Current News – Battle of Leyte Remembered

Remembering the Battle of Leyte Gulf in the Surigao Strait.

On 3 July, 2017, the USS Nimitz (CVN-68) commemorated those that fought in the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

“Today we sail the same waters as those sailors did 73 years ago,” said Cmdr. J.W. David Kurtz, the ship’s executive officer, according to the statement.

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The Battle of Leyte Gulf, which took place in late October 1944, included several naval engagements involving ships from the 7th and 3rd fleets. The battle crippled the Japanese Imperial Navy, which lost four aircraft carriers, three battleships, six heavy and four light cruisers, 11 destroyers, several hundred aircraft and more than 10,500 sailors, according to History.com. U.S. and Allied forces lost one light carrier, two escort carriers, two destroyers and one destroyer-escort.

Japan’s losses allowed the U.S. to conduct a ground invasion of the Philippines. Roughly 3,000 sailors and Marines were killed in the battle, which some historians consider to be not only the largest naval battle of WWII, but the largest naval battle in history.

A moment of silence, Taps and 21-gun salute from the USS Nimitz.

“I’m proud to be here at the ceremony because they didn’t have to give their lives for us, but they did,” said Chief Religious Program Specialist Kimberly Bell, according to the statement. “This ceremony was emotional for me because every time they play taps I want to cry when I think about all that those service members sacrificed for us.”

Information and photos from the U.S. Navy.

Click on still photos to enlarge.

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Military Humor –

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Farewell Salutes – 

Benny Barrick – Carlsbad, NM; US Navy, WWII, PTO

Alfred Binger Jr. – Brooklyn, NY; US Navy, WWII

Les Campbell – Reno, NV; US Navy, Korea & Vietnam, Master Chief at Arms (Ret.)

Final Voyage

Frances Dwyer – Roselle Park, NJ; US Navy, WWII, Lt.

Opal Bivens – Hazelton, ND; US Navy WAVES, WWII

Robert Hamner Sr – W.Palm Beach, FL; USMC, Korea, Vietnam, Lt.Comdr. (Ret. 30 years)

Kenneth King – Everett, CT; US Navy, WWII

Jack Kinney – Independence, OH; US Army, 11th Airborne Division

Ray Lashley – DesArc, MO; US Navy, WWII

Alex Soltesz – Boynton Bch., FL; US Coast Guard, WWII, USS Mohawk (CGWPG-38), radioman

Theodore Wynberg – Sydney, AUS; RA Navy, Commodore

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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 July 10, 2017, in Current News, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 68 Comments.

  1. It’s refreshing to read the commemorations of these events after all these years, more so when someone like Chief Religious Program Specialist Kimberly Bell, can be moved to tears in memory of an event long before her time. If only our younger generation could look back into the past, the world,s future could hold hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing these stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I will dedicate memorial Feeling to the ppl who fought for own Nation,from Japan 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been following your posts for a number of years and I have some information that might be of interest to you. It’s about the 21st. Infantry and their battles in the Philippines during World War ll. If you think you might be interested I can be reached at :signpilot@sbcglobal.net
    Bob Cloud

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bob, I am always interested in more information, but I’m afraid I do not deal with private emails [long explanation for the agreement I have with the others that use this computer]. So, I moderate my comments. This means that only you and I can see what you put in the comments until I approve or trash what you wrote. Simply type delete or trash somewhere in the comment so I comply with your wishes. I thank you for thinking of me, I’ve enjoyed your site for years as well.
      GP Cox

      Like

  5. Wanted to celebrate with you dear friend! Wonderful trip to Normandy and Cambridge!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is magnificent, Anne! Such honor and respect from each member of the family that may never have been born if not for the bravery of George and his fellow soldiers. I thank you very much for sending me this link.

      Like

  6. You bring up a good point regarding the lack of history being taught in schools. It makes me wonder if this lack has been a motivator in the “contribute to me” attitude that is so prevalent in current societies. Seems like there is too much ignorance on the sacrifices given so that people could live freely. I hope young people read this blog, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think that is partly the problem and wish “scholars” would remember that you can only learn from history – if you learn it in the first place. I have a few young readers, but who knows if they are actually reading, eh? One young man, a fellow blogger named Wyatt, is so into history – he really doesn’t need any help from me!!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Excellent, GP! Leyte destroyed the IJN’s ability to be a major threat against the increasingly powerful US Navy.

