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  TBD-1 Devastator Bureau Number 0298  
USS Yorktown

Pilot  Lt Harlan T. "Dub" Johnson, 070181 (POW, survived) DC
Bombardier  ACMM Charles E. Fosha, 3718048 (POW, survived) CO
Radio  RM1c James W. Dalzell, 2682785 (POW, survived) GA

Ditched  February 1, 1942

Crew History
Charles E. Fosha passed away March 3, 2006 and buried at Barrancas National Cemetery, NAS Pensacola. RADM Johnson (USNA 1931) died in 1994 in Sarasota, FL. 

Mission History
This aircraft participated in the US Navy's first offensive bombing mission of the war with SDBs and TBDs from Task Forces 8 (Halsey) and 17 (Fletcher) bombed and bombarded enemy installations on the islands of Wotje, Kwajalein, Jaluit, Mili and Makin.

This aircraft took off from USS Yorktown as one of eleven TBD-1 Devastator torpedo bombers and seventeen SBD-3 Dauntless against Jaluit Atoll, all armed with bombs. Rain squalls and low cloud thwarted a coordinated attack.

Two of the TBDs became disoriented over the target headed the wrong way (north not southeast), low on fuel, they radioed that they were going to ditch in Jaluit Lagoon. This aircraft and TBD 1515 ditched together roughly six miles from Emiej (Imeji) on the western side of the atoll.

Fates of the Crew
All the crew survived the ditching. Radioman Daizell removed the rear 30 caliber machine gun from the aircraft before it sunk. All the crew were taken prisoner by the Japanese and transported to Japan. and spent the rest of the war in captivity. On October 16, 1945 liberated from Osaka Main Camp Chikko Osaka 34-135 then returned to the United States.

After the discovery of TBD 1515 in 1997, Brian Kurk discovered this wreck. Impacted the reef , and slid backward where it came to rest. The one wing is at roughly 40' and the tail at 60'. The engine separated from the wreck.

TBD Discovery
NARA "World War II Prisoners of War Data File" Johnson Harlan T.
NARA "World War II Prisoners of War Data File" Fosha Charles Edward
NARA "World War II Prisoners of War Data File" Dalzell James Walter

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018


Tech InfoTBD


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