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June 19-20, 1944: The Battle of the Philippine Sea

The Battle of the Philippine Sea was a naval battle fought June 19-20, 1944, in the Philippine Sea several hundred miles west of Saipan near the Mariana Islands between the United States Navy and the Japanese Imperial Navy. It resulted in a decisive American victory that put American forces within bombing range of the Japanese mainland. It was the largest aircraft carrier action in WWII.

Guam, a U.S. territory and part of the Mariana Islands, was captured by Japan in 1941. Japan established airbases on Guam, Saipan, and Tinian. In an effort to capture the Marianas, U.S. Marines stormed the beaches of the northerly island of Saipan on June 15, 1944. They hoped to place the US within striking distance of Japan and block their supply lines.  

Grumman F6F-3 fighter lands aboard the USS Lexington during the Battle of the Philippine Sea

In response, Japan sent the Japanese Combined Fleet to the Marianas. The Japanese fleet was spotted by US subs, who alerted Task Force 58 comprised of 15 aircraft carriers to intercept. On the morning of June 19, 1944, Japan launched an attack, sending aircraft in four waves to attack the American fleet. In response, the U.S. scrambled 450 fighters and the ensuing Battle of the Philippine Sea became the largest aircraft carrier battle ever fought.

Having lost many of its experienced pilots in the Solomon and Marshall Islands, Japan’s pilots lacked the experience of their American counterparts. Some had just three months of training. The Americans also had superior technology and equipment, including the highly classified new proximity fuses. The aerial battle became known as the “Great Marianas Turkey Shoot” when an American aviator compared it to Turkey hunting back home. More than 400 Japanese aircraft were destroyed.  

The USS Wasp under attack during the Battle of the Philippine Sea

As the day progressed, U.S. subs sank several Japanese aircraft carriers. Japanese fighters did manage a direct hit on the deck of the USS South Dakota, but the ship remained operational. On June 20th, the US Navy spent most of the day trying to locate the remaining ships in the Japanese fleet. They were finally spotted in the afternoon and a risky decision was made to proceed with another attack. It meant that pilots would fly in the dark and risk running out of fuel. During the attack, US forces managed to sink a third Japanese carrier. While returning to their home carriers and low on fuel, pilots struggled to find their ships in the darkness. Some had to ditch in the sea. Finally, despite the danger, the carrier’s lights were ordered illuminated to guide the pilots safely back. Despite the efforts, more than 80 American planes were lost.

A Japanese bomb barely misses the USS Bunker Hill during the Battle of the Philippine Sea

Japanese losses were far greater, with three carriers sunk and most of their aircraft destroyed. The battle allowed the US Navy to dominate the Pacific and open access to the Philippine and Japanese islands. The operation also allowed US forces to provide support to the ongoing Marine invasion of the Marianas Islands.

If you would like to learn more about the Battle of the Philippine Sea and see other WWII records, search Fold3 today.


  1. Karen Bowman says:

    My uncle, Baker 3rd Class Robert Whiteley, went down with the USS Lexington in the Battle of the Coral Sea May 1942. We never met, as I was born in 1948.

    • mike otten says:

      RIP and a salute to his courage

    • Richard Cody says:

      I thank your uncle for his service during WW II. It was my experience to have sailed through the Coral Sea, in 1966, en route to Australia. My ship, the USS Berkeley, DDG 15, represented the United States and participated in the Coral Sea Celebration held in Sydney, Australia. Having left the war in Viet Nam behind and sailing through the Coral Sea remembering the bravery of those who gave all during that battle was a humbling experience for this sailor. Know that the people of Australia will never forget the bravery of men like your uncle nor will former sailors like myself. God Bless his soul.

    • Kev Smith says:

      Battle of the Coral Sea was part of the Battle for Australia In Canberra is a monument to the Americans It was built by public subscription to say thank you A big eagle is at its top It can’t be missed Thank you to all the Americans for their sacrifice

    • william martens says:

      Thank you for your uncles service. May he rest in peace.
      My dad Frederick Martens was a seaman aboard the Lexington CV-2 until 1940.He might have known your uncle.
      He was not serving on her at the time of the battle. His A/A battery on the Lex took a direct hit from a Japanese bomb which killed all his battle station crewmates. He served out the war on a floating drydock as a welder.

  2. Niki Pereira says:

    My unending and heartfelt thanks to all Service personnel who fought in WWII to have American Freedoms saved and passed on to all of us who were born later. I appreciate it.

  3. Pat Deese says:

    My dad fought in the battle of the Leyte Gulf. What is the relationship to this battle, does anyone know? Thanks

    • James Muri says:

      Leyte Gulf took place about 4 months later, and was notable for several reasons.

