Chapter 5: Task Force Organization

The plan provided, in the main, for three major Task Forces. Two were placed under the command of Vice Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher. The first of these, Task Force NEGAT,2 commanded by Rear Admiral Leigh Noyes, was to provide aircraft carrier support for the attack. The second, Task Force TARE, under Rear Admiral Richmond K. Turner,


was known as the Amphibious Force, and was to make the principle attack, transporting and landing the occupying force of Marines and defending the transport convoys against surface attack. The third Force, Task Force MIKE, under Rear Admiral John S. McCain, was to supply aerial scouting and advance bombing of the operations area by land-based planes and seaplanes. Admiral Fletcher commanded both Task Forces NEGAT and TARE and flew his flag in the Saratoga. Admiral McCain of Task Force MIKE was directly responsible to the Commander South Pacific Force.

The composition of these Forces was as follows:

Task Force NEGAT (Air Support Force), Rear Admiral Leigh Noyes in immediate command:


Task Force TARE (Amphibious Force), Rear Admiral Richmond K. Turner:



Task Force MIKE, Rear Admiral McCain (for composition see page 15).


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[2] In the interest of security the official designations of Task Forces ore omitted from Combat Narratives. In their stead the flag names of the first letter of the commanding officers' names are used.

Transcribed and formatted by Patrick Clancey, HyperWar Foundation