World: Vindicating the Carrier

Last week two more powerful Essex-class carriers, the Bennington and the Shangri-La, were launched from East Coast shipyards. When they join the fleet, at least eleven of these 27,000-ton flattops will be in operation—barring possible sinkings.

Nine thousand miles away, in the western Pacific, the Navy was busy demonstrating that such carriers, plus smaller cruisers and merchantmen converted into carriers, could operate effectively against Japanese land-based aviation ... a thesis that was once fiercely debated (TIME, June 29, 1942).

Only five days after his task force had struck savagely at Truk Rear...