Turkey shoot

LTJG Vraciu19 June 1944. Philippine Sea – TF 58 is conducting operations in preparation fo the invasion of Guam.  Consisting of five major groups, TF-58 is one of the most formidable assemblies of naval power the world had seen. In front (to the west) was Vice Admiral Willis Lee’s Task Group 58.7 (TG-58.7), the “Battle Line”, consisting of seven fast battleships (Washington, North Carolina, Indiana, Iowa, New Jersey, South Dakota, and Alabama). Just north of them was the weakest of the carrier groups, Rear Admiral William K. Harrill’s TG-58.4 of three carriers (Essex, Langley, and Cowpens). To the east, in a line running north to south, were three groups each containing four carriers: Rear Admiral Joseph Clark’s TG-58.1 (Hornet, Yorktown, Belleau Wood, and Bataan); Rear Admiral Alfred Montgomery’s TG-58.2 (Bunker Hill, Wasp, Cabot, and Monterey); and Rear Admiral John W. Reeves’s TG-58.3 (Enterprise, Lexington, San Jacinto, and Princeton). The capital ships were supported by eight heavy cruisers, 13 light cruisers, 58 destroyers, and 28 submarines).  Embarked with the carriers was the F6F Hellcat (ed. Tomorrow’s Flightdeck Friday subject, BTW… – SJS) which was already proving its superiority over the Japanese Zero and Oscar fighters – at day’s end, it’s superiority and claim to legend would be cemented, to the tune of over 175 Japanese aircraft shot down.  It’s letahlity would be enhanced with the combined effects of long-range air search radar and direction via FDO’s (Fighter Direction Officers) located in the carrier’s Combat Information Centers.  On the Japanese side, the trail that started at Midway had arrived in the Phillippine Sea where the carrier air arm of the IJN effectively ceased to exist in one day.

—-

—-

—-

—-