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What the Navy Learned During the Pacific War <br />(Dept. of the Navy, 1947)What the Navy Learned During the Pacific War
(Dept. of the Navy, 1947)
The following is an essay from the office of the Chief of Naval Operations concerning what the U.S. Navy learned about carrier warfare during the four year war against Japan.
The U.S. Navy's War: Tarawa to Tokyo <br />(Dept. of the Navy, 1947)The U.S. Navy's War: Tarawa to Tokyo
(Dept. of the Navy, 1947)
Attached is a 1947 report by the U.S. Navy summing up the remarkable roll that naval aviation played during the last half of the war with Imperial Japan:

"In the advance across the Central Pacific the carrier task force with it's extreme flexibility and mobility had been the dominant factor. It established the conditions under which long-range amphibious advances were possible. It never failed to gain command of the air at the required time and place, successively overwhelming the air garrisons not only of the Japanese perimeter but of the major fortresses of Formosa and the Philippines, and maintained command of the air until shore-based air forces could be established."

To read articles about W.W. II submarines, Click here.

Gaudalcanal to Bougainville and the Progress of the U.S. Navy <br />(Dept. of the Navy, 1947)Gaudalcanal to Bougainville and the Progress of the U.S. Navy
(Dept. of the Navy, 1947)
"With the battles of the Coral Sea and Midway, United States and Japanese carrier strength became nearly equal. At the same time the news that the Japanese advance was creeping down the Solomons and commencing the construction of an airfield on Guadalcanal made it advisable to undertake a limited offensive in the South Pacific."

Read about the Battle of Leyte Gulf...

The U.S. Navy's War: Pearl Harbor to Midway <br />(Dept. of the Navy, 1947)The U.S. Navy's War: Pearl Harbor to Midway
(Dept. of the Navy, 1947)
An essay on the U.S. Navy's progress during the first six months of World War Two.

" Japan's decision to launch a war was based on the assumption that the conflict in Europe would render Russia and Great Britain negligible factors in the Far East. It was based on the further assumption that the United States, already committed to near belligerency in the Atlantic could not, even if finally successful in that theater, mount an offensive in the Pacific in less than 18 months to two years and would not in any case be willing to pay the price of total victory in the Pacific."

An Interview with U.S. Admiral Chester Nimitz <br />(Yank Magazine, 1944)An Interview with U.S. Admiral Chester Nimitz
(Yank Magazine, 1944)
Yank correspondent H.N. Oliphant interviewed Admiral Chester William Nimitz (1885 - 1966) for the August 4, 1944 issue regarding the progress in the Pacific Theater of Operations. At that time, the battle of the Marianas was being waged and it was a subject of much concern as to it's significance.

"In the Central Pacific, we have in three swift leaps advanced our sea power thousands of miles to the west of Pearl Harbor. Now our western-most bastions face the Philippines and undoubtedly worry the man on the street in Tokyo concerning the immediate safety of his own skin."

Click here to read about Admiral Mischer...

Click here to read a unique story about the Battle of the Sula Straits...

Japanese Naval Losses Measured in Tons <br />(Dept. of the Navy, 1947)Japanese Naval Losses Measured in Tons
(Dept. of the Navy, 1947)
Four graphs from a 1947 Naval study illustrate the amount of Japanese aircraft and assorted sea faring vessels that were destroyed during the course of World War Two.
Taking the War to Japan's Doorstep <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)Taking the War to Japan's Doorstep
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
"The last flight was coming home. The planes circled through the thick mist toward the stern of the Essex-class carrier. One by one they hit the deck: Hellcats, Corsairs and EBMs, with names like 'Hydraulic Bess', 'Miss Fortune', 'Sweater Girl' and 'Kansas City Kitty'...When the air-crewmen came back from their low low-level raids, the thing they talked about most was the lack of Jap opposition."

Click here to read an interview with a Kamikaze pilot.

The Sinking of the <em>Liscome Bay</em> <br />(Yank Magazine, 1944)The Sinking of the Liscome Bay
(Yank Magazine, 1944)
A World War Two article from YANK MAGAZINE recalling the sinking of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier off the coast of the Gilbert Islands -
The Battle of the Coral Sea <br />(Newsweek & Yank Magazines, 1942 - 3)The Battle of the Coral Sea
(Newsweek & Yank Magazines, 1942 - 3)
From the 4th through the 8th of May, 1942, the Japanese and American fleets exchanged blows in their first major engagement. The Americans won, but not by much; the most important battle would take place four weeks later at Midway. But the Yanks were happy with the way it turned out nonetheless:

"It was a victory all right - but it was not as decisive as it sounded, to a jubilant America. For in the north in the mandated islands the main Japanese Fleet still stood ready for action at any moment - a fleet as yet largely unscathed, a fleet that has always come back for more, a fleet that does not like the taste of defeat."

