My father was aide to Admiral Callaghan, and he and all the senior officers on the San Francisco were killed when the bridge took a direct hit. There is a memorial in San Francisco with the remains of that bridge. There were several naval battles during the Guadalcanal campaign. The one my father was killed in was November 12-13, 1942, and was called the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal (vs. the earlier Battle of Savo Bay, etc). We were told that this particular battle was the major turning point (because it kept the Japanese from resupplying their troops at a critical point) in the Guadalcanal campaign which was a major turning point in the Pacific War (i.e. first time we pushed the Japanese off an island rather than vice-versa).
With financial support from the family, my mother, Mary Clyde Newman Wintle, was able to travel to Boston to christen a USS Wintle at the Boston Navy Yard. For the rest of her life she kept the lovely mahogany souvenir box which contained the metal casing that surrounded the champagne bottle. That first ship went to Great Britain under the lend-lease program. My mother was not financially able to travel to California for the christening of the second ship though she would have loved to have participated in that event, too. She died January 11, 1997, at age 85. She and I attended three USS Wintle reunions: 1993, Reno; 1994, LaGrange, and 1995, Lancaster -- at which she got around in a wheelchair that I pushed. My sister and her husband attended the Gracemont, OK, reunion, and I am planning to be in Norfolk this year.
Side note: My mother never remarried. When questioned why, she would explain that she had met the man of her dreams and married him; no one else could ever come close.
My mother and I were photographed for the National Geographic video while we were attending the 50th anniversary celebration and dedication of the memorial on Guadalcanal back in August 1992. We traveled there at our own expense, though National Geographic did pay my mother an honorarium for her role in the video.
We were looking down at the waters of "Iron Bottom Sound" where – by the best current figuring available -- the USS San Francisco took the hit to the bridge. My father and the others killed on the USS San Francisco during that Battle were buried at sea the next day off San Cristobal, an island just south of Guadalcanal.
The letters were received by my mother and kept in a large wood box along with other treasured mementos. My sister and I recognized the box as "sacred" and never opened it nor touched the letters until after my mother's death. In fact, the first time anyone except her had seen or heard what my father wrote was when the National Geographic staff talked with her about participating in the video. Thus, the letters had nothing to do with the naming of the ship. Per information we were given, the Navy decided to name a ship after my father based on his naval record and because of his bravery. Similarly, he received the Navy Cross which I understand is the highest honor given by the Navy.
I live in University Park, Maryland. My sister, Judith Anne (Judy) Wintle Reynolds, lives in Richardson, Texas.