How the Tragic Death of 1 Aircraft Carrier Sealed Imperial Japan's Fate

Warfare History Network
By Unknown - U.S. Navy photo 80-G-416362, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49974

Warfare History Network

History, Asia

A little history lesson.

How the Tragic Death of 1 Aircraft Carrier Sealed Imperial Japan's Fate

But the sorely needed planes were not delivered. When word came of the Pearl Harbor attack, the Lexington, still 400 miles southeast of Midway, turned and headed southward. She spent several days with other U.S. ships searching unsuccessfully south of Oahu for the Japanese flattops and returned to Pearl Harbor for refueling and reprovisioning.

Responding to a November 27, 1941, war warning message from Admiral Harold R. “Betty” Stark, chief of naval operations, America’s prized handful of aircraft carriers were fortuitously absent from Pearl Harbor when Japanese planes savaged the Pacific Fleet on Sunday, December 7.

The USS Saratoga (CV-3) was refitting in San Diego, the USS Enterprise (CV-6) was returning after ferrying fighters to the Marine Corps defense force on Wake Island, the USS Wasp (CV-7) was serving with the Royal Navy Home Fleet in the Mediterranean, the USS Yorktown (CV-5) was at Norfolk, Virginia, and the USS Lexington (CV-2) was carrying a squadron of Vought SB2U Vindicator dive bombers to the tiny Marine garrison on Midway Island.

This first appeared in September 2017.

But the sorely needed planes were not delivered. When word came of the Pearl Harbor attack, the Lexington, still 400 miles southeast of Midway, turned and headed southward. She spent several days with other U.S. ships searching unsuccessfully south of Oahu for the Japanese flattops and returned to Pearl Harbor for refueling and reprovisioning.

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