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Battle For Midway

Discussion in 'Naval Warfare in the Pacific' started by donsor, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. KiMaSa

    KiMaSa Member

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    In the absence of Stanhope Ring, (Let us say his aircraft developed engine trouble shortly after launch and had to abort.) which squadron commander would have had seniority?
     
  2. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    In Hornet Air Group? That would have been John Waldron . . . he was scheduled to take over the air group when Ring moved on to his next assignment, which was to occur after Mitscher put on his stars (he had already been selected for RADM before the battle.) Next after Waldron would have been Walter Rodee; followed by Samuel Mitchell, the guy that led 10 F4Fs into the water; R Ruffin Johnson was the junior squadron commander.
     
  3. DT1991

    DT1991 New Member

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    I've always wondered why CYAG Oscar Pederson did not fly during Midway or Coral Sea. I remember Lundstrom in The First Team mentioned him being held back to handle Fighter Direction on the Yorktown or something like that.
     
  4. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    John has it correctly, both Fletcher and Buckmaster wanted Pederson to remain aboard, mostly to handle the fighter direction role. Yorktown, at both Coral Sea and Midway, had a plethora of experienced squadron commanders, when it came to strike missions, who knew what to do and when. Both VF-42 and VF-3 had, both, experienced CO's and some far better than average depth of experience in their division and section leaders; what was needed was someone with fighter experience who could follow the big picture of fighter defense. Unlike Enterprise, with LCDR Dow, there was no designated/assigned staff FDO on Yorktown, Pete Pederson fit the bill & did the job.

    Some of that decision goes back to the late summer of 1941 when LCDR William Taylor (late of the RAF Eagle Squadron, before that the Fleet Air Arm, before that a USMC fighter pilot & before that a USN fighter pilot and now returned to USN service) came aboard to provide orientation on radar directed fighter control. His training briefing was well received and after he moved on to the next ship on his itinerary, VF-42, then under command of Pederson, practiced radar guided interception on a regular basis. Notably, Pederson was usually directing these practice interceptions from the ship, so he was the man on the scene with the most experience.
     
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