Lexington And Saratoga Appeared In Fleet Exercises For The First Time
JANUARY 23-27--The carriers Lexington and Saratoga appeared in fleet exercises for the first time, attached to opposing forces in Fleet Problem IX. The most notable event of the Problem was the employment of the Saratoga by the attacking Black Fleet to achieve its primary objective, the theoretical destruction of the Panama Canal.
This carrier was detached from the main force and with an escorting cruiser, sent on a wide southward sweep before turning north to approach within striking distance of the Canal. On the morning of the 26th, while it was still dark, she launched a strike group of 69 aircraft which arrived over the target undetected shortly after dawn and completed the theoretical destruction of the Miraflores and Pedro Miguel Locks without opposition. This demonstration made a profound impression on naval tacticians and in the 1930 maneuvers a tactical unit, built around the aircraft carrier, appeared in force organization for the first time.
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