Elements of Task Force 58 of the US Navy 5th Fleet at anchor, Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands, probably Apr 1944

Caption   Elements of Task Force 58 of the US Navy 5th Fleet at anchor, Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands, probably Apr 1944 ww2dbase
Source    ww2dbaseUnited States National Archives
Identification Code   80-G-225251
More on...   
Iowa   Main article  Photos  
New Jersey   Main article  Photos  
Bunker Hill   Main article  Photos  
Yorktown (Essex-class)   Main article  Photos  
Hornet (Essex-class)   Main article  Photos  Maps  
Enterprise   Main article  Photos  Maps  
Lexington (Essex-class)   Main article  Photos  
Photos at Same Place Majuro, Marshall Islands
Added By David Stubblebine
Added Date 8 Feb 2012

This photograph has been scaled down; full resolution photograph is available here (1,280 by 1,040 pixels).

Licensing  Public Domain. According to the US National Archives, as of 21 Jul 2010:
The vast majority of the digital images in the Archival Research Catalog (ARC) are in the public domain. Therefore, no written permission is required to use them. We would appreciate your crediting the National Archives and Records Administration as the original source. For the few images that remain copyrighted, please read the instructions noted in the "Access Restrictions" field of each ARC record.... In general, all government records are in the public domain and may be freely used.... Additionally, according to the United States copyright law (United States Code, Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105), in part, "[c]opyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government".



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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
25 Nov 2011 08:15:54 PM

Note Enterprise (right front), 4 Essex-class & 3 Independence-class carriers, 2 Iowa-class and 1 South Dakota-class battleship (left center). The Iowa-class battleships are Iowa and New Jersey. The Essex-class fleet carriers are certainly Yorktown and Bunker Hill and then either Essex and Intrepid or Lexington and Hornet. The Independence-class light carriers could be any of the 9 in that class except Independence or San Jacinto. The South Dakota-class battleship could be any of the 4 in that class, although Indiana is least likely.
2. Marc Harkness says:
27 Aug 2015 03:44:38 PM

CV-11 Intrepid is not here. At the time this photo is reported to have been taken, Intrepid was under repair for torpedo damage sustained in February '44 and did not return to service until June '44.
3. Marc Harkness says:
27 Aug 2015 06:26:20 PM

At full resolution, the forms of two more Independence class CVLs can be made out. I believe the ships shown here are the ones that conducted raids in support of the invasions of the Hollandia area on April 21, 1944. If so these would be TGs 58.1 and 58.3 This would make the CVs Enterprise, Lexington, Hornet, Bunker Hill, and Yorktown.
4. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
27 Aug 2015 09:42:08 PM

The problem with this photo is that none of the usual sources list a credible date for it, but they consistently list the location as Majuro Lagoon. The Yorktown-class carrier in the center right is certainly the Enterprise since the other two of the class were sunk before the US had access to Majuro. The two Iowa-class battleships are certainly Iowa and New Jersey since the other two of the class never anchored in Majuro. Enterprise and the two Iowa’s were all at Majuro together twice: Feb 2-12, 1944 and Apr 6-13, 1944. Among the Essex-class carriers, Yorktown and Bunker Hill were there both times but then Essex and Intrepid were there in Feb but not in Apr and Lexington and Hornet were there in Apr but not in Feb. Identification of the Independence-class light carriers is even more complicated and depends greatly on which month this is. All of this was the basis of my comment of 25 Nov 2011. The caption is dated Apr 1944 because this is most likely but there is still a degree of uncertainty about it. If this is Apr 1944, then both comments by Marc Harkness are completely correct. If this is actually Feb 1944, then it is something else.
5. Marc Harkness says:
27 Aug 2015 10:40:45 PM

Definite that the four Essex class present are Lexington, Yorktown, Hornet, and Bunker Hill. Only 8 Essex class are completed by April, 1944. Of these, Essex is finishing refit. Intrepid is under repair, Franklin is on shakedown and Wasp is also training off Hawaii.
6. Marc Harkness says:
27 Aug 2015 11:49:25 PM

David Stublebine's analysis is correct and the point about the uncertainty of the date is well taken, However one piece of circumstantial evidence supports an April rather than February dating and that is the absence of Saratoga CV3 here. Saratoga was part of TG 58.4 with two Independence class CVLs in Feb, 1944. Saratoga was sent to work with the British Far East Fleet in March. 1944, though again this reasoning is purely speculative.
7. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
28 Aug 2015 09:06:54 PM

Saratoga was part of TG 58.4 in Feb 1944 but this Task Group did not enter Majuro until Mar 1 1944, just before Saratoga departed for the Indian Ocean. Saratoga was not at Majuro during either period that this photo could have been taken.

Somewhere out there is the answer to this puzzle, but Saratoga is not it.
8. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
14 Jun 2016 11:38:00 AM

UPDATE: I think I cracked it. I found out that the Navy’s official photo card for this photo lists the date as 25 Apr 1944. This is not the actual photo date since all of these ships were at sea at that time but this is the clue that seals the deal. The dates on Navy photo cards are rarely the date the photo was taken (we have seen this cause problems with photo dating on numerous other occasions) but the photo card dates are consistently between a week or two following the actual date the photo was taken (possibly the date the image was processed or cleared by censors or some other administrative step after the photograph was taken [like the creation of the photo card, maybe?]). So in this case, knowledge of this quirk is enough to conclude that this photo was taken when all of these ships were present in Majuro Lagoon between 7-12 Apr 1944 (additional study has further narrowed the April time window). That being the case, the carrier in the right foreground is still the Enterprise with the four Essex-class carriers certainly being the Lexington, Yorktown, Hornet, and Bunker Hill (probably in that order front-to-back). The Independence-class light carrier in the lower left foreground is either the Langley or the Cabot. The South Dakota-class battleship just beyond is probably the South Dakota (but could be the Massachusetts or Alabama) and the Iowa-class battleship just beyond that is certainly the Iowa, leaving the New Jersey as the only choice left for the Iowa-class battleship just beyond the most-distant Essex-class carrier.

This also means all of the previous comments from Marc Harkness, where he relies on the April 1944 date, are right on the money.

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Modern Day Location
WW2-Era Place Name Majuro, Marshall Islands
Lat/Long 7.1181, 171.2269
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