The Battle of Leyte Gulf – Part 5


A boat on a body of water

Description automatically generated
Gambier Bay and her escorts laying a smoke screen early in the battle.
Photo Credit – U.S. Navy National Museum of Naval Aviation

Kurita emerged unopposed from San Bernardino Strait and was racing southward heading for Leyte Gulf. At daybreak on Oct. 25, American carriers were sighted on the horizon. Kurita thought he had caught Halsey’s fast carriers with most of their planes down. In fact, Halsey was 300 miles to the north and his planes were taking off to attack Ozawa’s Northern Force. Ozawa radioed Kurita that he was under attack but Kurita never received the message.

What Kurita had come upon was Rear Admiral Clifton A.F. Sprague’s Taffy 3, one of three groups of escort carriers from Kinkaid’s Seventh Fleet assigned to provide air cover and antisubmarine patrol for the Leyte landings, not to attack enemy warships.

When one of his pilots reported seeing enemy forces closing in…

View original post 828 more words

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…

View original post 419 more words

Veterans Day 2019

To all the veterans: Thank you.

Pacific Paratrooper

For each and every veteran – Thank You!!

For All Our Todays and Yesterdays

Armistice Day Becomes Veterans Day

World War I officially ended on June 28, 1919, with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. The actual fighting between the Allies and Germany, however, had ended seven months earlier with the armistice, which went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918.  Armistice Day, as November 11 became known, officially became a holiday in the United States in 1926, and a national holiday 12 years later. On June 1, 1954, the name was changed to Veterans Day to honor all U.S. veterans.

For their loyalty

War Dog Memorial on Guam.

US Military dog insignia

The Things That Make a Soldier Great

The things that make a soldier great and send him out to die,

To face the flaming cannon’s mouth…

View original post 470 more words

The Battle of Leyte Gulf – Part 3


Admiral Halsey’s pilot reported that four of Kurita’s battleships had been severely damaged, that nine cruisers and destroyers had been sunk or heavily damaged, and that the remains of the armada were retreating westward. Halsey assumed that the Center Force was no longer a threat. On the contrary, air attacks by Halsey’s carriers, though damaging to the Japanese fleet, were not the knockout blows reported by the pilots.

Admiral Ozawa artfully coaxed Halsey to chase him. Desperate to lure the
Americans, Ozawa directed his pair of ships that were half-battleship and
half-carrier, the Ise and the Hyuga, to run south and find the
hostile fleet. U.S. planes scouring the area finally spotted the pair around
4:00 pm on Oct. 24.

about 5:30 pm, one spotted the carriers of Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa’s Northern
Force 300 miles to the north of San Bernardino Strait. Now, Halsey regarded the

View original post 416 more words

The Battle of Leyte Gulf – Part 2


The bridge of Musashi

The messages from the Dace and the Darter, warning of the advance of Kurita’s fleet, began arriving in Flag Plot aboard USS New Jersey at 6:20 am on Oct. 23. Halsey and his staff pondered the significance of the sightings by the two submarines.

was not the only fleet commander tracking the Japanese movements. The Seventh
Fleet - “MacArthur’s Navy” – of old
battleships and small “jeep” carriers floated off the invasion beach,
supporting the landings with gunfire and strafing and bombing runs. Aboard his
flagship at anchor in Leyte Gulf, Adm. Thomas Kinkaid, the commander of the
Seventh Fleet, weighed in with his prediction. In a message to all commanders
(MacArthur, King, Nimitz and Halsey) sent shortly after 10:00 am, Kinkaid
suggested that the Japanese warships were headed to the Philippines to stage
what Kinkaid called a “magnified Tokyo Express.” Kinkaid suggested that…

View original post 976 more words

Battle of Leyte Gulf – Part 1


Battle of Leyte Gulf was the last great naval confrontation in history and the
largest naval battle of World War II in term of ships and men. It was fought
from Oct. 23 to 26, 1944, between combined American and Australian forces and
Imperial Japanese Navy in the waters off the Philippines. The battle was
immense, involving four separate engagements/battles extending over hundreds of
miles, between fleets that included 35 large and small aircraft carriers, 21
battleships, 34 cruisers and hundreds of destroyers, along with submarines and
motor torpedo boats and more than 1,700 aircraft with over 200,000 naval
personnel involved. As part of the invasion of Leyte, it aimed to isolate Japan
from the countries it had occupied in Southeast Asia which were a vital source
of industrial and oil supplies.

A close up of a map

Description automatically generated

The Battle of Leyte Gulf consisted of four
main separate engagements:

1 – Battle of the Sibuyan…

View original post 1,054 more words

Mort Künstler’s exhibition at The Hecksher Museum of Art

Long Island Past and Present

Mort Kunstler is best known for his incomparable paintings of Civil War events. However, he earned his stripes as an illustrator for pulp fiction magazines with his illustrations for men’s pulp adventure magazines published in the 50s, 60s and 70s. For the first time, more than 80 of Mort Künstler’s remarkable original artworks, some shown in magazines and books but many of them never published before, are exhibited together in The Hecksher Museum of Art, 2 Prime Ave., Huntington, NY. The exhibition titled “Mort Künstler: The Godfather of Pulp Fiction Illustrators” are now on view until Nov. 17, 2019.

To see and hear more about the exhibition in Mort Künstler’s own words, click here for the YouTube video preview

Mort Kunstler Video.png

A press release from his office says:

Long before blockbuster superhero movies, those looking for an adrenaline rush turned to adventure magazines featuring exciting stories and thrilling illustrations. As the go-to-artist…

View original post 569 more words