Mar 30

Carrier Aircraft Lay First Mines, 30 March 1944

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 12:01 AM

On 30 March 1944 a strong Fifth Fleet force, built around 11 carriers of Task Force 58, launched a series of attacks on Japanese shipping, airfields, and installations on and near Palau, Ulithi, Woleai, and Yap in the western Caroline Islands. Designed to eliminate Japanese opposition to the upcoming amphibious landing at Hollandia, New Guinea, the strikes concluded on 1 April, with the planes of Task Force 58 having destroyed 157 enemy aircraft and sunk 42 enemy ships.

During these raids TBF-1C and TBM-1C Avengers from Torpedo Squadrons 2, 8, and 16, embarked on board Bunker Hill (CV 19), Hornet (CV 12), and Lexington (CV 16), sowed extensive minefields in and around the channels and approaches to the Palaus. This was the first large-scale daylight tactical use of mines laid by carrier aircraft.

 
 
 
 
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