World War II in the Air: The Pacific

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In June , U.

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Navy airpower sank four Japanese aircraft carriers and a cruiser at the Battle of Midway. When Americans looked across the Atlantic, they saw small results from small USAAF air raids against an enemy against which American ground troops were not yet engaged. Nevertheless, in keeping with the prevailing strategic paradigm, Arnold had gone so far as to recommend against sending the nine groups earmarked for the SWPA.

World War II: The War in the Air - Full Documentary

It should also be noted this theater cannot, at this time, safely and properly sustain operations of an Air Force augmented over nine additional Groups because of the dangerous concentration which would result from limited base areas and base facilities. A turn of events came at a Joint Chiefs of Staff meeting two months later on September 16, The chief of naval operations practically begged the commanding general of the USAAF for more airplanes!

With no training, the pilots would get stale, while in England they could be used against the Germans every day.

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MacArthur, at the time, he thought, seemed not to be in too good health; and blamed our Air Force commanders for failure of the Air in the Philippine Islands. The Japanese losses [from Midway through Guadalcanal] had been terrific….

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The Marines were very tired and would grab at anything as a possible aid—something to restore their confidence…. Talk among the Navy staff officers indicated that conditions in New Guinea were very, very bad…. The Japanese would take over all of New Guinea soon.

Here they were asking for our long-range bombers to do their work for them. The maximum range of the twin-engine PBY was actually greater than that of the Flying Fortress, but the patrol bombers had relatively minimal bomb-carrying capacity.

Wreck of WWII US Navy aircraft carrier USS Hornet found in South Pacific - CNN

They were too big to get over the roads, and there were no docks near the airfields. Intelligent men concentrate on the main issue, parry the heavy blows and tolerate small evils to avoid a greater one.

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He who wants to defend everything saves nothing. Indeed, in September , based on the best available information, Australia was in greater danger of a Japanese invasion than Britain was from Nazi Germany, and Operation Torch might have seemed far more parochial than the fighting in the SOPAC. On September 25, Arnold sat down with MacArthur, an outspoken, charismatic figure who was lionized on the home front and respected—if not universally loved—in the field. If anything, he was more forceful in expressing his views because it was the nature of his personality to be sure that his convictions were fact, not merely opinion.

U.S. troops recapture Philippine island of Corregidor

Indeed, Arnold had known him for nearly two decades. The Japanese caused more damage, but the battle was the first time the Allies were able to stop an enemy advance. On June 4th, , the two navies fought again, this time in the Battle of Midway. During the war in the Pacific, the United States and Japan fought in almost twenty different battles.

The bloodiest were the battles fought on the islands of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Though the United States won the battle of Okinawa, the American government decided that to keep fighting Japan would cause too many additional deaths. To try and end the war, the United States dropped two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The blasts killed over , people and left behind radiation that affected the cities for years after. On August 15th, , Japan surrendered and, on September 2nd, signed the formal documents to put an end to the war.