European Stars And Stripes Newspaper Archives Oct 16 1967, Page 12

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European Stars And Stripes (Newspaper) - October 16, 1967, Darmstadt, HesseWater burst sprays High Over flight deck of Yorktown As japanese plane dropped Tor Pedo slams into the Hull. Enemy bomber raises spout right after being hit by flak. Continued from Page 11 Nimitz had begun assembling his ships. Vice . William f. Halsey was called Back from the Solomons with the earners Enterprise and Hornet rear . Frank Jack Fletcher was called to Pearl with the Yorktown battered inthe Battle of the Coral sea but still afloat. From the United states the muscle of Sonal feelings aside and named the Man least like him in the Pacific Fleet to take his Post rear . Raymond , up to then Boss of destroyers and cruisers with the and spruance quickly agreed on plans task Force 16 would take Upa position Northeast of Midway and wait. On May 27 task Force 17 steamed into Pearl the stricken Yorktown Trail Tum Narin the a War was funnelled into Midway every thing from barbed wire to b17s to fighter planes. By flying boats which were later to prove invaluable flew into Midway until the two tiny islands were jammed with men and supplies. Then on May 25, the intelligence out fit at Pearl picked up a key intercept the entire operations plan from launch time to ship designators. It was a master stroke and a gift of the gods of War because immediately after the Imperial Navy shifted its code the combat intelligence men were helpless for weeks until they unravelled the new est mystery. Ironically when the decoded version of the intercept was passed to staff officers one wryly noted that no mat Ter what we pay that Guy in Tokyo he s sure Worth professional intelligence officers have Long ago Given up trying to explain that Plain dogged work base Don open sources often far outweighs the dubious information gathered by secret agents. Halsey aboard the Enterprise Wasin cruel pain from shingles when task Force 16 arrived at Pearl. Nimitz took one look at Halsey and ordered him to bed but first who to replace him Hal say bitterly disappointed by being sidelined from a major Battle cast per 12 ing an Oil Slick Miles Long. A bomb hit had exploded four decks Down and had ripped out the Hull for 100 fee around. But for 48 hours straight ship Yard workers dug in ripping out an welding in and on the morning of May 30 the Yorktown slipped Down the Pear Harbor Channel fresh and ready for its rendezvous with the enemy. Meanwhile holes were showing up inthe japanese master plan. A submarine scheduled to refuel japanese seaplane search planes at French frigate Shoals several Hundred Miles from Hawaii arrived Only to find a . Ship there and waiting. The recon of Pearl was suspended Why bother As the americans weren t Strong enough to interfere any How also submarine cordons set up in the plan to keep track of the .Fleet As it moved out of Pearl just did t get in position soon enough should the strike Force be told and should the strike Force be warned that radio traffic out of Hawaii and Alaska indicated extraordinary movements n of radio silence was More import ant decided the staff on Board the Yamato. Midway itself was an Island of silence in the radio wave thick Pacific which the japanese misread As meaning a Lack of anxiety. However the Island was getting its instructions via the Pacific Cable from Pearl the same Cable which continued to Wake Island in the hands of the japanese. In Happy secure silence . Nagumo ground on. On Midway preparations for the at tack frantically continued. During a demolitions test a Sailor hooked up the wrong wires and 400,000 Gallons of Avia Tion Gas went up in smoke. With task Force 16, the new Admira was trying to find his sea legs. Never having commanded an air group before spruance was busily picking brains inviting selected staff members for his specially brewed Coffee an ordeal dreaded by All the Coffee was reportedly Ter Rible. On june 2 Fletcher s task Force 17 joined up with 16 and the two sailed some 10 Miles apart three carriers eight cruisers and 14 destroyers Ameri Ca s Ante for the pot. By now the japanese sub pickets herein place but 500 Miles behind the advancing american ships. The by continued to Hunt and at 9 04 . June 3 it j. A j. P. O. Lyle flashed a con tact report followed at 9 25 by a main body report from Ensign Jack Reid. The Hunt had paid off and nine b17swinged off to hit the main body it was the transport group for the As Sault. Bombs fell in Long Graceful arcs but the result was nil with nothing More than splinters showering on the ships. American pilots gleefully reported two ships sunk. That night four pays carrying Aeria torpedoes attacked by Moonlight and hit one Tanker in the Bow but the Convoy continued for Midway intact. On the is lands the buildup levelled