    • Margaret Goldston says:

      I’ve been to the American Cemetery in Manila twice. It is a tremendously moving experience. Our brave men and women who fought and died in the Pacific theater are given every day of the year the respect and honor they deserve. The battles and details of the war in the Pacific are illustrated by mosaic maps. The battle for Leyte Gulf was in October, 1944

    • Robert Wade says:

      24-25 October 1944. Battle of Leyte Gulf was actually several battles in one, Battle of Suragao Strait, Battle off Samar and several others. At Surigao Strait, American forces “capped the T”, turning back Japanese forces. Americans included several Pearl Harbor battleships raised from the mud.
      At Samar, destroyers and destroyer escorts took in Japanese battleships and cruisers. That would be like VW bugs charging at 18 wheeler tractor trailers. Not good for your health. USS Johnston, USS Hoel and USS Samuel B. Roberts were lost. Also lost were the Jeep carriers (escort carriers) USS St Lo and USS Gambier Bay.There were several other battles at Leyte Gulf and Japan never recovered. I

    • Jim Christmann says:

      For those interested in learning more about the battle of Leyte Gulf, I strongly recommend reading “The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors” by James D. Hornfischer (Bantam Books). It is very readable, carefully documented and focuses on the bravery of the destroyer, destroyer escort and jeep carrier crews.

    • Mary Jurgaitis says:

      My 2nd cousin/godfather and my dad’s best bud was on the U,S,S, Suwannee in the battle of Leyte Gulf. He died as a result of a kamikaze attack and was buried at sea. I never knew him, but I have learned much about his service through Fold3. I have a special place in my heart for him.

    • Steve Danning says:

      My Dad (Lieutenant Curtis B. Danning, was in that battle of Leyte Gulf as a gunnery officer on the USS Helm (DD-388). That battle is considered the most famous and extraordinary US Navy battle in history. You can find tons of info at Wikipedia (of course) and I believe there are videos, dvd’s etc that discuss it in detail.

      My hat is off to your Dad for his service.

    • Jody Tzucker says:

      Mine did as well. He was at Leyte, Guadalcanal and Guam. He was a medic in the Marines.

  4. Judy Logan says:

    My uncle, Lieutenant Leonard Earl Wood was a bomber pilot who, with his crew was shot down over Guam July 20, 1944. Their remains weren’t recovered till 1946, when a funeral could finally be held.

    • Robert Wade says:

      God bless you

    • Sorry to hear of this. I an glad that such brave men could receive a proper burial.

    • Is Camp Leonard Wood in Missouri in honor of Your family? My husband did his training there, then on to Leavenworth KS. My Dad was on the USS Bell & missed Pearl Harbor by one week. He did not talk much about it but I remember certain words, Guam, Saipan, troop ships, the Alutian Islands.
      our young folks have no knowledge of the sacrifices made for our freedom.
      Bless all those who serve and all who mourn.

  5. Robert McCollough says:

    My father, Bob McCollough, was on the South Dakota at Saipan and was assigned to the 40mm anti-aircraft gun that was hit by the bomb. Just days earlier, they were reassigned to the 40mm on the other side of the superstructure and part of the mess crew took over the gun that was hit. Many of the mess crew were casualties from that bomb hit.

  6. Keith Dixon says:

    My uncle Fred or Fredrick Ford from WV was in the Army and fought SEA during the war. Didn’t talk about it. Does anyone have anything on him?

  7. EILEEN DAVIS says:

    My father was on the USS Essex and they were hit by a kamikaze plane and limped back to California for repairs. Fortunately the hit was on the opposite side of the ship from my fathers gunner position below the main deck. Not sure if his aircraft carrier was in this battle, but I know he was in the Pacific until the end of the war.

    • Dianne Hyman says:

      My father was a carpenters mate on the aircraft carrier USS Bunkerhill when it was hit be a kamikaze plane. It hit the flight deck and went out the side of the ship above the water line so it was able to sail back to the states for repairs. Luckily my father was not near the strike area. He never talked about it but i found newspaper clippings after he passed.

  8. Michael Cosgrove says:

    My father, Lt R. D. Cosgrove was a pilot in VT-15 on Essex. The VT didn’t have that much to do on the 19th, but when word, accurate ort not, got to Essex that Japanese aircraft were headed her way, all the VT and VB were flown off to avoid the possible air attack. My father was a bit busier for the next week flying bombing missions daily against Guam and Saipan. Regarding Leyte Gulf, he led a division from VT-15 against Musashi in the Sibuyan Sea, being awarded a Navy Cross for his efforts.

  9. Rickey Stoyanoff says:

    My Uncle Thomas Gregorich was on the Heavy Battleship Wichita in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. He was a gunner and the Wichita which claimed two assists of “Kates” shot down and one of the float plane crews were responsible for the rescue of an American pilot who had been shot down during the engagement.

    • Jim Linley says:

      USS Wichita was a heavy cruiser. Battleships were named after states, cruisers were named after cities. My father served in the Pacific during WWII, from the New Hebrides to Leyte to Okinawa. Fortunately he missed most of the action until Okinawa where he landed in the third wave. Again, fortune smiled upon him as the Okinawa landings were relatively unopposed.

