BATTLE OF THE PACIFIC: Toward Bigger Goals

Leyte was declared secure. Now the job in the Philippines was to build up Allied forces, especially in the advanced outpost of Mindoro, for the big push on Luzon. The Japs knew it, and reacted in familiar fashion: they sent down a task force of surface ships to blast the soft-shelled beachhead with heavy guns.

It was late afternoon when the enemy task force was sighted, steaming in from the South China Sea, by a Navy search Liberator piloted by Lieut. P. F. Stevens of Joplin, Mo. Stevens reported his find: a battleship, a cruiser and six destroyers. Then he...

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