“Gen. Douglas MacArthur, center, is accompanied by his officers and Sergio Osmena, president of the Philippines in exile, extreme left, as he wades ashore during landing operations at Leyte, Philippines, on October 20, 1944, after U.S. forces recaptured the beach of the Japanese-occupied island.”
A plume of water from a torpedo strike against the bow of the Battleship Musashi erupts high into the air during the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea. During the battle the Musashi was hit by an estimated 19 torpedoes and 17 bombs before finally sinking. October 24, 1944.
10. Every week, the official Twitter account of Sweden is given to a random citizen to manage. The idea is to highlight Sweden’s diversity and progressiveness through the personality and views of her citizens.
9. In 2008, Nebraska implemented a law to allow parents to drop off unwanted newborns at safe havens; the law didn’t state an age limit, and nearly all the children abandoned were over ten years old- some were even 17.
8. In 2001, Portugal decriminalized all drugs, including cocaine and heroin. While distribution is still illegal, those caught for personal possession are referred to clinics. Since these moves, drug addiction has dropped 50% and drug use in Portugal is among the lowest in Europe.
7. In Stockholm, Sweden, a portion of the fines collected from speeding drivers is put into a lottery. Drivers who don’t have any offences are automatically entered in the lottery and have the chance of winning some cash for driving safely. Motorists have received checks of up to $3,000 and the scheme has encouraged road safety.
In early 1946 Japan’s General Tomoyuki Yamashita was tried as a war criminal and hanged by order of MacArthur. In 1986, a salvage group located the wreck of a Japanese ship containing $500 million worth of treasure in Filipino waters. The ship was sunk in World War II.
In 1994, President Fidel Ramos had hoped to turn the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Leyte into a sort of an Asian version of the D-Day commemoration at Normandy. President Clinton and MacArthur’s 92-year-old widow were invited to event but neither were able to attend. In their place came the U.S. Secretary of State William Perry and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John Shalikashvili.
After World War II and independence, the United States Congress reneged on promised to give benefits to Filipino soldiers who fought on the Allied side against Japan. In 2009 Associated Press reported: “Men and women from the Philippines were promised recognition and benefits when they enlisted to fight alongside US troops during World War II. Many of those honors are only arriving now, 64 years after the war ended. The Fil-Am veterans are also set to receive long-awaited benefits that the United States pledged during the war. [Source: Associated Press, June 7, 2009]
“Some 250,000 Filipinos enlisted in 1941 to help defend the Philippines, a US commonwealth at the time. They were promised that they could become US citizens if they chose, and receive benefits under the G.I. Bill. The US Congress took away that offer in 1946 when the Philippines became an independent nation. Congress passed legislation in 2009 rewarding the soldiers for their service with $9,000 payments for non-US citizens and $15,000 for those with citizenship. In 2009, about 18,000 Filipino veterans, many in their 80s and 90s, were still alive. Ravaged by old age and disease, they were dying at the rate of 10 a day, officials said. “ [Ibid]
Carlos H. Conde wrote in the New York Times, “Unlike in other countries where the war’s end brought renewal and hope, there is a strong sense in this country that the war victimized Filipinos twice over, that its horrifying toll went beyond the destruction of its cities. If the war destroyed 80 percent of the Philippine economy, its consequences - the reparations, the ensuing relationship between Manila and Tokyo, the Cold War, the rise of Ferdinand Marcos, who exploited Japan’s postwar penitence and benevolence and almost single-handedly repaired relations with the Japanese - damaged Filipinos even further, diminishing their sense of pride and their ability to appreciate their past and learn from it. [Source: Carlos H. Conde, New York Times, August 13, 2005 +=+]
“In short, World War II left the Philippines devastated long after it ended, historians and sociologists say. This damage, they say, defines the modern Filipino: poor and lost, perpetually wandering the globe for economic survival, bereft of national pride, and - like the women of Mapanique - forced to suffer, to this day, the indignities of their violation. “Filipinos have a very short historical memory,” said Ricardo Trota Jose, the country’s foremost scholar on Philippine-Japan relations, who teaches history at the University of the Philippines.“ +=+
“The Japanese battleship Yamato under attack during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, 26 October 1944. Image(s) part of a scrapbook assembled by Commander Francis N. Gilreath during his service as Flag Secretary and Aide to Rear Admiral Alfred E. Montgomery.”
