world war ii: dauntless dive bomber


Brandi Mueller, a U.S. Coastguard captain, captured incredible photos of over 150 Allied World War II aircraft now lying 130 feet under the Pacific Ocean. The warplanes, which include Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bombers, F4U Corsairs, TBF/TBM Avengers, Helldivers, B-25 Mitchells, Curtiss C-46 Commandos and F4F Wildcats, have been discovered over the years, five miles from Roi-Namur Island, part of the remote Marshall Islands.

“An SBD-3 dive bomber of Bombing Squadron Six, on the deck of USS Yorktown. The aircraft was flown by Ensign G.H. Goldsmith and ARM3c J. W. Patterson, Jr., during the June 4, 1942 strike against the Japanese carrier Akagi. Note the battle damage on the tail.”

(US Navy)

May 4 is the anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea.  A tactical victory for the Japanese (ships sunk), but a strategic one for Allied forces (invasion turned back).  The Lexington was lost, and the Yorktown was damaged.  The Japanese thought the Yorktown was a write-off, but just a month later, it was back in action during the Battle of Midway. 

On the 73rd anniversary of this important, but often ignored battle, all I have to say is

“Scratch one flattop.”
Twitter: @thomasguettler

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