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Effectiveness Of Straffing Aircraft Against Ships


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#81 Markus Becker

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Posted 19 May 2019 - 0549 AM

What US garrison in China was overwhelmed? I thought they had redeployed to the Philippines before December 41.

Edited by Markus Becker, 19 May 2019 - 0549 AM.

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#82 Jeff

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Posted 19 May 2019 - 0927 AM

 

 

Inflating the desperation of the odds faced by the USN at Samar by de-emphasizing the total airpower supremacy enjoyed by it throughout the battle is actually understandable in the context of war propaganda, as the narrative of Kurita's battleships running away from an inferior force is certainly more palatable than the battle's parallel and darker narrative of a U.S. intelligence failure comprehensive enough to compel USN destroyer captains to order their crews to commit suicide en masse by capital ship.

 

Whether it is understandable 75 years after the fact is another question entirely.

 

 

Because those of sam still like to pretend the quality of their fighting men of all ranks being the reason they "single-handedly" won the war.  Where as the civilised world acknowledges the efficiency of the civilian production managers being the primary factor, with the longing of its civilian leadership to dine at the big boys table being the catalyst.  Ironic how Japan at the time also believed the quality of its fighting men would force decision and production capacity being mere literal after thought.

 

As far as Europe is concerned rocket firing Typhoon's engaged in a handful of strikes against non capital warships with considerable success.   Engagement of costal shipping was of course routine and effectual.

 

 

I would like to welcome the awakening of Tanknet's latest dormant sock puppet. Greetings!


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#83 Ken Estes

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Posted 19 May 2019 - 1208 PM

What US garrison in China was overwhelmed? I thought they had redeployed to the Philippines before December 41.

You are thinking correctly of the Shanghai garrisons. But the Peking Legation garrisons were caught withdrawing to the sea and forced to surrender. One of the company commanders later fought in the Korean War as a battalion commander in the defence of the Pusan Perimeter.

 

Lieutenant Colonel George R. Newton watched with satisfaction as his marines of 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment filed into their barracks at Camp Pendleton in mid-May 1950 after completing a large amphibious landing exercise on the Pacific beaches of the base. In Exercise Demon III his unit demonstrated their techniques and tactics for students of the Army Command and Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth and most importantly, enjoyed a key training opportunity for the newly reformed 5th Marines (regiments in the Marine Corps are called “xx Marines” in service vernacular).  Newton, a 35-year-old graduate of the Naval Academy, had missed the Great Pacific War because his B Company of the Peking Embassy Guard had been captured on 7 December 1941. Repatriated and returned to duty in early 1946, he received postwar schooling, commanded a marine barracks and a service support group before reporting to the battalion in January 1950.[i] Now things were looking up for him as the Marine Corps seemed to be stirring at last from the doldrums of postwar demobilization and the 5th Marines had been the first complete regiment restored to service in the 1st Marine Division.  Farthest from his mind at this point, however, was a return to close combat in Asia against a fierce and triumphant enemy army.

[i] Newton biographical file, Reference Section, Marine Corps Historical Division, Marine Corps University, Quantico VA (hereafter RefSect).
 

 


Into the Breach at Pusan: The 1st Provisional Marine Brigade in the Korean War. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2012,p. 26.
 
 
ETA: only one 'f' in strafing.

Edited by Ken Estes, 19 May 2019 - 1748 PM.

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#84 DougRichards

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Posted 19 May 2019 - 1911 PM

The use of Beaufighters of four 'types' in the anti-shipping role by RAF Coastal Command really showed that strafing was a valuable component in this role, but mainly for flak suppression, in concert with Torbeaus, and bomb and rocket armed Beaufighters.  It was also known for rocket armed Beaus to use their 20mm guns as a sighting aid for the rockets.

