Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Guest Post: Never Forget

This is another in a series of guest posts by long time lgf poster chicagodudewhotrades. He can be reached at chicagodudewhotrades@gmail.com:

This week marks the 66th anniversary of the Battle of Midway. The Battle was fought from 3-June to 7-June 1942. This was a battle that changed the course of the Pacific war. The decisive moment of the battle happened at 10:25 am on June 4th. At that moment, carrier-launched SBD Dauntless dive-bombers arrived over the Japanese carrier formation steaming below and commenced a unopposed dive bombing attack. Within 5 minutes 3 Japanese top-line aircraft carriers (the Akagi, Kaga, and Soryu) were hit and mortally wounded. However, this unopposed attack by our dive bombers came at a heavy price. In the minutes before, 3 squadrons of TBD Devastator torpedo planes launched valiant but unsuccessful attacks on the Japanese carriers. The torpedo planes were cut to pieces by the Japanese Combat Air Patrol of A6M 'Zero' fighters and anti-aircraft fire. However, the attack of the torpedo planes pulled the Zeros down to wave top level while the dive bombers arrived high overhead.

Before this battle the Japanese held the initiative in the Pacific. After those crucial few minutes, the Japanese never again had the strategic initiative for the rest of the war. In memory of the gallant sacrifice of the torpedo squadrons, here are the rosters of the squadron personal:

Torpedo Three (VT-3)

Pilots Radiomen-Gunners
LT.Comdr. Lance E. Massey Leo E. Perry
Commanding Officer San Diego, California
Descanso, California

Richard W. Suesens Harold C. Lundy Jr.
Waterloo, Iowa Lincoln, Nebraska

Wesley F. Osmus Benjamin R. Dodson Jr
Chicago, Illinois Durham, North Carolina

David J. Roche Richard M. Hansen
Hibbing, Minnesota Lakefield, Minnesota

Patrick H. Hart John R. Cole
Los Angeles, California La Grange, Georgia

John W. Haas Raymond J. Darce
San Diego, California New Orleans, Louisiana

Oswald A. Powers Joseph E. Mandeville
Detroit, Michigan Manchester, New Hampshire

Leonard L. Smith William A. Phillips
Ontario, California Olympia, Washington

Curtis W. Howard Charles L. Moore
Olympia, Washington Amherst, Texas

Carl A. Osberg Troy C. Barkley
Manchester, New Hampshire Faulkner, Mississippi

Robert B. Brazier
Salt Lake City, Utah

Harry L. Corl Lloyd F. Childers
Saginaw, Michigan Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Wilhelm G. Esders
St. Joseph, Missouri

Torpedo Six (VT-6)

Pilots Radiomen-Gunners

LT. Comdr Eugene E. Lindsey Charles T. Grenat
Commanding Officer Honolulu, Hawaii
San Diego, California

Severin L. Rombach Wilburn F. Glenn
Cleveland, Ohio Austin, Texas

John T. Eversole John U. Lane
Pocatello, Idaho Rockford, Illinois

Randolph M. Holder Gregory J. Durawa
Jackson, Mississippi Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Arthur V. Ely Arthur R. Lindgren
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Montclair, New Jersey

Flourenoy G. Hodges John H. Bates
Statesboro, Georgia Valparaiso, Indiana

Paul J. Riley Edwin J. Mushinski
Hot Springs, Arkansas Tampa, Florida

John W. Brock John M. Blundell
Montgomery, Alabama Fort Wayne, Indiana

Lloyd Thomas Harold F. Littlefield
Chauncey, Ohio Bennington, Vermont

Albert W. Winchell Douglas M. Cossitt
Webster City, Iowa Oakland, California

Robert E. Laub William C. Humphrey, Jr.
Richland, Missouri Milledgeville, Georgia

Edward Heck, Jr. Doyle L. Ritchey
Carthage, Missouri Ryan, Oklahoma

Irvin H. McPherson William D. Horton
Glen Ellyn, Illinois Little Rock, Arkansas

Stephen B. Smith Wilfred N. McCoy
Mason City, Iowa San Diego, California

Torpedo Eight (VT-8)
Pilots Radiomen-Gunners

LT. Comdr. John C. Waldron Horace F. Dobbs RMC
Commanding Officer San Diego, California
Fort Pierre, South Dakota

Lt. James C. Owens, Jr. Amelio Maffei RM1
Los Angeles, California Santa Rosa, California

Lt. Raymond A. Moore Tom H. Pettry RM1
Richmond, Virginia Ellison Ridge, West Virginia

Lt. (j.g.) Jefferson D. Woodson Otway D. Creasy, Jr. RM2
Beverley Hills, Calfornia Vinton, Virginia

Lt. (j.g.) George M. Campbell Ronald. J. Fisher RM2
San Diego, California Denver, Colorado

Ens. William W. Abercrombie Bernard P. Phelps RM2
Merriam, Kansas Lovington, Illinois

Ens. Ulvert M. Moore William F. Sawhill RM3
Bluefield, West Virginia Mansfield, Ohio

Ens. William W. Creamer Francis S. Polston Sea2
Riverside, California Nashville, Missouri

Lt. (j.g.) John P. Gray Max A. Calkins RM3
Columbia, Missouri Wymore, Nebraska

Ens. Harold J. Ellison George A. Field RM3
Buffalo, New York Buffalo, New York

Ens. Henry R. Kenyon, Jr. Darwin L. Clark RM2
Mount Vernon, New York Rodney, Iowa

Ens. William R. Evans, Jr. Ross E. Bibb, Jr. RM2
Indianapolis, Indiana Warrior, Alabama

Ens. Grant W. Teats Hollis Martin RM2
Sheridan, Oregon Bremerton, Washington

Robert B. Miles Aviation Pilot 1C Ashwell L. Picou Sea2
San Diego, California Houma, Louisiana

Robert K. Huntington RM3
South Pasadena, California


Ens. George H. Gay, Jr.
Houston, Texas

The most complete rosters I found for these squadrons is found in a fictional novel. Herman Wouk's 'War and Remberence' (pp 410-413). I don't like relying on a piece of fiction, but Mr. Wouk strived for accuracy in his fiction. I cross-checked his list against other non-fiction sources, and it appears accurate. However, if I have made any mistakes in names, ranks, or hometowns, I mean no disrespect.

The men of these squadrons didn't die in vain. Their sacrifice helped defeat tyranny and make the world a better place.

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