Naval History and Heritage Command

National Museum of the U.S. Navy

Battle of Sibuyan and Sulu Seas:   October 24, 1944

In the action of October 24, 1944, Task Force 38 aircraft attacked the Japanese First Raiding Force in the Sibuyan and Sulu Seas.   U.S. Navy carrier aircraft sank the battleship Musashi while damaging numerous other enemy ships, among them battleships Yamato, Nagato, Fuso, and Yamashiro as well as numerous destroyers.   In return, the Japanese attacked USS Princeton (CVL-23).  Damaged by a bomb dropped by enemy aircraft, the light aircraft carrier was further damaged by collision with USS Birmingham (CL-62), USS Morrison (DD-560), USS Gatling (DD-671), and USS Irwin (DD-794) and was later scuttled.  During this engagement, Commander David McCampbell, USN, commanding Air Group 15, successfully shot down nine enemy aircraft whilst breaking up the group of 60 aircraft before they had a chance to reach the U.S. Navy fleet.   For his actions, McCampbell was awarded the Medal of Honor.  

Image:  NH 63432:   Battle of the Sibuyan Sea, October 24, 1944.  Task Force 38 aircraft attack the Japanese battleship Musashi (foreground) and a destroyer.   U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.