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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.

114 Comments

  1. 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.

    • RIP and a salute to his courage

    • 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.

    • 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

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

    • Leyte Gulf took place about 4 months later, and was notable for several reasons. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Leyte_Gulf

    • 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

    • 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

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

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

  4. 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.

    • 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. 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. 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. 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.

    • 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. 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. 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.

    • 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. 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
    Pam

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

  12. 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. 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. 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.

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

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

  18. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

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

  29. 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.

    • 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Fold3.com is free. Ancestory bought Fold3 and then the LDS church bought Ancestory. Thus they acquired both. If you do not have an account with Familysearch.org,, 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. My father was to old to be in the armed services, but he helped build LST,s at the shipyard in Evansville Indiana.

  39. 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.

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

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

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

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

  48. 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. 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.

    • 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. 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