Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Lest we forget

71 years ago yesterday Peabody High School grad Arthur Ely lost his life at the Battle of Midway. His Navy Cross reads:
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Arthur Vincent Ely (NSN: 0-75039), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Torpedo Plane and Executive Officer of Torpedo Squadron SIX (VT-6), attached to the U.S.S. ENTERPRISE (CV-6), during the "Air Battle of Midway," against enemy Japanese forces on 4 June 1942. Participating in a vigorous and intensive assault against the Japanese invasion fleet, Lieutenant Ely pressed home his attack with relentless determination in the face of a terrific barrage of anti-aircraft fire. The unprecedented conditions under which his squadron launched its offensive were so exceptional that it is highly improbably the occasion may ever recur where other pilots of the service will be called upon to demonstrate an equal degree of gallantry and fortitude. His extreme disregard of personal safety contributed materially to the success of our forces and his loyal conduct was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
He must have been the pilot of one of these places about to take off. 10 of the squadron's 14 planes  were lost that day:

If you want to read more and don't have time for Professor Goldstein's treatment, the crib notes are in the Atlantic: World War II: Battle of Midway and the Aleutian Campaign


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great photos at the Atlantic site. Makes me think about how it was all done--landing a plane on an carrier, for instance--without today's technology.

Thursday, June 06, 2013 9:07:00 AM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

Indeed... "call the ball" -

Which reminds me, folks rarely mention that the Navy's first aircraft carrier was named for Pittsburgh's Samuel Pierpont Langley. Namesake of the USS Langley (CV-1). Folks don't even look up to the ceiling in Posvar where one of his aerodrome's is hanging.

Thursday, June 06, 2013 11:42:00 AM  

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