On the 26th October 1942, the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands took place between the United States Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy. The fourth carrier clash of the Pacific campaign during World War II, the conflict resulted in a Japanese tactical victory with the sinking of the US aircraft carrier Hornet and significant damage to the USS Enterprise.

In the below photograph, a Japanese Type 99 shipboard bomber (Allied codenamed ‘Val’) can be seen trailing smoke as it dives towards the USS Hornet. This plane hit the ship’s stack and then her flight deck. A Type 97 shipboard attack plane (‘Kate’) is flying overhead after dropping its torpedo. Another ‘Val’ is visible off her bow.


To read more about this battle and a broader examination of the tactics, operations and engagements of the Imperial Japanese Navy in the Pacific in World War II why not pre-order for November Mark Stile’s detailed and highly illustrated, The Imperial Japanese Navy in the Pacific War

The above image can be found here.