Naval History and Heritage Command

National Museum of the U.S. Navy

Guadalcanal:  Naval Battles:  Battle of Santa Cruz Islands

In the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands, October 26, 1942, the Japanese again tried to drive the United States' forces from Guadalcanal.  During this aircraft-carrier action, the fourth of the Pacific War, USS Hornet (CV-8) and USS Porter (DD-356) were lost and USS Enterprise (CV-6) was badly damaged, at a cost to the Japanese of many aircraft.  Japanese aircraft carriers Shokaku and Zuiho were severely hit, as was the heavy cruiser Chikuma, along with destroyer Terutsuki.  Though the Japanese achieved an expensive tactical victory, the U.S. gained time to further strengthen Guadalcanal's defenses.  The U.S. Navy was led by Rear Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid, Task Force 16, and Rear Admiral George D. Murray, Task Force 17, and the Japanese were led by Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo.   

Image:  80-G-20989:   USS Enterprise (CV-6) and U.S. Navy ships firing at attacking Japanese carrier aircraft during the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands, October 26, 1942.   Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.