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Published on May 7, 2017

Made in 1945, TASK FORCE 58 shows the activities of the Fast Carrier Task Force in WWII, known as "Task Force 58". The Fast Carrier Task Force was the main striking force of the United States Navy in the Pacific War from January 1944 through the end of the war in August 1945. The task force was made up of several separate task groups, each typically built around three to four aircraft carriers and their supporting vessels. The support vessels were screening destroyers, cruisers, and the newly built fast battleships. The film opens in the Marianas with the so-called Marianas Turkey Shoot, through the invasion of Okinawa, the devastating kamikaze attacks, and it even covers the last two years of the war up until and including the assault on Iwo Jima and the atomic bombing of Japan.

The film contains astonishing gun camera footage as well as incredible combat footage throughout, including air-to-ground action in Rangoon in the China-Burma-India Theater, and the building of the B-29 base at Saipan.

The Fast Carrier Task Force (Task Force 38 & Task Force 58) took part in all the US Navy's battles in the Pacific during last two years of the war. The task groups could operate independently or combine with the others as needs dictated. Raids against island strong points such as Iwo Jima or Chichi Jima might be undertaken by one or two task groups, but when a major operation was underway the task force would concentrate all four groups together. Each group would remain distinct but operate in close proximity to the other groups to provide the task force with maximum protection and maximum striking power. TF 58 was created on 6 January 1944 with Rear Admiral Marc Mitscher commanding, serving under the fleet command of Admiral Spruance in the Fifth Fleet.

Admiral Raymond Spruance and Admiral Marc Mitscher and TF 58 led the fleet through the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, facing sustained attacks from land-based Japanese kamikaze aircraft. As the Okinawa campaign dragged into its second month, the presence of the carriers was still required to provide close air support to the soldiers on the island as the Army and its Air Corps were not as adept as the Marine Corps at quickly establishing airfields over newly occupied territory. At the end of April, Admiral Nimitz came out to review the situation. After two months operating off the coast of Okinawa in support of Army forces engaged in battle on the island, the command staff was exhausted from the continuous pressure of fending off kamikaze attacks. On his return to Pearl Harbor, he notified Halsey that he would have to take over command from Spruance in thirty days, whether or not the mission was completed.

On 28 May 1945, Halsey arrived aboard USS Missouri, his new flagship, whereupon he relieved Spruance, while McCain relieved Mitscher. Spruance and Mitscher returned to Pearl Harbor. Fifth Fleet once again became Third Fleet, and Task Force 58 became Task Force 38. Halsey remained in command until the Japanese surrender ended the war on 2 September 1945.

The Fast Carrier Task Force worked in conjunction with the other two major components of the Pacific Fleet, the Amphibious Force, which was much larger overall and which carried and provided direct support to the Marine forces, and the Service Squadrons of hundreds of support vessels which resupplied and maintained the fleet.[8] The fleet and task group designation changed when the command of the fleet changed hands. When under the umbrella of Fifth Fleet, the invasion force was called the Fifth Amphibious Force. When Halsey had command of the fleet, Third Amphibious Force was the designation. By the time of the Battle of Iwo Jima in early 1945, the Task Force included eighteen aircraft carriers, eight battleships and two battlecruisers, along with numerous cruisers and destroyers. TF 58 alone commanded more firepower than any navy in history.

The British Royal Navy, Task Force 57 is also seen. TF57 neutralized the Japanese airfields in the Sakishima Islands with massive firepower and bombs.

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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD and 2k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com


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