The Hiei was the first battleship sunk by Allied forces during WWII. Commissioned in 1914, the 37,000 ton vessel was part of the imperial fleet’s 3rd Battleship Division.
The battle cruiser participated in many naval engagements in the early months of the Pacific War. On the night of November 13th, 1942 its steering gear was disabled by the USS San Francisco in the Battle of Guadalcanal. The crippled warship was bombed and torpedoed mercilessly the next day by American aircraft operating from Henderson Field. The great ship finally slipped under the waves the evening of the 14th taking 188 of its crew down with it.
Explorers searching for navel wrecks found Hiei upside down and resting Northwest of Savo Island this week. More
The battle cruiser is but one of many wrecks left in what has been called “Iron Bottom Sound” between Savo and Guadalcanal.