 

The effect of a coordinated attack should not be discounted, as the captains of ships under attack would have precious little time to decide which of the attacking aircraft were armed with what, so that if they thought that one formation was torpedo armed they would turn to try to comb the torpedoes. Of course if these were flakbeaus the ship would minimise the anti-aircraft fire available to shoot back whilst giving the attacking aircraft the chance to fire along the length of the ship, and the bombers or torpedo armed aircraft could be attacking from the flank.  (ie Battle of the Bismarck Sea).

 

Also using Beaufighters meant that once bombs, rockets or torpedoes had been expended, those aircraft could join in with strafing attacks or dealing with any escorting aircraft, accepting that bomb racks, rocket launchers and torpedo gear would have had an effect on the aircrafts' speed and maneuverability.

 

On the subject of Samar, as has been pointed out elsewhere, the Yamato by itself had a greater tonnage than the flotilla that the Japanese ships were attacking.  Whilst the USN suffered losses of ships, those CVE, aircraft and escorts sufficiently to disturb Kurita's intention to destroy troop and supply ships.


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#85 shep854

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Posted 19 May 2019 - 2034 PM

'ETA: only one 'f' in strafing'--Ken Estes

 

AIUI, one 'f' is the American usage, along with the short 'a' pronunciation.  I've seen videos where the Brits pronounce with a long 'a', which is spelled with two 'f's.  OP must have watched a lot of British videos. :P

----

Thanks, Ken for the information on then-Capt Newton and his company of Marines.  Another nugget about WWII (and Marine Corps history) I didn't know.


Edited by shep854, 19 May 2019 - 2043 PM.

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#86 17thfabn

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Posted 19 May 2019 - 2229 PM

'ETA: only one 'f' in strafing'--Ken Estes

 

AIUI, one 'f' is the American usage, along with the short 'a' pronunciation.  I've seen videos where the Brits pronounce with a long 'a', which is spelled with two 'f's.  OP must have watched a lot of British videos. :P

----

Thanks, Ken for the information on then-Capt Newton and his company of Marines.  Another nugget about WWII (and Marine Corps history) I didn't know.

I have watched a lot of British videos. And my spell check is inop! 


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#87 shep854

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Posted 19 May 2019 - 2312 PM


'ETA: only one 'f' in strafing'--Ken Estes
 
AIUI, one 'f' is the American usage, along with the short 'a' pronunciation.  I've seen videos where the Brits pronounce with a long 'a', which is spelled with two 'f's.  OP must have watched a lot of British videos. :P
----
Thanks, Ken for the information on then-Capt Newton and his company of Marines.  Another nugget about WWII (and Marine Corps history) I didn't know.

I have watched a lot of British videos. And my spell check is inop! 
:D
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#88 Rich

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 0050 AM

 

Gambier Bay was unable to launch any torpedo-armed aircraft before she was sunk, although she did launch all available aircraft.

 

 

Correction: Gambier Bay launched two TBM with torpedoes at 0725.

 

Overall, given there were 143 TBM aboard on 25 October, the lack of readiness for surface action is pretty apparent. TU 77.4.2 was ready and had launched an anti-ship strike - against Nishimura - that was diverted to strike Kurita, including 11 TBM with torpedoes. It managed to launch 15 more TBM with torpedoes beginning at 0737 (they were followed by the seven from Marcus Island and Savo Island). TU 77.4.3 got nine TBM aloft with torpedoes. TU 77.4.1 was initially occupied with the four suicide planes, one of which hit and damaged Santee. That and the later attack by I-56 that also hit her took up much of the attention of Taffy One and it may not have gotten any aircraft except for the four TBM with torpedoes and four with 1000-lb AP into the action. So perhaps 50 of the 143 aircraft capable of anti-ship  action actually engaged.


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#89 rmgill

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 0105 AM

Extra 'f's in all sorts of places in British English. 'Lef-tenant' for example. 


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#90 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 0237 AM

Mosquito made a nice can opener as well. Thats mosquito with no F's, well except on the part of the Germans.....

