Naval History and Heritage Command

National Museum of the U.S. Navy

Battle of Surigao Strait:  October 24-25, 1944

In the next phase of the Battle of Leyte Gulf, U.S. and Australian warships assault the advancing Japanese Southern Force "C" enemy with torpedoes and heavy guns resulting in the Battle of Surigao Strait during the night of October 24, 1944.   In the resulting battle ending the following day, the Japanese lost the battleships Fuso and Yamashiro and the destroyers Michishio, Asagumo, and Yamagumo.   The battle holds the distinction of being the last naval battle in which air power did not play a part, except in pursuit.   As such, it was the last U.S. Navy's last battle-line engagement.   U.S. Navy battleships participating were USS Mississippi (BB-41), USS Maryland (BB-36), USS West Virginia (BB-48), USS Tennessee (BB-43), USS California (BB-44), and USS Pennsylvania (BB-38).  Except for Missisippi, all these battleships were damaged during the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941.  In addition to the warship engagements, U.S. Navy patrol boats engaged the enemy.  Thirty-nine of the boats were in 13 sections, consisting of three boats eacch and were successful in hitting the Japanese light-cruiser Abukuma

Image:   80-G-288493:   Battle of Surigao Strait, October 24-25, 1944.  U.S. Navy cruisers firing on the Japanese fleet.  Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.