The Battle of Midway
June 3 - 6, 1942

The Midway Marauders
By John Greaves

Two B 26 Marauders of the 69th Bombardment Squadron ( Medium ) / 38th Bombardment Group and two from the 18th Reconnaissance Squadron ( Medium ) / 22nd Bombardment Group, attack Kido Butai at about 0710 June 4, 1942, using torpedoes instead of their normal bomb load. Two Zeroes of a group of six from the CAP slice through the diamond formation at 700 ft., as the Marauders start a quick descent to 200 ft. TBF Avengers of Torpedo 8 (Detachment) have started an attack just ahead. This is the moment when the formation started to break up. Lead aircraft, and the flight, is commanded by CAPT James F. Collins (2dLT Colin O. Villines, 2dLT Thomas N. Weems, Jr., SGT Ernest M. Mohon, Jr., SGT Jack D. Dunn, TSGT Raymond. S. White and CPL John D. Joyce). The left wing B 26 (42-1424) is commanded by 1stLT Herbert C. Mayes (2dLT Garnett M. McCallister, 2dLT William D. Hargis, 2dLT Gerald J. Barnicle, SSGT Salvatore Battaglia, PVT Benjamin F. Huffstickler and PVT Roy W. Walters), who will go down after narrowly missing Akagi. Right wing is 1stLT William S. Watson (2dLT L. H. Whittington, 2dLT John P. Schuman, SGT James E. Via, SSGT Richard C. Decker, CPL Albert E. Owen and CPL Bernard C. Sietz), who is seen here already having taken some hits, and will go down well short of the target. The tailing B 26 (42-1391) is commanded by 1stLT James P. Muri (2dLT Pren L. Moore, 2dLT William W. Moore, 2dLT Russell H. Johnson, TSGT John J. Gogoj, CPL Frank L. Melo, Jr., and PFC Earl D. Ashley). No ships were struck, and both Collins and Muri managed to clear Kido Butai and return to Midway with heavy damage. Both pilots did fantastic jobs landing their damaged Marauders without further incident, and without blocking the runway.

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