Task Force 88 (TF88) was the escort carrier force, commanded by Rear-Admiral T H Troubridge, that supported Operation Dragoon, the allied invasion of southern France. It was activated in August 1944, and dispersed on 29 August when the carrier force departed to operate in the Aegean.
The TF88 was a mixed force of Royal Navy and US Navy ships that was stationed off Provence. Its tasks were to achieve aerial superiority over the landing beaches, provide air support for the armies by suppressing enemy resistance and movement, destroying military infrastructure and artillery spotting for the naval bombardment.
As discussed at the task force page, the United States Navy system means that the same TF number can be reused for an entirely different operation years later; TF 88 was the designation later chosen for Operation Argus, an ocean based US nuclear test series in the late 1950s.
Task Force 88 order of battle
|Task Group 88.1||Task Group 88.2||VOC-01 (in Corsica)|
|* HMS Pursuer (881 Naval Air Squadron) F4F Wildcat||* USS Tulagi (VOF-01) F6F Hellcat||* 12 F6F Hellcat nightfighter|
|* HMS Searcher (882 Naval Air Squadron) F4F Wildcat||* USS Kasaan Bay (VF-74) F6F Hellcat|
|* HMS Attacker (879 Naval Air Squadron) Seafire||* HMS Hunter (807 Naval Air Squadron) Seafire|
|* HMS Emperor (800 Naval Air Squadron) F6F Hellcat||* HMS Stalker (809 Naval Air Squadron) Seafire|
|* HMS Khedive (899 Naval Air Squadron) Seafire||* HMS Colombo|
|* HMS Delhi||* HMS Caledon|
|* HMS Royalist (flagship)||* 6 US destroyers|
|* 5 British destroyers|
|* 1 Greek destroyer|
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