The Battle of

Santa Cruz Islands

26 October 1942




Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

The paper used in this publication meets the requirements for permanence established by the American National Standard for Information Sciences "Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials" (ANSI Z39.4-1984).


For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
Superintendent of Documents, Mail Stop: SSOP Washington, DC 20402-9328


Foreword iii
Introduction 29
Forces involved 30
The approach 33
Action on Guadalcanal 34
Results of Enterprise air search 35
  Carrier Zuiho damaged 42
Our Air Groups attack 44
  First Hornet wave 45
    Shokaku hit 46
    Nachi cruiser hit 47
  The Enterprise wave 47
    Kongo-class battleship hit 48
  Second Hornet wave 53
    Chikuma hit 53
    Another Tone-class cruiser hit, as well as CL or DD 54
Summary of damage inflicted on enemy ships 55
Enemy attacks on the Hornet group 55
Enemy attacks on the Enterprise group 62
Summary of damage suffered by Task Force KING 67
Conclusions 68
Appendix A: Torpedoing of the Hornet by our destroyers 73
Appendix B: Lieut. Stanley W. Vejtasa downs seven enemy planes 75
Appendix C: Designations of United States naval ships and aircraft 77


Charts and Illustrations

Illustration: Tone-class cruiser in Battle of Santa Cruz 27
Chart: Battle of Santa Cruz Islands 28
Illustrations: Damage to Hornet by suicide bomber 37
  Burning bomber dives on Hornet 38
  Plane crashes into stack 39
  Fighting resulting fires 40
  Destroyer removing wounded personnel 49
  Hornet under tow by Northampton 50
  Enemy plane drops torpedo 51
  Abandoning Hornet 52
  Torpedo plane under fire by South Dakota 69
  Enterprise turning to avoid bomb 70
  The maneuver succeeds 70
  Enterprise on reverse course 71
  She sustains a hit 71
  Enemy plane crashes into Smith 72
  Smith, after fires have been put out 72


Last updated: June 28, 2003

Transcribed and formatted by Jerry Holden for the HyperWar Foundation