Naval History and Heritage Command

Today in Naval History
June 19

1944 - The largest aircraft carrier action in World War II, the Battle of the Philippine Sea begins.
On This Day


During the Civil War, USS Kearsarge, commanded by Capt. J.A. Winslow, sinks CSS Alabama, commanded by Capt. R. Semmes, off Cherbourg, France, ending the career of the Souths most famous commerce raider, which included burning 55 vessels valued at $4.5 million.


USS Ballard (AVD 10) is directed by a PBY (VP 11) to rescue 35 survivors (one dies shortly after rescue) from Japanese carrier, Hiryu, which is scuttled by destroyers Kazegumo and Yugumo on June 5 during the Battle of Midway. The men are members of the engineering department and were presumed dead by the Japanese.


USS Gunnel (SS 253) damages Japanese gunboat Hong Kong Maru (ex-Philippine Argus) and sinks freighter Tokiwa Maru off Shirase, Japan, and costal minesweeper Tsubame. Also on this date, USS Sculpin (SS 191) sinks Japanese guardboat No.1 Miyasho Maru and army cargo ship Sagami Maru off Inubo Saki, Japan.


Mulberry A off the coast of Normandy, Omaha Beach, is destroyed in severe storm that lasts until the following day. Deemed irreparable, the use of the mulberry ceases. The British and Canadian Mulberry B, off Gold Beach, survives the storm.


The largest aircraft carrier action in World War II, the Battle of the Philippine Sea begins as Task Force 58 shoots down hundreds of enemy aircraft in what becomes known as the "Marianas Turkey Shoot.


USS Dunlap (DD 384) sinks Japanese luggers Gorgen Maru and Legaspi Maru and cargo ship Kasidori Maru while patrolling north of Chichi Jima. The vessels are en route to evacuate noncombatants from Chichi Jima to the Japanese homelands and transport gasoline.

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