  10. Pam Markham says:

    My great uncle was in the navy he was on the cv-5 U.S.S. YORKTOWN and his name Charles R Wert he was a bomber on top of the ship and sometimes down below sometimes he was in Guam and Saipan but he died at sea in June 5 1942 in midway Midway Islands in Hawaii his name is on the wall of the Honolulu memorial aka courts of the missing of world war @ his body was never found my grandfather and several of my great uncles were there but Charles was the only one that pass away at war

    • John Kortuem says:

      My wife’s Grandfather, John Patrick McGrath (Shipfitter) was aboard the Yorktown in the battle on June 5th 1942. He was one of the salvage crew that went back aboard to attempt her recovery. The ship had taken a number of torpedo hits and several bombs but the PROUD LADY remained afloat. Dead in the water and listing dramatically he had left her with the rest of the crew, only to see her refuse to die. He was always proud of being on the salvage team, even though they got two more torpedoes while attempting to save her.

  11. Todd Alles Sr says:

    My Uncle, Corporat Robert W Myers, USMC was part of the assault on Saipan.

  12. Mary Lew Renninger says:

    My ather was James N.J. Meadowcroft 111 who was stationed in Guam. He was a Seabee. Anyone have any info on him or that time in 1944??

  13. Virgil Calicott says:

    Thank God for the “greatest generation” of WW2 !!
    To: Richard Cody
    I too went to Sydney, AU in March 1966.
    Your ship may have been one of our escorts.
    I was on the USS Hornet CVS-12 at the time. Small world.
    Virgil Calicott

  14. J Brown says:

    Mary – My father, Lt. Robert A Ferber was also a Seabee on Guam having arrived soon after the Marines so that airfields could be repaired. Other than his comments about sniper fire while they worked and hospitalization for Dengue fever, I also would appreciate any more information. We are proud of their service and appreciative.

    • robert hassard says:

      J Brown…… They were a brave and Courageous Generation. They NEVER kneeled for ANYONE…….. Let them live in peace and REST in PEACE….. Thank you ALL for your Service, Honeor, and Victory…………

  15. Carol Diveny says:

    My dad, Charles R. Matheka, now deceased, served on the USS Casa Grande, USS Croatan, USS Henderson and USS Tattnal over the period of 1938-1945. I remember him mentioning the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Started out as a ship fitter and moved up to Chief Petty Officer. Probably at this point there may not be any of his ship mates around, but if anyone knows of family who served on these ships, would love to hear from you. Would be curious too if anyone had old Navy pics of the crews. I only have a few pics of my dad in uniform.

  16. Sandy says:

    What a great story to read, well not a story but true facts of the war.. Being too young to know about the war and not much interest about it growing (up being born in ‘51) it is very interesting to read about all of this at a time now I can reflect and appreciate ALL everyone gave to keep the world from going the ‘wrong’ way. Thanks to all of you who sacrificed and served. My heart goes out to all of the families who lost loved ones for the greater good. Nothing can replace them. But it wasn’t in vain.

  17. Lynda Belmonte says:

    My Father fought in the Battle of Peleliu in 1944. How is this tied to the battle of the Philippine sea?

    • Douglas J Larkins (USMC Ret) says:

      Peleliu was an island, held by the Japanese, that was invaded and taken by Marines. It wasn’t part of the Philippine operation.

  18. Alfred Oliver Smith says:

    The Navy Archives have files on each ship. The files from WWII may have a history on the ship as well as photos. I was researching information in the 1980’s for one of my wife’s uncles who served in Navy in the Philippines during the war and was allowed to look through the files at the Navy Yard in WDC. They allowed me to copy declassified combat records of his ship and even made copies of a couple of the photos for me. It was very rewarding to access the photos because some of them included shots of the crew.
    In a similar search for records of my father-in-law’s WWII Navy service, I found out that the Navy kept detail records about the location of each airplane. If you have a tail number, you can find the unit the aircraft was assigned to and where the plane was at any given date.

  19. Melody Davis says:

    My Uncle George Barton Huffaker was a US Marine during WWII. He fought at Iwo Jima. He only spoke of it once to his sister as she was giving him a manicure in his later years. She stopped at one finger and paused and he told her that was his Iwo Jima finger and they lost a lot of good boys that day. After he died, we found his military duffle bag with 11 places written on it. Of course, Iwo Jima was listed. Saipan was also listed. The article states, “U.S. Marines stormed the beaches of the northerly island of Saipan on June 15, 1944.” I would love to know more.

    • Have you contacted the National Archives? They may have more information. With luck there may be film footage as well even if you can’t see your uncle in the film.

  20. Tom Weimer says:

    Very interesting, Thank you. I was stationed on Guam in the army 226th Military Police Company in 1948-49. The jungle was still being searched for Japanese that didn’t know or didn’t believe the war was over.

  21. My uncle, Staff Sergeant, Benjamin Balfour Browarsky, was killed at Davao, Mindiano in the closing days of the war. He was the first to volunteer from Washington County, Pennsylvania. He served from 1940 and just missed the end. He was a trainer and could have continued but felt he was better suited to actual combat. My father was able to arrange to have his body shipped back to the U.S. My biggest regret is that I never knew him. He grew up in the little town of McDonald, outside of Pittsburgh. Needless to say family and friends never got over his passing.