Read about the Battle of Leyte Gulf...

The Battle of Midway <br />(Yank Magazine, 1943)The Battle of Midway
(Yank Magazine, 1943)
Written months after the battle, this is the Yank report on the naval engagement that was "the turning point in the war":

"The Jap had failed to get a foothold on Australia. Strategists reasoned that he would now strike east, at an outpost of the North American continent. Alaska became the No. 1 alert; bombers were flown to Midway; carriers came north and Admiral Nimitz pushed patrols far out toward the Bonins and Wake islands... A navy patrol found the enemy first, in the early hours of June 3 [1942]... Reconnaissance showed a Jap force of about 80 ships approaching Midway."

- the contest that followed proved to be the first truly decisive battle in the Pacific war.

Click here to read more about Midway.

Death of a Baby Flat-Top <br />(Yank Magazine, 1944)Death of a Baby Flat-Top
(Yank Magazine, 1944)
"The baby flat-top Liscome Bay was sunk by a torpedo from an enemy submarine on the day before Thanksgiving of 1943. The Liscome Bay was on her first battle assignment, covering the occupation of Makin in the Gilbert [islands]...The torpedo struck a half an hour before dawn and it was still dark when Liscome Bay sank."

The ship went under in less than twenty-four minutes; up to that time it was the U.S. Navy's second largest loss since the sinking of the Arizona at Pearl Harbor. Only 260 men survived.

The Navy Training Film that Won A Naval Engagement <br />(Coronet Magazine, 1959)The Navy Training Film that Won A Naval Engagement
(Coronet Magazine, 1959)
This three page reminiscence provides an example of the persuasive power of film and it tells the tale of an important event at a small industrial building in Hollywood, California, that housed the Navy Film Services Depot between 1942 and 1945.

"Taking the Offensive" was the name given to this small, low budget training film that was produced on that dusty sun-bleached street and it didn't appear to be anything terribly special to the NCOs who produced it at the time - but they learned later that their film provided a badly needed shot in the arm to the then untested officers and men of one particular heavy cruiser that was destined to tangle with three Japanese ships the next day.

Click here to read about the Battle of the Coral Sea,

U.S. Sailors Wore <i>Earrings</i>? <br />(Pathfinder Magazine, 1944)U.S. Sailors Wore Earrings?
(Pathfinder Magazine, 1944)
A short notice from a May, 1944, issue of The Pathfinder reported that there was a fashion among the American sea-going men of the enlisted variety to wear a particular style of earring in their left ear if they'd experienced combat. Don't take our word for it, read on...
The War On U-Boats <br />(Coronet Magazine, 1943)The War On U-Boats
(Coronet Magazine, 1943)
Read the story of the CAMPBELL, a U.S. Coast Guard Cutter - she sank six German U-boats in twelve hours during one of the nastier moments that made up the Battle of the Atlantic.

CLICK HERE to read about the women of the U.S. Coast Guard during the Second World War.

James Forrestal: Secretary of the Navy <br />(Collier's Magazine, 1944)James Forrestal: Secretary of the Navy
(Collier's Magazine, 1944)
It was a clear day on a fast track for James Forrestal (1892 1949) when the U.S. Congress passed the Two Ocean Navy Bill during the Summer of 1940. At that time both Europe and Asia were engulfed in war and it seemed certain to many that the U.S was not going to be able to avoid it. Serving as the Under Secretary of the Navy, with Frank Knox (1874 1944) presiding as his senior, Forrestal was charged with the duty of building the U.S. Navy into something far more dangerous than it already was, and build it he did.

Halsey at Leyte Gulf <br />(Pageant Magazine, 1960)Halsey at Leyte Gulf
(Pageant Magazine, 1960)
The Battle of Leyte Gulf (October 23 - 26, 1944) was the largest naval battle in World War II - as well as the most decisive. Given the naval weaponry that exists in the digital age, it is highly unlikely that opposing navies will ever again have need to come within visible range of one another again. This article tells the history of that battle, shedding light on a few of the important naval campaigns that came before. Written sixteen years after the events by a knowledgeable author, you will gain an understanding of the thoughts that were going through Admiral Halsey's cranium when he commanded the largest battle fleet ever assembled.

