Shortly before midnight on June 18, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz sent Spruance a message from Pacific Fleet Headquarters indicating that the Japanese flagship was approximately 350 miles (562 km) to the west-southwest of Task Force 58. This was stated as based on a "fix" obtained by radio direction-finding, but was more probably due to decryption of intercepted Japanese naval messages. Mitscher realized that if Task Force 58 were to advance westward, there was a strong chance of a night surface encounter with Ozawa's forces. He therefore conferred with Lee, commander of the Fifth Fleet Battle Line, and inquired whether Lee favored such an encounter. The battleship commander wasn't enthusiastic about a night engagement with Japanese surface forces, despite his new ships outclassing most of the Japanese battleships, feeling that his crews weren't adequately trained for such an action. Shortly after his discussion with Lee, Mitscher asked Spruance for permission to head west during the night to reach what would be an ideal launch position for an all-out aerial assault on the enemy force at dawn.
Found it in on Wiki but i read it in Hammels book.
Thanks - interesting.
It makes sense with the new USN BB's being so much newer than the IJN BB's. Some had been around longer, but still it was the right choice. Risk-reward. To put those ships and all those sailors at risk the chances of success with minimal damage should be way in your favor, and there were still those excellent IJN torpedoes that could change an open sea night engagement in a hurry. Hit 'em with planes!
In a day engagement they could stand off and be in much better control with superior long range gunnery. Even then, it's already daylight - hit 'em with planes!