“Cactus,” Carney Field, Guadalcanal
All landings came off as planned this morning. Stiff opposition was encountered from a coast gun at Viru Harbor, necessitating a call for help to the dive bombers at Henderson. Weather was bad, seriously hampering dive bombing and artillery spotting, but at the same time providing an ideal cover for landing operations, and in general helping us.
The Japs sent down an undetermined numbers of land and float Zeros and Bettys (Mitsubishi 01s) throughout the day. An estimated forty-five Jap planes were shot down by our fighters, whose own losses are, as yet, undisclosed.
One transport and one freighter of our landing forces were hit by Jap dive bombers as they started back to Guadalcanal after having successfully finished their unloading. This evening, despite damage received, they are still proceeding under their own power.
The dive bombers, attacking Vila field through holes in the clouds, encountered the heaviest AA fire received today from that Jap field. Six SBDs failed to return, some of which, however were apparently victims of faulty navigation in the bad weather one landed at Rennell Island — 100 miles due south of Henderson.