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|Pilot Reserve Lt(jg) Takafumi Sasaki (KIA)
Crashed August 8, 1942
Just before noon, the formation of twenty-three G4M1 Betty bombers attacked from minimum altitude and eight were shot down due to anti-aircracft fire and others were interepted by F4F WIldcats only a few managed to release their torpedoes.
During the attack, G4M1 Betty piloted by Reserve Lt(jg) Takafumi Sasaki was damaged by F4F Wildcats from USS Enterprise. At 12:02 his damaged bomber approached USS George F. Elliott AP-13 from the starboard side and was fired on and hit by her gunners before impacting the starboard boat deck aft of the stack.
Burning fuel and wreckage damaged the rear fire main and causing a massive fire from below decks fueled by supplies aboard and topside. Due to the fire, the engine room was abandoned and the ship stopped in the center of Iron Bottom Sound. The crew vainly attempted to use a bucket brigade to fight the fires. Other vessels were unable to render support due to the air raid. The rear bulkhead failed, releasing fuel into the rear hold. The crew abandoned ship shortly after 1:00pm and the ship sank.
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