off 120 planes,11 it boats 3,600 men and five tanks awaited the invaders. One of the scouts. Ivas 30 minutes behind schedule. But nobody Ivor ried about the delays nobody really believed there were any american carriers out . Fletcher mulled Over the report that Reid had contacted the main body of the enemy but at Pear Harbor it was Clear this is not re peat not the enemy striking Force radioed Nimitz. Fletcher decided on a morning search to the North. The experts in Washington however weren t fully convinced that the combat intelligence men knew their japanese perhaps the real target was the West coast. Leaves were cancelled Radi stations put off the air and san fran Cisco was put on a Blue Alert. On june 4 at 4 30 ., . Nagum launched 108 planes at midway36 level bombers 36 fighters and 36 dive bomb ers. An equal number of planes were kept in Reserve for a second wave or incas an american Fleet materialized. Nagumo also ordered seven scout planes to Range eastward some 300 Miles Over an arc of 170 degrees. One of the scouts suffered launching problems and was 30 minutes behind schedule. But nobody worried about the delay nobody really believed there were any american carriers out there. Patrolling pays ungainly awk Ward amp his which according to leg end had three speeds Takeoff cruising and top All the same spotted Nagumo s strike Force at about 5 30 . June 4.minutes later they watched in Awe As the Aerial Armada flew by in route to bomb Midway. They flashed the Mes Sage Many planes headed the . Planes were ready to go theb17s were already airborne and the fighters and dive bombers quickly Fol Lowed. By 6 16 there was an eerie silence on the Island As the men Waite for the japanese to strike. In the air 25 american fighters ancient Brewster buffaloes bore Down on the onrushing attackers they slashed and gyrated but the zeros made them look like they were tied to a fell like autumn leaves As the japanese bored through the 7 15 the attack was Over and the marines cautiously crawled out of Shel ters. They called for the defending Airi Craft to return. Slowly wearily Sis straggled Back to the strip. Four a crash landed during the raid. Fighting Esq. Vme221 lost 23 out of 25 planes the Zero was itself had t suffered too badly. Sand Island had lost its fuel suppl and hangar the dispensary was a Shel and bomb craters pocked the Sand. Buthe worst was the fear of what was t come. The japanese weren t fooled. The first wave warned that a second strike would be needed they had attacked an Empi to this Call left Nagumo s Stafin a neat quandary if they used tha reserves to attack Midway they oui have nothing left to defend if an Ameri can Fleet showed up. Then the alarm was sounded american planes. Six Tbs torpedo planes from Midway had found the Force and they barrelled in on the attack. But zeros were flying cover and the attack was frustrated with no damage although four b26s on the heels of the Tbs did cause alarm when one almost slammed into the Akagi before plunging into the sea. But the assault was uncoordinated and largely failure. But the raid had forced the staff to decision. Obviously Midway had to be neutralized and soon so the Reserve planes were ordered to prepare to at tack a land target at 7 15.planes were being reared when a scout plane the same one that had Bee delayed in its launch by half an hour suddenly radioed at 7 28 sight what appears to be 10 enemy surface ships. He japanese position was difficult. Had the strike Force aircraft been armed for an attack on ships Nagumo would have launched at once enemy ship were the prime target after All. But if the ships were not carriers then what at 7 45 Nagumo decided prepare to carry out attack on enemy Fleet to the scout plane ascertain ship types and maintain five minutes later the Carrier snapped to another air raid warning from its air cover. This time 16 Marine dive bombers were headed in. Of the 16 pilots 13 had never flown an sad until a few Short Days before thus the co decided to Glide bomb rather than dive bomb the carriers. They were easy targets for the zeros and they flamed burning from the sky. The japanese were elated three attacks without a loss. But still the staff waited for word from the scout. At 8 09came" the message enemy is com posed of five cruisers and five the strike Force relaxed no carriers. Time to Reform the scattered Fleet time to refuel and rearm the fight ers used in the defense Cap time to think. And time to lose. At 8 14 japanese guns opened up at15 b17s coming on the heels of the sods. Bombs raised spouts of water and the ships disappeared behind towering columns of smoke. The b17s were sure they had hit the Button but the Fleet had survived unscathed a fourth came another message from the scout at 8 20 the enemy is accompanied by what appears to be a Carrier bringing up the Nagumo was fur Iteus a Carrie