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keith A 5th April 2021 17:19

Robert Brownell Parker
"the leading SB2C pilot in this regard was Lt. Robert "Zekie" Parker, later killed by a kamikaze attack".

Is he the "Zekie" Prker with three aerial kills? Sources indicate RB Parker being awarded the NC for actions with VB-16 but his aerial victories with VB-19.

Frank Olynyk 5th April 2021 17:46

Re: Robert Brownell Parker
Whoever wrote up the Navy Cross citation typoed the carrier number (CV-16 Lexington) for the Air Group aboard Lex at the time (CVG-19, with its associated squadrons, VF-19, VB-19, VT-19).

And yes, my records show Parker with three victories.



keith A 6th April 2021 08:26

Re: Robert Brownell Parker
Many thanks Frank

Frank Olynyk 6th April 2021 13:14

Re: Robert Brownell Parker
My "most successful" SB2C pilot is William Hugh Harris. One victory on Nov 11, 1943 against a Val (don't know who his gunner was), with VB-17. Then in 1945 with VBF-83 off Essex flying the F4U-1D/FG-1D four more victories, before being KIA on Aug 9, 1945 when his 1000# bomb detonated en route to the target.

I may be cheating a little bit here.



keith A 7th April 2021 14:26

Re: Robert Brownell Parker
Parker scored his (and VB-19s) first kill (a Zeke on 12 September 1944?) and then got two more victories on 24 October 1944. On that date VB-19 scored nine kills and a probable. According to their war diary these were the final aerial victories for the squadron. By their own account Parker scored three, and ARM3c Elias claimed one and a shared kill (with ARM Hendrick?) on 24 October.

No other pilot or gunner claimed more than one kill. The final tally being 10-1-0 which makes them the second highest scoring Helldiver unit, although VB-14 looked like it had done just as well but apparently eight of it's twelve kills were credited to pilots flying Hellcats.

Dose anyone know the identity of the Japanese planes shot down? I believe Lt Fisher claimed a "Lilly" which crashed after being chased, and ARM2c Burns added a "Zeke".

twocee 7th April 2021 14:55

Re: Robert Brownell Parker
You should bear in mind that these were trained bomber pilots and so what is significant are the number and value of their bomb hits. Whether they shot down any enemy aircraft is, relative to their bombing results, of little consequence.

keith A 7th April 2021 15:21

Re: Robert Brownell Parker
I should but.... this is the information I would like. I am more than aware (as you should know from my hundreds of other posts) that I am interested in all sorts of data, both mathematical and sociological. The Helldiver is a recent interest and it's performance in aerial combast is relevant to my present interest. Feel free not to contribute but lecturing me on what I should know and therefore what questions I should ask is impertinent.

twocee 7th April 2021 16:18

Re: Robert Brownell Parker
Not attempting to lecture but just suggesting that the performance of bombers as bombers is worth looking at. Another question to consider is whether, as VB19 claimed so many enemy aircraft, VF19 was falling down on its escort responsibilities?

keith A 7th April 2021 17:04

Re: Robert Brownell Parker
Aerial victories compared bombers to fighters are valid if the argument is that the escort was, as at least one Fleet Air Arm airman claimed, that they abandoned the bombers to chase enemy fighters. (for the refutal see LtCdr JB Edmundson, 1836 Squadron FAA).

VF-19s escort capabilities and results are an interesting subject but not my interest at the moment (although you do pose an interesting avenue of exploration). The Helldiver has a remarkable record as both an effective destroyer of the Japanese naval infrastructure, as indeed does the Dauntless as dive bombers. My intent is only to discover - not highlight - the aerial victory claims (types and results). The accuracy of these claims is always going to be subject to the rationale that for every three claims only one (or less than one) are valid, My interest is only to what extent the Helldiver crews understood their effect on Japanese air opposition.



twocee 7th April 2021 17:46

Re: Robert Brownell Parker
On the subject of fighter escort I don't know whether you were aware that in August 1944 some Helldiver squadrons formed their own Hellcat fighter flights so as to try and ensure adequate escort. They were designated VFB, not to be confused with the later VBF designation that came with the splitting of fighter squadrons in January 1945.

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