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  TBF-1 Avenger Bureau Number ?????  
USS Saratoga (CV-3)

Pilot  Lt(jg) Edward L. "Frencie" Fayle (rescued)
Radio  ARM3c Edward "Eddy" Velazquez (rescued)
Gunner  ?
Ditched  August 24, 1942

Aircraft History
Built by Grumman. Delivered to the U. S. Navy. Assigned to the USS Saratoga (CV-3) to squadron VT-8. No known nose art, nickname or squadron number.

Mission History
During the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, on August 24, 1942 one of five Avengers led by Swede Larsen that took off from USS Saratoga. In the rush to takeoff, Taurman took off in a plane with a different crew.

Approaching Japanese cruisers at 1725, Zeros attempted to intercept, but the formation escaped into clouds.

Heading south alone, this Avenger was spotted and attacked by a pair of Zeros from Shokaku: A6M2 Zeros piloted by Yoshio Iwaki and PO2c Hiroshi Ohara, who mistakenly claimed this was a multi-engined land plane.

Attacking, the Zeros scored hits on the right wing, fuselage and shattered the plexiglass in the rear turret. Gunner Velazquez returned fire and managed to shoot down Iwaki. Although Ohara claimed the enemy plane as shot down, it continued southward bound for Guadalcanal but ran out of fuel and ditched to off Nura Island, between Guadalcanal and Malaita.

Fates of the Crew
The entire crew survived the ditching unhurt and swam ashore onto Nura Island. Their presence was reported by an Allied coastwatcher.

On August 29, 1942 by USS Gamble (DD-123) and returned to USS Saratoga on August 30, 1942.

A Dawn Like Thunder pages 265, 267, 283
The First Team and the Guadalcanal Campaign page 153-154, 608

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018


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