World Battlefronts: BATTLE OF THE PACIFIC: The Uncovered Way

For three years the South China Sea had been the "covered way" of Japan's outer fortress. Through its reaches, protected by thousands of miles of outposts, Japanese convoys could ply between the home islands and the conquered south.

Last week the cover was ripped off. Big, fast carriers of Admiral William F. Halsey's Third Fleet, which had been sending air groups to hammer Formosa and Luzon, swung southwest through Luzon Strait from the Philippine Sea to the South China Sea.

There U.S. warplanes had a good haul. They sank 41 enemy ships and damaged 28 more (almost 200,000 tons). The toll included...

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