Remembering VF(N)-101

How can VF(N)-101 best be remembered?

I created this blog back in 2015 when Flight Lieutenant John Kelly’s son sent me this picture of his father on a group picture.

vfn-101

Collection John Kelly (courtesy Gunnar Kelly)

This is how I got started writing a blog with the idea of remembering unsung heroes.

There were 8 faces but only one name. 

Richard Emerson  Harmer was also smiling, as well as other night fighter naval aviators from VF(N)-101 aboard the Enterprise, but I did not know who he was… 

vfn-101-richard-emerson-harmer

Then Bob Brunson, another naval aviator on that picture, found my blog and I could add his name on another smiling face.

robert-brunson

Bob Brunson who knew Richard Harmer’s son gave me his email to contact him. What evolved from this contact was more than 3 gigabytes of files about his father Richard Harmer.

Photos like this one…

Lots of documents, and foremost his complete 1944 diary.

The start of the transcription is here.

 

I just had to turn back time, and start writing on each of the 39 naval aviators seen on the deck of USS Saratoga 15 July 1942…

VF-5 July, 1942

Top row (left to right): Price, Reiplinger, Altemus, Gunsolus, Eichenberger, Innis, Gray, Kleinmann, Morgan, Roach, Dufilho, Smith

Center row: Currie, Robb, Wesolowski. Starkes, Davy, Holt, Daly, Presley, McDonald, Tabberer, Barbieri, Haynes, Bass, Blair, Bright

Bottom row: Kleinman, Stover, Crews, Brown, Southerland, Harmer, Simpler, Richardson, Green, Jensen, Clarke, Stepanek. (photo from the collection of Capt. H. W. Crews)

I just had to turn back time before writing about VF(N)-101.


To contact me you can write a comment or use this contact form.

A Most Historic F4F Wildcat Lost to the Scrap Heap — Travel for Aircraft

[This guest post, as well as small scale model, is by Mickeen Hogan who researches World War II U.S. Navy aviation.] Perhaps the most famous Grumman Wildcat of all time is the F4F-3 Bureau Number (BuNo) 4031—with the “-3” model being the last of the non-folding winged Wildcat made. As luck would have it, […]

A Most Historic F4F Wildcat Lost to the Scrap Heap — Travel for Aircraft

A tribute to another naval aviator: Ted Crosby – An Ace in a Day

As Ted Crosby watched, Yamato’s giant, 18-inch guns hit the water, their enormous weight probably helping the battleship capsize. Suddenly, Yamato’s No. 1 magazine exploded, sending up a huge coil of smoke and flame that could be seen for over 100 miles. It was a strange foretaste of the atomic mushroom clouds that would envelope Hiroshima and […]

Ted Crosby – An Ace in a Day

The Wreck of the IJN Chokai — Pacific Paratrooper

IJN Chokai was there at Bloody Savo..

Chokai was the last of the four-strong Takao class of heavy cruisers built for the Imperial Japanese Navy in the late 1920s. Imperial Japanese designers worked for several years under the restrictions of the Washington Naval Treaty to make warships that were superior in quality to their American and British opponents, but the tonnage limitations imposed by the […]

via The Wreck of the IJN Chokai — Pacific Paratrooper

Bloody Savo Revisited – Sole survivor fights to clear WWII shadow

 

Flying on a RAAF Lockheed Hudson in World War II in August 1942, this crew was not remembered for what they did, but wrongly accused for what they did not do.

Eric Geddes (far right) and his crew were blamed by a US historian for failing to promptly report an enemy sighting.

 

This was an article written in 2013 when Eric Geddes wanted the clear his name as well as his crew’s

Excerpt

For more than 70 years American historians have wrongly blamed an Australian air crew for contributing to a Second World War naval disaster. Twelve hundred allied sailors died in the battle of Savo Island in the Solomons. The sole survivor of the air crew is now 94-years-old and he’s never stopped fighting to have history corrected. For more than 70 years American historians have wrongly blamed an Australian air crew for contributing to a Second World War naval disaster. Twelve hundred allied sailors died in the battle of Savo Island in the Solomons. The sole survivor of the air crew is now 94-years-old and he’s never stopped fighting to have history corrected.

