National Geographic : 1942 Jul
The New Queen of the Seas Official Photograph U. S. Navy "Bring on Some More"-U. S. Antiaircraft Gunners Down a Jap Bomber at Sea The gun crew remains at its battle station aboard an aircraft carrier, after downing a Jap pilot who tried a suicide plunge on the flight deck (page 16). The action occurred during the Pacific Fleet's task force raid on the Marshall Islands. A near bomb miss riddled the gun's splinter shield with fragments and punctured a gasoline line, causing a fire. The flames were extinguished in a few minutes. The gunners were among 20 enlisted men promoted for their meritorious action. ship is terrific. Not only does it cause great material damage, but it shatters all the navi gating appliances, kills a great many of the personnel, knocks out all lighting systems, and stands a good chance of blowing the structure completely to pieces. Battleships May Become Like Armored Knights of Old "The probability of hitting the battleship is very much greater than is the case with gun fire at a range of over 20,000 yards . . . (Ac curacy at this range) requires airplanes to observe the fire and tell the (battleship) gun crews where their shots are falling. "These airplanes, if of a bombardment type, would make many more hits than do the cannon. "Compared to an airplane, these great ves sels are very much like the knights in the Middle Ages, encased in their heavy armor, in which they could scarcely move, as com pared to the light-armored foot soldier, equip ped with a musket. "As the airplanes undoubtedly will be able in future wars to control the surface of the water, an air force will be the key to the com mand of the sea. "Furthermore, vessels of very high speed can be equipped to form movable airdromes, or airplane carriers, as they are called; and as these are not weighted down with armor or heavy guns, and as everything can be streamlined on them in a way that has never been done with battleships, a corresponding increase of speed is possible.