The Aerial Battle of the Taiwan Seas
: 台灣-琉球空戰, ) took place between October 12 and 16, 1944, off the eastern coast of the island of Taiwan
, and was fought by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service
and the approaching Task Force 38
of the United States Third Fleet
and was one of a series of Air raids on Japan
during the Pacific War
. The attacks served to prevent the Japanese aircraft from involvement in the Battle of Leyte Gulf
later that month.
The battle was one-sided, as the Americans practically dominated air warfare due to the superior training and weaponry that they possessed at that point. The battle exhausted Japan's air power in the region, giving the American's air superiority and weakening Japan's ability to defend Okinawa Islands
in the upcoming Okinawa Campaign
. However, in an effort to boost morale and to cover up the defeat, Japanese headquarters claimed to have sunk 45 Allied ships including 11 aircraft carriers and four battleships.
The attacks on Taiwan and the Ryukyu Islands were carried out to prevent the Japanese aerial forces there from participating in the planned landings at Leyte
.The Japanese had responses prepared for a number of eventualities including one in response to attacks on Formosa – Shō-Gō 2
The US 3rd Fleet started carrier launched raids against Taiwan on 12 October 1944.The Japanses response was to send waves of aircraft against the US carriers. On 13 October, the cruiser USS......