The Enterprise in World War II, Battle of the Sulu Sea
By T.L. Clemens as presented by Eileen Granfors
Questions by Patrick Granfors
I had never heard of colored flak before. That was a good idea. Did the US manufacturers follow suit? It sure made no sense that the Japanese would leave their carriers behind without any planes on them unless it the decoy was always part of their grand scheme from the outset. And while it nearly worked the risk they took (in retrospect) seems unjustified.
Colored flak was never seen during the entire war by me. One of my shipmates also sent me an e-mail asking if he had missed something. I think someone was seeing things. I don't know how you came to the conclusion that the Japs sent their carriers out without planes. The only time they were without planes was if they had launched a strike. There was always a few less when we got thru with them.
I didn't know that ships sunk at Pearl had been raised and refurbished. Good job by the E to take out Yamato's sister ship. Those were beasts! Interesting that Halsey got "fooled" twice. Of course the Monday morning quarterbacks are always right.
Yes, during the two years right after Pearl Harbor we were in and out of Ford Island at Pearl frequently as it was our home base. During that time we watched while they refloated the sunken ships. All of them except the Utah and Arizona were refurbished and served in both the Atlantic and Pacific. Yes that was one of Halsey's few errors in the war but remember he did not have the surveillance we have now. It was by reasoning and decision making. The destroyer Evans also laid a smoke screen to help cover the other ships attacking.
The last line battleship battle, Halsey's revenge, I guess today's technology has taken care of that sort of tactic. Very impressed by Evan's gutsy move and those captains that followed suit. I don't understand the Japanese thinking (retreating) given their reputation for tenacious fighting to the last man. We missed the Battle for the Marianas because we were traveling, but will pick that up on the DVD or on the computer edition of “Battle 360” on the History Channel’s web site.
I don't think the true reason will ever be known as to why the Japs suddenly ceased firing, turned and left the scene which they had won if they continued. They had the Jeep Carriers within range of their Cruisers and Battleships.
The Marianas Turkey Shoot was the one episode I was hoping you would see. It was a wild night and when the Admiral saw the chaos created when our returning acraft could not tell one ship from another to land on. They were making passes at all types and planes landed on any carrier that could take them. The next day there was a flight quarters by all carriers and the planes returned to their own ships. When the Admiral saw the problems he ordered the lights turned on as it was impossible to tell a tanker from a carrier in the total darkness. It was a wild night to say the least. Even one Jap plane got into our landing pattern, but when a light was shined on him he ditched into the sea and the pilot was picked up by a tin can. He was in our brig until we returned to Pearl Harbor.