Complete Series List: 1942- The Year of the Aircraft Carrier

Blown Slick Series #13 

1942 – The Year of the Aircraft Carrier

Given the two years plus this series has taken, below is a list/linkage for easy access  for all 30 posts. But first a bit of  site background review ...

Remembered Sky began as a way to tell the stories  of myself and my friends on that ’72-’73 Vietnam war cruise on USS Midway, for Linebacker I and II. A significant catalyst was also my decision in regard to the 100th year anniversary of Naval Aviation to spend some time re-reading my collection of books and articles, discussing the details of that 100 years. This included my continuing fascination with the history of the Battle of Midway which encompasses  the evolution of carrier warfare and the 1930’s Fleet Battle Problems, and then finally re-treading my own years within that  story.

Moving along first, these paths of exploration of naval aviation’s beginnings, and second, the distinct passage for all U.S. airpower that was the air war in Vietnam, and the somewhat different tracks that the Air Force and Navy followed post Vietnam on into Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom, I began to sense and then finally acknowledge that  with my own experiences and aeronautical engineering education, I was developing very distinct questions, arguments, opinions, and outright disagreement with certain aspects of the analysis and conclusions about airpower being offered by many of the current crop of well respected academic, historian, and military analysts.

That questioning along with a recent bit of research and analysis I conducted as a paid consultant focusing on potential testing and training scenarios for the F-35, all together convinced me that the next step for Remembered Sky should be a move from air warfare storytelling to air warfare analysis. This then is the back story for discussion of the evolution of fighter, attack, and strike fighter airpower application  – Blown SlickLight Attack Fast Pursuit Airpower Analysis – the series.

Any assessment of future air power must certainly take into account China’s growing defense capability, objectives, and ongoing operations in the South China Sea. This suggested that a  reasonable starting point  would be a review of that first year of WW II in the Pacific, the Japanese island chain or co-prosperity sphere, and the emergence of aircraft carrier warfare. The sub-series posts provide a review of the four major carrier battles throughout 1942. And thus, Blown Slick #13 – 1942 the Year of the Aircraft Carrier.

Tales of the South Pacific

The following is a complete listing with links to each article:

Part 1- Background

Posted on April 16, 2018

Blown Slick Series #13  Seventy-five years ago -1943 – Nimitz, King, and particularly the air navy admirals worked a seemingly endless slate of problems to leverage the advantages the navy had hard earned in the last year. The F-4 Wildcat … Continue reading

Part 2 – The Doolittle Raid

Posted on April 17, 2018

War, Remembrance, Honor  – The Doolittle Raiders  18 April, 1942 Spotted by a Japanese ship two days before they intended to launch 400-450 miles off the coast of Japan, Admiral Halsey, Hornet commanding officer … Continue reading

Part 3 – The Four Battles

Posted on April 28, 2018

Blown Slick Series #13 Part 3 The Clash of the Carriers During the course of the first months after the Pear Harbor attack, U.S. carriers had been conducting multiple raids on the periphery of Japanese occupied ocean areas. The raids were … Continue reading

Part 4 – The Battle of the Coral Sea

Posted on April 30, 2018

Blown Slick Series #13 Part 4 “Scratch One Flattop!” The Battle of the Coral Sea, fought from 4 to 8 May 1942 is historically significant as the first action in which aircraft carriers engaged each other, as well as the first in which … Continue reading

Part 5 – Midway Trilogy (1 of 3)

Posted on June 4, 2018

Blown Slick Series #13 Part 5  The Battle of Midway  Paradox and Redemption:  4 to 7 June 1942      Among the many gems is a reminder to all who study mankind’s self-inflicted cataclysm: “Yet the overwhelming reality during the war…is … Continue reading

Part 6 – Midway Trilogy (2 of 3)

Posted on June 10, 2018

Blown Slick Series #13 Part 6 Into the Shredder The Battle of Coral Sea had provided the first hints that the Japanese high-water mark had been reached, but it was the Battle of Midway that put up the sign for … Continue reading

Part 7 – Midway Trilogy (3 of 3)

Posted on June 17, 2018

Blown Slick Series #13 Part 7  “what did Midway really mean?”   “An aircraft carrier is a noble thing. It lacks almost everything that seems to denote nobility, yet deep nobility is there. A carrier has no poise. It has   no  … Continue reading

