The Battle of the Philippine Sea (June 1920, 1944) was a decisive naval battle of World War II which effectively eliminated the Imperial Japanese Navy's ability to conduct large-scale carrier actions. It took place during the United States' amphibious invasion of the Mariana Islands during the Pacific War. The battle was the fifth of five major "carrier-versus-carrier" engagements between American and Japanese naval forces, and involved elements of the United States Navy's Fifth Fleet as well as ships and land-based aircraft from the Imperial Japanese Navy's Combined Fleet and nearby island garrisons.
The battle was nicknamed the "Great Marianas Turkey Shoot" in American accounts, for the severely disproportional loss ratio inflicted upon Japanese aircraft by American pilots and anti-aircraft gunners. American forces suffered much lighter losses, and a pilot from the USS Lexington supposedly remarked that "This is like an old-time turkey shoot!" during the battle. The lopsided outcome is generally attributed to American improvements in pilot and crew training and tactics, war technology, and ship and aircraft design, which the Japanese war machine could not match over the course of the war. Ultimately, the Imperial Japanese Navy lost three aircraft carriers, between 550 and 645 aircraft, and hundreds of pilots.