30 December 2007
12 November 2007
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08 June 2007
07 June 2007
In racing there is a saying - 'luck is where preparation meets opportunity' Perhaps there is no truer an example than the Battle of Midway. Popular literature seems to emphasize the American forces stumbling into a heaven-sent scenario of laden carrier decks and little to no opposition to the dive bombers, while giving short shrift to the preparation that enabled them to make use of that opportunity. How so?
COMINT: Communications Intelligence - the US code breakers labored mightily to figure out what the IJN was up to. Were it not for their efforts prior to Midway, and some particularly inspired thinking and risk taking, the US may well have fallen for the feint up to Alaska and end up caught in the trap laid by Yamamoto.
Damage Control: Had the crew of the Yorktown not been so proficient in DC, particularly something as seemingly mundane as draining the avgas lines and filling them with inert gas prior to the battle of Coral Sea, the Yorktown may very well have been lost, leaving CINCPAC with only two carriers facing four, forcing a different battle plan. Conversely, the almost lackadaisical approach the Japanese took in repairing Shokaku's damage or replinishing Zuikaku's air wing and repairing her light damage from Coral Sea's action ensured their nonavailability for Midway, keeping the balance of forces on a razor's edge.
Training: The contrast between USN and USMC effectiveness in employing dive bombers at Midway was signatory. Using the same platform (SBD-3's) USN pilots scored major hits while minimizing losses to AAA and fighters, whereas the Marines suffered significant losses for little, if any gain. The difference? Tactics, training and procedures or TTP (yes, we know -ugh, one of those modern terms...) - the Navy employed steep, usually 70-degree, dives on the target whereas the Marines used much shallower, gliding approaches. The former minimizes your exposure time and profile to AAA and fighters while increasing the likelihood of a hit. However, it requires considerable practice at obtaining the proper dive angle, avoiding target fixation and knowing how/when to pullout of the dive and avoid over-stressing the airframe. Lots of practice, underscoring the maxim about training like you are going to fight...
Employment of forces: The Japanese were the first to employ massed striking power using carriers and the strike at Pearl (and subsequent actions through SE Asia and the IO) validated the philosophy. The problem was the Japanese failed to comprehend the inherent flexibility of carrier-based air and thus eschewed opportunities to utilize it in other scenarios, such as scouting, which in turn, led to less than robust search plans and reliance on out-dated search aircraft and methodologies. Curiously, the Japanese broke this rule in planning the Aleutian invasion, diverting forces on a mission of questionable value and success for territory that would prove to be exceptionally harsh on man and machine while yielding little, if any strategic value outside of propaganda for an overly wrought plan of entrapment. This leads to questions of planning...
Planning/Command: In studied contrast to the run-up at Pearl, Japanese planning for Midway was poorly thought out, egregiously evaluated and gamed and haphazardly executed (cf: the entire submarine picket plan). Indeed, it was put together and executed in such a toxic atmosphere of arrogance and bluster that even when one of the final wargame sessions showed American forces gaining an upper-hand because of gaps in the air search pattern, referees for the wargame manipulated the environment and other factors to bring about a successful conclusion for Kido Butai. As for dealing with changing factors at sea, commanders were loath to step outside the boundaries of the plan and demonstrate initiative. In studied contrast were the actions of the Americans from Nimitz's orders based on calculated risk to Dick Best's last minute change in targets.
Luck indeed smiled on the Americans that day, but she did not grab them by the hand (or scruff of the neck) and tell them what must be done in PowerPoint bulletized format. She merely opened the door, a crack, and offered a fleeting moment to change the course of the battle...the Americans grasped it and changed the direction of the war.
Review the list above - these are timeless lessons learned, every bit as applicable today as they were 65 year ago. My observations lead me to believe we are ignoring them at our future peril.