Read about the Battle of Midway...

The Lack of German Naval Power <br />(United States News, 1946)The Lack of German Naval Power
(United States News, 1946)
"Not only did Germany limit the size of her fleet, but she failed to push technical developments. For example, she was behind the Allies in developing radar, and her torpedoes were mechanically deficient. She was ahead of the Allies in perfecting magnetic mines, but these proved to be a short-lived advantage... The priority for naval construction was so low that when the war began in September, 1939, the naval strength allowed in the treaty of 1935 had not been reached."

"Thus, in the opinion of Admiral Doenitz, Germany, for the second time within 25 years, lost her bid for world supremacy because of her weakness at sea."

Click here to read about an American destroyer on D-Day.

Assessing the U.S. Navy in W.W. II <br />(Pathfinder Magazine, 1945)Assessing the U.S. Navy in W.W. II
(Pathfinder Magazine, 1945)
Some four months after VJ-Day U.S. Fleet Admiral Ernest King (1878 1956) gave a post-game summary of the Navy's performance in his third and final report for the Department of War:

Biggest factor in this victory was the perfection of amphibious landings
Hardest Pacific battle: Okinawa invasion
American subs sank at least 275 warships of all types
Of the 323 Japanese warships lost, the U.S. Navy claimed 257 (figure disputed by Army Air Corps)

Read an article about the many faults of the
German Navy during the Second World War...

''Burial at Sea'' <br />(Coronet Magazine, 1945)''Burial at Sea''
(Coronet Magazine, 1945)
This is a short anecdote that recalled a slice of life on board a USN troop ship as it ferried men from one bloody atoll to the next. The two speaking parts in this drama were both officers who butted heads regularly until they understood that what united them was the welfare of the dying young men returning from the beaches who had given their last full measure.

To read articles about W.W. II submarines, Click here.

Admiral Mitscher, U.S.N. <br />(Coronet Magazine, 1945)Admiral Mitscher, U.S.N.
(Coronet Magazine, 1945)
Admiral Pete Mitscher was one of the primary architects of American naval aviation during the 20th Century.In this column, one of the officers who served under him during the admiral's command of carrier Task Force 58 recalls why he came to admire the man as deeply as he did. One of Admiral Pete Mitscher's officers recalls the man with tremendous admiration:

"They used to think a carrier was a hit-and-run fighter, but Pete changed that. He said, 'Hit'em and stay. Hit'em again tomorrow. And he did.'"

Click here to read about Admiral Nimitz...

A Nervous Australia <br />(Pathfinder Magazine, 1943)A Nervous Australia
(Pathfinder Magazine, 1943)
"General Sir Thomas A. Blamey, Australian commander of Allied ground forces in the Southwest Pacific, declared the Japs have massed 200,000 first-line troops on the approaches to Australia and might be expected to launch an offensive at any time."
The North Atlantic Heats Up <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1941)The North Atlantic Heats Up
(Newsweek Magazine, 1941)
"April 1917 was Britain's blackest month in the [First] World War... March 1941 seemed in many ways another grim month like April, 1917, perhaps even worse. Once more Britain faced peril on the sea - a danger which struck home deeper than any defeat of their armies on foreign soil... Not only German U-boats but German battle cruisers have crossed to the American side of the Atlantic and have already sunk some of our independently routed ships not sailing in convoy. They have sunk ships as far west as the 42nd meridian of longitude."
The Nimitz Strategy <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)The Nimitz Strategy
(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)
An brief article by a former Chief of Naval Operations (1930 - 33), Admiral William V. Pratt praising the Pacific naval strategy of Fleet Admiral Nimitz.

Click here to read about Admiral Raymond Spruance.

