November 13, 1942 – Damaged in the naval battle before dawn, Hiei struggled to return to base. After persistent attacks by aircraft attacks, it was decided that she was to be scuttled. After all men were taken off, she was scuttled by torpedoes north of SavoAt 01:24 on 13 November, the Japanese force was detected 28,000 yards (26 km) out by the light cruiser USS Helena. Because Abe had not anticipated resistance, his battleships’ main guns were loaded with high-explosive shells for bombarding Henderson Field, and thus they were unable to open fire immediately while the switch was made to armor-piercing shells. At 01:50, Hiei activated her searchlights and opened fire on the light cruiser USS Atlanta, commencing the First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. Though Atlanta’s guns succeeded in disabling the searchlight, Hiei was able to concentrate her main batteries on the bridge, crippling the light cruiser and killing Rear Admiral Norman Scott. Hiei and Kirishima then disabled two American destroyers (one of which later sank). In turn, Hiei became the target of the majority of the American firepower, with the American 5-inch guns inflicting severe damage on Hiei’s superstructure at close range; Admiral Abe himself was later injured after USS Laffey (DD-459) shelled the bridge with her own guns, killing his chief of staff. This concentration enabled Kirishima to evade the American barrage and cripple USS San Francisco, killing Admiral Callaghan. However, shells from San Francisco disabled Hiei’s steering machinery. Island in the Solomon Islands. She became the first Japanese battleship to be lost in combat. With one of his battleships crippled, Abe ordered the remainder of the Japanese fleet to withdraw at 02:00. Kirishima attempted to tow Hiei to safety, but water flooded her steering compartments, jamming her rudder to starboard. Throughout the morning of 14 November, Hiei was subjected to attack from American Army B-17 Flying Fortress bombers. She continued circling starboard at 5 knots (5.8 mph). At 11:30, two torpedoes launched from Grumman TBF Avenger torpedo-bombers struck Hiei. After suffering several more torpedo and dive-bomber attacks throughout the day, the order was given for her crew to abandon ship before her escorting destroyers scuttled her. Hiei sank sometime in the evening on 14 November with the loss of 188 of her crew, the first battleship ever lost in action by Japan. She was removed from the Navy List on 20 December 1942.