04 June 2007
In carrying out the task assigned … you will be governed by the principle of calculated risk, which you shall interpret to mean the avoidance of exposure of our forces without good prospect on inflicting, as a result of such exposure, greater damage on the enemy. (Extract from CINCPAC Operational Order to TF 17 Commander)
In every battle there is a moment when the combatants, and the world, seem to catch their breath. It is a fleeting moment, lost in the blink of an eye. But in that same blink, everything changes. Such moments are borne of desperation, of courage, of plain dumb luck. But they are pivotal - for what was before is forever changed afterwards.
Until 1019 on the morning of 4/5 June 1942, things had gone badly for the US and its allies. With few exceptions, the Allies were fighting a losing battle in the Pacific. Indeed, as events unfolded that morning, it appeared as of the rout was on. The attacks by land-based air forces from Midway had utterly failed culminating in the loss of many aircraft. The strikes by the torpedo aircraft were decimated - an entire squadron of TBDs shot down with only a sole survivor to claim witness. An entire airgroup missed the Japanese carriers and the battle altogether and of the remaining forces, they were scattered and disorganized. The future was looking grim.
At 1019, Hiryu's senior lookout shouted he had spotted dive bombers attacking Kaga from overhead. Despite being thrown into a hard turn, Kaga was struck by a 500 lb bomb and then successive strikes utterly crushed her...
At 1024 Soryu was struck a mighty series of blows...
At 1026, LT Dick Best led a flight of two other SBDs away from Kaga in an attack on Akagi. Attacking in a "V" formation from a right-hand turn, history held its breath as the first bomb missed and the third narrowly missed the carrier. But the second bomb, a 1,000 pounder from LT Best's aircraft bore through the aft edge of the elevator and exploded in the upper reaches of the Akagi's hangar bay, in the midst of the refueled/rearming aircraft parked there. In the blink of an eye, fate turned and three carriers lay burning.
To be sure the battle was not over and a dreadful price remained to be extracted from the American carriers. Likewise, Kido Butai had not seen the last of the Americans either and would pay the final price later in that day.
Across a seaborne canvass that stretched over 176,000 sq nm, larger than the country of Sweden (as Parshall & Tully observe) the battle see-sawed back and forth. No other naval engagment has seen such breath-taking distances involved and few, short of a Trafalgar, have seen such a decisive turn of events. We honor today those who fought and gave their all in this signatory battle.
1) Previous postings this series:
- Flightdeck Friday: Countdown to Midway - Land-based Air (US)
- Countdown to Midway: Battlespace
- Flightdeck Friday: Countdown to Midway - IJN Carrier-based Air Order of Battle
- Countdown to Midway: 27 May 1942
- Countdown to Midway: 28 May 1942
- Countdown to Midway: 30 May 1942
- Flightdeck Friday: Countdown to Midway - USN Carrier-based Air Order of Battle
- Countdown to Midway: 3 Jun - First Contact
2) To appreciate the sweep of events and the timescale involved, the reader is recommended to view the history of the battle as laid out over at Historyanimated, located here for the Battle of Midway.
03 June 2007
Alaska- Japanese occupy Kiska and Attu in the Aleutians.
