October 1944 (2)

October 20, 1944: U.S. troops head toward the beaches of Leyte island during the amphibious assault to reconquest the Philippines. (AP Photo)

October 20, 1944: U.S. troops head toward the beaches of Leyte island during the amphibious assault to reconquest the Philippines. (AP Photo)

15→16 October – Carrier aircraft again set off to bomb shipping and installations at the Manila Bay, Luzon area on both days.  The Japanese lost: 20 aircraft shot down and 30-40 destroyed on the ground.

17→18 October – Northern Luzon and again the Manila Bay area were attacked by the carrier aircraft and the enemy this time lost 56 aircraft; four ships were sunk, with 23 others damaged.  The US lost 7 aircraft.

19 October – Carrier aircraft bombed, rocketed and strafed select targets in the Visayas Group of the Philippines.  The US 6th Army , under Gen. MacArthur began landings on Leyte which pushed the Japanese Navy to act.

22→23 October – Three enemy task forces converged for battle.  The Japanese Combined Fleet were underway for Operation Sho, (Sho  = Victory) and they would meet with their first casualties from the US submarines Darter and Dace in the Palawan Passage.

Just after 0500 hours, LtComdr. Benitez said to his men, “It looks like the 4th of July out there!”  Adm. Kurita’s cruisers IJN Atago & Maya of  the 1st Strike Force were ht and sinking.  The enemy’s position was passed on to command and the US Task Force 38/3rd Fleet sailed to the Sibuyan Sea to intercept.  The Second Battle of the Philippine Sea was underway and it would continue through 27 October.

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[It will take the next few posts to try and encapsulate all that transpired in this short period of time – Please bear with me.]

Japanese losses would include: 2 battleships, 4 carriers, 6 heavy cruisers, 3 light cruisers, 3 small cruisers or destroyers, and 6 destroyers.  Severely damaged were: 1 battleship, 5 cruisers, 7 destroyers.  Others with damage: 6 battleships,4 heavy destroyers, 1 light cruiser and 10 destroyers.

US losses: the light carrier Princeton and 2 escort carriers, the Saint ‘Lo and Gambier Bay were sunk.  Two destroyers, Johnston and Hoel went under, along with 1 destroyer escort, the Samuel B. Roberts and a few smaller craft.

[The story of the USS Samuel B. Roberts can be read in the book “For Crew and Country,” by John Wukovits.  It is an inspiring book to read.]

24 October – Adm. Mitscher’s aircraft assaulted Adm. Kurita’s Center Force and the Nishimura/Shima Sounthern Force while their planes  were out hitting US concerns around the Philippines.  The Princeton was hit by a kamikaze carrying a 100-pound bomb that went through her deck.  The Birmingham was damaged by later explosions as she assisted the damaged carrier; this killed 200 seamen.

The following 10 minute video shows both Allied and Japanese photography.


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Military Humor – Navy style

war

“I have a funny feeling about those blind dates of ours.”

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Farewell Salutes – 

Millard Ball – Clarksville, TN; US Merchant Marine, WWII / US Army, Korea, 187th RCT / Vietnam, 101st Airborne, CSgtM (Ret. 45 years)

Victor Carty – San Jose, CA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, aircraft mechanicsalute

Edward Cooke – Fonda, IA; US Navy (USNA graduate), WWII, CBI, minesweeper, VAdmiral

Warren Ferguson – Seattle, WA; US Army, WWII, ETO, 3167th Signal Corps

Teresa Gies – Wellington, NZ; RNZ Air Force, WWII

Harry Hamilton Sr. – St. Petersburg, FL; US Navy, WWII

Matuszewski Klemens – Taragowa, POL; Polish Army, WWII, ETO, POW

Paul Martin – Croghan, NY; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 318 Fighter Sq./7th Air Force, Cpl.

Richard Ramsey – Bloomington, IN; US Navy, WWII, LST-947

Frank Yates – Brooklyn, NY; US Army Air Corps, WWII, 502/101st Airborne, Sgt.

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on February 20, 2017, in WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 60 Comments.

