Aircraft Carriers Movements Restricted.

Discussions on WW2 in the Pacific and the Sino-Japanese War.
Delta Tank
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Aircraft Carriers Movements Restricted.

Post by Delta Tank » 22 Nov 2022 14:23

To all,

I finished reading Ian Toll’s trilogy on the Pacific War this past summer and in it I found this very odd. What was the reason the US Navy did this? Is this a reason why the USS Liscome Bay was sunk off of Makin Island?

Mike

“Pacific Crucible, War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942” page 220: “The Enterprise had been a hive of activity. . . For all those hours (9 hours) she remained in a five by twenty five mile rectangle north of Maloelap atoll. She had thrown heavy punches at the Japanese air bases all up and down the Marshalls, and done plenty of damage.”

“The Conquering Tide, War in the Pacific Islands, 1942-1944”. page 107: Ghormley deployed this powerful task force between San Cristobal and the Santa Cruz Islands, in a rectangle zone measuring approximately 160 miles (east-west) by 60 miles (north-south). In this “centrally-located” position, Fletcher could move quickly to counter any Japanese advance into the Solomons while also providing air cover to Turner’s transport fleet as it ran supplies and reinforcements into Ironbottom Sound. But Ghormley’s orders had the perilous effect of tying Fletcher down in a specific area.”

Page 111: “The sudden and devastating loss of the Wasp at a time when the task forces were under omnipresent threat of submarine attack finally prompted Nimitz to lay down the law. “For three weeks Task Force 61 and its elements remained in the same waters adjacent to our supply route to the Solomons in an area known to be infested with submarines. The mission did not require that the Task Force be restricted to that area.” Henceforth, wrote CINCPAC, “The area of operations of our Task Forces should be changed radically at frequent intervals.”

“Twilight Of The Gods, War in the Western Pacific, 1944-1945” page 593-594: “For Task Force 58, operating in a 60 square-mile defensive zone north-east of Okinawa, the daily routine were an exhausting struggle”

Page 614: Task Force 58 kept station to the East of Okinawa, constantly patrolling in an area of about 60 square miles.”

Page 615: Individual task groups were diverted north repeatedly to raid Kyushu, but the bulk of Task Force 58 remained pinned to the beachhead, with its mobility sharply restricted. The daily pattern became predictable, and predictability was dangerous. Mitscher grumbled that his task force had become “a high-speed stationary target for the Japanese air force.”

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Kingfish
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Re: Aircraft Carriers Movements Restricted.

Post by Kingfish » 22 Nov 2022 21:01

Delta Tank wrote:
22 Nov 2022 14:23
What was the reason the US Navy did this?
The reason is in the quotes you provided. Support of beachheads and LOCs were deemed so essential that it dictated carrier deployments. 40 years later the British found themselves in the same predicament off the Falklands.
The gods do not deduct from a man's allotted span the hours spent in fishing.
~Babylonian Proverb

Delta Tank
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Re: Aircraft Carriers Movements Restricted.

Post by Delta Tank » 22 Nov 2022 23:16

Kingfish wrote:
22 Nov 2022 21:01
Delta Tank wrote:
22 Nov 2022 14:23
What was the reason the US Navy did this?
The reason is in the quotes you provided. Support of beachheads and LOCs were deemed so essential that it dictated carrier deployments. 40 years later the British found themselves in the same predicament off the Falklands.
Re-read what Nimitz and Mitscher stated. Planes can fly, ships can move, you can go anywhere as long as you are in a position to accomplish your mission. The carrier force did not have to stay in the same general area day after day, week after week.

Mike

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Re: Aircraft Carriers Movements Restricted.

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 23 Nov 2022 02:32

Is this a reason why the USS Liscome Bay was sunk off of Makin Island?
Sort of. Without addressing the Liscombe Bay specifically, the battle on Betio dragging out two days longer than predicted meant a lot of ships were still in the general area of the Tarawa atoll. That created a target rich environment for the Japanese submarines that arrived. It was just luck of the draw and the Japanese commanders search decisions that got the Liscombe Bay targeted. Otherwise the I boat could have stumbled across a dozen other large juicy targets.

Delta Tank
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Re: Aircraft Carriers Movements Restricted.

Post by Delta Tank » 23 Nov 2022 02:50

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
23 Nov 2022 02:32
Is this a reason why the USS Liscome Bay was sunk off of Makin Island?
Sort of. Without addressing the Liscombe Bay specifically, the battle on Betio dragging out two days longer than predicted meant a lot of ships were still in the general area of the Tarawa atoll. That created a target rich environment for the Japanese submarines that arrived. It was just luck of the draw and the Japanese commanders search decisions that got the Liscombe Bay targeted. Otherwise the I boat could have stumbled across a dozen other large juicy targets.
Ok! First I apologize for posting this a second time not realizing that I posted it once before!! Damn!

Carl, so, we thought we would capture Betio Island in one day?? A CVL was hit by an aerial torpedo off of Betio IIRC.

Mike

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Kingfish
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Re: Aircraft Carriers Movements Restricted.

Post by Kingfish » 23 Nov 2022 03:37

Delta Tank wrote:
22 Nov 2022 23:16
Planes can fly, ships can move
Yes, but the further a ship moves the further the plane has to fly, and that is a fact worth considering if your mission is to provide air cover over a beachhead and the opposition has a thousand aircraft or several SAGs within range.
The gods do not deduct from a man's allotted span the hours spent in fishing.
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Re: Aircraft Carriers Movements Restricted.

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 23 Nov 2022 03:42

The optimistic schedule was 24 hours to break the defense of Betio. 48 hours if things did not go so well. As it was the Japanese first sighted the US fleet at sunrise the 20th November, the assault touched the beach at 09:10. From signals intel they had surmised D-2 18 November a large enemy fleet was entering the central Pacific, but were unsure where it was headed.

The battle faded out late morning of the 23rd. So a little over 72 hours for the ground battle. the ship vs shore gun battle started shortly after dawn which might make it 80+ hours.

The CVL was CVE 56 Liscombe Bay. Torpedoed shortly before or at start of Nautical Twilight morning of 24 November off Maikin island. It was attacked by the I-175. The Japanese submarines started entering the area D+2, 22 November. The I-135 was attacked & sunk near the Tarawa Atoll D+3, the I-140 on D+5.

Six submarines reached the Tarawa area or Gilberts according to post war research of Japanese records. They were the only part of Operation Hei the Japanese were able to execute. Op Hei was a general counterattack plan for a US raid or attack into the outer perimeter of the east Pacific defense zone. It was originally written up in early 1943 & envisioned a combined or coordinated attack by a cruiser group, long range Navy bombers, and submarines. I don't know if there was a larger plan for using the Main Fleet if the Hei operation was not enough. Tho it would be logical. As it was the Main Fleet was not committed, the cruiser force was still in the S Pac or sunk, and the VLR bombers also in the S Pac or sunk.

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Takao
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Re: Aircraft Carriers Movements Restricted.

Post by Takao » 24 Nov 2022 07:28

Asked an Answered already...
viewtopic.php?p=2428726#p2428726

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