Invasion of Leyte and Battle of Leyte Gulf
Invasion of Leyte and Battle of Leyte Gulf: October 1944
In response to the Allied Invasion to reclaim the Philippine Islands on October 20, 1944, the Japanese sent an armada to the islands. The subsequent battles from October 23 to October 26 resulted in the greatest naval battle of World War II. Leading the Seventh Fleet and Central Philippine Attack Force was Vice Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid, USN, as Task Force 77. The Third Fleet, led by Admiral William F. Halsey, USN, was reduced to Task Group 38 and was assigned to Kinkaid's force. The Combined Fleet for the Japanese was led by Admiral Soemu Toyoda, from Tokyo, Japan. The various forces for the Japanese included the Main Body (Northern), First Striking Force (consisting of Force "A" and Force "C"), and the Southwest Area Force. The combined battles of Leyte Gulf destroyed the Imperial Japanese Navy as an offensive force and decisively led to the defeat of Japan in 1945.
Image: 80-G-46986: Battle of the Sibuyan Sea, October 24, 1944. Japanese battleship Yamato, (lower center), with other ships, maneuver while under attacck by U.S. Navy carrier-based planes. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.