Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands
Japanese and U.S. first strikes
Mitsubishi Type 00 Shipboard Fighters (A6M2 Model 21. Allied codename: "Zeke") ready for takeoff from a Japanese aircraft carrier, 1942. This view was probably taken on board Shokaku as she prepared to launch aircraft in the morning of 26 October 1942, during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands. Japanese writing in lower right states that the image was reproduced by authorization of the Navy Ministry.
A TBF Avenger prepares for launch from USS Enterprise during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, 26 October 1942. The sign visible beyond the plane's landing gear reads "PROCEED WITHOUT HORNET", indicating Enterprise's strike is not to wait to join up with a strike being launched by USS Hornet. The sign to the left reads "JAP 'CV' SPEED 25 AT 0830".
Chikuma (Japanese Heavy Cruiser) under air attack during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, 26 October 1942. Photographed from a USS Enterprise 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.
USS Hornet during the battle
Damage to the smokestack and signal bridge of USS Hornet (CV-8) after it was struck by a crashing Japanese dive bomber, during the morning of 26 October 1942. Smoke at bottom is from fires started when the plane subsequently hit the flight deck. Note ship's tripod mast, with CXAM radar antenna in top left and the flag still flying above the damaged structure.
USS Enterprise during the battle
Other U.S. ships during the battle
U.S. Destroyer Smith refueling from battleship South Dakota on October 28, 1942. Her two forward 5"/38 guns and much of her forward superstructure are burned out and otherwise damaged, the result of a Japanese torpedo plane that crashed into her two days earlier, during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands.