Battle of Santa Cruz:

On Guadalcanal the Japanese mount a night attack on US positions but are thrown back after heavy losses. The Japanese show that they have failed to learn the lessons of Midway when they again split a naval fleet bound for Guadalcanal and so diminish its potential. The formation of 4 battleships, 4 carriers and numerous cruisers and destroyers approaches Guadalcanal to support the offensive there and is encouraged to come close to the island after a false report that Japanese forces there had captured Henderson Field. The Americans can call on only 2 carriers, Enterprise and Hornet are back in action, and a battleship, and find themselves outnumbered in aircraft. The Americans locate the Japanese ships but their attacks do not bring much success. 0ff Guadalcanal daylight sees both sides launch attacks and the Japanese draw first blood by hitting Hornet which retires and later sinks. The US aircraft, operating at the extremes of their range, raid the leading Japanese group randomly and damage the cruiser Chikuma and the carrier Shokaka. The second Japanese strike hits home on the carrier Enterprise but the firepower of South Dakota has a mighty effect on this and the following sortie. The Americans withdraw and the Japanese can claim a victorv, but they are continuing to lose too many prized pilots which, in turn, the effectiveness of their carrier aviaton superiority. They too withdraw as they have lost so many aircraft that they feel unable to mount an attack on Henderson Field.