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  #1  
Old 2nd March 2011, 05:14
Santiago Santiago is offline
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aircraft destroyed on the ground on Midway June 1942

Hello
This is a question that has been bugging me for a while, in the John Ford film Battle of Midway there is a scene that shows a destoyed biplane and what appears to be a B-17 silver in the background. Also Japanese claimed to have detroyed one B-17 and damaged a second. Also in a interview with John Ford he mentions the destruction of Grumman Duck.
While official reports from Midway dont mention any aircraft lost on the ground?????

Thank you
Santiago
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Old 2nd March 2011, 13:37
Leendert Leendert is offline
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Re: aircraft destroyed on the ground on Midway June 1942

Santiago,

You may be interested to read this here: http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/...-Midway-5.html

It tells of a Navy (Grumman) J2F being on fire, the one you're after. Whole story is worth to look through for other ground losses.

Regards,

Leendert
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Old 2nd March 2011, 16:51
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: aircraft destroyed on the ground on Midway June 1942

The USN Overseas list available at http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/USN/LLJun42.htm shows no ground loss on Midway this day.

The J2F-2 Buno 1209 is listed as being lost at Midway on 29 June 1942. Maybe it was fatally damaged during the battle and SOC this date ?
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Old 3rd March 2011, 05:59
Mark E Horan Mark E Horan is offline
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Re: aircraft destroyed on the ground on Midway June 1942

Gents;

The J2F, the NAS hack, was destroyed on 4 June, burned out after strafing. There was also the "JFU", a mock up built of various pieces of metal and aircraft parts. That was hit by a bomb and blown apart.

There was one USAAF B-17E on the ground during the attack with a burned out engine. It was a 42nd BS (H) plane that had arrived the day before with that engine feathered and the crew was trying to fix it up and thus unable to depart prior to the attack. It was strafed, and suffered several holes and, amongst other damage, a flat tire. That was replaced and the aircraft was eventually flown back to Hawaii on three engines, but I don't recall exactly when.

There were also ten SB2U-3s on the ground during the attack, eight spares since the arrival of the SBD-2s, without crews to fly them (2046, 2048, 2052, 2054, 2055, 2056, 2058 & 2065), one that had its prop damaged during the pre dawn warm ups when a taxiing PBY hit it with its wing float (2059; both a/c became unserviceable, a spare was used during the attack) and one that returned after takeoff (2062). None of those were were destroyed either, though two (2048, 2058) were damaged enough to be unfit for further combat operations until overhauled.

FYI, that aviation database noted above contains numerous errors. Assuredly no VF-6 aircraft were lost on 1 June, and several other aircraft listed have incorrect dates. I assume the individual aircraft cards were used - but they are often inaccurate, as they were filled out retroactively and the most significant reason they were was to strike aircraft off charge - exact dates for that hardly mattered as long as it was listed stricken. A much more accurate record can be found in the ComAirBatFor weekly summary reports, although even they have errors (which can be found by pulling the Aircraft Trouble Reports, if extant - the investigation done after an accident.) or combat unit reports.

Mark E. Horan

Last edited by Mark E Horan; 3rd March 2011 at 06:12. Reason: lowsy spelling
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Old 3rd March 2011, 13:01
Leendert Leendert is offline
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Re: aircraft destroyed on the ground on Midway June 1942

The B-17E took off again on three engines on 4 Jun 1942 at 5 a.m. local.
Source: US NAS Midway Island (Action Report of the Battle of Midway).

Regards,

Leendert
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Old 3rd March 2011, 13:38
Santiago Santiago is offline
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Smile Re: aircraft destroyed on the ground on Midway June 1942

Gentlemen

Thank you for your answers to my questions about the aircraft that were destroyed on the ground during the attack. Mark the B-17E that you mention is that the one the shows up in that particular scene in the background and its silver? with the three marines running to seek cover?

Thanks in advance
Santiago
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Old 3rd March 2011, 23:46
Mark E Horan Mark E Horan is offline
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Re: aircraft destroyed on the ground on Midway June 1942

Leendert (and Santiago);

The B-17E you are referring to - that took off at 0430, 4 June - was 12413, piloted by 1st Lt. James P. Van Haur, USAAF(R), of the 431st BS(H). That ship had been kicking around on the island attempting to fix a bad engine since returning from the dawn patrol on 1 June. That is not the 42nd BS(H) B-17E that I was referring to.

The 42nd ship was still on the ground during the attack. Six B-17s of the 42nd BS(H), led by Lt.Col. Brooke E. Allen, USAAF, had only arrived from Hawaii late on 3 June and the late arrival after the long flight left the crew little time to attempt repairs in the blacked out conditions that night. Because the crew was attempting repairs, they had no time to refuel the ship. Not being fueled or fit to take off, it remained on the ground throughout the morning attack. Repairs were made throughout the day, though they were interrupted by the perceived second strike arriving which was, in fact, Bombing Squadron Eight from USS Hornet (CV-8) arriving after their unsuccessful attempt to locate and attack Kido Butai.

By the way, I neglected to explain the term "JFU" in my prior post - it stood for "Jap Fouler Upper" and was an attempt (successful as it turned out) to attract a bomb to phony target.

I do have all the associated USN, USMC, and USA records for said flights, though I am not in a position to go pull everything out to look up the date and time for the non-combat flight of the B-17 returning back to Hawaii.

Mark E. Horan
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