Intermission – Padre Steve about The Great Marianas Turkey Shoot.
The Battle of the Philippine Sea of 19-20 June 1944 was the largest carrier battle in history. Twenty four aircraft carriers, 15 American and 9 Japanese embarking over 1400 aircraft dueled in the Central Pacific in a battle that so decimated Japanese Naval Aviation that it never recovered. The battle and the subsequent fall of Saipan brought down the government of General Tojo and was the beginning of the collapse of the Japanese Empire and the “Greater Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.”
In late 1943 the Japanese realized that they needed to recover the initiative in the Pacific. Between the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Battle of Santa Cruz Japanese Naval aviation suffered crippling losses especially among the elite pilots and aircrews with who they had begun the war. These losses were compounded when the Navy attempted to…
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