Naval History and Heritage Command

National Museum of the U.S. Navy

Guadalcanal:  Naval Battles:  Naval Battle of Guadalcanal

The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal began on November 12, 1942, with Japanese air attacks on U.S. ships, Task Forc 67, under the command of Rear Admiral Richmond K. Turner, USN, bringing reinforcements to the embattled island.  Over the next four days, in hard fighting at sea and in the air, the opposing navies suffered severely.  Japan lost the battleships Hiei and Kirishima, heavy cruiser Kinugasa, three destroyers (Akatsuki, Yudachi, and Ayanami), plus many valuable transports.  Two U.S. light cruisers, Atlanta and Juneau, and seven destroyers (Barton, Monssen, Cushing, Laffey, Preston, Benham and Walke) were sunk.   Many other ships were badly damaged.  Japan's losses weakened their ability to strengthen their garrison on Guadalcanal, enabling the U.S. to shift from their defensive to the offensive in this campaign.  The Japanese Advance Force was led by Vice Admiral Nobutake Kondo.   

Image:  80-G-32366:  Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, November 12-15, 1942.    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.