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As mandated by the Joint Chiefs, the navy provided logistical support for MacArthur. Task Force 58 attacked the major Japanese base at Truk in the western Carolines as well as the headquarters of the Imperial Fleet in the Palaus. The Americans wanted to establish air supremacy in order to prevent Japanese land-based planes from reaching either MacArthur’s forces in New Guinea or the marines once they landed on Saipan. At the end of March the attack on the Palaus destroyed 150 Japanese planes and more than 100,000 tons of shipping, while the Americans lost only 25 aircraft.

S. Naval Historical Center photo. tating defeat. He performed poorly at Midway, then was sent to Saipan because it seemed to be safely behind Japanese lines. His ultimate fate on Saipan certainly added to the satisfaction of the American victory. Japanese command structures were complicated, at least to the Americans, and in addition the services often did not cooperate with each other. Throughout the war the Japanese suffered from a lack of coordination between the services, as army and navy leaders in Tokyo attempted to ensure their own superiority in the command structure and to take credit for victory.

Just to his north was the Navy Sector, which included the capital city of Garapan and was defended by the 5th Base Force (55th Keibitai, 1st Special Naval Landing Forces). The Southern Sector included the other major city, Charan Kanoa, and was under the command of Colonel Oka’s 47th Independent Mixed Brigade. The Northern Sector was patrolled by the 135th under Colonel Suzuki. ”12 Guns were situated so that they could fire toward the water but at the same time across the beach, thereby establishing a crossfire pattern as the enemy came ashore.

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