On 17- 18 February 1944 carrier task force groups of Admiral Spruance’s Fifth Fleet struck the Japanese base at Truk, the pivot of the Japanese position in Micronesia. Truk was a huge naval complex, the “Pearl Harbor of the Japanese”. It had been under construction since 1937.
More than 1,200 sorties were flown from the carriers of the American naval task force. Some 265 Japanese aircraft were destroyed or damaged. The cruiser Naka and three destroyers were sunk. Japanese aviation facilities at Dublon (Tonoas), Moen (Weno), and Eten were severely damaged. Several Japanese ships fleeting the Truk Lagoon were intercepted and sunk by the fast battleships USS Iowa and the USS New Jersey. The only serious damage to the American fleet came when the carrier USS Interpid was hit by a Japanese torpedo plane.
Dirk Anthony Ballendorf