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On This Day in WWII: Battle of Cape Esperance

It was on this day in 1942 that the second of four major sea encounters in the Guadalcanal campaign took place. Known as the Battle of Cape Esperance, the naval clash saw the Imperial Japanese Navy and the United States Navy embroiled in a two day fight under the command of Gunichi Mikawa and Norman Scott respectively. Commencing on the eve of the 11th October, a convoy of two seaplane tenders and six destroyers and separately three heavy cruisers and two destroyers from the Japanese side set off with the objective of destroying the Allied aircraft and airfield facilities on Guadalcanal. In the ensuing action, the U.S. launched four cruisers and five destroyers intercepting one line of opposition in a surprise attack, but did not stop the stealthy separate hit in which the Japanese successfully unloaded at Guadalcanal. Following this action, four enemy destroyers came back to the rescue their defeated forces only to be sunk by U.S. air attacks. Although the waters of Guadalcanal were not secured by either side in the end, this proved to be a breakthrough victory for the U.S. against the Japanese, providing an invaluable boost of morale to the USN. As a heritage brand inspired by our military forces and its brave servicemen and women, it is with pride and honor that Cockpit USA remembers this day in history.

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