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Tracking confirmed stats?

Discussion in 'Those Who Served' started by RangerDanger, Feb 19, 2018.

  1. RangerDanger

    RangerDanger New Member

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    My great grandfather served on the USS Ranger during Operation Leader as a gunner on one of the x6 40mm Bofors cannons

    Per Cressmans book about the Ranger: "On the afternoon of 4 October (1943), Ranger was located by three German aircraft; her combat air patrol shot down two of the enemy planes and chased away the third."

    Is there any way to track down what type of planes were shot down or what servicemen those kills were attributed to?
     
  2. Pacifist

    Pacifist Active Member

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    Operation Leader: The German View - Air Group 4
    Timestamp 1255

    Ranger
    radar spotted four snoopers by one report and four by another. CAP F4Fs attacked. Lt(jg) Boyd N. Mayhew and Lt(jg) Dean S. Laird shot down a Junkers JU-88. Then Mayhew and Laird assisted Lt Earle F. Craig and Ens Laurence A. Hensley in shooting down a Heinkel HE-115.

    Gun camera photo's of the 2 aircraft are available on the link.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
  3. RangerDanger

    RangerDanger New Member

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    "her combat air patrol"

    That's the part I was mis-reading. I thought her gunners brought down the two birds.
     
  4. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    Dean Samuel “Diz” Laird was the only USN ace to score against both the Germans and the Japanese adversaries. In addition to the 0.5 and 0.25 credits noted in the above post, he also was credited, while assigned to VF-4 operating off USS Essex, with a Ki-61 on 25 Nov 44, an A6M on 16 Jan 45, a Ki-21 on 16 Feb 45, and a Ki-44 and a D3A on 17 Feb 45. Laird was commissioned an ENS USNR AV(N) on 11 Aug 42 and designated a naval aviator on 21 Oct 42. He was assigned to VF-4 after advanced operational training. He was promoted to LTJG on 1 Jul 43 and to LT on 1 Oct 44. After the VF-4 Pacific tour he was assigned to CASU-6 at NAS Alameda as a test pilot and in July 1945 was an instructor with VF-100 at NAS Barbers Point. He was promoted to LCDR on 15 Jul 1951 and to CDR on 1 Jan 56, retiring in that rank in 1970. Apropos of nothing else, in 1948-1949 he was in VF-171, the USN’s first carrier qualified jet squadron, then commanded by my father. He was also, for a spell, president of the American Fighter Aces Association and an officer in the Tailhook Association.

    Boyd Nelson Mayhew had previously been credited with two victories, these over Vichy H75s during Operation Torch. Mayhew was in VBF-151 at NAS Corvallis when the war ended and was released to inactive duty on 26 Aug 45. Mayhew received his wings as a AvCad USNR AV(N) on 29 August 1941. He was promoted to ENS in Apr 1942, LTJG in Oct 42, and LT in Oct 43.

    Earle Frederick Craig switched from fighters to torpedo planes and became CO of VT-44 at NAS Quonset Point on 1 Feb 44, promoted to LCDR on 15 Mar 44. He was still at the helm of the squadron when he was killed in action while operating off USS Langley on 1 May 44. Craig was USNA class of 1939, commissioned an ENS USN on 1 Jun 39. He started flight training in Aug 1941 and was designated a naval aviator on 16 Dec 41. After advanced operational training, he was assigned to VF-41 on USS Ranger. He was promoted to LTJG on 1 Jun 1942 and to LT on 15 Jun 42.

    Lawrence Albright Hensley was credited with three additional victories in VF-4’s Essex deployment, a Ki-61 on 25 Nov 44, another on 16 Jan 45, and a Ki-44, also on 16 Jan 45 and remained with the squadron when it reformed at NAAS Watsonville in June 1945. Hensley was commissioned ENS USNR AV(N) in Feb 43 and assigned to VF-4 after operational training. He was promoted to LTJG on 1 Mar 44.

    There was one other ace who served in the USN with scores against Germans and Japanese, but his single credit against the Germans (an Fw190) was while flying a P-51 as an RCAF Flying Officer in No 414 Squadron over Dieppe on 19 Aug 42. This was the first Fw190 shot down by a P-51. Hollis Harry “Holly” Hills then transferred to the USN and was commissioned a LTJG AV(T) on 9 Nov 42 and was promoted to LT AV(T) on 1 Jan 44. Hills was credited with 3 A6M on 29 Apr 44 and another on 21 Sep 44, all four while a LT in VF-32 off USS Langley. He was assigned to a fighter training squadron VF-150 at NAS Atlantic City at the end of the war. Hills was promoted to LCDR on 1 Jan 46 and CDR on 1 Jul 59; retiring in that rank in 1962.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
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