Wright attempted to surprise and destroy a Japanese warship force of eight destroyers under the command of Rear Admiral Raizo Tanaka. Tanaka's warships were attempting to deliver food to Japanese forces on Guadalcanal. Using radar , the US warships gained surprise, opened fire, and sank one of the Japanese destroyers. Tanaka and the rest of his ships reacted quickly and launched numerous Type 93 " Long Lance " torpedoes at the US warships. The Japanese torpedoes hit and sank one US cruiser and heavily damaged three others, enabling the rest of Tanaka's force to escape with no significant additional damage but also without completing the intended supply mission.