The Battle of the Philippine Sea was the last large scale carrier battle the Imperial Japanese Navy was able to conduct. In the air, the sheer number of Japanese compared to U.S. losses inspired the American nickname for the battle – the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot.

In addition to Japan’s lack of many experienced pilots, the lop-sided outcome of this battle has been attributed to improved American aircraft design, pilot training, tactics and technology (including the top-secret anti-aircraft proximity fuze automatic explosive device).

A proximity fuze detonates automatically when the distance to the target becomes smaller than a predetermined value. 

June 1944 – Battle of the Philippine Sea Casualties and losses


1 battleship damaged
123 aircraft destroyed
109 dead


3 fleet carriers sunk
2 oilers sunk
550–645 aircraft destroyed
6 other ships damaged
~2,987 dead