USS Hornet was sunk during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands. In a 15 minute period, Hornet was hit by three bombs from Aichi D3A "Val" dive bombers. One "Val", after being heavily damaged by anti-aircraft fire while approaching Hornet, crashed into the carrier's island, killing seven men and spreading burning Aviation gasoline over the deck. Meanwhile, a flight of Nakajima B5N "Kate" torpedo bombers attacked Hornet and scored two hits, which seriously damaged the electrical systems and engines. As the carrier came to a halt, another damaged "Val" deliberately crashed into Hornet's port side near the bow. With power knocked out to her engines, Hornet was unable to launch or land aircraft, forcing its aviators to either land on Enterprise or ditch in the ocean. Rear Admiral George D. Murray ordered the heavy cruiser USS Northampton to tow Hornet clear of the action. Since the Japanese planes were attacking Enterprise, this allowed Northampton to tow Hornet at a speed of about five knots (6 mph). Repair crews were about to restore power when another flight of nine "Kate" torpedo bombers attacked. Eight of these aircraft were either shot down or failed to score hits, but the ninth scored a fatal hit on the starboard side. The torpedo hit destroyed the repairs to the electrical system and caused a 14-degree list. After being informed that Japanese surface forces were approaching and that further towing efforts were futile, Vice Admiral William Halsey ordered Hornet sunk, and an order of "abandon ship" was issued. Captain Charles P. Mason, the last man on board, climbed over the side, and the survivors were soon picked up by the escorting destroyers. US warships next attempted to scuttle the stricken carrier, which absorbed nine torpedoes, many of which failed to explode, and more than 400 5-inch rounds from the destroyers USS Mustin and USS Anderson. The destroyers steamed away when a Japanese surface force entered the area. The Japanese destroyers Makigumo and Akigumo finally finished off Hornet with four 24-inch Long Lance torpedoes. At 01:35 on October 27, 1942, Hornet was finally sunk with the loss of 140 of her crew. #ww2 #wwii #usshornet #cv8 #usn #.