  22. Angenelle says:

    My father , Lawrence Vernon “Shot “ Davis was in the Army Air Corp later in 1945 the name changed to United Stated Air Force. He was killed over Budapest Hungary. He was a Staff Sgt. I was almost 2 years old. He on his 13 mission. I don’t remember him. WW II. He was tail gunner and a photographer. All crew are Deceased. His plane was shot down 02 Jul 1944. Just wanted to share his service to his country. Three brothers in service my father was only not to come.

  23. Treena says:

    Does this include the battle at Tarawa. The one where USS Liscome Bay was torpedoed? My grandfather was one if the survivors of that sunken ship, and had told me some amazing stories from that day and the ones following.

    • Paul Babington says:

      My 2nd cousin also served and survived the sinking of the USS Liscome Bay. In addition, he survived the sinking of the Lexington during the Battle of the Coral Sea.

  24. Sue Zasadil says:

    My father, Charles (Bill or Dutch) Watson Heffner from Denver Co served on the Destroyer Tender USS Cascade in the South Pacific from 1942 – 1946. Does anyone have any information? Thanks

  25. Jim Lewis says:

    My father, A.J. “Lucky” Lewis was a Gunner’s Mate (40mm) on the USS Wasp CV-18 and also a plank owner (original crew). The photograph in the Battle of Coral Sea of the USS Wasp would probably have him at his station. Many years later, I was driving with him in the passenger seat and we stopped behind a Mitsubishi car at a red light. My father never talked about his war experiences, but that day I heard him say “I could shoot their wings off, but they still would fly at his ship”, referring to the Zero’s made by Mitsubishi….

  26. Thank you to everyone who posted their personal thoughts about their loved ones who bravely fought in World War ll.
    Our father, Dr. Lawrence Berkley Reppert, age 29, was summoned to join The United States Army as a Medical Doctor in 1941. And his duties included running Medical Hospitals (tents primarily) in the Jungles. I was 1 when he left. 7 when he came home for good.
    We moved back to San Antonio after he came home where he once again opened his medical practice. He went in as a Major and
    exited as a Lt. Colonel. He died June 3, 1977.
    Linda, Bruce and Sally Reppert proud children of a devoted dad. He was 63, died of Lung Cancer from smoking Lucky Strikes originally that were provided in all MRE’s. He never kicked the habit though he knew the curse they were. God Bless all of our Servicemen who served our Country bravely and their families.
    Linda Reppert

  27. Jack M Baskin says:

    I would like to express my extreme gratitude to all the Sailors who took part in the Turkey Shoot and the Battle of Leyte Gulf. My father was an Infantryman on Leyte at the time all this took place. I am quite sure that but for those brave Sailors, my father probably would have been killed if the Japanese had been able to land on Leyte as they had planned. He was send to Japan after the Japanese surrendered as part of the occupation force instead of being part of the invasion force that was being scheduled to invade Japan.

  28. Vickie Russell says:

    I loss a brother on the uss drexler in 1944, when it was hit and sank.

  29. Tom Napier says:

    My uncle Lt Cmdr Verdun Chatelain was on the USS Astoria which was sunk in the Battle of Savo Island. He was luckily one of the survivors. Uncle “Sonny” died in 1988 and is interred at the National Cemetery, Biloxi Ms.

    • Cheryl Mercurio says:

      That’s wonderful that he survived. My great uncle died at age 17 on the USS Vincennes during the Battle of Savo Island. Alfred Fisher RI

      I love the story of how many went to sign up for the war and even lied about their age the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Sadly, many did not return.
      My uncle Edward Campion was in the navy and was in WWII, Korean War,Vietnam…. a true hero and we are grateful for his service as well.

  30. John F. Fox, Jr says:

    I had an Uncle that served during that campaign and he and my father spoke of his service in the Navy while my father served with the 503rd Regimental Combat Team – made three combat jumps with the last on Corregidor in Manila Bay aka “The Rock” where they took 50% casualties while inflicting a tremendous number of deaths to the Japanese troops dug in on the island. He was battlefield commissioned and after his third combat jump was sent home while the newer members of his unit went to occupy Japan.

  31. Robert Russell says:

    My uncle Ruhl J Russell was a Major in the Infantry stationed in the Philippines. They were being trained for the invasion when Pres. Truman authorized the atom bomb on Hiroshima in August. Uncle Ruhl says that saved his life. He is now 102, and living in good health in California.

    • The atomic bombs we’re horrific, but they ended the War and saved many, many lives not only American and Allied lives, but Japanese lives as they were prepared and expected to fight to the death. A lot of projections had Allied casualties at over a million and almost total annalilation of the Japanese population should an invasion of the home islands occur.

  32. Alan Jackson says:

    My uncle Dallas Crowe was on Corregidor when it fell and spent the entire war in a Japanese POW camp. He was first taken to the docks in Manila and made to load ships endlessly. Then sent to Japan on a hell ship to work in a coal mine.

