The World War II Attack on Truk Island was carried out by US Task Force 58, on February 17 and 18, 1944, in the Caroline Islands, in the Central Pacific and was part of the Island Hopping Campaign. The name of this military operation was Operation Hailstone, whose objective was to destroy the main Japanese air and naval base in the Central Pacific. But the reason or rationale for the attack was to secure, by providing air superiority, the US Marines landing on the main island of Eniwetok Atoll, which would be conducted soon. As a matter of fact, Truk is an Atoll composed of several islets, which are commonly known as Chuuk Islands, with the Japanese airfield being located on Moen island.
Under the command of Admiral Raymond A Spruance, the US Task Force 58 consisted of 8 fleet carriers and 7 battleships, and other smaller ships. This massive attack on the Japanese airfield and ships began in the early hours of February 17, 1944, with vicious airstrikes that mauled more than 260 Japanese aircraft to pieces as 6 cruisers, four destroyers, two submarines tenders, and 32 merchant ships were sunk by both US aircraft (TBF Avengers and F6F Hellcats) and warships (submarines and battleships). Although a handful of Japanese fighters managed to take off to fend off the attack, they were soon shot down by the US Hellcats. Operation Hailstone was a crippling blow to the Japanese Imperial Fleet in the Pacific.
Truk naval base and landing strip a couple of days before the attack.