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  SBD-3 Dauntless "CLAG" Bureau Number 4679  
USS Lexington CV-2

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Pilot  Commander William Bowen Ault, O-057445 C. O. Lexington AIr Group (MIA / KIA) OR
Gunner  ARM 1/C William Thomas Butler, 2232491 (MIA / KIA) NY

MIA  May 8, 1942

Aircraft History
Built by Douglas at El Segundo, California. Assigned to USS Lexington CV-2 to VS-2. The personal aircraft of Commander Ault, this SBD had the designation "CLAG" painted on its fuselage, for 'Commander Lexington Air Group'.

Mission History
Took off from USS Lexington CV-2 during the Battle of the Coral Sea on a dive bombing mission against Japanese aircraft carriers Shoho and Zuikaku.

Over the target, he reported via radio that both he and his radioman/gunner were seriously wounded and that he had but twenty minutes fuel left. In his last transmission he reported: "OK. So long people. We put a 1,000 pound bomb on the flatop."

There were no witnesses to his final minutes in the air. He was presumed to have been shot down or ditched in the ocean following the strike on the Japanese carriers.

Officially declared dead on May 9, 1943. Both are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

Robert Bowen Ault (son of Ault)

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Last Updated
August 7, 2015


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