Kinkaid made his reputation as an aggressive naval commander off the shores of Guadalcanal. In November 1942 he was in command of Task Force 16, the Enterprise and the Hornet, which took part in the Battle of Santa Cruz Island. In this encounter the Hornet was lost, but huge losses of aircraft were inflicted on the Japanese. Kinkaid was then made Commander of Task Force 67, a cruiser squadron, and set about improving nightfighting techniques so that he could prevent the Japanese supplying their men by the ‘Tokyo Express’ by night. After a successful operation as Commander of the Northern Forces in the Aleutian Campaign, Kinkaid was appointed Commander of the 7th Fleet, which was a fleet of transports and converted carriers. It transported the 6th Army to Leyte in October 1944 and during the Battle of Leyte Gulf came under attack from ViceAdmiral KURITA’s big cruisers. However his carriers put as many aircraft as possible in the air and held off the Japanese until Kurita lost his nerve and withdrew.