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Photo # 80-G-17063:  TBF-1 of Torpedo Squadron Eight at Midway, 25 June 1942.  This badly shot-up plane was the only survivor of six Midway-based TBFs that attacked the Japanese carrier force on 4 June.

Online Library of Selected Images:
-- EVENTS -- World War II in the Pacific -- Battle of Midway --

Midway-based Torpedo Attacks on the Japanese Carrier Striking Force, 4 June 1942

Ten torpedo planes were among the aircraft launched from Midway's Eastern Island airfield as the Japanese raid approached in the early morning of 4 June 1942. Four were Army Air Force B-26 "Marauder" medium bombers, which had been modified to each carry a Navy Mark XIII aerial torpedo. The other six were a detachment of the same Torpedo Squadron Eight (VT-8) that flew from USS Hornet. Unlike their shipborne squadronmates, this group operated the newly-introduced TBF-1 "Avenger" torpedo plane, which had much better performance than the older TBD-1 "Devastator".

These ten torpedo planes were the first to encounter the Japanese carrier fleet, soon after 7:00 AM, and they received the intense and deadly attentions of the defending combat air patrol. Only one of the Navy TBFs survived, much shot up with one crewman killed. Two of the four Army planes got through. However, none of the torpedo planes hit a Japanese ship.

This page features views of the surviving VT-8 TBF-1 torpedo bomber, and of the crew of one of the Army B-26s that survived this attack.

For links to pictures concerning the other attacks on the Japanese carriers, see:

  • U.S. Attacks on the Japanese Carrier Striking Force, 4 June 1942.

    For links to views of other aspects of the Battle of Midway, see:

  • Battle of Midway, Overview and Special Image Selection.


    If you want higher resolution reproductions than the Online Library's digital images, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

    Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

    Photo #: 80-G-17063

    Battle of Midway, June 1942


    Grumman TBF-1 (Bureau # 00380) "Avenger" of Torpedo Squadron Eight (VT-8), photographed at Midway, 25 June 1942, prior to shipment back to the United States for post-battle evaluation.
    Badly shot-up, this plane was the only survivor of six Midway-based VT-8 TBFs that had attacked the Japanese carrier force in the morning of 4 June. The plane's pilot was Ensign Albert K. Earnest. Crew were Radioman 3rd Class Harrier H. Ferrier and Seaman 1st Class Jay D. Manning. Manning, who was operating the .50 caliber machinegun turret, was killed in action with Japanese fighters during the attack.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives.

    Online Image: 75KB; 740 x 615 pixels

    Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

     
    Photo #: 80-G-11637

    Battle of Midway, June 1942


    Grumman TBF-1 (Bureau # 00380) "Avenger" of Torpedo Squadron Eight (VT-8), photographed at Midway, 24-25 June 1942, prior to shipment back to the United States for post-battle evaluation.
    This badly damaged plane was the only survivor of six VT-8 TBFs that had attacked the Japanese carrier force in the morning of 4 June.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives.

    Online Image: 67KB; 740 x 605 pixels

    Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

     
    Photo #: 80-G-11635

    Battle of Midway, June 1942


    Rear cockpit and .50 caliber machinegun turret of the only survivor of six Torpedo Squadron Eight (VT-8) Grumman TBF "Avengers" that had attacked the Japanese carrier force in the morning of 4 June 1942. Seaman 1st Class Jay D. Manning, who was operating the .50 caliber machinegun turret, was killed in action with Japanese fighters during the attack. Damage to the turret can be seen in this view.
    The plane's pilot was Ensign Albert K. Earnest and the other crewman was Radioman 3rd Class Harry H. Ferrier. Both survived the action.
    Ship in the left background is probably USS Ballard (AVD-10).
    For additional information on this aircraft, see: Photo # 80-G-11635 (Complete Caption).

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives.

    Online Image: 69KB; 740 x 625 pixels

    Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

     
    Photo #: 80-G-12147

    USS Pensacola (CA-24)


    Alongside the Sand Island pier, Midway, disembarking Marine reinforcements, 25 June 1942.
    Aircraft in the foreground, with damaged tail, is a TBF-1 "Avenger" (Bureau # 00380), the only survivor of six Torpedo Squadron Eight (VT-8) TBFs that attacked the Japanese fleet on 4 June 1942.
    Ship in the right distance is probably USS Ballard (AVD-10).

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives.

    Online Image: 97KB; 740 x 610 pixels

    Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

     
    Photo #: USAF 22850 AC

    Battle of Midway, June 1942


    Crew of U.S. Army Air Force First Lieutenant James Muri's B-26, who made a torpedo attack on a Japanese aircraft carrier during the early morning of 4 June 1942. The plane had more than 500 bullet holes when it landed at Midway following this action.
    1st. Lt. Muri is second from left, in the front row.

    U.S. Air Force Photograph.

    Online Image: 95KB; 740 x 620 pixels

    Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

     


    For links to pictures concerning the other attacks on the Japanese carriers, see:

  • U.S. Attacks on the Japanese Carrier Striking Force, 4 June 1942.

    For links to views of other aspects of the Battle of Midway, see:

  • Battle of Midway, Overview and Special Image Selection.


    NOTES:

  • To the best of our knowledge, the pictures referenced here are all in the Public Domain, and can therefore be freely downloaded and used for any purpose.

  • Some images linked from this page may bear obsolete credit lines citing the organization name: "Naval Historical Center". Effective 1 December 2008 the name should be cited as: "Naval History and Heritage Command".


    If you want higher resolution reproductions than the Online Library's digital images, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."


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    Page made 20 April 1999
    Coding updated 24 April 2009