suddenly appearing out of mid air while weighing the matter 12 More Marine bombers flashed in to the attack. Three Navy were downed and the rest the bind was tighter the torpedo attack planes were still below decks while the fighter cover was ready to land for fuel. To launch the torpedo planes would surely splash some fight ers but a 30-minute delay would allow the strike Force to sort things out close up ship formation and generally make for a neater picture. Neatness won out Over the strenuous objections of some of the More Clear sighted officers and a delay was ordered. Yamamoto was advised of the new plan and the fighters brought new attack was planned to be launched at about 10 30. At 9 17 the striking Force made a 70-degree course change to the Northwest according to organization 4, the second wave would consist of 18 torpedo planes from Akagi,27 from Kaga plus 36 dive bombers from the Hirayu and Soryu topped wit three zeros from each Flattop. Then at 9 18 the alarm sounded15aircraft were Corning in. In this attack the sixth on the strike Force in the 22-hour-old Battle a tragic epic was written. Torpedo so. 8, from the Hornet and led by it. Cmdr. John c. Waldron bored through a screen of swooping zeros. In 16 minutes it was Over. Every Ted was gunned into the Pacific Only one Pilot Ensign George Gay survived the attack by hiding be Neath a seat Cushion in the sea for a front Row View of the rest of the Imperial strike Force had Little time to gloat. Torpedo so. 6 from the Enterprise swept in at 9 40 for the seventh attack but 20 minutes later 10 of the 14 Blue planes were lost without scoring a mix up in fighter cover had been partly to blame for the crushing losses fighters from the Enterprise had whirled High about the japanese Fleet waiting to pick up their flock of bombers. They never matched up and returned to the Carrier with cold guns. Meanwhile the remainder of tf16 dive bombers had missed the target. Bombers torpedo planes and fighter from the Yorktown headed Southwest to attack the japanese. Torpedo 3 was Firstin for the eighth assault. It. Cmdr. Lance e. Massey led in 12 planes wit their big fish ready 10 were downed including Massey s by buzzing Zero without a hit being scored. It was now 10 20, june 4, 1942, an Nagumo was ready. He ordered his carriers into the wind for launching of the Force that would end the threat from the americans. The four mighty carriers each with a Bright Orange rising Sun on the flight deck Cut neat arc sin the Pacific As pilots manned their next six minutes changed the course of the War. Lit 16 minutes it was Over. Every Ted Ivas gunned into the Pacific Only one Pilot. Survived the attack by hiding beneath a seat Cushion. It. Cmdr. Wade Mcclusky leading the Enterprise s air group had been Hunt ing for the enemy and now he found him. Some of his planes were already running out of Gas but the sky was clears the defense Cap was polishing off the torpedo planes below. His then was the tragic epic of torpedo so. 8. By drawing the Zero Cap Down to the Low Levels they cleared the Way for the dive bombers. Now Navy airmen were ready to make sure that the sacrifice had not been in teamed up with scouting 6 to attack the nearest Carrier. Bombing 6,under it. Richard h. Best would get the Flattop to the right. Despite confusion Over who was to attack what the planes arrowed Down in screaming dives. At 1,800 feet Mcclusky released his bomb with the rest of his 25 planes Fol lowing suit. The japanese Carrie seemed to leap into the air As bombs ripped and Tore at it. Despite evasive tactics the last Man Down Ensign George Goldsmith was on the radioman James Preston summed it up later he had been the world s worst dive bomber Pilot during practice. But that Day Ensign Goldsmith earned every dime invested in him As he put our bomb right through the flight deck just aft of , meanwhile carried on at 15,000 feet unhappy Over the target mix up i which some of his planes had followed Mcclusky. He had but five bombers of his division left for his attack. He was Sud Denly Alert despite the other attack his target was still turning into the wind antiaircraft guns still. He nosed Over into dive his four planes trailing behind. One Pilot who released his bomb Early and levelled out was afraid the skipper would never pull out. Best had waited until the last second dropped his bombs and then snapped his sad on it Side and Tail for a Good look. Writes lord his bomb hit squarely abreast of the Bridge. Another landed behind it then third just aft of the Fantail jamming the rudder. All three blew the Carrier planes into a blazing Heap then the Gas tanks began going off like a string two Down and As Best headed forthe Enterprise he saw a third Carrier taking a dreadful beating any number of bomb bursts flaring through a Wall of smoke. Somebody was doing a thorough Job of gutting that