 


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#91 MiloMorai

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 0307 AM

https://youtu.be/azanISsx19c

​

Bismarck Sea convoy 


Edited by MiloMorai, 20 May 2019 - 0308 AM.

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#92 Rick

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 0456 AM

'ETA: only one 'f' in strafing'--Ken Estes

 

AIUI, one 'f' is the American usage, along with the short 'a' pronunciation.  I've seen videos where the Brits pronounce with a long 'a', which is spelled with two 'f's.  OP must have watched a lot of British videos. :P

----

Thanks, Ken for the information on then-Capt Newton and his company of Marines.  Another nugget about WWII (and Marine Corps history) I didn't know.

+1


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#93 Rick

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 0457 AM

 

 

Gambier Bay was unable to launch any torpedo-armed aircraft before she was sunk, although she did launch all available aircraft.

 

 

Correction: Gambier Bay launched two TBM with torpedoes at 0725.

 

Overall, given there were 143 TBM aboard on 25 October, the lack of readiness for surface action is pretty apparent. TU 77.4.2 was ready and had launched an anti-ship strike - against Nishimura - that was diverted to strike Kurita, including 11 TBM with torpedoes. It managed to launch 15 more TBM with torpedoes beginning at 0737 (they were followed by the seven from Marcus Island and Savo Island). TU 77.4.3 got nine TBM aloft with torpedoes. TU 77.4.1 was initially occupied with the four suicide planes, one of which hit and damaged Santee. That and the later attack by I-56 that also hit her took up much of the attention of Taffy One and it may not have gotten any aircraft except for the four TBM with torpedoes and four with 1000-lb AP into the action. So perhaps 50 of the 143 aircraft capable of anti-ship  action actually engaged.

 

Rich, thank you for information I did not know. As an ex-sailor, I appreciate it. 


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#94 shep854

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 0735 AM

The wonder of TankNet; all the things I learned by swerving the thread with one word.  ^_^


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#95 Josh

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 0829 AM

Weren't there a few Mustang pilots who had success against destroyers in the Med?


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#96 Rich

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 0907 AM

 

 

 

Gambier Bay was unable to launch any torpedo-armed aircraft before she was sunk, although she did launch all available aircraft.

 

 

Correction: Gambier Bay launched two TBM with torpedoes at 0725.

 

Overall, given there were 143 TBM aboard on 25 October, the lack of readiness for surface action is pretty apparent. TU 77.4.2 was ready and had launched an anti-ship strike - against Nishimura - that was diverted to strike Kurita, including 11 TBM with torpedoes. It managed to launch 15 more TBM with torpedoes beginning at 0737 (they were followed by the seven from Marcus Island and Savo Island). TU 77.4.3 got nine TBM aloft with torpedoes. TU 77.4.1 was initially occupied with the four suicide planes, one of which hit and damaged Santee. That and the later attack by I-56 that also hit her took up much of the attention of Taffy One and it may not have gotten any aircraft except for the four TBM with torpedoes and four with 1000-lb AP into the action. So perhaps 50 of the 143 aircraft capable of anti-ship  action actually engaged.

 

Rich, thank you for information I did not know. As an ex-sailor, I appreciate it. 

 

 

You're welcome. Part of the problem too was the wind was out of the northeast, so the carriers had to turn northeast and steam that course for a while (about 30 minutes) to launch a strike, but the Japanese were approaching from the north northwest. To escape, Taffy 3 and Taffy 2 (just south of it) steamed southwest and then south. It was late in the action...around 0735, before Taffy 2 took the chance (its screen was being engaged by Haruna IIRC, which was steaming east then) and turned NE to begin launching). Taffy 1 had its own problems with suicide bombers and subs and couldn't join the party until later, probably after the Kurita had given the order to turn away. Meanwhile, most of the damage done to the Japanese in the first 45 minutes or so of the action were by the Taffy 3 screen...all the aircraft ready to attack were on ASW patrol or en route to support missions on line and were armed with depth charges, 5" rockets, or GP bombs.


