Battle Seen As Greatest Sea Conflict
( See below for chronological order of great sea battles)
ABILENE, TEXAS, THURSDAY MORNING, OCTOBER 26, 1944 -FOURTEEN PAGES
Enemy Handed Crushing
Defeat, MacArthur Tells
WASHINGTON, Oct. 25-(AP)-
The Imperial Japanese fleet, which raced out of its hiding places to prevent a massive challenge to American liberation of the Philippines, has been defeated, heavily-, damaged, and put to flight in what may be one of the decisive naval battles of all time, a series of historic announcements declared tonight.
A message from Adm. William F. Halsey to President Roosevelt said that the enemy has been "defeated, seriously damaged and
routed." Fragmentary reports filtering in from other sources presented this picture: •""
Five Japanese battleships damaged, with some possibly sunk. An aircraft carrier sunk. Several cruisers and destroyers sunk and others badly damaged.
(A dispatch from C. Yates McDaniel, Associated Press war correspondent at Seventh Fleet headquarters, said the Japanese left one Yamasiro class battleship abandoned and sinking.
There are two ships of this class, the Yamasiro, built in 1914 and 1915. They are 29,300 tons and carry 14-inch guns.)
American losses so far made public were the light carrier Princeton, an escort carrier, and several P. T. boats sunk and a number of planes lost, several escort carriers and destroyers damaged.
It was obvious, however that so much of the full story, remained to be told that these tabulations would undergo extensive revision The QWI picked up a special statement, from General Douglas. MacArthur, as. transmitted by the signal corps, which said: "The Japanese Navy has received its most crushing defeat of the war. Its future efforts can only be on a dwindling scale." . .
If so,-the battle of the Philippines may be ranked in this war, as was the battle of Jutland in World War 1, as the decisive naval engagement of the conflict.
Immediate results for the United States certainly were an easing of the problem of maintaining and supplying the Ground forces in the Philippines—and perhaps the opening of the way, without any serious enemy naval challenge, to the east coast of China..
Kinkaid Slugs It Out
With Two Nip Forces
By C. YATES McDANIEL
SEVENTH FLEET HEADQUARTERS, Philippines,
Thursday, Oct. 26—(AP)—
Japan lost the first and possibly the decisive, round in an all-out battle assault on the Philippines line the American advance toward their home islands.
This occurred early yesterday morning when -Vice Adm. Thomas C. Kinkaid's outnumbered fleet battered and put to rout -Japanese battle forces converging on Leyte gulf.
Complete results are lacking as the action is continuing with planes from. Kinkaid's hurt but still fighting carrier force hitting the surviving enemy warships as they are retiring westward through the straits south of invaded Leyte
The fate of the American Army ashore at Leyte hung in a precarious balance for an hour Wednesday morning as Kinkaid executed his daring decision to take on two attacking enemy forces at once with his outnumbered fleet.
The admiral threw half his battleships and a strong flotilla of patrol torpedo boats against the enemy force Steaming into Leyte gulf from the southwest.
Other American battleships went to the support of Admiral Kinkaid's carrier force, which already was under heavy attack off Samar island by a Japanese fleet led by at least four battleships and a heavy cruiser. This fleet had many, destroyers.
After 25 minutes of broadside exchange and closely pressed destroyer strikes, the Japanese forces, which approached from the southwest "began withdrawing, leaving one Yamashiro class battleship abandoned and sinking and several cruisers and destroyers sunk.
The Americans lost only, a few patrol torpedo boats. Some larger vessels were damaged.
NEW YORK, Oct. 25—(AP)-
The engagement, between United States and Japanese naval forces" off the Philippines was probably the greatest sea engagement in history in it’s
array of striking power— airplane and-surface firepower of the unit involved.
Earlier naval battles In World War 2 include: Dec. 12, 1939—Germany's Admiral Graf Spee mortally damaged in 14 hour, running battle with three
British cruisers off Montevideo Uruguay. Five days later the battleship was scuttled by its crew rather than resume fighting outside the zone of Uruguayan neutrality.
May 24, 1941 — British battle Cruiser Hood sunk with magazine hit by German battleship Bismarck between Greenland and Iceland. British, with scouting planes and pursuing force of 14 ships, overtook Bismarck May 27 about 400 miles of Brest and sank her with aerial bombs and guns and torpedo fire.
Dec. 7, 1941—Japanese, with 105 carrier-based bombers, attacked 86 United States fleet units at Pearl Harbor. Five battleships: and numerous lighter craft heavily damaged.
Dec. 10, 1941—British battleships Prince of Wales and Repulse sunk by Japanese aircraft off Malaya.
March. 2-3., 1942—Battle of Bismarck Sea; in; which U. S. land based' aircraft and' naval and aircraft sank or damaged all of a force of 10 "Japanese cruisers' and destroyers and 12 .transports, with estimated loss of 15,000 Japanese troops.
May 4-9, 1943—Battle of Cora sea, in which Japanese lost aircraft carrier, a heavy cruiser, -a light cruiser, two destroyers and four gunboats, and suffered damages to six other vessels, including a heavy cruiser and an aircraft carrier. The U. S. lost the aircraft carrier Lexington,' the destroyer Sims and a tanker.
June 3, 1942—Battle of Midway— an engagement entirely restricted ,to air attack on opposing fleet units. Japanese lost four aircraft carriers, two heavy cruisers, three destroyers,' a transport and 275 aircraft. Three Japanese battleships, two heavy cruisers, a light cruiser and three transports damaged. U. S.
lost carrier Yorktown and destroyer Hammann, and an estimated 50 planes.
* * *
Nov. 13-15—Battle of Solomons In which U. S. naval forces defeated Japanese seeking to reinforce Guadalcanal, inflicting loss of battleship, three heavy cruisers, - two light cruisers, five destroyers and 10 transports, plus 75 aircraft. U: S. losses, two cruisers and seven destroyers.
Dec. 26, 1943—German Battleship Sharnhorst sunk with 1,404 of crew in Murmansk route after engagement with British home fleet units, including Duke of York, Cruiser Torfolk, and four destroyers., '
June 19, 1944—Carrier aircraft of U'. S. Fifth Fleet sank or damaged 4 ships -of Japanese -naval force, including four carriers, a battleship, a cruiser, and three destroyers.
Three tankers and at least one large Japanese carrier sunk. Previous day, in air battle off Saipan, U. S. carrier planes and warships lot down 353 enemy planes.
Sept. 8-11, 1944—Carrier-based planes of U. S. Third Fleet destroyed 501 Japanese planes and sank or damaged 173 surface craft in four days of raids off Philippines. Surface craft included none of Japanese's fleet units larger than destroyer escorts.