    You might consider as part of your intermission series some posts on the role of the US submarine fleet. Our subs really crippled Japan’s ability to fuel its navy and its aircraft.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sounds like a plan. I’ve mentioned their outstanding contributions all along in the posts, but can not recall one I gave them by themselves.
      This except in a post immediately comes to mind…

      On the 8th alone, the submarine, USS Tang sank IJN ships, Tainan Maru, Tamahoko Maru, Kennichi Maru, and the Nasuasan Maru. This was a good day, but such sinkings were becoming quite common. The American subs were taking a grievous toll on the enemy’s merchant and military shipping. [ U. S. submarines sank 468 Japanese ships during the first 11 months of 1944, according to Navy Department communiques. This total includes four light cruisers and 17 destroyers. Forty‑three tankers, 377 cargo ships and transports were sent to the bottom.]

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  8. GP, I don’t always comment, but I always read. And I just….get lost in the feelings of these stories. The feelings of the men and women who served, and the families who sacrificed with them.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. To read it is regarded as the largest naval battle in history makes me think that I hope there isn’t one that’s even bigger one day.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks again for another fine post. I knew a little bit about this navy battle, thanks to you I learned a little bit more. I want to know even more.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. In the correspondence between my dad and his brother, this battle was mentioned. My uncle wasn’t involved, as I recall, but a friend of his was. So much of our history is being forgotten — thanks in part to the problems with our educational system. That’s why museums, commemorations, blog posts, and such are so important. They’re good ways of preserving memories, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I knew you felt that way the first time you contacted me about your father’s stamps, Linda. From that day on I have been proud to call you my friend!! [PS. all the WWII treasures I have, including your dad’s stamps, will be preserved at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans upon my death; I have already made the arrangements.

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  12. Glad to read about the remembrance. Thanks, GP.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’ve read some emotive writings on this battle.

    From memory, it was several battles joined at the edges—but the one written with the most relish (well deserved~!) was the one that described the ambush set up in the middle of the night when the US admiral parked half a dozen battleships in line across the strait “most of which had been sunk at Pearl Harbour, resurrected, and now were about to take a very satisfying revenge” (words to that effect).

    I was also impressed by the figures, again to the effect of “in the darkness targets were acquired at approximately thirty thousand yards, a firing solution attained and fire opened at twenty-something thousand yards, and USS ———- (I forget which) obtained hits with opening salvo” … and that, Sir—is gunnery!

    It was a nasty surprise for the Japanese.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I watched a documentary recently on Kamikaze pilots and this battle cropped up. It was certainly a major landmark on the difficult road to victory in the Pacific.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. From my understanding, there’s a famous account in this battle, where we managed to “Cross the T” of the Japanese navy, and fire broadsides at them, while they could only use their forward guns. It created quite a bit of havoc for them, and was very helpful at winning this battle.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. It’s good that this is remembered. It said a lot about the strength of our American sailors.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Yet another battle we had never heard of before but one that was for us to be who we are.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I also had never heard about this battle before. Thank you for educating us.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. We should all want to cry when we hear Taps. We owe so much to the brave men and women who served during that war.

    On a lighter note, after my encounter with the floor on Thursday, that anchor and rope looks like a good idea 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Beautifully done, GP. I know “battles” were never my thing in school, but I’m surprised this one was not more familiar to me. So many lives lost…
    Wishing you a wonder-filled, hug-filled new week.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Such a battle, and I’d never heard of it before reading your posts

    Liked by 1 person

  22. It is incredibly important that the Officers and Sailors that took part in such a pivotal campaign are remembered. Their sacrifice will not be forgotten.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. That must have been very moving, to be sailing on those same waters where so many died. It’s very good, and appropriate, that they continue to remember that sacrifice.
    (Good cartoons today too.)
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. powerful ceremony

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Thank you for the pingback and your interest.

    Like

  1. Pingback: Naval History Remembered – Energy Management

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