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#97 R011

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 1356 PM

I have forgotten the technical terms, but the "ing" form if the verb "to strafe" is "strafing" with one "f". It would only be "straffing" if the verb was "to straf" or "to straff". This is not a matter of British or American spelling rules.
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#98 Nobu

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 1809 PM

That and the later attack by I-56 that also hit her took up much of the attention of Taffy One and it may not have gotten any aircraft except for the four TBM with torpedoes and four with 1000-lb AP into the action.
 
4 Kamikazes attacked Taffy 1 at 0740, when it was preparing its second round of airstrikes of the day in support of Taffy 3.
The attack by IJN submarine ace Masahiko Morinaga's I-56 resulted in a hit at 0752.
 
6 TBM torpedo bombers and 4 Wildcats were launched from Taffy 1 CVE-80 Petrof Bay alone at 0728. These joined with 20 more fighters, probably a mix of Hellcats and Wildcats, and 10 more torpedo bombers from the other 3 CVEs of Taffy 1 already aloft. 11 of these torpedo bombers would eventually arrive to strike Kurita at 1050 (5 Avenger torpedo bombers from this group of 16 aborted due to lack of fuel from awaiting the return of the fighters recalled to protect Taffy 1 when the 4 Kamikazes struck Taffy 1.)
 
At 0903, Taffy 1 and TG77.4 commander T. Sprague was given the news that flight deck operations on Petrof Bay and CVE-26 Sangamon could resume.
 
By 1200, enough aircraft had returned re-arm a third strike against Kurita's surface ships consisting of a mixed group of 15 Hellcats and Wildcats, and 17 torpedo bombers.
 
At 1700 a fourth strike from Taffy 1 was launched with all available remaining planes with the understanding that these aircraft would need to land at night on their return.
 
These operations indicate that the 4 CVEs of Taffy 1 were able to commit more than just 4 Avengers to the day's airstrikes on Kurita.
 
So perhaps 50 of the 143 aircraft capable of anti-ship  action actually engaged.
 
At 1230 a large formation of USN aircraft was identified as approaching Taffy 2. These were identified as a USN strike group from TG38.1 consisting of aircraft from CV-18 Wasp 2, CV-12 Hornet 2, CV-19 Hancock, CVL-25 Cowpens, and CVL-26 Monterey, which began its attack on Kurita at 1302.
 
A second wave of USN aircraft from these carriers of TG38.1 approached Taffy 2 at 1538 and were flying toward Kurita's ships at 1550
 
Aircraft from TG38.1's first wave were landed aboard Taffy 2 carriers at approximately 1510, indicating a degree of USN ability to use its Taffy flight decks to facilitate TG38.1's ability to strike Kurita with its combat potential of 72 torpedo bombers and approximately 95 dive bombers capable of anti-ship action, in addition to those of TG77.4, on October 25.

Edited by Nobu, 20 May 2019 - 1910 PM.

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#99 Rich

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 2329 PM

4 Kamikazes attacked Taffy 1 at 0740, when it was preparing its second round of airstrikes of the day in support of Taffy 3.

The attack by IJN submarine ace Masahiko Morinaga's I-56 resulted in a hit a 0752.

 

Three suicide planes dove on Taffy 1 at 0740 out of a group of four reported approaching. One hit Santee, two missed Sangamon and Petrof Bay. I-56 hit Santee at 0752. At 0759 Suwanee was hit by the straggler suicide plane. Santee was non-operational until 0900. Suwanee was back in operation at 1030. Neither played a role in the defeat of Kurita's force.

 

 

6 TBM torpedo bombers and 4 Wildcats were launched from CVE-80 Petrof Bay alone at 0728. These joined with 20 more fighters, probably a mix of Hellcats and Wildcats, and 10 more torpedo bombers from the other 3 CVEs of Taffy 1 already aloft. 11 of these torpedo bombers would eventually arrive to strike Kurita at 1050 (5 Avenger torpedo bombers from this group of 16 aborted due to lack of fuel from awaiting the return of the fighters recalled to protect Taffy 1 when the 4 Kamikazes struck Taffy 1.)