  33. no one mentions the US Navy Armed Guard as we sailed on merchant ships as gun crews. I sailed on the SS James Rolph a liberty ship in the invasion of Linguyan Gulf january 1945. all we had for defense was 8 twenty milimerers and one 3inch-fifty bow gun and a 4 incher on the stern, we were in the second convoy and two of our convoy ships were hit by kamikazes, the ss otis skinner and the ss kyle johnson, damaged, but able to stay in convoy til we anchored in linguyan gulf to unload our badly needed supplies for the guys hitting the beaches. have to thank those DD’s who were escorting us and shooting down some planes before they got to us, or more of our convoy might of taken a hit. Lost two of my high school friends. One a marine on okinawa. one an army in germany and another one a P-38 pilot, shot down over germany

  34. Richard Frazier says:

    Our sugar plantation home on Windward Oahu (Hawaii) was adjacent to an Army Airfield. On 7 December, 1941, I watched the Japanese planes strafe the Army planes lined up along the runway.
    Later that day the base commander called my father and said they feared a follow-up invasion, and since all his men were fighting fires, he wanted the plantation workers to sting barbed wire on the beach. When working on the beach, they found one of the Japanese two man submarines that were suppose to enter Pearl Harbor, but miss-navigated and came ashore there. The lower crewman drowned when the sub hit the reef, but the skipper survived.
    My father drove the skipper to the front gate of the base and got a receipt for POW#1. The sub was taken to the mainland a rode a train around the country in a war bond drive. The sub is now in Florida.

  35. Todd Schultz says:

    My gratitude to all those who served and currently serve our great nation! My father, George Schultz, served aboard the USS Wasp shown under attack in this article. Like many of our service members, he did not talk much of what he experienced or the many friends lost and injured when the ship was hit by a 500# bomb. Thank you to all that serve!

  36. Jack Yandell says:

    My Dad, Jack T.Yandell , served with the 6th Army in the retaking of the Phillipines. He landed on Luzon, 20 Oct.1944. When the island was secured, they sent the 6th to Korea for further training in preparation for the invasion of the homeland of Japan…God Bless all those young men and women who served both theatres of war…RIP ALL

  37. My dad, T5 Warren Clayton Durham was with the 1st Cav in the invasion of the Philippines and then the first occupation force in Japan. When the Air Force was created,he changed over, retiring in 1966 at Davis-Monthan AFb, May 1966. Passed away 8 Sept 1990 and is buried at Cave Creek in Phoenix. Want to find info on a family member: Go to an LDS Family History Center. is free. Ancestory bought Fold3 and then the LDS church bought Ancestory. Thus they acquired both. If you do not have an account with,, Log in for one. A worker can assist you. Type in the required info. A name will come up. Click on the name. A box will appear with the person’s name. Click on the name and vital info willl appear. Go to the far right column and click on ancestry. That will give you a far left column. Scroll down to military and do not be surpirsed at the info that will appear. Need a unit history: Google is full of that and unit emblems. Need help: contact me: [email protected] Leave e-mail and a phone number that I can walk you through the process. I have family history from the Revolution to Post 911.

  38. James E Moxley Sr says:

    My father was to old to be in the armed services, but he helped build LST,s at the shipyard in Evansville Indiana.

  39. Linda Pitman Thompson says:

    I would like proof that the USS Lexington was in the Battle of the Philippine Sea.Or is someone rewriting history? My dad was on the USS Lexington when it was sunk on May 8, 1942 in the Battle of the Coral Sea. Yet the headlines for this says, “June 19-20, 1944: The Battle of the Philippine Sea”. This article also shows a photo with this caption below, “Grumman F6F-3 fighter lands aboard the USS Lexington during the Battle of the Philippine Sea”. Lady Lex was sunk in 1942, So how could it be in the Philippines in 1944? After the Lexington was sunk my dad went aboard the USS Copahee. My dad was a part of the Liberation of the Philippines.He went over Zig Zag Pass with the army as a sharp shooter. But he was assigned to the USS Copahee.

    • Bill Martens says:

      There was more than 1 Lexington. My father Frederick Martens served on the original CV-2 Lexington that was sunk in the Battle of the Coral Sea. The next Lex also saw much action in WWII. I believe that it is berthed in Corpus Christi TX and can be toured. I don’t know how many Lex’s there were.
      The sinking of the first one was kept secret from the Japanese to keep them from knowing our ship strength and to keep them confused.

  40. My dad served on the US Lackawanna in the pacific . He was a golden gloves boxer and boxed for the Navy ? Any pictures of that ship ? His name was Vernon Ray Anderson .

  41. Karen Partier says:

    My Great Grandpa Wilhelm Partier was in that war, he was stationed there by the King of Spain

  42. William Hauer says:

    My Dad Francis R Hauer was in Pearl Harbor in 1938, but left before the attack on Dec 7. He was on the USS Leary DD-158 when it was sunk in the North Atlantic on 23 Dec 1943. After the war we were stationed on Saipan for 3 years in the early 1950 when I was 7. There were still a lot of stuff left from the war.

