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FLIGHT LINE

PHOTOS - AIR WAR IN THE PACIFIC

The pictures on this page were obtained from the National Archives, and are official U.S. Navy photos. However, this page is the property of LCDR John E. Buchanan, USN (Ret) and Joel H. Jacobs. (C) Copyright 2001 by Joel H. Jacobs, All Rights Reserved. Duplicating or electronically copying is strctly prohibited without written permission

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18" shells from the Japanese Battleship Yamato splash close to the USS White Planes, a CVE, and other ships of Task Force TAFFY 3. (B3)

The Yamato, WW II's largest ship at 72,800 tons carried nine 18" guns. She was sunk on 7 APR 1945 in the Sibuyan Sea by aircraft of TF 38 in a battle off Okinawa.

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After being hit by a Japanese Kamikaze, the USS St Lo, a CVE, explodes as seen from the USS Kalinin Bay, ENS Buchanan's ship.

The St. Lo sank in about 20 minutes. James Murphy, a VC-3 pilot, had landed on St. Lo just before she was hit. After being in the water for 24 hours, he was rescued with other of the ships survivors. (B-7)

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Enemy torpedo plane being shot down off of Saipan on 16 JUN 1944. (A3)

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After the Kalinin Bay returns to San Francisco on 25 NOV 1944, VC-3 was detached. The badly dammaged ship then went in for major repairs since she was holed by shells and bombs, but she never returned to combat. The squadron reformed, retrained, and deployed on another CVE to the Western Pacific just before war end. The ship was decommissioned in late 1945, and later scrapped in Boston, MA. (B9)

The photos record a few of the combat actions flown by Composite Squadron Three (VC-3) off the USS Kalinin Bay, CVE-68 off of Siapan Island in the Marrianna's JUN 15-16, 1944, noted by Group "A". This action was also referred to as the "Marrianna's Turkey Shoot". And Group "B" pictures, record a few events during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, OCT 24-25, 1944.

Joel Jacobs

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A flaming enemy plane atttempts to crash aboard USS Kitkom Bay, CVE - 71, off Siapan, Marianna Islands, 16 JUN 1944.(A5)

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From left to right: ENS John E. Buchanan, LT Ken Hippe, debrief with CAPT T.B. Williams, CO, of USS Kalinin Bay, CVE-68 with LT Jg Volpi, and CDR Cromwell, Air Officer, looking on. CAPT Williamson, is congratulating the group for having shot down 19 out of 21 enemy planes over the island of Leyte on 24 OCT 1944.

Williamson later advanced to 4 Stars and was Commander of the 6th Fleet.

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ENS John "Buck" Buchanan and his Grumman FM-2 Widcat fighter aboard the Kalinin Bay somtime in 1944. Buck is a neighbor and close friend of the editor of FLIGHT LINE.

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Buck Buchanan is shown seated in the cockpit of his actual Grumman FM-1 Wildcat fighter the day it was inducted into the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, FL -
23 SEP 1988.

Buck is a living resource on pre-war, WW II, and Korean aircraft information, and facts about Naval Aviation up to Viet Nam, when he retired after 34 years service. As a former flying enlisted man in the mid 1930's, and later as an Enlisted Naval Aviation Pilot, I have never asked him a question that he did not know the answer. After the war, Buck was returned to his Chief Aviation Pilot rating, and later advanced back to commissioned status with the outbreak of war in Korea. Because of his combative spirit, as noted by taking on a Japanese battleship single handedly with only machine guns, he was better suited as a warrior than as a peacetime officer, and never rose beyond the rank of LCDR............Joel Jacobs

ABOVE: Today, Buck's own fighter, now hangs in the artium in the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, FL.

BELOW: Certificate dated 22 NOV 1943 and signed by the ship's original commanding office, CAPT C.A.T. BROWN, USN.
CAPT "Cat" Brown was promoted to VADM during the course of the war, and his successor, CAPT Williamson, (see above) made ADM.

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