Eventually, the German submarine menace was
contained, and England and Europe got vital supplies
The Navys most notable Atlantic action may have
been its part in the June 6, 1944, invasion of
Normandythe largest amphibious operation in
history. The greatest armada ever assembled carried out
minesweeping, shore-bombardment, amphibious
operations, and transported supplies and troops. Those
operations let the Allies complete D-Day landings
successfully and eventually push on to Germany.
Widespread fighting on the oceans brought about
the building of a fleet unlike any in history. This was a
swift striking force. It had the advantages of speed,
mobility, and surprise, yet it possessed the firepower
and protective armor to stand and slug it out with enemy
forces. Such a fleet was made up of ships with names
synonymous with heroism, such as the USS Tarawa,
USS Missouri (fig. 5-12), USS Tucson, USS Higbee,
and USS OBannon.
Other Events during World War II
During the 5-year period ending in late 1944, 9
million tons of vessels had been added to the U.S. Navy.
One novel development was the large assortment of
landing ships that began appearing in the early stages of
Possibly the most versatile of the many new types of
ships built during World War II were the destroyer
escorts, now called frigates. Other types built during
that time included attack cargo ships, transports,
barracks ships, net tenders, repair ships, radar pickets,
minelayers, and mine sweepers. Those ships, as well as
many other types of ships too numerous to mention,
changed the shape of the U.S. Navy almost overnight.
When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, 111
American submarines were in commission, 60 in the
Atlantic Fleet and 51 in the Pacific. After the invasion of
North Africa, U.S. efforts were concentrated in the
Pacific, leaving submarine operations in the Atlantic to
U.S. Allies. The Pacific became the hunting grounds for
American submarine forces.
The number of American submarines during the
war peaked at 247. During the war, the United States
lost 52 of these boats along with 3,505 submariners. The
number of vessels sunk by U.S. submarines played a
major part in the American victory in World War II.
American submarines sank 1,750 Japanese merchant
Figure 5-11.Part of Task Force 58 at anchor in the Marshall Islands, April 1944.