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USS Vincennes CA-44

Updated January 28, 2011

Hi everyone. I have added a Link to Brent Jones' Astoria webpage. He has done a fantastic job. He has also shared with us the fantastic, never before seen photo of the Vincennes firing away at Japanese positions on Guadalcanal on August 7, 1942.

Pictures and Stories Still Needed*************************************
I am looking for any "colorized" postcards to share online, and if anyone has copies of the Newspaper articles from the time of the ships sinkings I would like to get those online also.

*************** Uncle James **************
James Bean 1917-1942, son of Miranda Selby Bean and James Buchanan Bean, was born in Johnson County, and stayed there until joining the CCC in the mid 1930's, finally leaving for good (except for visits on leave) after enlisting in the Navy in October 1937. Just a note, his name is inscribed with honor the the memorial in front of the Johnson County Courthouse in Clarksville. James's last visit home was in Feb 1942 and he had sought the advice of his older brother (and my Grampa, Raymond Lipps), on marriage with Margaret Galloway. James's decision was to wait until the war was over and then get married to Margaret. James returned to his ship, the USS Vincennes, and was there when the Doolittle Raiders took off from deck of the USS Hornet for the first strike back at the Japanese Empire, was there at Midway, and was there defending the Marines at Guadalcanal when he and a thousand other young men went down with their ships at the Battle of Savo Island on August 9, 1942. James' plans for the future ended in those early morning hours.

As for Margaret, I know very little. She had either been widowed or divorced and James would have been her second marriage. I have been told that her brother was a Doctor in Clarksville for many years. I suspect she was close to the same age as James. I do not know if Galloway was her married name or her maiden name.
James Bean wrote this in a letter to his sister on February 21, 1942, ... "What do you think of me getting married. Margaret you know. I want you to write her. Her address is 408 Main St., Clarksville, Ark...." In another letter written to James' mother after James was reported MIA,the writer said,"...Well, it won't be long until xmas. It will be a sad one.

