The USS Enterprise is the most revered ship in the US Naval Fleet. She was the lead ship since Pearl Harbor. She saw all the high points of the Pacific War. She was known as Lucky E. As the war gets closer and closer to Japan, the Japanese get more desperate. They then target the Enterprise. Will, the Enterprise’s luck run out? What sort of weapon will the Japanese come up with to stop a potential invasion?
January 10, 1945, a squadron of bombers fly off the Enterprise. They are going to perform night air attacks on the Japanese fleet. A Japanese Convoy is looking to transport supplies to the Japanese Fleet. They will be under attack tonight. The bombers are joined up with the Hellcats, and the Hellcats are armed with high-velocity rockets. The attack is broken off near dawn: three ships are sunk, more are heading towards land, and others are dead in the water.
The Enterprise had undergone major renovations earlier in the year. Her landing lights were upgraded. A new radar portal was installed. She also becomes the only ship designated to fight at night. It was controversial at the time. However, the man who was in charge of that decision felt that it was important to try. At night, nobody would see you coming. However, landing in the dark would be a challenge. They could find their targets by radar, but when it came to landing, all they had was lights to guide them. Landing in the day could be a challenge, landing at night could be worse.
Despite it all, war became a twenty-four-hour affair. The Enterprise joins up with their strike force and makes their way to the South China Sea. It was the first time that the US had entered Japanese-controlled waters. The night attacks on Japanese targets began. 200,000 tons of shipping were sunk during this time. The night fighters are proving their worth.
They target the harbor at Formosa, which is present-day Taiwan. The attacks began at 4:00 AM. The Japanese radar picks up the attackers. They attack the night raiders. However, with one man’s knowledge of radar, he was able to trick the Japanese into thinking one plane was coming in and not a squadron. Unfortunately, when the planes came back to the Enterprise, three planes were unaccounted for. Even with these losses, the night raiders continue to do their job. They even launch attacks on the Japanese homeland.
This triggers a ferocious Japanese response. This is clear at Iwo Jima. While the Marines are trying to take the island inch by inch, the Enterprise fighters bombard the island for seven straight days. Then the Japanese launch an attack on Enterprise. The bomb was a dud, it simply bounced on the deck. The men rolled it off the deck and into the sea. The next day the Franklin was hit. The men on the Enterprise look on in horror as the carrier explodes. The Enterprise leads the rescue efforts, but miraculously the Franklin survives the attack.
The Japanese attack the Enterprise, but do not wound the Enterprise. The men’s quick action allowed the fires to be put out quickly. Damage to the Enterprise was minimal. The Enterprise ends up with a souvenir from the battle: a Japanese dive bomber. Eventually the Japanese create the Kamikaze squad. 400 aircraft of every type and age were assembled to form this Kamikaze squad. To continue to learn more about the Enterprise watch the rest of this documentary.
This would be a good documentary to give to an independent study student working on studying World War II.
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