The Battle of Leyte Gulf – Part 4


Vice Adm. Shoji Nishimura – Photo Credit – Wikipedia

At the same time that Halsey was chasing Ozawa’s decoy carriers, the second arm of the Japanese pincers, Vice Admiral Nishimura’s Southern Force, was approaching Surigao Strait, the southern entrance to Leyte Gulf. Although he knew that Kurita had been delayed and would not be able to keep the dawn rendezvous in Leyte Gulf, Nishimura steamed ahead on schedule.

Aware of Vice Admiral Shoji Nishimura’s Southern Force but ignorant of the gaping hole of the San Bernardino Strait, Kinkaid ordered Rear Adm. Jesse B. Oldendorf to deploy the U.S. ships in preparation for a night engagement. They would be waiting for Nishimura. As Nishimura’s force steamed single file into the southern approaches of Surigao Strait, it was ambushed by several groups of American PT boats, which had been lying motionless in the water so as not to leave wakes that would…

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