World War II Service and Diary of John R. McKnight - Ex Rd M 3c USN
Jack "Weary" McKnight - June 1944
Dates
Diary Entries
Diary Footnotes
June 1 Returned to Majuro.    
June 6 Left Majuro for Marianas. There are four separate carrier forces.

58.1 - Rear Adm. J.J. Clarke
  • CVs1: Hornet2, Belleau Wood3, Yorktown4, Bataan5,
  • CAs6: Boston7, Baltimore8,Canberra9,
  • CLs10(9A): Oakland11, San Juan12,
  • DDs13: fourteen
58.2 - Rear Adm. Montgomery
  • CVs1: Bunker Hill14, Wasp15
  • CVCs16: Cabot17, Monterey18,
  • BBs19: Iowa20, New Jersey21
  • CLs10: Santa Fe22, Mobile23, Biloxi24,
  • DDs13: fourteen
58.3 - Rear Adm. Reeves 58.4 - Rear Adm. H.K. Harrill
  • CV1: Essex32
  • CVLs16: Langley33, Cowpens34,
  • CLs10: Vincennes35, Houston36, Miami37
  • CL10(AA)38: Reno39, San Diego40,
  • DDs13: Case41, Stanley42, Dyson43, Converse44, Osborne45,
    Spence46, Thatcher47, Wilson48, Sterret49, Elliot50,
    Long51, Lansdowne52, Lardner53, McCalla54.
1. CV - Largest aircraft carrier
2. U.S.S. Hornet CV-12
3. U.S.S. Belleau Wood CVL-24
4. U.S.S. Yorktown CV-10
5. U.S.S. Bataan CVL-29
6. CA - Heavy Cruiser
7. U.S.S. Boston CA-69
8. U.S.S. Baltimore CA-68
9. U.S.S. Canberra CA-70
10. CL - Light Cruiser
11. U.S.S. Oakland CL-95
12. U.S.S. San Juan CL-54
13. DD - Destroyer
14. U.S.S. Bunker Hill CV-17
15. U.S.S. Wasp CV-18
16. CVC - light carriers (CVL)
17. U.S.S Cabot CVL-28
18. U.S.S Monterey CVL-26
19. BB - Battleship
20. U.S.S. Iowa BB-61
21. U.S.S. New Jersey BB-62
22. U.S.S. Santa Fe CL-60
23. U.S.S. Mobile CL-63
24. U.S.S. Biloxi CL-80
25. U.S.S. Lexington CV-16
26. U.S.S. Enterprise CV-6
27. U.S.S. San Jacinto CVL-30
28. U.S.S. Princeton CVL-23
29. U.S.S. North Carolina BB-55
30. U.S.S. South Dakota BB-57
31. U.S.S. Alabama BB-60
32. U.S.S. Essex CV-9
33. U.S.S. Langley CVL-27
34. U.S.S. Cowpens CVL-25
35. U.S.S. Vincennes CL-64
36. U.S.S. Houston CL-81
37. U.S.S. Miami CL-89
38. AA - Anti-aircraft guns
39. U.S.S. Reno CL-96
40. U.S.S. San Diego CL-53
41. U.S.S. Case DD-370
42. U.S.S. Stanley DD-478
43. U.S.S. Dyson DD-572
44. U.S.S. Converse DD-700
45. U.S.S. Ausburne DD-570
46. U.S.S. Spence DD-512
47. U.S.S. Thatcher DD-514
48. U.S.S. Wilson DD-408
49. U.S.S. Sterret DD-407
50. U.S.S. Elliot DD-398
51. U.S.S. Long DD-209
52. U.S.S. Lansdowne DD-486
53. U.S.S. Lardner DD-487
54. U.S.S. McCalla DD-488
June 11 Arrived Marianas. Launched one strike VF1 coordinating with other task group for purpose of knocking out planes and communications and personnel. 1. VF - U.S. Fighter Aircraft
June 12 Launched 5 strikes of VF1, VB2, and VT3. First two strikes hit Tinian, a Jap convoy, AKs4 and destroyers. Last 3 of our strikes took care of convoy. 1. VF - U.S. Fighter Aircraft
2. VB - U.S. Bomber Aircraft
3. VT - U.S. Torpedo Aircraft
4. AK - Cargo ships
June 13 Launched 3 strikes.  
June 14 Cowpen's planes shot down 2 Bettys1. Refueled most of day. Same afternoon left for Bonin Islands. * 130 miles NE of Saipan - (17-25 N 147-43 E)
1. Betty - Japanese Navy Bomber
June 15 Arrived Bonin. Launched one VF1sweep. 1. VF - U.S. Fighter Aircraft
June 16 Launched one strike today. We learned the Jap fleet is nearing the Marianas. Our planes sank a Jap AK1 and a Sanpan2. 1. AK - Cargo ships
2. Sanpan - any of a variety of smaller
   Japanese naval vessels.
