Posted by: arbeam | April 15, 2013

Stennis Strike Group Transits the Surigao Strait

PACIFIC OCEAN (April 14, 2013) An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter from the Eightballers of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8 carries cargo from the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Yukon (T-AO-202) to the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) during a replenishment-at-sea. John C. Stennis is deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet

PACIFIC OCEAN (April 14, 2013) An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter from the Eightballers of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8 carries cargo from the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Yukon (T-AO-202) to the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) during a replenishment-at-sea. John C. Stennis is deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet

SOUTH CHINA SEA (NNS) — The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSCSG) transited the Surigao Strait, a narrow passageway between the Mindanao and Leyte islands of the Philippines, April 10. Sailors took a brief pause during routine operations to pay tribute to the historical significance of the passage and to the Sailors who gave their lives in the defense of freedom during the battle in these waters during World War II.

During the Battle of the Surigao Strait, from Oct. 23-26, 1944, the Japanese Imperial Navy, who then occupied the central Philippines, led an assault on U.S. ships supporting the Allied invasion of Leyte Gulf. U.S. Rear Adm. Jesse B. Oldendorf, commander of U.S. 7th Fleet, was tasked with stopping the Japanese attack. With the help of Allied forces, Oldendorf reduced the Japanese forces to half. The remaining Japanese battleship fleet retreated after seeing the burning wreckage of the defeated Imperial battleships.

The Battle of Surigao Strait severely weakened the Japanese fleet, allowing the Allied forces to successfully defend the ground invasion of the Philippines, setting the stage for the invasion of Okinawa.

Navy News article

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