somebody was it. Cmdr. Max Leslie and his dive bombers from the Yorktown. At 10 23 Leslie s target started to launch aircraft and two minutes later the americans flashed Down out of the Clouds. Four of the sods had lost their bombs including Leslie s through alarming malfunction but Down they went anyway guns . . Paul Holmberg no. 2 Man in the outfit took Over leadership when Leslie s guns jammed. At 2,500 feet he aimed at the red Circle on the flight deck and pressed his electrical release switch working the manual release for insurance. The first bomb was dead Center an sealed the Fate of the Carrier. But who hit what and in which order write lord the dive bomber pilots from the Enterprise and the Yorktown would Long argue who struck the first blow at mid Way. Coming in from different directions unaware that anyone else was there each group told very much the same Story. Each found Nagumo s carriers untouched. Each attacked in the same six minute Span. Pulling out each suddenly noticed the other at work. There were enough unprovable claims to remove any fears the debate might end. No one would Ever really the Kaga had been smashed by a least four bombs the Akagi suffered three hits and the Soryu had take three charges. At 10 40, fires on the Soryu reached the torpedo storage area and the blast ripped the ship apart. Nag Umo transferred his Flag from the Akagi. The word was flashed to Yamamoto,450 Miles to the West aboard the giant Yamato. Kaga Soryu Akagi on fire Jiryu will engage the could the Hirayu still pull it off to the stars and stripes monday october 16, 1967 the stars and stripes he american victories were no without Cost. Aboard the Enterprise 18 of 32 dive bombers failed to return. Mostof the Hornet s barely made it to mid Way while All of its fighters had splashed with empty fuel tanks. Torpedo 8, of course was no More except on Yorktown planes were in better shape but . Fletcher who had Bee told by it. Cmdr. John s. Thatch that three enemy carriers were burning was still worried about the last japanese Carrier. With Good cause. At 11 52 an air raid alarm put bogeys 32 Miles out. The Yorktown braced with drained fuel lines guns ready and damage control parties standing by. The Cap of 12 f4f fighter was roiling restlessly in the Clouds. The japanese were throwing every thing they had in the attack. Seasoned Pilot Michio Kobayashi led 18 dive bombers and six fighters in. The f4fs pounced and 10 bombers fluttered Dow like but eight bored in. One was caught by flak it burned and plunged into the sea. But the seven came on. The first bomber was ripped to bit by the antiaircraft fire but its bomb slammed into the flight deck. A second bomb went through the hangar deck and finally exploded deep below on the third deck. A third ripped through the Forward elevator. In 11 minutes the attack was Over. Only five japanese bombers and three fight ers survived but they had done their work Well. The Yorktown was badly damaged its planes forced to land another decks. And the Hirayu still had 10 torpedo came astounding news to the japanese. A scout had reported three american carriers not the single one earlier seen. This put new pressure on the Hirayu. Go for the undamaged car Rier were the orders passed to the torpedo plane pilots. Meanwhile on the Yorktown despite heavy list capt. Elliott Buckmaster had managed to get under Way again making 15 knots. All aboard held on Hopes High until at 2 10 . Came the blare of the air raid warning. Buck master had slipped around torpedo atthe Coral sea but he could t evade them All and now nos. 3 and 4 slammed int Yorktown. It was nearing the end for the Yorktown. But the Battle was t Over. There was that fourth japanese Carrier where was it at 2 30, it. Sam Adams in Yorktown scout fittingly enough spot Ted the Hirayu along with a screening Force. Spruance patched together a strike Force and at 3 30 it. Earl Gallaher led24 planes from the Enterprise for the japanese meanwhile Felt there was still an Odelson Chance that the could grab Victory. They thought they had sunk a second Carrier in the torpedo attack on the Yorktown. Still air strength was almost gone five dive bombers and four torpedo planes. The six zeros had to Fly Cap for the . Tamon Yamaguchi decided to delay until 6 .his Crews needed breather his pilots a break. And it would be much neater. At 5 03 a japanese Lookout cried enemy aircraft above and the break was at an end. The Carrier curved to port just a Gallaher went into his dive he and scouting 6 scored near misses. It. Dav Shumway from the Yorktown had been slated to go after the battleship but he switched to the Carrier. Three bombs hit the Ili Ryu and suddenly bomb seemed to rain from nowhere. B17s from Midway plus More from Hawaii joined the attack flanked continued on Page 1$ Page 13

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