U.S. Naval Historical Center
1942: During World War II, the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal begins between Japanese and American forces in the Solomon Islands, east of Papua New Guinea. The Americans would win a major victory four days later, securing an airfield on the island that had been the focus of fighting since Allied forces took it over in August. In this picture taken from the USS President Adams, smoke can be seen rising from two Japanese aircraft shot down off Guadalcanal during the first day of the naval battle.