Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Battle of the Philippine Sea/
Great Marianas Turkey Shoot

MON 19 JUN 1944
Battle of the Philippine Sea opens as the Japanese Fleet (Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo) contests the landings on Saipan. Japanese carrier-based aircraft attack Fifth Fleet (Admiral Raymond A. Spruance) covering Saipan operation. Despite the combat air patrol and heavy antiaircraft fire, battleship South Dakota (BB-57) is damaged by dive bomber, 14°10'N, 143°15'E; battleship Indiana (BB-58) is damaged by suicide plane, 14°04'N, 143°23'E; carriers Bunker Hill (CV-17) 14°46'N, 143°02'E and Wasp(CV-18), 14°19'N, 143°48'E are near-missed by dive bombers; heavy cruiser Minneapolis (CA-36) is near-missed by horizontal bomber, 14°11'N, 143°09'E; destroyer Hudson (DD-475) is damaged by friendly fire, 14°11'N, 143°09'E.

Commander David McCampbell, Commander Air Group 15, flying from carrier Essex (CV-9), distinguishes himself in aerial combat, splashing at least seven Japanese planes in defense of TF 58 (see 24 October).

The Japanese lose at least 300 aircraft in what U.S. Navy pilots call the "Marianas Turkey Shoot."
Submarine Albacore (SS-244) sinks Japanese carrier Taiho, 180 nautical miles north-northwest of Yap, 12°22'N, 137°04'E; submarine Cavalla (SS-244) sinks Japanese carrier Shokaku, 140 nautical miles north of Yap Island, 11°50'N, 137°57'E. Both boats survive counterattacks by escorts: Albacore counts 75 depth charges, Cavalla 106.

Motor minesweeper YMS-323 is damaged by shore battery, as she carries out survey operations off Tanapag Harbor, Saipan, 15°10'N, 145°58'E.

Aircraft (VT 60) from escort carrier Suwannee (CVE-27) sink Japanese submarine I-184, 20 miles south of Guam, 13°01'N, 149°53'E.

USAAF A-20s raid Manokwari, sinking small Japanese cargo vessels No.5 Masutuko Maru and No.43 Taigyo Maru.

Artificial harbor off Normandy installed on 7 June is severely damaged by storm. Elsewhere off the invasion beaches, tank landing ship LST-523 is sunk by mine, 49°30'N, 01°10'W; rescue tug ATR-15 is damaged by grounding, 49°22'N, 00°26'W.

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