Battle of the Eastern Solomons. Overnight, Japanese destroyers Kagero, Isokaze, Kawakaze, Mutsuki and Yayoi shell Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, shaking up the US Marines but causing little damage. Following the battle yesterday, Japanese believe 2 US carriers are badly damaged (in fact only USS enterprise is damaged), so they send the invasion convoy back towards Guadalcanal. At 6 AM, 6 Douglas SBD dive-bombers from Henderson Field find the convoy 150 miles North of Guadalcanal, sinking troop transport Kinryu Maru and damaging cruiser Jintsu (24 killed). 4 USAAF B-17 bombers from Espiritu Santo sink destroyer Mutsuki as she takes troops off Kinryu Maru (41 killed, 11 wounded). Destroyer Yayoi rescues survivors from both Kinryu Maru and Mutsuki. It is obvious the troop convoy cannot get through, so the invasion is postponed.
Stalingrad. Richthofen’s Luftflotte 4 again pulverizes the city but probing attacks by German 6th Army into the Northern suburbs are held by counterattacks from Soviet 62nd and 64th Armies. Stalin decides that the city must be held at all costs; to avoid the impression that Stalingrad is being evacuated, no factories are to be destroyed or machinery removed. Tractor factories, converted to manufacture tanks, roll T-34s straight off the production line and into combat.