  1. Excellent post gp, and the video really highlights the amazing scenario of the battle.
    Another great contribution mate.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a great post as remembering of this the solders they did all he ccould for their country

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah, the Philippines. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Consider this a disclaimer GP. I was already The Mystery Blogger Award which is essentially like an old chain letter. You would’ve been high up on the list to get tagged but I know how you feel about awards for your site and wanted to respect your wishes. Feel free to participate however you like if you want. Enjoyed you answering questions last year for my Sunshine Blogger Award. Until then have a good one mate. https://lloydmarken.wordpress.com/2017/02/22/the-mystery-blogger-award-nomination/

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post! I particularly liked the “Victory At Sea” episode. I enjoyed watching “Victory At Sea” when I was a kid. In those days, NBC hadn’t sold out to become the press department for the Lunatic Left. It would be impossible for NBC to air something as patriotic as “Victory At Sea” today … (sigh) …

    I blogged about the U.S.S. Samuel B. Roberts here: https://56packardman.com/2016/08/28/steamship-sunday-u-s-s-samuel-b-roberts-de-413/

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Actually I liked the six photographs about what we, and other people, think we do. I think we could all do with making one of those about ourselves!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Excellent documentation of chronologically ordered facts. Interesting, as always…. all the best to you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. “Victory at Sea,” wow there’s a lot memories there for me. As a kid my father and I watched the series when it was repeated on TV in the early 70’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Those low-flying torpedo bomber crews were so brave. The film gives some idea of the problems encountered trying to hit ships from the air, and also of the confusion of such a huge engagement.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The ‘Sailors’ board is pretty funny–and true. As a mom, that’s exactly how I see my kids!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The next time I think I’m having a bad day I’ll remember this post. What these soldiers endured over these 7 days is extraordinary.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Your posts are always so interesting, a trip back in time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much, John. I visit your site quite often myself – I think that shows how interested I am in yours. Photographers have always been an admiration of mine (maybe because I’m horrid at it!) 🙂

      Like

  13. First of all, please accept my apology of my ignorance if any about the details of World Wars; or, in case my comment wasn’t suitable. I’m from different culture and zone. I’ve used to hear my father mentioning a lot of stories he heard from his own father (grandpa) and older men while my father was young. As far as I remember from these stories, Syrians (I’m from Syria by the way) were trying to escape being involved the world war and to get their own independence despite of the contradicted official war-direction there in WW1 comparing to WW2.

    Thank you for the interesting site with this rich information that probably won’t be find elsewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No need to apologize. I am not a researcher as far as the African/Middle East/European campaigns, but if memory serves me correctly – Syria was under the control of the Vichy-French government, which actually made it German territory in WWII. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the British invaded your country because of that reason. Studying for the Pacific/CBI operations I’d say the ones in India were the closest to you and they too were itching for independence.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sorry for delay in replying back. This is new to me – despite of the stories I had heard from my dad! Searching confirmed me the same. Thank you for encouraging me to look more into this – which was interesting by the way. I’m still searching and I’ll get back with additions if any. It seems that normal/common people there weren’t distinguishing between Vichy-France (Germany) or Free-France (accompanied with British) while seeking for their own independence.

        Liked by 1 person

        • It will take a little while for you to become used to all the ins and outs of wordpress (and they’re always changing the program too). I’m just glad to know that I instilled some curiosity in one of my readers! Being as it would be nearly impossible for me to be able to put the entire war into this site, I am continually attempting to find ways to push that curiosity to the surface. Thank you for letting me know.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I’m glad too I found this wonderful site. Thank you.. and I’ll keep reading more here and searching there.

            Liked by 1 person

          • It’s been a while… I was trying to find good materials to use for writing something about our discussion here. I failed and I guess I’ll stop it for now but I’m not giving up! However, if you ever thought of writing about it (Syria in WWII), I’d really appreciate it if you accepted my invitation to write that post on my humble site. I’ll be honored.

            Liked by 1 person

            • That would be something I’d really have to look into. I’ve studied the Pacific for so long that I have actually neglected the ETO, Africa and Middle East portions of the war. I do have quite a few books on it that I’ll have to read or re-read, but I’m afraid it won’t be too soon, as in 1944-45 [where this blog is now] is quite busy and confusing and it’ll take a lot for me to be able to present it properly.
              But – I will look into it !!

              Liked by 1 person

  14. The video is terrific, GP. Thanks,

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Off-Topic, but still relevant: For all you WW2 History buffs out there, BBC One has a new 5 part mini-series out called “SS-GB”, it is based on Len Deighton’s WW2 Alternate History Novel by the same name where the Nazi’s win the Battle of Britain in 1941 and now a Resistance movement has formed.I just watched the pilot and is is awesome!

    Like

  16. I really hope there is a history teacher reading this blog, taking advantage of the wealth of knowledge you present on a daily basis.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Enjoyed your post as always, and laughed at the photos at the bottom “Sailors” – so true.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I loved Victory at Sea! I’m going to have to do some searching tonight, to see what a destroyer escort is and what smaller craft might be in a carrier task group. I thought destroyers were pretty small. As always, interesting stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I realize that my knowledge of those battles are almost none. Interesting reading !

    Liked by 1 person

  20. The way u described. Awesome 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. What an amazing battle.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Thank you very much.

    Like

  23. Thank you very much for interest in this era.

    Like

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