South Pacific Destroyer is one of the best histories of the Solomon Islands Campaign and Pacific Destroyer Operations I have read. Russell Crenshaw's book starts off with the USS Maury alongside the crippled CA New Orleans moored against Florida Island. He walks us through the living and working compartments of the Maury, from the crews head to the bridge letting us feel the life of each compartment in the ship. By the end of the first 10 pages you have a feel for Destroyer life, and the conversations and concerns of the officers and crew.
From there the author walks us through the tactical situations faced by the Maury and other destroyers, and covers each major and most minor actions in the Guadalcanal Navel Campaign. Cruiser and destroyer movements and actions in each battle are explained from the viewpoint of the participants, so you have a combination of the actions of the battle along with the personal memories. Some books focus more on one or the other, but this one achieves what I thought was a very nice balance.
At the end of the book tables are included that show actual results achieved in the actions (ships hit, with major or minor damage) the contrast between actual damage to the Japanese ships vs. what had been observed is striking! There is also a discussion of the torpedo problems in the US Fleet, and one regarding the effectiveness of some of our guns. Very enlightening.
While much of the detailed tactical information presented here is available elsewhere, combined with the personal and human information contained an outstanding reading experience is provided!