Part 8 – Midway Trilogy Epilogue

Posted on July 12, 2018

Blown Slick Series #13 Part 8 Decisive victory? Depends on how you look … a fundamental transformation in naval power had just taken place. Carriers usurped the prime strategic role of battleships in that their principal opponents were their enemy … Continue reading

Part 9 – Guadalcanal

Posted on August 9, 2018

Blown Slick Series #13 Part 9 On Land, on Sea, in the Air – Introduction 9 February, 1943 Major General Alexander Patch, USA, Commander,  Guadalcanal to Vice Admiral William Halsey, Jr., USN, Commander, South Pacific Area, TOTAL AND COMPLETE DEFEAT OF … Continue reading

Part 10 – Guadalcanal Campaign Major Events Overview

Posted on August 16, 2018

Blown Slick Series #13 Part 10 Watchtower Guadalcanal is no longer merely a name of an island in Japanese military history. It is the name of the graveyard of the Japanese army. —Major General Kiyotake Kawaguchi, IJA Commander, 35th Infantry Brigade … Continue reading

Part 11 – Guadalcanal – Interlude

Posted on August 23, 2018

Blown Slick Series #13 Part 11 Between the lines The haste in putting Operation Watchtower together would prove problematic on many levels not the least of which was that this tasking was completely new – none of the commanders knew … Continue reading

Part 12 – Guadalcanal, From the Start, A New and Different Context; First Day Overview (1/4)

Posted on July 23, 2019

RS Note: With the close of Chapter 2 of the Testimony of Pilot series, this posts continues with the 1942- The Year of the Aircraft Carrier series picking up with the story of the initial attack on Guadalcanal 7-8 August, 1942. Given the … Continue reading

Part 13 – Guadalcanal, From the Start, A New and Different Context; Problems (2/4)

Posted on July 23, 2019

Blown Slick Series #13 Part 13 (2/4) It was one thing to defend Midway operating in open ocean; being closely tied to the geography of the island and surrounding waters to provide air support was a whole other thing. With … Continue reading

Part 14 – Guadalcanal, From the Start, A New and Different Context; CV Withdrawal (3/4)

Posted on July 28, 2019

Blown Slick Series #13 Part 14 (3/4) “It is true, Marines will take a pounding until their own air gets established (about ten days or so), but they can dig in, hole up, and wait. Extra losses are a localized … Continue reading

Part 15 – Guadalcanal, From the Start, A New and Different Context; Cactus (4/4)

Posted on August 1, 2019

Blown Slick Series #13 Part 15 (4/4)  “…the only place on Earth where you could stand up to your knees in mud and still get dust in your eyes.” Marion Carl First Marine Ace by Roy Grinnell. Capt. Marion Carl over … Continue reading

Part 16 – Guadalcanal – Battle of the Eastern Solomons (1/3)

Posted on August 19, 2019

Blown Slick Series #13 Part 16 (1/3) Thus begins the day of 23 August, 1942 – Battle of the Eastern Solomons [24–25 August 1942] At breakfast Fletcher read a special Cincpac Ultra message advising that the “Orange striking force” of two … Continue reading

Part 17 – Guadalcanal -Battle of the Eastern Solomons Continued (2/3)

Posted on August 21, 2019

Blown Slick Series #13 Part 17 (2/3) To say the least we were in a bad predicament. All of our attack planes were committed on missions with the main enemy force still unlocated and his planes coming in to attack … Continue reading

Part 18 – Guadalcanal -Battle of the Eastern Solomons Conclusions (3/3)

Posted on August 22, 2019

Blown Slick Series #13 Part 18 (3/3) The Eastern Solomons became the most intensively studied carrier action yet… Despite intensive analysis, the battle as a whole remained a mystery.  Lundstrom Blindman’s Bluff (3) – An Empty Sea After the final … Continue reading

Part 19 – Guadalcanal – Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands

Posted on October 24, 2019

Blown Slick Series #13 Part 19 (1/2) On the morning of 26 October, during the attack on the Enterprise,  Task Force 61 Commander Admial Thomas Kinkaid remarked with pardonable hyperbole to AP correspondent Eugene Burns: “You’re seeing the greatest carrier … Continue reading

Part 20 – Guadalcanal – Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands: Discussion

Posted on November 17, 2019

Blown Slick Series #13 Part 20 (2/2) Who won? As the two navies carrier battle groups retreated from the fourth and last carrier battle of 1942, the Japanese by multiple metrics could be judged to have won the day. Both … Continue reading