  43. Clinton OBrien says:

    My father, Clifford R. O’Brien, was a RDM2 aboard BB60, the Battleship Alabama. He was on duty the night of June 19, 1944 and with the newly installed (at Pearl) and enhanced radar facilities was the first to spot the hundreds of bogies amassing that night. After confirmation by the Iowa, the task force 58 air response was used in what is now called the Marianas Turkey Shoot. He was a “plank holder” on the BB60, served for DOW (duration of war), and was with her while she earned 9 battle stars. He earned the “Meritorious Mast” award for this alert work, and was then allowed to return to the US to marry my mother. He was very very proud of the US Navy and his service…

  44. Frances Hearon says:

    My father, Robert Lewis World, fought in this battle, specifically at Lejte(sp.) Bay. He never really talked about any of his military experiences, however, at the end of his life, he hallucinated about it.

  45. D Connolly says:

    Looking for information on my Uncle Ray L. Foreman who was buried in Guam in 1945.

    • John Paulson says:

      A search of the database for the Manila cemetery, where many of the remains of US servicemen who died in battle were relocated after the, shows the following information for your uncle. He is buried there:
      Technician Fifth Grade Service Number 39606348 U.S. Army World War II
      Manila American Cemetery Montana He served in the 306th Engineer Combat Battalion, 81st Infantry Division

      The serviceman I was named for, 1st Lt John Phelps, had is remains removed from Iwo Jima to the cemetery in the Punchbowl Cemetery in Honolulu Hawaii.

      Some deceased veterans remains were sent to the hometowns.

  46. John Sheehan says:

    As a member of Ancestry, I salute all the departed in WWII. Thank them for their service!
    Navy veteran AMS1.

  47. Carol Briner says:

    My dad, Jerry Briner, was a radioman during these operations.

  48. Rosemary Godfrey Hand says:

    My father, Clark Godfrey, also was to old for the draft. He was to Pearl Harbour as a civil service construction worker, to help rebuild. He was there 1n 1942 & 43.

    His youngest brother, Wyatt J. Godfrey was a Navy SeaBee and was on several of the islands preparing for the military landings, Thank God he survived! I remember that he had some emotional difficulties with loud unexpected noises.

  49. Denton R Whalen says:

    My uncle Stuart Denton Whalen (Dutch) served aboard the USS Indianapolis a heavy cruiser from when he was 17 till he was killed in action right after the ship had delivered the atom bomb to Tinian at the end of the war. That bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. The ship was hit by torpedoes and was sunk in aproximately 12 minutes. He survived for 4 days while floating in the sea before he died. He was a second class gunner. My dad, Wesley Dale Whalen also fought in the Battle Of The Bulge. He barely survived after being shot and blown up by grenades. He recuperated in a military hospital for 6 months and had to deal with shrapnel in his back the rest of his life.

    • Ruth Brown says:

      My father, Fred C Graf, was also on the USS Indianapolis when the ship delivered the atomic bomb to Tinian, and was on the ship when it was bombed. He was a good swimmer and swam back to an island. There was a while before anyone knew that he had survived. He survived on fish that he caught.

      My uncle, Jerome A Graf, was involved in the Battle of the Bulge. Although both men survived the war, neither one was much willing to talk about what they did during the war.

  50. Eric Pollard says:

    My grandfather, O.C. Guthrie, fought at this battle and just about every other major battle in the Pacific Theater. He was a Lieutenant in the Navy and pilot of a Grumman Avenger (torpedo plane) with VT-10, The Buzzard Brigade. He was aboard both the USS Enterprise and the USS Intrepid. Not sure which he was on during the time of this battle

  51. Bonnie B says:

    My brother , Nelson Burke Junior better known as Jack , Fought in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. He was in the hall of the shop where a fire took place after the kamikaze‘s hit, and he along with a couple other sailors put out the fire and saved a lot of lives. He was only 17 at the time. He received multiple awards but he also carried a lot of shrapnel in his body from the hit. He was very proud of his service in the Navy although he never talked about it very much. He passed away a few years ago.

    • A hero for sure. R.I.P.

    • Dorothy Dowell-Wiggins says:

      God Bless his Soul. Like so many Veterans, he did not discuss the horrors of war. When my Dad was in his late seventies and eighties he wanted to share the memories he could not talk about for all those years prior. We made many trips and visited many of the sites he experienced and had memories of. He wanted to be sure that the future generations of our family knew and valued the price of their freedom. Those memories haunted him. It is now a series of vivid memories, so clear to me. I have to find the way to be sure that the memories and stories stay with the future generations.

    • d thorne says:

      What a crazy scene that must have been there – imagine a modern day 17 year old coping with it, not many could I’m afraid. My grandfather was chief Yeoman on the Independence at Leyte, he didn’t talk about it much either..

  52. Colleen Sweeney says:

    My father was at Leyte, Edward Joseph Sweeney. He was considered in the medic field as he was a trained pharmacist. Assigned to the USS Ward, supposedly a troop carrier, he was on board when it was sunk. No lives were lost as all were picked up by a nearby ship. That’s all I know. Looked for years about the sinking but never found anything. He was deeply traumatized.

