Naval Battle of Guadalcanal
On 14 October 1942, Kinugasa was designated flagship of Crudiv 6. The following day, Kinugasa and Chōkai bombarded Henderson Field on Guadalcanal with a total of 752 8-inch shells.
From 24–26 October and 1–5 November, Kinugasa and Chōkai provided cover for replacement convoys of troops and equipment to bolster Japanese defenses at Guadalcanal. On 14 November 1942, during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, Kinugasa was attacked by TBF Avenger torpedo-bombers and SBD Dauntless dive bombers from the USS Enterprise and USMC Avengers from Guadalcanal. At 0936 a 500-pound bomb hit Kinugasa's 13.2-mm machine gun mount in front of the bridge, starting a fire in the forward gasoline storage area. Captain Sawa and his Executive Officer were killed by the bomb, and Kinugasa gradually began to list to port. Near-misses caused additional fires and flooding and a second attack by 17 more Dauntless bombers knocked out Kinugasa's engines and rudder and opened more compartments to the sea. At 1122, Kinugasa capsized and sank southwest of Rendova Island at 08°45′S 157°00′E / 8.75°S 157°E / -8.75; 157, taking 511 crewmen with her.
Kinugasa was removed from the Navy list on 15 December 1942.
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