Battleship Wisconsin (BB-64) - WW II - page 4

bb64 While TF 58's planes were off dispatching Yamato and her consorts to the bottom of the South China Sea, enemy aircraft struck back at American surface units. Combat air patrols (CAP) shot down 15 enemy planes, and ships' gunfire shot down another three, but not before one Kamikaze attack penetrated the CAP and screen to crash on the flight deck of the fleet carrier Hancock (CV-19). On 11 April, the Japanese renewed their Kamikaze attacks; and only drastic maneuvers and heavy barrages of gunfire saved the task force. None of the strikes achieved any direct hits, although near-misses, close aboard, managed to cause some minor damage. Combat air patrols shot down 17 planes, and ships' gunfire shot down 12. The next day, 151 enemy aircraft attacked TF 58, but Wisconsin, bristling with five inch (127 mm), 40 mm and 20 mm guns, together with other units of the screens for the vital carriers, kept the Kamikaze pilots at bay and destroyed them before they could reach their targets.

Over the days that ensued, American task force planes hit Japanese facilities and installations in the enemy's homeland. Redoubling their efforts, suicide attacks managed to crash into three carriers on successive days Intrepid (CV-11), Bunker Hill (CV-17) and Enterprise (CV-6).

By 4 June, a typhoon was swirling through the Fleet. Wisconsin rode out the storm unscathed, but three cruisers, two carriers, and a destroyer suffered serious damage. Offensive operations were resumed on 8 June with a final aerial assault on Kyushu. Japanese aerial response was pitifully small; 29 planes were located and destroyed. On that day, one of Wisconsin's floatplanes landed and rescued a downed pilot from the carrier Shangri-La (CV-38).

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