Preliminary action begins in the Battle of Midway …
PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, 7th Air Force):
As alluded to above, the distances in this theater of battle were huge – how each side developed and implemented their search surveillance plan would be critical. At this stage of the war, radar was not available for use in search aircraft with large, ungainly sets and antennas being the province of ships. Even then, the limitations of the radar horizon (straight-line distance to the Earths horizon. Below which surface and low flying targets could not be seen) which was approximately 30 -40 miles, severely constrained the employment of radar for now. Instead, scouting was to be carried out by land- and ship-based aircraft (ship-based only for
The scouting aircraft used by the Japanese were either the Type 95 float plane (a range-limited bi-plane) or the fewer in number Aichi E31A Jake Type 0 float plane. Commonly found on heavy cruisers and battle ships, the former was found in far greater numbers the morning of 3 June. As such, because of the range demands, the limited numbers of Jakes were pressed into service. With a crew of three (pilot, bombardier and gunner) the Jake had a combat/search radius of about 600-650 nm. The search plan for Kido Butai had Jakes launching from Akagi, Kaga, Tone (2) and Chikuma (2). Flying out on assigned radials originating from Kido Butai’s center, each plane would fan out to 300 nm, turn left for 60 nm and then fly back to the origin point (see illustration below). At the patrol altitude of 1200-2000 ft, an optical search swath of about 25 nm, centered on the plane’s ground track could be maintained. Absent any other factors or tipper information, it was a chancy plan at best. Tipper information would come from tripwire notification passed by the submarine pickets as they picked up the carriers leaving
Contrast that search plan with the American plan – with 127 search aircraft (primarily PBYs backed up by thirty plus Marine SBDs as well as the B-17’s) on Midway, the Americans already had a more robust search capability. The PBY’s range was double that of the Japanese scouts and with a crew of 9, able to cover a search area. The American subs were also on station as well. But perhaps the most important distinction was the difference in employment of carrier air for scouting/search. Unlike the
Later that evening, PBYs carrying jury-rigged torpedoes conduct a night attack on the supporting forces. One torpedo finds a target, impacting and detonating on the bow of a fleet oiler. Though slowed by the damage, it manages to rejoin the supporting fleet. Ironically, this would be the only successful airborne torpedo attack of the coming battle...
01 June 2007
Task Group 17.5 Carrier Group - CAPT Elliott Buckmaster
- USS Yorktown (CV-5) CAPT Buckmaster
- CVG-5 - LCDR Oscar Pederson
- VS-5 LT Wallace Clark Short, Jr. 19 (17) x SBD-3
- VF-3 LCDR John Smith Thach 27 (25) x F4F-4
- VB-3 LCDR Maxwell Franklin Leslie 18 (17) x SBD-3
- VT-3 LCDR Lance Edward Massey 15 (12) x TBD-1
Task Force 16 - Rear Admiral Raymond A. Spruance in
Task Force 16 - RADM Raymond
- Task Group 16.5 Carrier Group - CAPT George Dominic Murray
- USS Enterprise (CV-6) CAPT
- CVG-6 - LCDR Clarence Wade McClusky, Jr. 1 (1) x SBD-3
- VF-6 LT James Seton Gray, Jr. 27 (27) x F4F-4
- VS-6 LT Wilmer Earl Gallaher 18 (18) x SBD-3
- VB-6 LT Richard Halsey Best 18 (18) x SBD-2, -3
- VT-6 LCDR Eugene Elbert Lindsey 14 (14) x TBD-1
- USS Hornet (CV-8) RADM Marc Andrew Mitscher
- CVG-8 - Cdr. Stanhope Cotton Ring 1 (1) x SBD-3
- VF-8 LCDR Samuel Gavid Mitchell 27 (27) x F4F-4
- VS-8 LCDR Walter Fred Rodee 16 (15) x SBD-3
- VB-8 LCDR Robert Ruffin Johnson 18 (18) x SBD-3
- VT-8 LCDR John Charles Waldron 15 (15) x TBD-1
Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat
The F4F began life somewhat inauspiciously as a two-time loser – to the Brewster F2A Buffalo of all planes. Initially designed as an unbuilt biplane design entered in a US Navy competition, it was beaten by the monoplane Brewster F2A-1 design. Subsequently remodeled as the monoplane XF4F-2 it was evaluated against the Buffalo, only to come up short again (although it was marginally faster) - the Buffalo was otherwise superior and was chosen for production. Fortunately Grumman persisted and the prototype was then rebuilt as the XF4F-3 with new wings and tail and a most importantly, a supercharged version of the Pratt & Whitney R-1830 "Twin Wasp" radial engine. Subsequent testing of the XF4F-3 led to an order for F4F-3 production models, the first of which was completed in February 1940 and armed four .50 caliber Browning machine guns, joined active units in later that year.
