The outstanding defect of the action lay in communications failures, paramount among them the nonreceipt of our scout planes' contact report on the enemy group including the Zuikaku and Shokaku. The attack group which was sent out at 1435 on the 24th to strike the Ryujo should have had the two large carriers for targets. Not only would the Zuikaku and Shokaku have been more suitable objectives, but also they were closer to us. Costly as well was the nonreceipt of the search plane contact report on the Japanese occupation force's course change which led to the launching of the Saratoga attack group on a hopeless mission on the 23d. Moreover, it was a different sort of communications failure--an overloaded circuit--which prevented more satisfactory fighter direction.

In spite of these difficulties the performance of our men and ships was, on the whole, excellent. CINCPAC termed the Battle of the Eastern Solomons a "major victory, second only to Midway in forces involved," pointing out that it "permitted continued consolidation of our positions in the Solomons," besides resulting in "serious losses" to the enemy.


Enterprise after second bomb hit (taken from Portland)


The battle above the Enterprise; enemy dive bomber exploding in mid-air


Second hit on Enterprise

Third hit on Enterprise


Fighting fire resulting from second hit
Damage from third hit visible in foreground


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Last updated: May 6, 2003

Transcribed and formatted by Jerry Holden for the HyperWar Foundation