The Battle of Cape Esperance ensued from the struggle between American and Japanese forces for the control of Guadalcanal. It was the first night attack in the South Pacific of American naval forces, led by Admiral Scott on the San Francisco but scarcely controlled by him. The story of the strategic encounter conveys the confusion within the convoy, as officers under Scott on individual vessels made their own decisions to fire at an oncoming enemy force. Communications were disordered; the SG radar which could have kept Scott in a position where control would have been possible was insufficiently understood by him. The Americans won a minor victory (magnified in U.S. reports, minimized by the Japanese), but the greater gain was the experience in night tactics. Captain Cook was there, aboard the Helena and is here, now, to record a bypassable World War II footnote.