The definitive version and the one by far seeing the most action was the F4F-4, which entered service in 1942 with six guns and folding wings, allowing more to be embarked on a carrier. Interestingly enough, this version was less popular with American pilots, because the same amount of ammunition was spread over two additional guns, decreasing firing time. With the F4F-3's four 50-caliber guns and 450 rounds per gun, pilots had 34 seconds of firing time; six guns decreased ammunition to 240 rounds per gun, which could be expended in less than 20 seconds. The increase to six guns was attributed to the Royal Navy, who wanted greater firepower to deal with German and Italian foes – Jimmy Thach’s observation was, "A pilot who cannot hit with four guns will miss with eight." Extra guns and folding wings meant extra weight, and reduced performance: the F4F-4 was capable of only about 318 mph at 19,400 ft. Rate of climb was noticeably worse in the F4F-4, while Grumman optimistically claimed the F4F-4 could climb at a modest 1,950 feet per minute, in combat conditions, pilots found their F4F-4s capable of ascending at only 500 to 1,000 feet per minute. Moreover, the F4F-4's folding wing was intended to allow five F4F-4s to be stowed in the space required by two F4F-3s. In practice, the folding wings allowed an increase of about 50% in the number of Wildcats carried aboard US fleet aircraft carriers.
The Wildcat was outperformed by the Mitsubishi Zero, its major opponent in the early part of the Pacific Theater, but held its own by absorbing far more damage and with the adoption of tactics that took advantage of the Wildcat’s abilities (diving attacks) and mutual support (Thach Weave). With relatively heavy armor and self-sealing fuel tanks, the Grumman airframe could survive far more than its lightweight, unarmored Japanese rival. Many US Navy fighter pilots also were saved by the F4F's ZB homing device, which allowed them to find their carriers in poor visibility, provided they could get within the 30-mile range of the homing beacon.
* Crew: 1
* Length: 28 ft 9 in (8.8 m)
* Wingspan: 38 ft 0 in (11.6 m)
* Height: 9 ft 2.5 in (2.8 m)
* Wing area: 260 ft² (24.2 m²)
* Empty weight: 5,760 lb (2,610 kg)
* Max takeoff weight: 7,950 lb (3,610 kg)
* Powerplant: 1× Pratt & Whitney R-1830-86 double-row radial engine, 1,200 hp (900 kW)
Performance* Maximum speed: 320 mph (290 knots, 515 km/h)
* Range: 770 mi (670 nm, 1,240 km)
* Service ceiling: 39,500 ft (12,000 m)
* Rate of climb: 1,950 ft/min (9.9 m/s)
* Guns: 6× 0.50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns, 240 rounds/gun
* Bombs: 2× 100 lb (45 kg) bombs
The Douglas SBD Dauntless was the U.S. Navy's main dive bomber from mid-1940 until late 1943, when it was supplemented (although not entirely replaced) by the SB2C Helldiver. Derived from the Northrop Model 8 attack bomber developed for the Army and export market, the Dauntless was developed at the Douglas Northrop facility at
The SBD was involved in combat from the first day of the Pacific War, as Dauntlesses arriving at
* Crew: Two
* Length: 33 ft 1 in (10.08 m)
* Wingspan: 41 ft 6 in (12.65 m)
* Height: 13 ft 7 in (4.14 m)
* Wing area: 325 ft² (30.19 m²)
* Empty weight: 6,404 lb (2,905 kg)
* Loaded weight: 10,676 lb (4,843 kg)
* Max takeoff weight: 10,700 lb (4,853 kg)
* Powerplant: 1× Wright R-1820-60 radial engine, 1,200 hp (895 kW)
* Maximum speed: 255 mph (410.38 km/h)
* Range: 773 mi (1243.8 km)
* Service ceiling: 25,530 ft (7,780 m)
* Rate of climb: 1,700 ft/min (8.6 m/s)
* Wing loading: 32.8 lb/ft² (160.4 kg/m²)
* Power/mass: 0.11 hp/lb (0.18 kW/kg)
* 2x 0.5 in (12.7 mm) forward-firing machine guns
* 2x 0.3 in (7.62 mm) flexible-mounted machine guns
* 2,250 lb (1,020 kg) of bombs
Eventually 129 of the type were purchased by the U.S. Navy's Bureau of Aeronautics (BuAer), equipping the carriers USS Saratoga, USS Enterprise, USS Lexington, USS Wasp, USS Hornet, USS Yorktown and USS Ranger. The last TBD was scrapped in 1944 and as a result (combined with combat and operational losses) there are no examples in existence today.