    • Louis says:

      Sunk by Kamikaze Dec.7 1944

    • Colleen, it may take some research on your part, however, I can guide you where to start. “Deck logs for commissioned u.s. Nary ships covering the past 30 years are maintained by the Naval History and Heritage Command, Archives Branch, Washington Navy Yard, D.C. Most of these are stored at the Washington National Records Center (WNRC) in Suitland, Maryland” The U.S. Navy takes their record keeping quite seriously and will assist you in finding what you are looking for…Good Luck?

    • J. Bellino says:

      Wikipedia has a pretty good summary. It was a destroyer that was used to ferry some troops when it was sunk.

  53. Micki Lankes says:

    My father, Frank Janczewski Jansen was an Army staff seargant who fought in Leyte Gulf. He sustained a cut and subsequent scar on his chin while jumping off the ship onto land.He died in 1999.

  54. Jim Morrell says:

    My uncle, Frrank G Sparkman Jr. was there, as well as nearly every other Pacific battle after 1943. He served as a Gunnersmate on the USS Langley, CVL 27, a light aircraft carrier. Speaking as a former Tank Crew member, his was a really tough life that seemingly had no ending.

  55. Trinity hyvonen per Delenté King says:

    How can I find out for my only child more about military history for his family lineage as I know & would like to see his great-grandfather properly honored with the Purple Heart he earned but never received before passing away so it also needs to be put on his military tombstone also he is the only great-grandchild grandson?

    • Dwight Adams says:

      Fold 3 research may show something on your military family history. Also, The Naval person who served in WW II was given a NOTICE OF DISCHARGE form which gave individuals personal particulars plus dates of service, campaigns he participated in, ships and stations served on and awards and decorations. This form and a discharge certificate could be registered in home county register of deeds as was my fathers and mine also. If your research there discloses nothing, you may check with your county’s VSO (Veterans Service Officer) about requesting records from stored military records, or a local American Legion organization may assist you.

    • Rosemarie Neville says:

      Trinity, you can go to and it will guide you to what you have to do to request his records. You will have to wait until the government opens their offices but you can research what you need now. Rosemarie

  56. Was the USS Makin Island a coverted flat top part of this battle? My father in law was assigned to the Makin Island during WWII in the Pacific. Just curious.

  57. CW3 Dwight Adams US Army Aviation, retired says:

    My father, TM/c 1C Harris Adams served in the battle of the Philippine Sea and the Leyte Gulf battle on the carrier USS Manila Bay. The Manila Bay took a Kamikazi hit. My father who manned a 50 cal. machine gun during the attack was later reprimanded for shooting a kamikaze pilot who missed the aircraft carrier and splashed into the water without an explosion. Emotions ran high during events like that.

    • petie3 says:

      There is a B&W movie from 1942 about the raid on Makin Island; Ill try to find the title.

    • Deborah Thomas Norling says:

      Hello. I wonder if the movie Petie3 was thinking of, called. GUNG HO, the Story of Carlson’s Makin Island Raiders .

      I must say, I absolutely love the spirit of everyone on this website and all the kind comments to others regarding their loved ones. Makes me quite emotional and so proud of our many generations of HEREOS.

  58. Ron Anderson says:

    My dad served aboard the USS Washington (BB-56) from Jan 1941 until the end of the War. The Washington was there. He operated 16” guns and 50 cal. He stayed in after the war and became a diver, but left in1948. He retired from Coast Guard Reserves as CWO4 and Police Lieutenant.

  59. Marguerite Butler says:

    God Bless our soldiers. The Greatest Generation with their bravery and sacrifices helped save the world. My father and 5 of his brothers served during WWII. My father and one brother were Army in the Philippines. My father contracted serious malaria. Was hospitalized for about a year. His brother was shot by a sniper the day after the war was declared over. Like all my dad didn’t want to speak of the war. What little he did say through our mom was horrifying.

  60. I’d like too know more about the roll the see bees served in the Philippines islands. My father was in the Navy seebees in 1942/44 Jeff Ray Stafford.

  61. Walter Miller says:

    Marianas Islands. Both the Army and Marine Corp were involved in the campaign, not just the Marines as you indicated.

  62. Catherine says:

    My father served in the Army in the Phillipines until he got malaria. I know he was at Luzon and after getting ill was then sent to Okinawa Where he recovered and worked in the motor pool. The only time I heard him speak about his service was when my children had to interview him for their school’s 50th anniversary of Pearl Harbor Project. He said very little.
    My father in law was in the Navy and served in the Pacific and was on the Lexington when she went down. He too, never spoke about his service. Both of these men loved going to the WWII Museum here in New Orleans even though it was clear that it brought up so many memories Of what they endured during WWII.
    My husband was in SE Asia during Vietnam era and still will not speak as to exactly where he was nor what happened to him. He has nightmares still.c

    • Matthew Chrzanowski Jr says:

      my wife’s grandfather George Plumley (in his 30s) served aboard the USS Sterett DD409 and saw a lot of action, just read the book tin can sailor, they would go out looking for a fight! crazy! and her dad John Emmel Sr was in the merchant marines. my dad Matthew Chrzanowski Sr was on a troop carrier USS Barnwell APA 132 (Tokyo Special) (18yrs old). i served on the USS Lexington CVT 16 from 1976 till 1977 (training aircraft carrier) nothing like those guys had to go through!

