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British involvement in the pacific island hopping towards japan.

My mothers late brother was air crew In far eastern command. He told the story of being on a plane landing on a partly held pacific island, as they were landing, Japanese snipers were still active at one end of the island, and being shot at. He flew in Sunderland's, PBY Catalina's, and Boston bombers, attached to the US Army air force.

Question:- In all the documentary's on the TV, specifically The PBS American channel, on freeview, there is no mention of British involvement, did the Royal Navy have any imput in the liberation of the islands, as the Americans got closer and closer island hopping towards Japan, ditto the RAF.
 
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My late mothers brother was air crew In far eastern command. He told the story of being on a plane landing on a partly held pacific island, as they were landing, Japanese snipers were still active at one end of the island, and being shot at. He flew in Sunderland's, PBY Catalina's, and Boston bombers, attached to the Us Army air force.

Question:- In all the documentary's on the TV, specifically The PBS American channel, on freeview, there is no mention of British involvement, did the Royal Navy have any imput in the liberation of the islands, as the Americans got closer and closer island hopping towards Japan, ditto the RAF.


 
My late mothers brother was air crew In far eastern command. He told the story of being on a plane landing on a partly held pacific island, as they were landing, Japanese snipers were still active at one end of the island, and being shot at. He flew in Sunderland's, PBY Catalina's, and Boston bombers, attached to the Us Army air force.

Question:- In all the documentary's on the TV, specifically The PBS American channel, on freeview, there is no mention of British involvement, did the Royal Navy have any imput in the liberation of the islands, as the Americans got closer and closer island hopping towards Japan, ditto the RAF.
Yes,

my Great uncle is buried out there, he was a NGS Fwd Observer and killed during the fighting for one of the islands when he had switched into a FOO role for the guns. I remain the only one of the family to have visited his grave/memorial.
 


In all the many episodes of the pacific war, narrated by a very sombre American voice, no mention what so ever is made of British involvement, To any young student of military history watching the episodes, it conveys America as the sole liberators of the many islands , and totally ignores Britain's involvement, its the Errol Flynn, and John Wayne syndrome, only on a much greater scale.
 
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sand_rat

Old-Salt
I believe that 4, yes 4 fleet carriers took part in the Okinawa campaign. The had 3 inch thick metal flight decks, one US commentator saw a kamikaze hit one and (probably misquoted) said if that happened to a US carrier it meant it was out of the war for 3 months, for the Brits it meant breaking out the sweeping brushes . . .
 
I believe that 4, yes 4 fleet carriers took part in the Okinawa campaign. The had 3 inch thick metal flight decks, one US commentator saw a kamikaze hit one and (probably misquoted) said if that happened to a US carrier it meant it was out of the war for 3 months, for the Brits it meant breaking out the sweeping brushes . . .


The decks of the American carriers were timber, and as you say, vulnerable to kamikaze attacks. Lessons were learned, and all carriers post WW2 had steel decks.
Interesting foot note. The landing of planes on the US carriers were controlled by a man, with two hand held table tennis type signal panels, it was the British naval invention of the optical landing light system that reduced considerably crash's and overshoots
 
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sand_rat

Old-Salt
a link to the Brit contribution, it was 5 not 4 carriers, about 3:54 in.
 

exspy

LE
Question:- In all the documentary's on the TV, specifically The PBS American channel, on freeview, there is no mention of British involvement, did the Royal Navy have any imput in the liberation of the islands, as the Americans got closer and closer island hopping towards Japan, ditto the RAF.