* Crew: Three: Pilot, Torpedo Officer/Navigator, Radioman/Gunner
* Length: 35 ft 0 in (10.67 m)
* Wingspan: 50 ft 0 in (15.24 m)
* Height: 15 ft 1 in (4.60 m)
* Wing area: 422 ft² (39.2 m²)
* Empty weight: 6,182 lb (2,804 kg)
* Loaded weight: 9,862 lb (4,473 kg)
* Max takeoff weight: 10,194 lb (4,623 kg)
* Powerplant: 1× Pratt & Whitney R-1830-64 Twin Wasp radial engine, 900 hp (671 kW)
* Maximum speed: 206 mph (331 km/h)
* Range: 435 miles (700 km)
* Service ceiling: 19,700 ft (6000 m)
* Rate of climb: 720 ft/min (3.7 m/s)
* Wing loading: lb/ft² (kg/m²)
* Power/mass: hp/lb (kW/kg)
* 1x 0.30 cal (7.62 mm) machine gun forward-firing
* 1x 0.30 cal (7.62 mm) machinegun in rear cockpit (later increased to two)
* 1x 1,000 lb (453 kg) bomb
* 1x Mark XIII torpedo - 1,200 lb (544 kg)
31 May 2007
The 46-year-old vessel - the only American aircraft carrier permanently deployed abroad - eased out of its berth at the U.S. Navy base in Yokosuka, just south of Tokyo, escorted by a carrier strike group of cruisers and guided missile destroyers, Naval spokesman John Nylander said.
The voyage, to last several months in the western and central Pacific Ocean, was expected to be the last major mission for the ship before it is replaced next year by the USS George Washington and sent back to the United States for decommissioning, said Rear Adm. Richard B. Wren, commander of the Kitty Hawk Carrier Strike Group.
"This is the last trip for USS Kitty Hawk," Wren told reporters.
The Kitty Hawk, with a crew of more than 5,500, was commissioned in 1961 and has served in
The diesel-powered ship was deployed to
But the vessel's replacement sparked a backlash in
Nuclear-powered warships have visited Japanese ports hundreds of times since 1964, and the
30 May 2007
USS Yorktown (April 1942).
PACIFIC OCEAN AREA:
7th Air Force begins flying B-17's from the
On the 27th of May, USS Yorktown arrived at Pearl Harbor bearing the wounds of her action from the
When she entered
How significant was this action? In a word – it was pivotal. The urgency to turnaround Yorktown, bring aboard squadrons who had never operated off her before and in so doing, get a third carrier into action was one of the key points in the outcome of the coming battle – and make no mistake everyone from Nimitz down to the seaman on the Yorktown knew it. This was in studied contrast to the almost leisurely approach the Japanese took in repairing Zuikaku and replenishing her air wing (the Japanese did not rotate airwings between carriers and didn’t think about doing it until later in the war).
(From the entry for LT Newell at The Virtual Wall)
On 14 Dec 1966 a Navy ALPHA strike from the USS TICONDEROGA was targeted against a vehicle depot at Van Dien, about 5 miles west of Hanoi. As usual, fighters were tasked with providing combat air patrol over the target area while the bombers worked the target.
While over the target LT Michael Newell, flying F-8E BuNo 149148, was hit by fragments from an SA-2 surface to air missile. LT Newell advised his flight lead that his aircraft was handling well, turned south to egress the target area, and began a climb from the 6,000 foot CAP orbit to a higher altitude. A few minutes later he advised that he had lost hydraulic pressure, and comrades watched helplessly as his Crusader entered into uncontrolled flight and dove into the ground from an altitude of about 17,000 feet. Newell did not eject before ground impact; since he was not injured by the SA-2 impact it may be that G-forces due to uncontrolled flight prevented him from ejecting. His remains have not been repatriated.
