The World War II Battle of Leyte Gulf
between October 23 and October 26 1944 was the largest air-sea battle in
history. American and Allied forces preparing for the recapture of the
Phillipine island of Leyte were met by the massed forces of Imperial Japan.
Despite significant losses, Allied ships and aircraft destroyed most of
the Japanese fleet and ended its power as an effective fighting force.
Having defended the landing force against the air and naval challenge,
the way was opened for the reconquest of Leyte by the land forces under
the command of General Douglas MacArthur.