The British Pacific Fleet and Tiger Force were both 1945. Was there any British involvement in the Central Pacific island hopping campaign between 1942 and 1944?
 

bestri10

Old-Salt
In all the many episodes of the pacific war, narrated by a very sombre American voice, no mention what so ever is made of British involvement, To any young student of military history watching the episodes, it conveys America as the sole liberators of the many islands , and totally ignores Britain's involvement, its the Errol Flynn, and john Wayne syndrome, only on a much greater scale.
british involvement is often overlooked by many americans, one example that shocks people is the british involvement during the battle of the bulge
 

bestri10

Old-Salt
The British Pacific Fleet and Tiger Force were both 1945. Was there any British involvement in the Central Pacific island hopping campaign between 1942 and 1944?
the brits, anzacs etc. fought in Burma, Kohima etc. and spent a lot of the pacific campaign deterring Japan from invading India (correct me if im wrong), during the Burma campaign the British had more killer then the USMC in the entire pacific campaign i believe
 
The British Pacific Fleet and Tiger Force were both 1945. Was there any British involvement in the Central Pacific island hopping campaign between 1942 and 1944?
Yes, HMS Victorous. From Wiki:

Service with the US Navy[edit]​

USS Hornet was sunk and USS Enterprise was badly damaged at the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, leaving the United States Navy with only one fleet carrier, USS Saratoga, operational in the Pacific. In late December 1942, Victorious was loaned to the US Navy after an American plea for carrier reinforcement.[6] After a refit in the United States at the Norfolk Navy Yard in January 1943 and the addition of Avenger aircraft, Victorious passed through the Panama Canal on 14 February to operate with United States forces in the Pacific. Her crew suffered a diphtheria outbreak and medical supplies were dropped to her by air on 21 February.[7]


HMS Victorious and USS Saratoga at Nouméa, 1943
Victorious arrived at Pearl Harbor in March 1943 and was fitted with heavier arrester wires as RN wires had proved too light for the Grumman Avenger aircraft. Additional AA guns were also fitted. She sailed for the south-west Pacific, arriving at Nouméa, New Caledonia, on 17 May to form Carrier Division 1 with USS Saratoga.[8] She sortied immediately for a week with Task Force 14, including Saratoga and battleships North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Indiana, sweeping against reported Japanese fleet activity, but without contact. Six aircraft were lost to accidents. Rear Admiral DeWitt Ramsey, commanding the division, carried out evaluation exercises and patrol sweeps in June and determined that Victorious had superior fighter control but handled Avenger aircraft poorly because of their weight. Accordingly, he transferred 832 Squadron FAA on to the Saratoga and US Carrier Air Group 3 on to the Victorious. Thereafter, Victorious's primary role was fighter cover and Saratoga mainly handled strikes. On 27 June, TF14 was redesignated Task Group 36.3 and sailed to provide cover for the invasion of New Georgia (part of Operation Cartwheel). Victorious spent the next 28 days continuously in combat operations at sea, a record for a British carrier, steaming 12,223 miles[clarification needed] at an average speed over 18 knots (33 km/h) kts and launching 614 sorties. Returning to Nouméa on 25 July, Victorious was recalled home. Though the Japanese had four carriers to Ramsey's two, it seemed clear that they were not intending to press their advantage and the first two carriers of the new Essex-class had arrived at Pearl Harbor well ahead of schedule. Victorious left for Pearl Harbor on 31 July, leaving behind her Avengers as replacements for Saratoga, sailing in company with battleship Indiana and launching 165 anti submarine sweeps en route. She also carried US pilots finishing their tours as well as two Japanese POWs. After a brief stop in San Diego, Victorious passed through the Panama Canal on 26 August and arrived at Norfolk Navy Yard 1 September, where specialized US equipment was removed. Returning home, she arrived at Gree
 
the brits, anzacs etc. fought in Burma, Kohima etc. and spent a lot of the pacific campaign deterring Japan from invading India (correct me if im wrong), during the Burma campaign the British had more killer then the USMC in the entire pacific campaign i believe
ANZAC didn't fight in Burma. They were too busy in PNG and the South Pacific Islands. In 1945 1 Australian Corp with RAAF and RAN support landed in Brunei and British North Borneo and Sarawak to liberate them from the Japanese.
 
