Marc Schulman


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October 24th 1944, Battle of Leyte & Surigao Straits

USS Princeton in Flames

The last major naval Battle of the Pacific took part off Leyte after the American landing there. The Japanese divided there forces into three groups. The first blood was drawn by American submarines Darter and Dace which sank two Japanese cruisers and reported the positions of the Japanese ships. An air battle ensued which resulted in the sinking of the light carrier Princeton. The American sank the super battleship Musashi.

The last engagement between battleships then ensued. A Japanese force of two battleships and cruisers and destroyers attempted to penetrate the Leyete Gulf through the Surigao Straits. Awaiting them were two forces of destroyers, a force of cruisers and six battleships. In one of the most one sided victories of the American Navy the Japanese ships were hit first by the destroyers, then by the cruisers, then by the battleships, which were all perfectly positioned and mostly equipped with advance fire control radar. The two battleships were soon sunk, as well as three destroyers, other then damage to one destroyer the US force suffered no damage.