battle of the santa cruz islands

Naval Air Might at Santa Cruz

“The victorious closing phases of the Solomons campaign in the Southwest Pacific found naval sea and air might taking heavy toll of frustrated and out maneuvered Japanese forces. In the Battle of Santa Cruz, fought in the early summer of 1943, combat pilots of the Navy and Marine Corps hammered enemy surface forces seeking to strengthen a slipping hold upon the southern Solomon Islands. Pictured here, Navy dive bombers blast a Japanese battleship in the foreground while shipmates attack other enemy ships in the distance. At Midway, naval pilots severely mauled and crippled at least two Japanese heavies.

Painting, Oil; by Robert Benney; C.1943; Framed Dimensions 37H X 45W”

(NHHC: 88-159-AK)

“Chikuma under air attack during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, 26 October 1942. Photographed from a USS Enterprise (CV-6) plane.

Note the smoke coming from her bridge area, which had been hit by a bomb, and what appears to be a recognition marking painted atop her number two eight-inch gun turret. The ship’s catapults and aircraft crane appear to be swung out over her sides, aft of amidships. The original photograph came from Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison’s World War II history project working files.”

(NHHC: NH 82404)    

“A breeches buoy is put into service to transfer from a U.S. destroyer to a cruiser survivors of a ship, November 14, 1942 which had been sunk in naval action against the Japanese off the Santa Cruz Islands in the South pacific on October 26. The American Navy turned back the Japanese in the battle but lost an aircraft carrier and a destroyer.”