Daily Newspaper of U.S. Armed Forces in the European Theater of Operations
VOL. 4 No. 307—Id. FRIDAY, Oct. 27, 1944
In one of the most lopsided victories of the Pacific war, the U.S. Third and Seventh Fleets sank or damaged at least 26 Japanese warships in the three-day battle in Philippine waters, dispatches revealed yesterday.
Incomplete reports of the engagement, which has now become a chase, showed these results.
Two carriers, one battleship, five cruisers.
PROBABLY SUNK (3)
Two battleships, one carrier.
DAMAGED (15 PLUS)
Seven battleships, four cruisers, four destroyers and several more destroyers.
The main American losses, according to reports which may overlap, are two escort carriers, one of them the Princeon, announced previously.
It was impossible to establish a definite figure on Jap losses. Reports have been issued from both Pearl Harbor and from Gen. Douglas MacArthur's Philippine headquarters, with possible duplication
There were three principal actions, one southeast of Formosa, where the Third Fleet sank or damaged with bombs and torpedoes more than a dozen enemy
ships—and the other two off Leyte, where the Seventh Fleet, aided by escort carrier planes and units of the Third Fleet, beat off two enemy foes attempting
to attack MacArthur's invasion troops.
Six of Eight Sunk
A Reuter dispatch said six of eight ships which approached Leyte from the south had been sunk and the ether two vessels damaged.
Believed based at Singapore, this enemy fleet, the dispatch said, came from the Sulu Sea through the Surigao Strait, southeast of Leyte.
American surface ships and planes, it said, sank two battleships, one cruiser and three destroyers and damaged another cruiser and destroyer.
A dispatch from MacArthur's headquarters reported that two Jap naval groups approached Leyte Gulf from the east Wednesday morning.
Although his forces were outnumbered, Vice-Adm. Thomas C. Kincaid, Seventh Fleet chief, split his strength, sending two task forces, one including an Australian squadron, in opposite directions to beat back the threat to Leyte.
First Ship-to-Ship Battle
Backed by carrier planes, Kincaid's fleet fought the first American ship-to-ship battle against the Japanese in more than a year. They sank a 29,000-ton
battleship, a number of cruisers and destroyers and damaged three other cruisers and several destroyers, the dispatch said, for a loss of an escort carrier
and several torpedo boats.
On 2 Island
Allied landings on Walcheren and south Beveland, the two Dutch islands north of the Scheldt Estuary which cover the approaches to Antwerp,
were reported by Berlin yesterday.
Combined Allied naval and land forces sought to gain access to the harbor of Antwerp—which would greatly shorten Allied supply lines to the 600-mile long
battlefront—by landing on South Beveland "attempting a landing" on Wallchen, German sources said.