The Atlantic Convoys <br />(Collier's Magazine, 1944)The Atlantic Convoys
(Collier's Magazine, 1944)
"The War Shipping Administration is never at a loss for an answer when asked what's been authorized, what's in the works, what's been shipped and where everything is at the moment? Nevertheless, the Transportation Inventory Department is a tidy place, with no visible signs of agitation. The TID has never lost so much as a bolt. Once it took twenty-two weeks to find a couple of airplane engines which had got themselves lost."
''I Rode A German Raider'' <br />(Collier's Magazine, 1944)''I Rode A German Raider''
(Collier's Magazine, 1944)
Frank Vicovari, veteran ambulance driver, was en route to North Africa on a neutral passenger ship called Zam Zam. He was traveling with numerous other men who would serve under his command; there were 21 top of the line ambulances in the hold that would be put to use by Free French forces when they landed. Zam Zam also carried some 200 American missionaries off to spread the good news south of the equator. This article is Vicovari's account of his life onboard a Nazi raiding vessel after it sank Zam Zam in the South Atlantic. He eloquently describes how efficiently the crew fired upon other non-combatant vessels and, on one occasion, machine-gunned lifeboats.
The Greatest Sea Battle [pt. II] <br />(Collier's Magazine, 1945)The Greatest Sea Battle [pt. II]
(Collier's Magazine, 1945)
Reported by four war correspondents, this is the second half of a Collier's article narrating the largest naval battle to have ever been fought in military history:

"Secretary of the Navy Forrestal summed up the results as 'One of the great naval victories of the war that will go down, along with Midway and Guadalcanal sea battles as one of the great, shattering blows struck against Japanese sea power. The Japanese fleet was indeed beaten, routed and broken.'"

''We Can Win On Both Oceans'' <br />(The American Magazine, 1942)''We Can Win On Both Oceans''
(The American Magazine, 1942)
Frank Knox was FDR's Secretary of the Navy between 1940 through 1944. Arm and arm with his lieutenant, Under Secretary James Forrestal, the two men made good on the "Two-Ocean Navy Bill" passed by Congress during the summer of 1940:

"I am proud of this Navy of ours. Every American has a right to be proud of it, to know that it is, up to now, the greatest navy in history. But we cannot afford to be complacent about it. It is still not the navy that our country needs and that our fighting men in the ships deserve."

A New Kind of Naval Warfare <br />(PM Tabloid, 1942)A New Kind of Naval Warfare
(PM Tabloid, 1942)
"In the seven months since Pearl Harbor the aircraft carrier has replaced the battleship as the true capital ship of modern naval warfare. The carrier's rise to power reached a crushing climax in the battle of the Coral Sea and the Battle of Midway - the two most decisive naval engagements of the war thus far. Opposing fleets only struck at each other with bomber and torpedo planes and never fired a shot except in self-defense against aircraft."

Click here to read about FDR as Under-Secretary of the Navy.

The Strategist <br />(Collier's Magazine, 1944)The Strategist
(Collier's Magazine, 1944)
Here is a Collier's profile of U.S. Admiral Raymond Spruance (1886 - 1969):

"Outside Navy circles, very few know much about the man who bosses our task forces in the Pacific and has never lost an engagement. But Admiral Nagano knows of Spruance; so does Tojo - because, if it weren't for Spruance at Midway, Japanese carriers might now be based at Pearl Harbor."

The Japanese Run Out of Ships <br />(PM Tabloid, 1944)The Japanese Run Out of Ships
(PM Tabloid, 1944)
After the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the U.S. Navy believed that the Japanese had lost over half their original strength:

"Naval observers in Washington are exhilarated by the evident extent of the Japanese defeat but, in true Navy tradition, they are being canny about it. It isn't what we have sunk or disabled [that matters], it's what is left that can still fight."

The Seabees <br />(Pageant Magazine, 1944)The Seabees
(Pageant Magazine, 1944)
In another article on this site, these words were quoted from the captured dispatches of a Japanese general writing to his superiors:

"[The Yank] is a wizard at handling machinery and he can build airfields, roads and advance bases with uncanny speed."

- he was, of course, referring to the famous Construction Battalions (Seabees) of the U.S. Navy. This article will tell you all about them.

King Named to Lead Fleet <br />(PM Tabloid, 1941)King Named to Lead Fleet
(PM Tabloid, 1941)
Sailors Who Served on Both Seas <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)Sailors Who Served on Both Seas
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
Assorted well-campaigned swab-jockeys lounge-about and discuss their various experiences on both oceans.
The Greatest Sea Battle [pt. 1] <br />(Collier's Magazine, 1945)The Greatest Sea Battle [pt. 1]
(Collier's Magazine, 1945)
Here is the first half of the thrilling account of the Battle of Leyte Gulf (October 23 - 26, 1944) as it appeared in two installments in Collier's Magazine in January, 1945.