USS Kanawha, like the USS Aaron Ward and RNZN Moa, was sunk on the 7th of April 1943. She stayed on station to complete refuelling duties and was at the exit of Tulagi harbour when the air raid struck. The Kanawha was hit in both the forward fuel hold and rear mechanical spaces.
The fires were severe and during the evening, due to water from the fire tugs and sprung hull plates, she could not remain afloat and passed below the waters off Tulagi’s eastern point.
The Kanawha, US Navy Fleet oiler 476’ long, was also a supply vessel for the US Marines. Though it lies in 60 metres it is only 40 metres to the forward deck and 45 metres to the stern deck - an excellent dive with lots to explore.