Part 21 – Guadalcanal – Enterprise, Cactus and the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal (1)

Blown Slick Series #13 Part 21 On the morning of 13 November 1942, Marine aircraft of the “Cactus Air Force” attacked and caused the destruction of the Japanese battleship Hiei off Savo Island.  F4F Wildcat fighters of Marine squadron VMF-121, … Continue reading

Part 22 – Guadalcanal – Enterprise, Cactus and the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, (2)

Blown Slick Series #13 Part 22 Japanese cargo ship Kinugawa Maru  beached on the Guadalcanal shore.  She had been sunk by U.S. aircraft on 15 November 1942 while attempting to deliver men and supplies to Japanese forces holding the northern … Continue reading

Part 23 – Reflections (1 of 6); Guadalcanal Endgame

Blown Slick Series #13 Part 23  In 1945 U.S. fast carriers supported the final amphibious operations of the war—the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa—drawing the noose tight around Tokyo’s neck. Aircraft from Third and Fifth fleet carriers also pounded … Continue reading

Part 24 – Reflections (2 of 6); Fast Ships in Harm’s Way – The Carriers

Blown Slick Series #13 Part 24 Lexington, Saratoga, Yorktown, Enterprise, Wasp, Hornet….Only two would survive 1942, but they and their crews and their airgroups would stand in the breech and provide America and its allies the vital year it needed … Continue reading

Part 25 – Reflections (3 of 6); CV Operations

Blown Slick Series #13 Part 25 I As noted in Reflections Part 1, this series has been intended to study carrier aviation using the first full year of U.S. involvement in the Pacific as a vehicle. Part 3  addresses selected … Continue reading

Part 26 – Reflections (4 of 6); Fighter Operations

Blown Slick Series #13 Part 26 The U.S. Navy’s carrier fighting squadrons took particular pride in their own contribution during the first fourteen crucial weeks, from 7 August to 15 November 1942. At heavy cost VF-5, VF-6, and VF-71 provided … Continue reading

Part 27 – Reflections (5 of 6); Land Based Air

Blown Slick Series #13 Part 27 “However the danger exists that the more important and more fundamental fact may be lost sight of that the land plane bases and the operating units thereon should be available in supporting positions before … Continue reading

Part 28 – Reflections (6 of 6); CAS

Blown Slick Series #13 Part 28 The story of how the Marines developed a close air support system needs to be told. It is a story that is distinct from the volumes of literature written about the controversial strategic bombing … Continue reading

“1942” – Part 29 – Afterword by Barrett Tillman

1942- The Year of the Aircraft Carrier Series Blown Slick Series #13 Part 29 Lexington, Yorktown, Wasp, Hornet, Saratoga and Enterprise held the line.  Herein is their June 19–20, 1944  pay-off story. Thanks to Barrett Tillman for all the help … Continue reading

Part 30 – Conclusion* or “Tales of the South Pacific”

Blown Slick Series #13 Part 30 Life is rooted in narrative, humans construct their lives and shape their world in terms of these  memories. Storytelling taps into existing knowledge and creates bridges as a means for sharing and interpreting experiences. … Continue reading 

(Add) – “Why Is China’s Navy Studying the Battle of Guadalcanal?”

Posted on April 3, 2019

The National Interest magazine recently published Why Is China’s Navy Studying the Battle of Guadalcanal? by Lyle J. Goldstein a research professor in the China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI) at the United States Naval War College … Continue reading

Morning After Reflection: 5 June 1942 “we sank a carrier”

Posted on June 4, 2014

They had no right to win. Yet they did, and in doing so they changed the course of a war. More than that, they added a new name— Midway— to that small list that inspires men by shining example. Like … Continue reading

A Dawn Like Thunder: In tribute to the men of Torpedo Squadron 8 (VT-8)

Posted on June 4, 2013

Only 30 copies of this movie were made and they were given to the families of Torpedo Squadron 8. The Youtube version comes from the wife of squadron commander John Waldron. Fly Navy, the best Always Have These good men … Continue reading

June 4th 1942 – It begins

Posted on June 4, 2013

Preface to Blown Slick -the series: The evolution of fighter, attack, and strike warfare All days come from one day, that much you must know. You  cannot change what’s over, but only where you go… The road that leads to nowhere, … Continue reading 

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