Steve Maggiora
3928 Heights Ct.
Cameron Park, Ca. 95682
United States

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Family Photos

  • Warrant Officer Edward William "Pops" Forster (7 KB)
    Warrant Officer Forster was aboard the Vincennes from launch to the day his life was taken. His son recently died without ever seeing his father. He has two grandaughters that are doing their utmost to "find" and "know" the Grandfather that died so long ago. Also, Frederick Tetor, grandnephew, can be contacted at e-mail
  • Uncle James Bean (39 KB)
    Article appeared in Johnson County, Arkansas in Sept 1942
  • John Pucek, Marine (112 KB)
    Andy Pucek (, writes the following; "My father was a Marine stationed aboard the USS Vincennes. He did survive the sinking of this cruiser. He was aboard this ship prior to the start of WWII also. I think my sister has a photo album that contains many pictures aboard the ship at that time. If you are interested I will see if she still has it and I can scan and send some of them." Please contact Andy or me if you have information to share about his father. Thank you, Steve I have attached a photo of my father. Andy Pucek
  • Warrant Officer Leroy Babylon (51 KB)
    Gunnersmate Paul Moore told me this story about James.. "The order to abandon ship had be given, I (Paul Moore) went to port, Jimmy and Babylon went to stbd and a shell hit right in front of them and they disappeared into the ship.."
  • James Bean and Lad Kriz , USS Vincennes CA-44. (77 KB)
    Uncle James and Shipmate Lad Kriz on liberty in the Azores in 1940.
  • Neptune Certificate from Metalsmith George Karst (613 KB)
    George Karst survived the sinking and this certificate from the March 16, 1941 crossing of the equator was provided by his daughter-in-law, Deb Karst.
  • Elmer Smith (278 KB)
    I wanted to send you a photo of my Uncle Elmer Smith, a crew member of the CA-44, who was lost at Savo. Having been born 4 years after his passing, I never met him, but everyone who did told me he was a great guy.The other photo of him is with a shipmate, I assume. Can you tell me if there are any surviving crew from the Vincennes, who might recognize his photo and have any memories? Incidentally, I was aboard the new USS Vincennes in Singapore in 1990, and while sitting in the Ward Room, I saw the silver serving set from the CA-44 in a display cabinet, while meeting with that ship's XO. That set was off-loaded from the CA-44 on July 31, 1942 (along with the last mail to ever leave the ship) - as she headed into harm's way, headed toward Guadalcanal. I can give you additional info, if you want it. Take care. Ken Smith (
  • USS Vincennes in Hawaii 1938 (151 KB)
    The lettering on the bottom says " USS Vincennes off Pearl Harbor, T.H. 1938"
  • USS VINCENNES CA-44 turrets. (32 KB)
    Uncle James served as a Gunners Mate 2nd Class, 1st Division.
  • Memorial in Manila (209 KB)
    Uncle James' name inscribed with honor at the Manila American Cemetery.
  • Edwin Dean, Sea2c, Gunnersmate (51 KB)
    Edwin's family can be reached by contacting Copeland Sitton at (
  • Newspaper Article re "Battle of Savo Island" (76 KB)
    This article probably appeared in a Northern California newspaper, probably from San Francisco. The Japanese claims were greatly exaggerated, however, for our family, the loss was beyond measure.
  • ***Vincennes Fires Broadsides **** (313 KB)
    This maybe the last photo of this mighty ship and her crew doing what they were trained to do. Awesome photo!! This picture belongs to Brent Jones and is posted here with his permission. Brent has a page dedicated to the Astorias, see link below.
  • Second Lieutenant Jay Griffith, USMCR (179 KB)
    ..." youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Jay C. Griffith, North Brookfield, Mass, Born August 26, 1920. Lt. Griffith has not been forgotten by his family.Contact Evelyn Griffith Carter at
  • FDR letter to James' Mother (38 KB)
    President Roosevelt wrote many of these letters.
  • More Pages from my book... (227 KB)
    Some of the heroes of our country.
  • USS Astoria and USS Quincy (257 KB)
    The picture on right is the USS Quincy passing under Golden Gate. The USS Astoria is passing under the famed St. Johns Bridge in Portland, Oregon.
  • Ships Company, circa 1938 (90 KB)
    This pic is from estate of CWT Frank J. Ryan. I am searching for scannable pic to replace this one. Please ID whom you can and let me know.
  • The sinking of the USS Quincy (56 KB)
    LIFE Magazine used this portrait as part of their published report of Oct.26, 1942 on the "Solomon Islands Battle".
  • Heroes (382 KB)
  • Newspaper Article About Sabotage (477 KB)
    From Sam Betterton.. " My uncle was Chief Machinist Mate Thelmer "Calvin" Betterton" Thank you Sam for sending this article.
  • Formletter sent during WAR from CWT Frank Ryan (180 KB)
    Image is from collection of Paul Roales and used here only by permission. Thank you Paul.
  • This picture was taken in Norfolk, Virginia. (16 KB)
    This is one of the 5" guns.
  • ** In Color** Vincennes at Mare Island (198 KB)
    USS Vincennes CA-44 at Mare Island (captured from video sent by grandson of Commander Hansen)
  • Missing in Action List from 1942 (266 KB)
    This page is copied from the book "A Log Of The Vincennes", by Lt. Donald Dorris, and compiled by his father, Professor Jonathan Dorris. In it he has contributions from many of the ships survivors. His goal with the book was the same as mine with this page, simply, Our Loved ones should never be forgotten... Never..
  • Vincennes with Flag proudly waving.. (38 KB)
    Not sure where she's at, but this is a great picture. Image is from collection of Paul Roales and is used here only by permission.
  • James Bean and Unidentified Shipmate on Liberty (60 KB)
    Please help me identify the sailor on the right. James became GM2 in early 1942.
  • Pages from My Book on Uncle James (514 KB)
    I have a report completed on the life of my Uncle. These two pages are from the chapter on Guadalcanal.
  • Lt.jg Al Pickhardt, Supply Officer (82 KB)
    Frank Engs step father, Albert E. Pickhardt was the supply officer on the U.S.S. Vincennes CA-44 from Feb 1942 until she was sunk on 9 August 1942. This photo was taken after he was rescued from Savo Island waters. He died in Tuscon Arizona in 1987. If you have pictures or stories to share with this family please contact me or Frank Engs. Thank you, Steve
  • James with two shipmates on liberty. (16 KB)
    James is on the right. Please help identify the two shipmates. I believe this picture was taken in the bay area, while the ship was at Mare Island in either 1939 or '42.
  • Midway Commendation Letter of June 9, 1942 (126 KB)
    Hi Stephen, I hope this comes out. It is a page out of the ships log that my uncle ( Merrell Fankhauser Fireman 3rd Class) sent his mother. Not sure on what to send. I Have letter from Sectary of Defense And some other things.If you are interested I will send more. I would like Any information About the Ship or Crew. Thanks, Ralph Fankhauser **I apologize for not getting this on sooner. I hope you can read it. I would link everyone to the Fankhausers but I no longer have their email address. If you have memories to share with them I will post them and hopefully they will reconnect with me. thank you, Steve
  • "Vincennes Goes Down With Guns Blazing" (301 KB)
    Newspaper Article from October 14, 1942

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