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Little Giants discusses the air to ground development
The book Little Giants explains development and its first uses. CV aircraft may have made initial massive strikes but ground support and anti-submarine warfare became the responsibility of the CVEs this in addition to flying CAPs and fighter sweeps. Responsibility of protecting the CVEs then fell upon the CVs if they remained. Think Saipan and Leyte.
I have never read of napalm being used in an anti-ship role; it was dropped by USN/USMC aircraft in an anti-personnel role quite frequently, including against shore based AA emplacements.
I am uncertain about its deployment from CVs, but I can't imagine it being used on a CV strike due to the inherent dangers associated with a bad launch. Given the losses of 1942, mostly due to failure of damage control doctrine (learned the very hard way), I would think BuShips would vehemently oppose its storage (in mixed form) on a CV.
Does anyone know if napalm was used by the USN in the AA suppression role in 1944-45? Given that it was available in the Pacific, I would have thought it would have been ideal for targets such as the Yamato.
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