In June 1944, the U.S. continued their drive releasing islands from Japanese occupation beginning with Guam and the rest of the Mariana Islands, and moving closer to Japan itself. The Japanese navy launched a carrier force from the Philippines to help counter the American invasion in the Marianas. However, the Americans were ready to meet and destroy the Japanese naval force in one of the most lopsided victories yet. The Japanese suffered a devastating blow, losing over 17,000 lives. Admiral Nimitz moved his entire commanding force from Pearl Harbor to Guam after the win.