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Battle of Cape Esperance
Cape Esperance
Conflict: World War II
Date: 11-12 October 1942
Place: Near Guadalcanal
Outcome: US victory

USA United States

Flag of Japan Japan


USA Norman Scott

IJN Aritomo Goto
IJN Takatsugu Jojima


4 cruisers
5 destroyers

3 cruisers
2 destroyers


1 destroyer sunk
1 cruiser damaged
1 destroyer damaged
163 dead

1 cruiser sunk
1 destroyed sunk
1 cruiser damaged
454 dead
111 captured

The Battle of Cape Esperance (11-12 October 1942) was a naval battle fought between the US Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy off Cape Esperance, Guadalcanal during World War II. An American fleet of four cruisers and destroyers under Norman Scott was sent to intercept a major supply and reinforcement convoy commanded by Takatsugu Jojima and a fleet of three heavy cruisers and destroyers commanded by Aritomo Goto as they headed to Guadalcanal. The Americans ambushed Goto's fleet, sinking one of his destroyers and one of his cruisers, heavily damaging another cruiser, and mortally wounding Goto during their attack on the Aoba. One of Scott's destroyers was sunk and another destroyer heavily damaged, caused by USS Helena (CL-50) deviating from formation. On the morning of 12 October 1942, the Americans assaulted the Japanese supply convoy as it returned from Guadalcanal, with US Air Force aircraft from Henderson Field sinking two destroyers. In addition, five Japanese fleet oilers were sunk by the American ships as they headed towards the island to refuel the Japanese fleet. The battle's strategic outcome was inconclusive, as the Japanese successfully bombed Henderson Field two nights later. However, the Americans learned that they could ambush the Japanese, and their victory was a minor success.

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