Positive old history- Marianas Turkey Shoot, June 19 USN big day

Discussion in 'GarryP's Trojan Huddle' started by Troy70, Jun 19, 2020.

  1. Positive old history- Marianas Turkey Shoot, June 19 USN big day
    Troy70

    Troy70 Junior Member


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    #1
    US navy aviation destroys Japanese aviation with over 300 kills. SoCal was rich with Navy & Marine Aces. Talked numerous aces to speak at Miramar about their combat in the Pacific. Bruce Porter, Marine night fighter ace told me he worked his way thru SC by life guarding at pool. Great Americans who answered the call . Their families never heard these stories & thanked me for getting their Dads to talk. Ate a lot of cookies at aces’s homes talking them into speaking, lol.
     
       
  2. Boselli

    Boselli Junior Member

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    The Grumman Hellcat still makes me proud
     
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  3. GLA4USC

    GLA4USC Junior Member


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    It was indeed hard to get some of the Dads to talk. Lots of us boomers had combat veterans for fathers, and most I ever encountered did NOT care to talk about their experiences, especially at any length. My own dear father would only answer a question for me one time, and my future father-in-law (who seemed to like me) not even once. I am thus automatically a little skeptical when I see a big "combat veteran" decal across the back of somebody's pickup truck!
     
  4. Rodgarnay51

    Rodgarnay51 Junior Member


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    It took my dad until he was in his eighties to even discuss WWII. Then he opened up quite a bit - I think it was good for him to finally get it out. He was a platoon Sgt. on Okinawa. Among other things I remember was, he claimed to have gotten in fights with Okies and Texans every day (of course Dad never lost), the bombardment of Okinawa before the landing was an unbelievable spectacle, and that a lot of the Japanese POWs spoke English but didn't let on.

    He thought he was going to Cal when he got home, but my mom and grandfather enrolled him at USC. He was a life-long Trojan. This coming January will mark the 100th anniversary of his birth.
     
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  5. DrJohnDC

    DrJohnDC Junior Member


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    My Dad served in the Pacific theater. The only stories I remember him telling were funny ones (like the soldier who was constantly bending over to shine his shoes and being told he was going to get his ass shot off one day; and then did get shot in the ass). I don’t remember him talking about the more serious aspects of combat. He returned to SoCal and attended Pasadena CC and then got his BA at USC IN 50 and the his Doctor of Education in 1970, the year I started at USC. He would have been 96 a few weeks ago.
    Fight On to all of our veterans.
     
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  6. BlemBlam

    BlemBlam Junior Member


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    There is a small chance my father may have driven your father onto the beach at Okinawa. He was a boatswain’s mate who drove landing craft. I know he was at Iwo and Saipan, so I assume he was also at Okinawa.
    After he was finished with college at San Jose St, he was recruited by the CIA to train the Cuban exiles for the Bay of Pigs. Spent his whole adult life working for them, from what my sister learned while going through his papers shortly before he passed away.
     
  7. fssca51

    fssca51 Junior Member

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    The Japs couldn't turn out skilled pilots at anywhere near the rate the US did. After the "Turkey Shoot" their aircraft carriers were useless to them because there were not enough pilots to man the planes. In the Leyte Gulf Battle their aircraft carriers were used as decoys to lure Halsey away from the main Jap Battleship force. The did turn out more airplanes though and and turned to the Kamikaze attack as their principal defense. They could and did man their Kamikaze airplanes with very minimally trained pilots. They didn't need to know how to land an airplane. They had only to be able to take the plane off the ground and steer it to the target.
     
  8. bob c in az

    bob c in az Junior Member


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    The F6F hellcat, proximity fuses in antiaircraft, and most of all radar used to queue the navy fliers to the japs is what killed them. They didn't know what hit them!
     
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  9. DaFireMedic

    DaFireMedic Junior Member


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    Japan had already lost most of their experienced pilots by this point, and they weren’t rotating their experienced pilots back to Japan to train recruits. Most of their pilots at this point had only minimal training.

    But even an inexperienced pilot could dive his plane into an enemy ship.
     
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  10. Boselli

    Boselli Junior Member

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    The Japanese navy lost their most important assets, battle tested fighter pilots, at Midway. In my view the carriers they lost were not as important to their war effort than losing those pilots.
     
  11. fssca51

    fssca51 Junior Member

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    The Hellcat had some survivability features the Japs could never match . It had self sealing fuel tanks,ewly developed technology. They could take a bullet hit and survive. They had some armor protection for the pilot; the seat at least could deflect a bullet from underneath. They were a heavier airplane than their competition the Zero M6 but had the power to make and far more durable. The zero was a great performer, but minimal as far as survivability was concerned . '
     
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  12. Boselli

    Boselli Junior Member

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    My father was a machinist when he signed up with the Navy so they trained him as a watch maker. He was on a destroyer the whole war but had his own work room where he fixed the watches from seaman to admirals from all over the Pacific. Not everyone in the Pacific was on the beaches. He was lucky.
     