TICONDEROGA lost a second aircraft during the strike; LT Claude D. Wilson of Attack Squadron 72 (A-4E BuNo 151068) was hit by an SA-2 after departing the target area but stayed in the air. As he neared Thanh Hoa, he was hit a second time and his A-4E exploded in flight. LT Wilson's remains were repatriated in 1989.
The target CVW 19 was engaged on that day was the Van Dien supply depot/barracks, target number 62 on the JCS-94 target list. Since it was in the vicinity of Hanoi, it resided under one of the most lethal anti-aircraft zones seen since the notorious flak/fighter corridors over Germany in WW2. The layered defense ranged from widely emplaced ZSU-23/4 cannon to anti-aircraft artillery for medium altitude up to SA-2 GUIDELINE missiles to cover the ingressing/high-altitude threat. All told, CVW-19/TICO would lose 14 aircraft to combat related action during the Oct.19, 1966 - May 29, 1967 deployment, with an additional three operational losses.
LT Newell Remembered
(from a 30 May 2007 article in the Times Herald-Record, serving New York"s Hudson Valley and the Catskills. This is an excellent article and it is recommended in entirety - the portion quoted below was particularly compelling - it serves as a reminder of what small town newspapers are really all about, people and those they have touched or affected over the years, something missing in the bigger national papers - SJS)
Mike Newell: A Reminiscence by His Friend Bob KelbMike and I became good friends in grade school. We were both stubborn and had tempers. This would occasionally get the best of us, and we would have a fight. But I don't think we ever went more than a half hour before one or the other of us would call, apologize, and we would be back on the best of terms. Our friendship grew thru junior high, high school and in later years. When Mike first started to think about entering a service academy, I wasn't sure how he would manage in that environment. I was concerned about his temper (I never told him this). He worked hard to get his appointment to Annapolis. As a midshipman, he thrived in that difficult environment.
Mrs. Newell's brother was an Air Force B-52 bomber pilot and Mike was always interested in planes and flying. When we were growing up, we went to as many air shows as we could at Stewart Field.
One of his summer midshipman cruises was to the Mediterranean, during a NATO exercise. On returning, he mentioned how many pilots were lost during this exercise. As he approached graduation, he was considering both submarines and flying. I remembered the statistics from his Med. cruise, and suggested subs would be a good choice.
But flying was Mike's dream, and he went on to become a carrier pilot. His dream became his passion. (I just recently had a tour of a nuclear attack sub, the USS Albany. I think he made the right choice.) The only time I have been somewhat afraid in an airplane, Mike was at the controls. He had graduated from flight school and was flying an F8-U Crusader. Home on leave, he decided we should go to Wurtsboro Airport, rent a plane and fly over (aka buzz) his girl's (soon to be his wife Mimi's) house in Kerhonkson. Mr. Barone, the owner of the airport, went up with Mike to check him out in the Aeronca. On Mike's first pass at landing, he must have thought he was landing an F-8 on a carrier. He came in with power on. Mr. Barone did a lot of arm waving and Mike went around again and made a fine landing. Mr. Barone got out, Mike motioned to me to get in, and off we went. Well, the Aeronca looked much like a Piper Cub and was about as fast. It was much too slow for someone who had broken the sound barrier. He knew what the redline on the tachometer was for, but several times I had to remind him. I must say that his third landing in the Aeronca was at least as good as his second.
In the fall of 1964, I was in Army basic training at Fort Dix, N.J. I was summoned to report to the company commander in the orderly room. The CO told me that Lt. Michael Newell had called and requested that I be given a weekend pass so I could be an usher in his wedding. I had a good time at Mike and Mimi's wedding, dressed in my buck private's uniform, white gloves and shirt, and a black bow tie. The last time I saw Mike, was at Mimi's parent's home in Kerhonkson. He was home on leave between tours in Viet Nam. He talked about some of his missions and how he wanted to get a MIG when he returned.
