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- Apr 16, 2008
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Short version: TAFFY 3 was one of three groups of escort carriers and their DD/DE escorts off Leyte in the Philippines in 1944. The Japanese launched a last-ditch effort to get at the US landing force invading the Philippines. Halsey's Third Fleet with all the fleet carriers was supposed to be covering, but was decoyed out of the way. What was left was three groups of escort carriers and their tin cans, a mix of DDs and DEs (plus some slow battleships in the bombardment force). TAAFFY 3 was six CVEs, three DDs, and four DEs, up against 23 Japanese ships, inclulding 4 battleships and six heavy cruisers. TAFFY 3's escorts and aircraft made a series of nearly suicidal torpedo and gun attacks on the Japanese to cover the withdrawal of the escort carriers; their combined efforts actually sank multiple cruisers and convinced the Japanese commanders that they had run into a force of USN heavy cruisers at least. The Japanese turned away, but TAFFY 3 was nearly obliterated, with two carriers and three escorts sunk, others badly damaged, and over 1000 dead. But they kept the Japanese out of the invasion force, where they could have slaughtered tens of thousands of Marines on their transports.
Overview On 15 October 1944, the Japanese Imperial Navy’s First Mobile Fleet launched Operation Shō, a last-ditch attempt to engage Allied naval forces off Leyte in the central Philippines decisively. Following the 24 October Battle of the Sibuyan Sea, the powerful Japanese First Diversion...