In the year 1902, the Asiatic Squadron got upgraded as a fleet. However, in 1907 the fleet got downgraded, and it got converted into the First Squadron of the US Pacific Fleet. The squadron got reorganized again and was named the United States Asiatic Fleet. This fleet is the part of the United States Navy was based in the Philippines and was used to patrol the Philippine Islands before the World War II (WWII). However, the Asiatic Fleet got independent of the Pacific Fleet that was on the west coast of the United States and got moved to Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian territory in 1940. In the year 1942, sadly the fleet got destroyed by the Japanese following which the fleet got dissolved and got included into the naval segment of the South West Pacific Area command thereby becoming the Seventh Fleet.

The Asiatic Fleet is smaller than any other fleet in the U.S. Navy. It is so small that it is surprising for any navy to consider it as a fleet. It had the honor of being commanded by a 4-star Admiral of the U.S. Navy which gave the fleet a prestigious position. The Asiatic fleet has got involved in many tasks. One is that at the end of the Russian Japanese war in 1904 and 1905. When Japanese Navy defeated the Russian Navy in 1905, three of the fleeing Russian cruisers were escorted by the units of the Asiatic fleet into the Philippine Islands until they reached Russia. Though the Asiatic Fleet got abolished in 1907, it was reestablished in 1910 and was left to guard the Guam and the Philippine especially with the creation of the China’s Open Door Policy. In 1922, the whole of the U.S. Navy got restructured with the combining of the U.S. Pacific and Atlantic Fleet as the United States Fleet. Even under such reorganization, the Asiatic Fleet remained as a separate entity.

Though the Asiatic Fleet got employed during the WWII, the inexperience in the Asian waters caused the fleet to remain without much success in the war. However, only between the 1920s and the 1930s did the Asiatic Fleet gained its significance having based in China and getting an image known as China Sailor as a large troop of the U.S. Navy members was posted in China on the Asiatic Fleet for about 10 to 12 years. Many of the Navy men who served in China in the Asiatic Fleet received several awards and medals for their duty in China. But the Asiatic Fleet was gradually withdrawn from China during the WWII because the U.S. had to protect its interests in the Pacific. Further, China became a communist country, and hence U.S. military presence in China was no longer required and was withdrawn for diplomatic reasons.

 

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