I was once again in uniform for the memorial service that was held for Mike at St. Mary's and St. Andrew's church in Ellenville. It seemed so necessary and so incomplete.
Mike, I still think of you and remember our good friendship. Welcome Home! Rest in Peace!
Indeed LT Newell, welcome home now and rest in peace - your journey is complete...
29 May 2007
Poland's top negotiator on planned U.S. missile defense bases in Europe said Tuesday that Russia has revealed a psychological problem in its opposition to the plan, and said Warsaw will ask U.S. President George W. Bush how seriously to take Moscow's threats. … “The Russians absolutely know that 10 missiles which are not equipped with any kind of warhead cannot do any harm against Russian military might,” Witold Waszczykowski, the deputy foreign minister and top Polish negotiator, said in an interview with The Associated Press. “From a technical point of view, we cannot convince them. They ignore, they neglect our arguments, and they are saying that any kind of a military installation on the territory of Poland, Czech Republic - that means on the territory of new member NATO states - is not acceptable for them,” Waszczykowski said. “That means they have a psychological problem, a kind of mental problem preventing them from accepting that the two nations are really sovereign - are not part of Soviet or Russian domination any more.” …
... works for me... - SJS
ChinaThe Navy will christen the newest Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer, Truxtun, Saturday, June 2, 2007, during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, Pascagoula, Miss.Designated hull number DDG 103, the new destroyer honors Commodore Thomas Truxtun (1755-1822) who embarked upon a seafaring career at age 12.When the U.S. Navy was organized, he was selected as one of its first six captains on June 4, 1798. He was assigned command of the USS Constellation, one of the new frigates, and he put to sea to prosecute the undeclared naval war with revolutionary France.On Feb. 9, 1799, Truxtun scored the first of his two most famous victories. After an hour's fight, Constellation battered the French warship L'Insurgente into submission in one of the most illustrious battles of the quasi-war with France.Truxtun retired from the Navy as a commodore and has had five previous ships carry his name: a brig launched in 1842, a destroyer with the hull number DD 14, a destroyer with the hull number DD 229, a high speed transport with the hull number APD 98 (initially designated a destroyer escort with the hull number DE 282), and a nuclear-powered frigate (DLGN) later re-designated a cruiser with the hull number CGN 35.
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii:
USS Enterprise, Hornet and escorts have sortied to meet the Japanese fleet bound for Midway. USS Yorktown, which arrived 27 May from action in the Coral Sea is in the shipyard undergoing deperate repairs to enable her to join Enterprise and Hornet.
- After clearing the Inland Sea on the 27th, Nagumo's forces have set a north-easterly course at 14 knots. Ships crews turn to the daily routine of maintenance, cleaning and participating in drills whilke the embarked aircrew amused themselves playing cards in the ready room or passing around novels while sunning themselves on the flight deck - some had brought wooden deck chairs for this purpose. (ed - It would appear there were (are) some universal similarities across naval aviation...). The overall mood of the crews was relaxed. Duty carrier rotation was set with Soryu taking the first watch on the 27th.
- However, overnight on the 27th, CDR Fuchida Mitsuo, CAG for Akagi's air group, was diagnosed with acute appendicitis. Although he pleaded otherwise, the flight surgeon overruled him and operated immediately. Fuchida would miss the coming battle, at least leading the air group in battle, and this was dismaying to the veteran crews.
- 1430, 28 May - Kido Butai's supply ships are sighted and once they wer joined in the force, a course change to east-northeast was ordered. Speed remained at 14 knots in consideration of the destroyers and other fuel hogs in the fleet.
28 May 2007
Others remember too:
- Lex Calls the Roll
- Laughing Wolf at Black Five Remembers
- as does John at Castle Argghhh
- and Steve at the Woodshed
On July 22, 1944, Kelly was the navigator on a B-24J Liberator on a bombing raid of the oil fields at
After researching information contained in
Additional JCSD archival research in
Welcome home Lieutenant Kelly, rest easy now that your mission is complete.