A Brief History of U.S. Navy Aircraft Carriers
Battle of Santa Cruz Islands
Sinking of USS Hornet (CV 8)
Sources: United States Naval Aviation, 1910-1970 [NAVAIR 00-80P-1]
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
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Oct. 26, 1942 - The Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands resulted in a tactical victory for Japan, but a strategic one for the U.S. in that Japan was unable to dislodge American forces off Guadalcanal. While the Japanese suffer no losses, USS Hornet (CV 8) was sunk. That morning USS Enterprise (CV 6) planes bombed the Japanese carrier Zuiho. Planes from USS Hornet (CV 8) severely damaged the carrier Shokaku, and the cruiser Chikuma. Two other cruisers were also attacked by Hornet aircraft. Meanwhile, Hornet, herself, was fighting off a coordinated dive bombing and torpedo plane attack which left her so severely damaged that she had to be abandoned. Commented one sailor, awaiting rescue, when asked if he planned to re-enlist, "Damn it, yes ... on the new Hornet!" The abandoned Hornet, ablaze from stem to stern, was still afloat after receiving nine torpedoes and more than 400 rounds of 5-inch shellfire from destroyers USS Mustin (DD 413) and USS Anderson (DD 411). The two destroyers had to retire from the scene upon the arrival Japanese destroyers. The Japanese administered the coup de grace to Hornet by firing four 24-inch torpedoes at her blazing hull, sending her to the bottom at 0135, 27 Oct. 1942, off the Santa Cruz Islands.
Last Update: 15 June 2009