Also, aboard and lost with USS Juneau was a native of Botetourt County, Va., Seaman First Class Arlie McKinley Patsel, USNR. Arlie was raised by his uncle and aunt, Oscar L. and Sallie Grady Patsel, on Stoney Battery Road in Troutville, Va. where he helped with their farm.
During Arlie’s service he was awarded the Purple Heart, a Combat Action Ribbon, the Navy Presidential Unit Citation, a Navy Good Conduct Medal, the Navy Expeditionary Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.
Arlie is remembered at Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Manila Capital District, National Capital Region, Philippines.
Arlie’s two brothers also served. Army SSgt Robert Lee Patsel, was killed in Germany on Nov. 21, 1944 and lies at the Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands.
Marine Sgt David Alexander Patsel, survived the war.
~ Submitted by American Legion Post 240, Carolyn Burger Wiley, and Mary Grady Keeling