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Torpedo Six Prepares for Takeoff on USS Enterprise (CV-6)

Image Information
Torpedo Squadron Six (VT-6) TBD-1 aircraft are prepared for launching on USS Enterprise (CV-6) at about 0730 Hours, June 4, 1942. Eleven of the fourteen TBDs launched from Enterprise are visible. Three more TBDs and ten F4F fighters must still be pushed into position before launching can begin. The TBDs would be launched first; the faster Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bombers and Grumman F4F Wildcats would catch up to the slower torpedo bombers, and the whole unit would proceed as a group, in theory. However, due to cloud cover, inexperience, and a wish to engage, especially with a limited fuel supply, the three units never coordinated their attack. The TBD in the left front is Number Two (Bureau Number 1512), flown by Ensign Severin L. Rombach and Aviation Radioman Second Class W.F. Glenn. Along with eight other VT-6 aircraft, this plane and its crew were lost attacking Japanese aircraft carriers somewhat more than two hours later. USS Pensacola (CA-24) is in the right distance and a destroyer is in plane guard position at left. VT-6‘s surviving officer, Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Robert E. Laub wrote in his after action report: “It is the belief of the writer that all pilots and men of this squadron, who participated in the attack described, should be very highly commended for their courageous action. Those pilots and men set an example of moral courage and devotion to duty that will be difficult to equal anywhere in the service. The attack was pressed home in the face of intense light and heavy calibre A.A. fire and fighter aircraft opposition of the Japanese “Zero“ type. The Japanese fighter planes were not only superior in maneuverability and fire power but outnumbered our fourteen TBD-1 aircraft in the ratio of 2 to 1. It is not the desire of the writer to call attention to the action of any one individual but it is his sincere wish that some recognition be given those who paid with their lives for a magnificent victory.“
Image Filename wwii1289.jpg
Image Size 141.87 KB
Image Dimensions 700 x 500
Photographer Unknown
Photographer Title
Caption Author Jason McDonald
Date Photographed June 04, 1942
Location Torpedo Six (VT-6)
City USS Enterprise
State or Province Battle of Midway
Country Oceania
Archive United States Naval Historical Center
Record Number
Status Caption ©2007, ©2024 MFA Productions LLC
Image in the Public Domain

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