 

Taffy 1 launched a strike directed at the Southern Force at 0545, consisting of 17 VF and 11 VT. At 0702 it was diverted to strike the Center Force, just about the time it had arrived over target; it arrived over the Center Force at 1050, long after the Japanese had turned away.. At 0706 an additional strike from Taffy 1 began preparing and Petrof Bay launched six TBM with torpedoes at 0727 and four FM-2 at 0741. They joined with five FM-2 from Sangamon, seven F6F from Suwanee, eight FM-2 from Santee, five TBM from Suwanee, and five TBM from Santee (the 0545 strike, plus three VF and minus one TBM that ran out of gas). By the time they reached the Japanese fleet, all but six of the VF RTB either to provide cover or to refuel. They were over target at 1000-1030 (the action report is blurred and hard to read), so again, after the Japanese had turned away.

 

 

At 0903, Taffy 1 and TG77.4 commander T. Sprague was given the news that flight deck operations on Petrof Bay and CVE-26 Sangamon could resume.

By 1200, enough aircraft had returned re-arm a third strike against Kurita's surface ships consisting of a mixed group of 15 Hellcats and Wildcats, and 17 torpedo bombers.


At 1700 a fourth strike from Taffy 1 was launched with all available remaining planes with the understanding that these aircraft would need to land at night on their return.

These operations indicate that the 4 CVEs of Taffy 1 were able to commit more than just 4 Avengers to the day's airstrikes on Kurita.

 

There was only two strikes by Petrof Bay. Six more Petrof Bay TBM launched at 1130, but returned for gas on orders Taffy 1 at 1430 then were dispatched again at 1530 and attacked "Mogami". The six TBM were joined by four FM-2 from Santee, six F6F from Sangamon, and six F6F from Suwanee. This late afternoon strike was over target at 1730, long after the Japanese turn away. Yes, a total of 22 TBM from Taffy 1 struck the Japanese fleet, all long after they had already turned away.

 

 

At 1230 a large formation of USN aircraft was identified as approaching Taffy 2. These were identified as a USN strike group from TG38.1 consisting of aircraft from CV-18 Wasp 2, CV-12 Hornet 2, CV-19 Hancock, CVL-25 Cowpens, and CVL-26 Monterey, which began its attack on Kurita at 1302.

A second wave of USN aircraft from these carriers of TG38.1 approached Taffy 2 at 1538 and were flying toward Kurita's ships at 1550

Aircraft from TG38.1's first wave were landed aboard Taffy 2 carriers at approximately 1510, indicating a degree of USN ability to use its Taffy flight decks to facilitate TG38.1's ability to strike Kurita with its combat potential of 72 torpedo bombers and approximately 95 dive bombers capable of anti-ship action, in addition to those of TG77.4, on October 25.

 

TG 38.1 launched 74 strike aircraft on 25 October directed at the Japanese Center Force and were over target c. 1300. No torpedoes or heavy AP bombs were employed due to range limitations. All attacks were with 500-lb GP and 500-lb SAP or rockets. It also was long after the Japanese turn away.

 

The point you keep missing is that Kurita ordered the action discontinued at 0911, "CEASE ACTION, COME NORTH WITH ME, 20 KNOTS." The only aerial torpedo action at that point were the two TBM from Gambier Bay and the seven from Taffy 2 at 0845. They stopped Suzuya, but the rest of the critical damage to the Japanese forces at that point were from Johnston, Heerman, Hoel, Roberts, and Dennis.


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#100 Rich

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 2344 PM

BTW, Taffy 1 consisted of just the four CVE on 25 October. At 1643, 24 October, Saginaw Bay and Chenango departed for Morotai to embark more aircraft after flying off all their operational aircraft as replacements.


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