- Sinfield, Peter
- WWII operations
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Canberra I
- September 2002 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
Patterson later returned and with USS Blue, completed removing the wounded and survivors. Canberra was sunk by gunfire and torpedoes from the American destroyers USS Selfridge and USS Ellett, finally sinking about 0800 (she now lies in position 12°29′ S, 159° 54’E). 84 of her people had been killed in action or later died of their wounds while there were another 109 wounded who survived. In Astoria Chicago, Quincy, Vincennes and the destroyers, the USN lost 947 men, killed and many more wounded, total casualties amounting to over 1200.
In terms of losses, the Battle of Savo Island was undoubtedly a major defeat for the Allies. However, the US Marines retained their foothold ashore and, in the words the USN Office of Intelligence’s Combat Narrative:
The redeeming feature of the battle was the splendid performance of our officers and men. They had been on the alert for days and had had about 48 hours of continuous, active operations immediately before the battle. In spite of this, their conduct under the most trying circumstances was beyond praise, and they made it, in the happy phrase of one of our officers, “..a night in which heroism was commonplace”.