MA (Master of Arts)
Date of Award
Committee Chair or Co-Chairs
Ronnie M. Day
Stephen G Fritz, Emmett M. Essin III
During the South Pacific campaigns of World War II, the United States Navy faced a formidable challenge in waging nighttime surface battles against the Japanese Navy. In a war that emphasized the carrier and battleship, the little destroyer became a key player in these actions. By studying this campaign from the perspective of the destroyers, three key factors emerge that allowed the Americans to achieve victory: innovation in tactics, adaption of technology, and efficient use of resources.
The research for the thesis was based upon action reports, oral histories, and other documents obtained from the National Archives, Naval War College, Naval History and Heritage Command Center, and East Carolina University. The Japanese perspective was attained from numerous secondary sources.
Innovation in tactics, technology, and resources allowed the Americans to persevere through severe defeats to achieve success against a very skilled Japanese Navy in the seas of the South Pacific.
Thesis - Open Access
Spence, Johnny Hampton, "South Pacific Destroyers: The United States Navy and the Challenges of Night Surface Combat in the Solomons Islands during World War II." (2009). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 1865. https://dc.etsu.edu/etd/1865
Copyright by the authors.