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Old 10th September 2006, 12:27
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Who got Saburo Sakai?

According to most sources, including H. Sakaida, it is a Harold I. Jones (no rank given).
According to Frank Olynyk's air victories list #2, it should rather be AMM 2/c H. H. Caruthers of VS-5, the only rear gunner of a SBD to claim a "kill" that very day.
All sources agree to say that the rear gunner was flying with Lt Carl H. Horenburger. But... most of them post Horenburger with VB-6, while he actually was with VS-5.
Any idea?
Thanks.
Chris
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Old 14th September 2006, 04:59
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Re: Who got Saburo Sakai?

As noted in Bombing Six's "Report of Action" submitted for 7 August 1942, Flight 319 launched from USS Enterprise at 1217 and landed 1517 hours, and included Lt. C. H. Horenburger and AMM2c H. H. Caruthers flying in 5-S-12. According to Sakaida, Saburo Sakai was wounded during his and his wingman's attack against this flight. Further in the Report, it states that Flight 330 launched at 1559 and landed 1906 hours, and included Lt. Horenburger and AMM2c Caruthers again, this time in 6-B-13. Despite the apparent use of VS-5 aircraft during their encounter with Sakai, it would appear that, based on their inclusion in the Bombing Six report, both men were assigned to VB-6.
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Old 14th September 2006, 07:42
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Re: Who got Saburo Sakai?

So I was half right. It's Caruthers and not Jones.
I did not think that VS-5 and VB-6 were on same carrier. Was it "Enterprise"?
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Old 14th September 2006, 16:24
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Re: Who got Saburo Sakai?

Didn't Sakai state in his recollection of the encounter that he thought he was attacking Wildcats, hence the 6 O'clock approach - and was supprised by the rear gunner in a TBF?

<scratching head> I guess I'll have to go look and see if 40 year memory serves

Regards,

Bill
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Old 14th September 2006, 18:32
Leo Etgen Leo Etgen is offline
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Who got Saburo Sakai?

Hi guys

Indeed, according to his recollection of this engagement in Zero by Okumiya and Horikoshi, Sakai mentions that he mistook the American aircraft for fighters (no specific type mentioned) and thus attempted a below and behind attack as he had done three times before when he claimed at least two victories in each attack. He mentions that the American formation closed ranks as he approached which he interpreted as them not seeing him (if they were fighters they would have loosed formation). He then states that he belatedly noticed that they were TBF torpedo bombers and had run into a trap. I hope this helps somewhat and interesting post.

Horrido!

Leo
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