  63. Bill Shaker says:

    My Dad, David Shaker was manning the 40mm gums on the Lexington during this battle and many others in the pacific. It was only when he was in his mid eighties did he start sharing the many stories. He served on the Lexington from 1943 -1945. He passed away 2 years ago at age 95!

    • David Christie says:

      My Uncle Haskell B French was a navigator on the Louisville from 1939 until 1943. I was never able to speak with him much about. He said most of it should not be told as he lost many friends over the years.

  64. My father Michael P Peluso Cox 3 class served and was a plant owner on the USS Franklin ( Big Ben). As a child going up I knew the stories of the Franklin
    so well you would have thought that I served on her. When I joined the Navy in 1964 to 1968. I was at the Brooklin navy station when a chief ask for volunteers
    to move a carrier Brooklin down to Virginia. So I asked what carrier. He said the Franklin and I replied the Big Ben. I proceeded to tell him how I knew about it. I was picked as one of the volunteers. Of coarse I called my Dad and he call two shipmates who served on it with him.

  65. Patricia Jacob Rohn says:

    Is there any information about the LST’s used by the Navy in WWII? My dad, Peter G. Jacob served on LST-721. The only thing he told us was about his pet monkey he had on the ship. He said he was in the Phillipines most of the time. Again, he didn’t talk much about it.

  66. Benita Jenkins says:

    Benita A Jenkins
    June 12, 2020

    My father, Benjamin E Jenkins, shipped out on the USS Intrepid, and was then in CASU(F) 34. He died when I was young and I am trying to get information on where his Forward CASU 34 was during the years of 1944 till the duration of the war. I have pictures, but can’t identify locations. He Never mentioned one word about the war, but I was very young and didn’t ask. He is in Arlington Cemetery.

  67. Caroline carnes says:

    Leyte gulf was the largest naval battle in history. Max Hastings’ book, Retribution, writes incredibly about it, noting that ships were firing broadside into each other, like the Spanish Armada.

    Battles, such as these are incomprehensible, unless you were there. No movie can capture it, no book can adequately describe it, as soldiers and sailors had been fighting, and dying since Pearl Harbour. Day after day, week after week.

    My father (died 2017) was an LSO (night) on the Block Island. He was not in Leyte gulf, but other Pacific areas. I kick myself over and over for not getting his perspective.

    God bless and keep every single daughter and son that remembers, and honors these people. IMHO, they really were The Greatest Generation.

  68. Richard L. Zeallor says:

    My 4 brothers served in the US Navy In the Pacific and Atlantic during the
    2nd WW.
    Joseph H. Zeallor USS James E. Craig CV 25 Pacific
    John T. Zeallor USS LCI (G) 226, 337 Pacific
    Thomas M. Zeallor USS Sierra AD 18 Pacific
    James W. Zeallor USS LST 295 Atlantic
    Richard L. Zeallor USMC Port Lyautey Morrocco 1956-1960

  69. Karen Johnson Rickstrom says:

    My Dad was on a “floating bomb”, a tanker to refuel the aircraft.
    He was a gunner on the Tonto, I would love to know anything or anybody about it.
    I know he was in at least 2 battles, he was very tight lipped about fighting in WWII. Up until he died, recently, he still had nightmares. Thanks!

  70. Margaret M Bannon says:

    I believe my father Herman Gartner was also there but maybe on the outskirts. I have a photo of my fathers and on the back in his handwriting is “Battle of Leyte Gulf”. He was on the USS Vincennes.

  71. Eileen Klausing says:

    My uncle Sylvester Warnimont was killed in the battle of Normandy on June 25, 1944. He is buried in France. I wish I could know more about what happened. He was in the army and only in active duty 3 months before his death.

  72. My Dad Leo Joseph Julich wa sin the US Army and wa sin th elanding at Leyte Gulf , Phillipine Islands in 1944

  73. Ruth Kratzer says:

    My huband’s uncle was a the Battle of Leyte on the USS Kalinin Bay.
    He use to go to reunions with other Navy buddies…I know he really enjoyed it. I wish we could have heard some of their stories.

    My dad and mom both served in the US Navy during WWII. Dad talked about becoming a pharmacist mate because they heard his mom was once a nurse. I know he said he saw too much…hit him hard.

  74. Sharon Shaw F. Cunningham says:

    A cousin, Haskell Shaw, was on the USS LEXINGTON, but was it this one; weren’t there two of that name? Hack’s carrier was – I was told – was sunk at the Battle of the Coral Sea… is that right? Family story stated he had just left his post on one of the gun turrets when it was hit by a Japanese plane. I’d like to know more; can anyone help?