The Brits, Anzacs etc. fought in Burma, Kohima etc. and spent a lot of the pacific campaign deterring Japan from invading India (correct me if I'm wrong), during the Burma campaign, the British had more killed then the USMC in the entire pacific campaign I believe


Thank you, my father fought in Burma, and is still alive at 93. My original question was about the British Navy, and RAF involvement in the central pacific island hoping towards japan.
 

bestri10

Old-Salt
i
ANZAC didn't fight in Burma. They were too busy in PNG and the South Pacific Islands. In 1945 1 Australian Corp with RAAF and RAN support landed in Brunei and British North Borneo and Sarawak to liberate them from the Japanese.
i stand corrected there thank you
 

sand_rat

Old-Salt
again apologies but more info on the RN involvement

 
Bit of a history of TF57 and comments on the alleged views of Admiral King. Wanting the British assets to support MacArthur and similar views from MacArthur about where they should be used. Lots of ‘to’ing and fro’ing’ on the utility, where to be used and whether they would be self supporting:

On September 28, 1944, Churchill would report to parliament:


“The new phase of the war against Japan will command all our resources from the moment the German War is ended. We owe it to Australia and New Zealand to help them remove for ever the Japanese menace to their homelands, and as they have helped us on every front in the fight against Germany we will not be behindhand in giving them effective aid.
“We have offered the fine modern British fleet and asked that it should be employed in the main operations against Japan. For a year past our modern battleships have been undergoing modification and tropicalisation to meet wartime changes in technical apparatus. The scale of our effort will be limited only by the available shipping.”
 
HMS King George V bombared Japan in the company of a US Battleship at the end of the war:

"On 4 May 1945 King George V led battleships and cruisers in a forty-five-minute bombardment of Japanese air facilities in the Ryukyu Islands. As the Allies approached the Japanese homeland, King George V was dispatched in mid-July to join the US battleships in a bombardment of industrial installations at Hitachi. King George V fired 267 rounds from her 14-inch guns during this operation. The task force then moved on to Hamamatsu in southern Honshu, where it carried out a further bombardment of aviation factories.[27] During the Okinawa campaign, the battleship supported four fast carriers of the British Pacific Fleet. Her last offensive action was a night bombardment of Hamamatsu on 29 and 30 July 1945"

Apparently they found an unexploded 14 inch shell from KGV when they were doing building work in Hamamatsu in the nineties.
 
Robert Hampton Gray VC

While the BPF operations over Okinawa are well known, It is not as well known that the carriers carried out airstrikes against airfields and shipping on the mainland of Japan. The last VC of the war was for an operation on the mainland of Japan on the 9th August 1945, less than a week before VE day.

In April 1945, HMS Formidable joined the British Pacific Fleet which was involved in the invasion of Okinawa. By July 1945, the carrier was involved in strikes on the Japanese mainland. On July 18, Gray led a strafing mission against airfields in the Tokyo area. On July 24, Gray led another flight to the inland sea which damaged one merchant ship, and damaged two seaplane bases and one airbase. Gray earned a Distinguished Service Cross for aiding in sinking a Japanese destroyer in the area of Tokyo on July 28.[3] The award was not announced until August 21, 1945, when the notice appeared in the London Gazette with the citation, "For determination and address in air attacks on targets in Japan".[5]

VC action[edit]​

On August 9, 1945, at Onagawa Bay, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, Lieutenant Gray (flying a Vought F4U Corsair) led an attack on a group of Japanese naval vessels, sinking the Etorofu-class escort ship Amakusa before his plane crashed into the bay.[6][7] The citation for his VC, gazetted on November 13, 1945, describes what happened:

ADMIRALTY Whitehall, 13th November 1945.
The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the VICTORIA CROSS for valour to: —
the late Temporary Lieutenant Robert Hampton GRAY, R.C.N.V.R.,
for great valour in leading an attack on a Japanese destroyer in Onagawa Wan, on 9 August 1945. In the face of fire from shore batteries and a heavy concentration of fire from some five warships Lieutenant Gray pressed home his attack, flying very low in order to ensure success, and, although he was hit and his aircraft was in flames, he obtained at least one direct hit, sinking the destroyer. Lieutenant Gray has consistently shown a brilliant fighting spirit and most inspiring leadership.[
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
The XE mini subs won a couple of VCs and numerous lesser awards.

Operations Sabre and Foil saw them cutting communication cables whilst Operation Struggle saw them sink a heavy cruiser.
 
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