The US fleet included the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise and the battleships USS Washington and USS South Dakota.
The Japanese fleet included the aircraft carriers Junyo and Hiyo, and the battleships Hiei, Kirishima, Kongo, and Haruna.
The battle was fought both on the surface and in the air. Both sides lost a number of ships. The battleships Hiei and Kirishima were sunk. The Japanese attempt to land large scale reinforcements failed and, with it, their attempt to retake Henderson Field. From that point on, Japanese land forces on Guadalcanal were fighting a losing battle.
The Japanese evacuated the island of Guadalcanal in February 1943.