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  13. Peete2Affholter

    Peete2Affholter Junior Member


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    Yes, after The F6F, and F4U Corsair come onto the scene, the Japanese had nothing even remotely in the same class. The F4F that the Navy started the war with could not turn nor climb with the Zeke, but innovative Navy pilots used the advantages it did have, namely heavier armor and dive speed, in developing tactics (such as the Thatch Weave) to negate the superior maneuverability of the Japanese warplanes.

    That the Japanese never significantly improved their equipment throughout the war (in really any aspect, from infantry weapons, to fighter planes) was partially due to wartime pressures that pretty much precluded spending precious resources on R&D, but was also due to the overall philosophy of the Japanese military which treated its personnel as distinctly expendable assets. Clamors for improved equipment that would improve their survival rate and/or make them more effective in combat mostly fell on dead ears as their commanders (the ones NOT in direct danger of the enemy) felt that the Japanese warrior's superior fighting spirit would carry the day.
     
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  14. Rodgarnay51

    Rodgarnay51 Junior Member


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    #14
    I don't know how safe it was to be on a ship either.
     
  15. Rodgarnay51

    Rodgarnay51 Junior Member


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    One of the things I couldn't understand was why if Dad wouldn't discuss WWII, would he so often read about it. I wish American Heroes Channel (AHC) had been around when he was alive. AHC has a great series they often air on Sundays called World War II in Colour. It would have been interesting to watch it with him.

    Agree. A big Fight On to our veterans.
     
  16. Peete2Affholter

    Peete2Affholter Junior Member


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    It is such a cliche that those who did the most in combat are often loath to speak about it, while those who are the biggest braggarts about their wartime exploits were often really just REMFs whose greatest danger was from contracting gonorrhea in some base-side whorehouse. This certainly played out with the handful of Vietnam veterans I was lucky enough to work with before they all retired (or passed on).

    I am glad that more veterans are able to open up in their later years through the efforts of historians and folks like Troy70. The perspective of individual soldiers is invaluable in fleshing out the larger narratives as we often get them from the diaries of generals and politicians.
     
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  17. Merlin4SC

    Merlin4SC Junior Member


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    I decided not to enter this fray, but here goes anyways. To the victor goes the spoils and the rights to tell history as they see fit, of which a great deal is surviving propaganda. But the purpose of this OT response is to recognize that Japanese engineers did in fact create aircraft that were equal to the US, regardless of what surviving propaganda may dictate. The design philosophies were different though and by the standard of raw horsepower and weight, they did not measure up. But the point is that this was not their goal. Fuel was not ubiquitously and abundantly available so their designs were always more efficient. In fact Japan never enjoyed the same octane fuel [87-91 vs 100] as the US in the war and during the SCAP occupation US engineers who examined several Japanese models used US avgas found them to be faster and climb better than their US equivalents. AS far as models, look up the performance specs of the KI-84, KI-87, KI-94, and KI-100. Of course, both sides had carrier based and land based jet aircraft in development before the end of the war, but Japan's were not copies of the ME-262 and were faster and more maneuverable and carried more payload. My favorite development aircraft that any history buff should look up was the Kyushu J7W, of which the US SCAP found a couple dozen on the assembly line at the end of the war. There was also a jet powered interceptor version under development. You can see it at the Udvar Hazy Museum in Washington.

    But the real answer is that the US could afford to lose a lot of planes and Japan could never make enough planes to keep up. US made over 12,000 F4-Us and Japan only made a little over 3,400 equivalent Ki-84's, and even fewer of the Ki-100's

    Just a little perspective from a US Air Force Vet, as there are lots of stories never told, as us former scholars and history buffs always love information.
     
  18. Peete2Affholter

    Peete2Affholter Junior Member


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    Thanks for that, Merlin, and yes, I'm aware that the Japanese (just like the Germans, as well as the Allies) had numerous prototypes in development, but my point was that the Japanese never managed to get these things to the front lines, in large enough numbers, to make much of a difference, as you pointed out.
     
  19. Canyon

    Canyon Junior Member


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    Thanks to all of you with your stories, I enjoy reading and hearing stories from WWII. One of the best threads ever...
     
  20. SGVFlip

    SGVFlip Points Member


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    Yes...thanks to all of you that continues to contribute to these awesome threads....

    At the end of the day, LOGISTICS, the ability to re supply and harness its industrial might will always win at the end....

    Its also always nice to be on the right side of the ledger.....
     

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