When you get a chance, give this a read:
Battle of the Bismarck Sea
Thanks for the article. I'm pretty familiar with that battle, but hadn't realized how the initial B-17 attacks broke up the convoy formation. The article doesn't report whether this was an intentional attack or whether that break-up of the formation was a happy accident. Do you have any information on that?
Just to be clear, in no way am I disparaging skip-bombing as a technique, nor am I saying that level-bombing never sank a ship; I'm just saying that versus underway shipping, level-bombing from altitude was far and away the least-effective method of attacking them. My only point is that Mitchell's demonstration with Ostfriesland was fairly unremunerative going forward in interdicting shipping.
Airplanes cooked the battleship's collective goose, without a doubt, but generally not in the way Mitchell had envisioned, but rather by these more-precise tactics of skip-bombing, dive-bombing, and torpedo-bombing.
ETA: There is a nice sense of justice in the fact that Bismarck Sea featured as a major component aircraft named after the late general. I have no doubt that had Mitchell lived to see it carried out, even differently than he had envisioned, he would still have heartily approved -- and probably feel vindicated, rightfully so in the broader sense that BBs didn't really stand much of a chance against airplanes once the right tactics were evolved.