We think of World War II in the Pacific as the "war of the carriers." Well, that's technically true. But keep in mind that only five carrier v. carrier battles were fought during the entire war. Moreover, there hasn't been another carrier-to-carrier battle since the Battle of the Philippine Sea in June 1944. That's over 60 years and another one doesn't look too likely anytime soon. The carrier versus carrier era lasted only 25 months (from the Coral Sea in May 1942 to the Philippine Sea in June 1944). Actually, the last carrier v. carrier combat that was anything like an even fight was in October 1942 (Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands). This was the last time an American carrier was sunk by carrier aircraft. In effect, the Golden Age of Aircraft Carriers lasted from May to October 1942. Five months, four battles. To be sure, there was a fifth carrier battle, which the Japanese lost, in mid-1944. But that one was called the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot, which gives an idea of how lopsided it was. Carriers proved to be more useful against everything else. Attacks on enemy bases and ships and in support of amphibious landings composed the bulk of carrier activity throughout the war. Although land-based planes were more effective than carrier planes, the carriers could be moved quickly across the vast expanse of the Pacific. It was this mobility that made carriers less effective. They could not carry as much avgas and munitions as a land base could stockpile. Operating at sea caused more damage to planes and the shortage of space on a carrier made aircraft maintenance much more difficult. Despite these limitations, the aircraft carrier reigned supreme across the Pacific. The last American carrier lost in combat was a victim of land-based aircraft (USS Princeton (CVL 23) on 24 October 1944). As long as carriers stayed away from more numerous land-based aircraft, carriers could slug it out with anything they came up against.