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|Pilot Lt. John James Powers, O-074968 (MIA / KIA) New York, NY
Gunner ? (MIA / KIA)
MIA May 8, 1942
Over the target at roughly 10:30am at an altitude of 18,000', the SBDs spotted the carrier escorted by cruisers and destroyers. The formation used cloud cover and reached an attack position by 10:49am southeast of the enemy force and waited for TBD Devastators from Torpedo Squadron 5 (VT-5) for mutual support and to make a coordinated attack.
Under attack, Shōkaku was making wild evasive maneuvers at roughly 34 knots to avoid the American aircraft. Her anti-aircraft batteries and Combat Air Patrol (CAP) of six Zeros airborne plus six more launched during the attack attempted to intercept the Americans.
At approximately 11:00am Powers made a low dive bombing attack before releasing his bomb that was credited with hitting the starboard side aft of the island and caused fires on both sides of the flight deck. This aircraft was last seen attempting to recover from his dive at roughly 200' and was obscured by anti-aircraft fire, smoke, flames and debris that caused it to crash nearby into the sea. When he failed to return, he was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA). Late, Powers earned the Medal of Honor and Purple Heart, posthumously.
During February 1944, USS John J. Powers (DE-528) was named in his honor, christened by his mother. At the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) there is a memorial plaque in the memorial hall. Powers also has a memorial at Woodlawn Cemetery in Bronx, New York.
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