Oldendorf was the Commander of Task Group 77.2 at the Battle of Leyte Gulf. His task was to prevent the Japanese forces from passing through the Surigao Strait. Early in the morning of 25 October 1944 Oldendorf’s ships were able to devastate Vice-Admiral Nishimura’s force with torpedo and radar-controlled gunfire. This was the first clear victory achieved by the Americans in surface action against the Japanese. Oldendorf remained as Commander of Combat Formations of the 7th Fleet and when on duty off Luzon in January 1945 bore the brunt of the kamikaze attacks.