June 17 Launched air strikes today. Brought aboard 7 Jap prisoners picked up by DD1.Survivors of AK2 we sunk. 1. DD - Destroyer
2. AK - Cargo ship
June 18 Leaving for Marianas. Brought aboard 5 more Jap prisoners. Will be transferred after being questioned by chaplain. Jap fleet at 8:00 PM tonight is reported 250 miles from us * 225 miles WSW of Saipan
June 19 Today was a great day. Our air group knocked down 63 planes. Our entire task group 58.4 total of 82. The combined task group 300 and 8 probables. * "The Marianas Turkey Shoot" - June 19, 1944
    (The First Battle of the Philippine Sea)
* 250 miles WSW of Saipan - (14-24 N 143-39 E)
June 20 Launched two VF1 sweeps -one Guam and one Rato. We sent ones in fours VF(N)2 early this morning to Rato. When fighters were over field Japs turned on landing lights.They then discovered whose planes they were. They sent up 4 Vals3 (dive bomber). We promptly shot down three - other ran. We lost 1 pilot today. Contacted Jap fleet. Lexington4 and Enterprise5 sent two long range attacks out. * 60 miles E of Saipan
1. VF - U.S. Fighter Aircraft
2. VFN - U.S. Navy Fighter Aircraft
3. Val - Japanese Navy Dive Bomber.
4. U.S.S. Lexington CV-16
5. U.S.S. Enterprise CV-6
June 21 Launched attacks on Guam and Rato. Lost 1 pilot. Cowpens1 VF2 knocked down1 Betty3 - Langley4 radar picked it up at 145 miles. We are learning target area and going west to meet Lexington5 and Enterprise6 groups. 100 miles west: We are tailing tankers to refuel there. BBs7 and CL8 are going with us. 1. U.S.S. Cowpens CVL-25
2. VF - U.S. Fighter Aircraft
3. Val - Japanese Navy Dive Bomber.
4. U.S.S. Langley CVL-27
5. U.S.S. Lexington CV-16
6. U.S.S. Enterprise CV-6
7. BB - Battleship
8. CL - Light Cruiser
June 22 29 pilots and crewmen were picked up after the long range attack on Jap fleet. On account of the distance, many had to make water landings. Do not know results of attack yet.  
June 23 Launched 3 strikes at Guam and Rota. Got 12 Zekes (fighter) and probables. Bunker Hill2 got a Betty3. Transferred 12 prisoners to DD2.
* 100 miles W of Saipan - (15-35 N 143-56 E)
1. Zeke - Japanese Navy Fighter
2. U.S.S. Bunker Hill CV-17
3. Val - Japanese Navy Dive Bomber.
4. DD - Destroyer
June 24 Launched three strikes at Guam and Rota.  
June 25 Same as yesterday. 3 strikes. Things are quiet now.  
June 26 Refueled DDs1. C.O.2 off Enterprise3 came aboard and described attack on Jap fleet. He was the one who sighted it. Sighted 3:30 at 30 miles on June 20. Part of it was refueling. * 30 miles E of Saipan - (15-11 N 146-51 E)
1. DD - Destroyer
2. C.O. - Commanding Officer
3. U.S.S. Enterprise CV 6
June 27 7 PM had a few bogies1. 8:45 Enterprise2 VF(N)3 shot down what we believe was a Sally4. Just coming off watch and saw her go down. Launched air strike on Guam. From Jan 29 - June 25 sunk 24 warships, 25 merchant ships, 66 sanpans5. 1116 planes have been shot down by our aircraft and 49 by our ships. On this operation 724 by aircraft and 26 by ships making a total of 1835 enemy planes - not bad. * 150 miles W of Saipan - (13-22 N 146-51 E)
1. Bogies - enemy aircraft
2. U.S.S. Enterprise CV 6
3. VFN -U.S. Navy fighter
4. Sally - Japanese Army Bomber.
5. Sanpan - any of a variety of smaller
    Japanese naval vessels.
June 28 Launched attacks on islands from Pagan to Medinilla. 6 in all. Langley1 hit 3 and Cowpens2 3. No AA3 or personel seemed to be on islands. * 75 miles W of Saipan - (15-35 N 144-27 E)
1. U.S.S. Langley CVL-27
2. U.S.S. Cowpens CVL-25
3. AA - Anti-aircraft gun
June 29 Launched attacks on Guam - Langley1 is to hit Agana airstrip and Cowpens2 Crata. They will also hit Rota. We furnish 6 VBT3, 6 VT4 for strikes. We furnish CAP5 and ASP6 as usual. * 100 miles WSW of Saipan - (14-36 N 144-01 E)
1. U.S.S. Langley CVL-27
2. U.S.S. Cowpens CVL-25
3. VTB - U.S. Bomber Aircraft
4. VT - U.S Torpedo Aircraft
5. CAP - Combat Air Patrol
6. ASP - Anti-submarine Patrol
June 30 CVLs1 launched strikes against Rota. * 150 miles WSW of Saipan - (14-20 N 143-23 E)
1. CVL - Light aircraft carrier

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