Saturday, June 15, 2019

Operation FORAGER

THU 15 JUN 1944
TF 52 (Vice Admiral Richmond K. Turner) lands Marines (Lieutenant General Holland M. Smith, USMC) on Saipan in Operation FORAGER, under cover of intensive naval gunfire and carrier-based aircraft. Saipan is the first relatively large and heavily defended land mass in the central Pacific to be assaulted by American amphibious might.

Chengtu, China-based USAAF B-29s bomb the Yawata Steel Mills, northern Kyushu, Japan, marking the first time that B-29s are used in distant support of an ongoing amphibious operation.

Battleship Tennessee (BB-43) is damaged by shore battery, northeast of Tinian, 15°02'N, 143°50'E; light cruiser St. Louis (CL-49) is damaged by materiel casualty (dropped no.3 propeller and part of tail shaft), Saipan channel. Infantry landing craft (gunboat) LCI(G)-451 and LCI(G)-726 are damaged by mortar fire off approaches to Saipan landing beaches.

Carrier-based aircraft from TG 58.1 (Rear Admiral Joseph J. Clark) and TG 58.4 (Rear Admiral William K. Harrill) bomb Japanese installations on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, and Chichi Jima and Haha Jima in the Bonins; attack on Iwo Jima is repeated 16 June. Destroyers Boyd (DD-544) and Charrette (DD-581) sink transport Tatsutakawa Maru after she had been damaged by TBFs/TBMs and F6Fs from small carrier Bataan (CVL-29) east of Ogasawara-shoto, 25°02'N, 144°37'E. TF 58 aircraft sink auxiliary submarine chaser Cha 54 off Rota Island, Marianas. Destroyer Halsey Powell (DD-686) sinks minelayer Ma 101 (ex-British netlayer HMS Barlight, captured at Hong Kong in December 1941) in Tanapag Harbor, Saipan, 15°15'N, 145°45'E.

Japanese submarine chaser Ch 7 is sunk by mine south of the Palaus, 04°03'N, 135°08'E.

Submarine Swordfish (SS-193) attacks Japanese convoy, sinking army cargo ship Kanseishi Maru about 150 miles north-northwest of Chichi Jima, 29°30'N, 144°07'E.

Japanese cargo vessel Kanzaki Maru is stranded and sunk off east coast of Korea, 36°01'N, 129°41'E.

TBFs and FM-2s (VC-9) from escort carrier Solomons (CVE-67) sink German submarine U-860 in South Atlantic, 25°27'S, 05°30'W.

Off Normandy, tank landing ships LST-2, LST-266, LST-307, LST-331, and LST-360 are damaged by shore batteries; LST-133 by mine.

Motor torpedo boats PT-552, PT-558, and PT-559 sink German torpedo boats TA 26 (ex-Italian Navy Intrepido) and TA 30 (ex-Italian Navy Dragone) off the Italian coast between La Spezia and Genoa, 43°58'N, 09°29'E.

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