(National Museum of Naval Aviation:
A U.S. Navy Curtiss SB2C-3 Helldiver of Bombing Squadron VB-7 in flight over ships of Task Force 38 after completing an attack against Japanese shipping 40 km north of Qui Nhơn, French Indochina, in January 1945.
VB-7 operated from the aircraft carrier USS Hancock (CV-19) during the period from September 1944 to January 1945, and participated in the Battle of Leyte Gulf in October 1944.
Note the horseshoe symbol on the tail indicating aircraft’s assignment to the USS Hancock and the pillow on the rear cockpit gun in order to provide some level of comfort for the gunner on the long flight home. A Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat from Fighting Squadron VF-7 is visible in the background.
(Photo source - U.S. Navy National Museum of Naval Aviation photo No. 1996.253.229)
At 0740, 25 October 1944, during the Battle of the Leyte Gulf, a Japanese plane made a suicide dive on USS Santee (ACV-29), crashing through the flight deck and stopping on the hangar deck. Santeewas the first ship to sustain a kamikaze attack: the plane tore a 30-foot gash into the flight deck, killed 16 men, wounded 27 others and started several fires. At 0756, a torpedo from the Japanese submarine I-56 struck the ship, causing flooding of several compartments and a 6-degree starboard list. Emergency repairs were completed by 0935.
Note: Most people believe that the first kamikaze attack of the war was the attack on Taffy Three after the Battle off Samar, where USS St. Lo (CVE-63) was sunk. St. Lo was the first carrier to sink to kamikaze aircraft, but she was not the first to be struck by one.
To expand on the other anon's question, take each of the major US wars from the Revolution to WWII and pick what in your opinion was the most important naval engagement of that war?
Alright. Come back to me if I miss anything.
American Revolution- I believe the obvious answer here is the Battle of the Chesapeake, September 3, 1781. Without the French turing away Admiral Hood, the British would have been able to either resupply or evacuate Cornwallis from Yorktown and prolonged the war. It could be argued that by that point, popular sentiment in Britain was calling for an end to the war anyway, but regardless, with the French victory on the Bay, it would have been extended.
Quasi-War- There was no set piece battle in this ‘war’ so my pick goes to USS Constellation vs L’Insurgente because it was the first time a warship from the newly restored Navy successfully engaged and captured an enemy man-of-war.
War of 1812- Tough choice. There are just too many notable engagements to pick from. I will, however, do it and my selection is the Battle of Lake Erie. Not only was this one of the largest naval engagements of the war, the American victory there ensured the United States retained control of the lake for the remainder of the war and allowed them to recover Detroit and break Tecumseh’s Indian confederation. It also signaled Oliver Hazard Perry’s ascension as a prominent figure in the U.S. Navy and birthed the motto “Don’t Give Up the Ship.”
Mexican-American War- Another interesting choice since again there were very few ship-on-ship engagements. Most of the Navy’s war involved shore bombardments and amphibious assaults. I’m going to go with the Battle of Mulege, even though it was a U.S. defeat because it ensured the Baja Peninsula didn’t become an American annexation.
American Civil War- The capture of New Orleans and the fleet running by Forts Jackson and St. Phillip that facilitated it. This marked David Farragut’s first major victory and was a decisive win for the Union. Following the battle, Congress created the rank of rear admiral and awarded it to Farragut, distinguishing him as more than a ‘flag officer’ and making him the U.S. Navy’s first admiral.
Spanish-American War- The Battle of Manilla Bay was a decisive American victory and catapulted the United States onto the world stage as an Imperialist power.
World War I- World War I is not really noted for its naval engagements apart from Jutland. Even though it’s not a true naval battle, I’m going to say the sinking of the Lusitania because it prompted American entry into the war.
World War II- I’m going to keep with the Battle off Samar here and the Battle of Leyte Gulf in general. I can already here people crying “What about Midway?” Naw son. The Battle of Midway broke the back of the Japanese carrier fleet, yeah, but the Japanese surface fleet itself still posed a real and dangerous threat, still possessing the super-battleships Yamato and Musashi. It wasn’t until its defeat at Leyete Gulf that the Japanese fleet was no longer able to carry out offensive operations. Taffy 3 ftw.
David McCampbell was one of America’s famous fighter aces of World War 2. Counting 34 victories he was America’s third highest scoring ace, behind the legendary P-38 pilots Dick Bong and Thomas McGuire, and the most successful aviator from the US Navy.