Original article

https://www.abc.net.au/7.30/sole-survivor-fights-to-clear-wwii-shadow/4468200

Follow-up article in 2014…

https://www.abc.net.au/7.30/world-war-two-veteran-finds-justice-after-70-year/5845680

Lucky Bouncing Joe aboard the Gun Moll at Savo

Still more about Ensign J. R. Daly of VF-5.

Gun Moll of the Pacific

Joseph R. Daly, Ensign, United States Navy, not a member of ship’s company, bounced five feet above his bunk in sick bay when the Imperial Japanese Navy heavy cruiser Kako’s Type 93 24-inch torpedo smashed into the bow of USS Chicago (CA-29) at 0147 early on August 9, 1942.  For the naval aviator, shot down, burned and wounded literally only hours before, it was a rude awakening.  But on that terrible night at the Battle of Savo Island he was one of the lucky ones.

A wingman in a division of Fighting Five (VF-5) F4F-4 Wildcat fighters on August 7, 1942, Daly had flown in the Battle of Midway barely two months before in VF-6 off of Enterprise.  He recalled his squadron was in contact with the famous Torpedo Eight (VT-8) as that squadron made its fatal charge against the Japanese fleet.  He said VF-6 commander LT Jim Gray initially…

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Opening Day

Very interesting to read about Ensign J. R. Daly of VF-5.

Gun Moll of the Pacific

August 7th, 1942, was the opening Day” of the Guadalcanal Campaign, one of the hardest, sharpest and costly campaigns for the United States and Japan in World War II.  What at first seemed an easy pushover target became the focal point for some of the fiercest fighting in the Pacific War, and USS Chicago was there for the curtain rise, as well as the curtain call at the end of the campaign, but that is another story (See Rennell Island posted earlier this year).

After the Battle of the Coral Sea, in which Chicago took part screening carrier Yorktown during her raid on Tulagi and later with Admiral Crace and the Support Group racing to block the Port Moresby invasion force at Jomard Passage, the ship remained in the Southwest Pacific.   She continued to serve with the former AMZAC Squadron, redesignated Task Force 44 and played a prominent role in…

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SA Loys Aloysius Parsons

Missing in Action

Missing In Action - Navy - WWII

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Loys Aloysius Parsons

https://militaryhallofhonor.com/honoree-record.php?id=155834

Excerpt and photo of Loys Aloysius Parsons from bio compiled by Gerry Lawton

Loys was the seventh of ten children born to Virgil Lee and Maggie Gertrude Alexander Parsons. They were married on 20 Nov 1907. Their other children were Helen Taft, Henry Theodore “Ted,” John Carl, Elsie Minta, Charles Earl “Charlie,” June H., Virgil Lee Jr., Mary Louise and Robert Parsons.

Loys or “Blackie” as he was sometimes known, enlisted in the US Navy (NSN: 337-26-61) on 19 Dec 1939 in St. Louis, MO as an Apprentice Seaman (AS). He was sent to the Naval Training Station (NTS), Great Lakes, IL for basic training. Upon completion of basic training and possible follow-on instruction at the Torpedoman trade school, and then a short leave, Loys received orders to report to Asiatic Station in the Philippines for duty. On 28 Jun 1940, Parsons reported to the battleship…

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LTJG Jeff Davis Woodson

Missing in action

Missing In Action - Navy - WWII

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Jeff Davis Woodson

https://militaryhallofhonor.com/honoree-record.php?id=104810

Excerpt and photo of Jeff Davis Woodson from bio compiled by Gerry Lawton

In the early morning of 4 Jun 1942, the Hornet Air Group consisting of 59 aircraft took off from her flight deck to attack the Japanese Striking Force. Only Torpedo Squadron Eight’s 15 Devastators found their targets. Attacking without protecting fighter cover VT-8 was overwhelmed by superior numbers of Japanese fighter aircraft, but they continued their attack profiles until one by one they were shot down. Ltjg Woodson and his gunner, ARM2 Otway David Creasy did not return. According to the Hornet’s after action report they were listed as “missing in action.” In that report Rear Admiral (Select) Mitscher, Hornet CO, nominated each member of Torpedo Eight who flew into battle on 4 Jun 1942 for the Congressional Medal of Honor. Their remains were unrecoverable. Reported missing in action on 04 Jun 1942…

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