From the cockpit of his F6F Hellcat “Minsi III” McCampbell commanded the air group of the USS Essex, an eminently successful unit that destroyed more hostile aircraft and sank more enemy ships than any other air group in the Pacific War. Among the most famous of their victims is the Yamato-class superbattleship Musashi.
McCampbell is also the only American pilot to become an “ace in a day” twice. The firsr time was when he shot down seven Japanese planes (5 D4Y Judys and 2 A6M Zekes) during the Marianas Turkey Shoot. He earned the same honor again at Leyte Gulf when he and a wingman attacked a force of over sixty Japanese aircraft. McCampbell shot down nine (5 A6M Zekes, 2 A6M3 Hamps, and 2 Ki-43 Oscars) and his wingman six before they were forced to end the attack due to a lack of fuel and ammunition. When McCampbell landed on the USS Langley (the Essex’s flight deck wasn’t clear), he had a grand total of two bullets left his Hellcat.
For both actions McCampbell was awarded the Medal of Honor. His citation is as follows:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as commander, Air Group 15, during combat against enemy Japanese aerial forces in the first and second battles of the Philippine Sea. An inspiring leader, fighting boldly in the face of terrific odds, Comdr. McCampbell led his fighter planes against a force of 80 Japanese carrier-based aircraft bearing down on our fleet on June 19, 1944. Striking fiercely in valiant defense of our surface force, he personally destroyed 7 hostile planes during this single engagement in which the outnumbering attack force was utterly routed and virtually annihilated. During a major fleet engagement with the enemy on October 24, Comdr. McCampbell, assisted by but 1 plane, intercepted and daringly attacked a formation of 60 hostile land-based craft approaching our forces. Fighting desperately but with superb skill against such overwhelming airpower, he shot down 9 Japanese planes and, completely disorganizing the enemy group, forced the remainder to abandon the attack before a single aircraft could reach the fleet. His great personal valor and indomitable spirit of aggression under extremely perilous combat conditions reflect the highest credit upon Comdr. McCampbell and the U.S. Naval Service.
USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) bombards Japanese positions on Leyte during the Allied amphibious assault on the island, October 20th, 1944. She proved to be an invaluable asset, firing vast amounts of 356mm, 127mm, and 40mm ammunition into Japanese fortifications and paving the way for the Allied assault inland.
NATIVE AMERICAN INDIANS AWARDED THE U.S. MEDAL OF HONOR 2
Charles George (Cherokee)
A Cherokee from North Carolina, and Private First Class in Korea when he was killed on 30 November 1952. During battle, George threw himself upon a grenade and smothered it with his body. In doing so, he sacrificed his own life but saved the lives of his comrades. For this brave and selfless act, George was posthumously award the Medal of Honor in 1954.
Ernest Edwin Evans (Cherokee-Creek)
A Cherokee/Creek from Oklahoma, during the Battle for Leyte Gulf, 24-26 October 1944, Commander of the USS Johnston, he formed a part of the screen for escort aircraft carriers of the SEVENTH Fleet which on 25 October encountered off Samar the Center Force of the Japanese Fleet after it had transited San Bernardino Strait during the night of 24-25 October. The USS Johnston waged a gallant fight against heavy Japanese fleet units but was sunk by the enemy ships. Lieutenant Commander Evans was awarded the Navy Cross, later recalled and replaced by the Medal of Honor, awarded posthumously by United States Congress.
In addition to the Medal of Honor, the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal and Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon, Commander Evans had the China Service Medal, American Defense Medal, Fleet Clasp, and was entitled to the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with six engagement stars, the World War II Victory Medal, and the Philippine Defense and Liberation Ribbons with one star
Jack C. Montgomery (Cherokee)
A Cherokee from Oklahoma, and a First Lieutenant with the 45th Infantry Division Thunderbirds. On 22 February 1944, near Padiglione, Italy, Montgomery’s rifle platoon was under fire by three echelons of enemy forces, when he single-handedly attacked all three positions, taking prisoners in the process. As a result of his courage, Montgomery’s actions demoralized the enemy and inspired his men to defeat the Axis troops.
Pappy Boyington (Sioux)
Gregory “Pappy” Boyington: (December 4, 1912 – January 11, 1988) was a highly decorated American combat pilot who was a United States Marine Corps fighter ace during World War II. He received both the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross.