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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND

Photo # 80-G-32307:  SBD-3 scout bomber ditches alongside USS Astoria, 4 June 1942

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

Japanese Attacks on USS Yorktown, 4 June 1942 --
Scenes Elsewhere in Yorktown's Task Force after the Dive Bombing Attack


This page presents views of and on other Task Force 17 ships as USS Yorktown lay dead in the water after the 4 June dive bombing attack. They include photos of the Task Force commander, Rear Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher, shifting his flag to USS Astoria, and the ditching of two of Yorktown's planes after they returned from attacking the Japanese aircraft carrier Soryu.

For further coverage of the the dive bombing attack and its results, see:

  • The Bombing Attack on Yorktown;
  • Yorktown Stopped after the Dive Bombing Attack; and
  • Scenes on Yorktown after the Dive Bombing Attack.

    For links to pages on the torpedo plane attack later in the day, see:

  • Japanese Attacks on USS Yorktown, 4 June 1942 -- Overview and Special Image Selection.

    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-32350

    Battle of Midway, June 1942


    Rear Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher, Commander Task Force 17, alongside USS Astoria (CA-34) in the cruiser's Number Two Motor Whaleboat, at about 1300 hrs, 4 June 1942. Fletcher was transferring his flag from the bombed and immobilized USS Yorktown (CV-5).
    Captain Spencer S. Lewis, CTF-17 Chief of Staff, is just starting up the ladder to board Astoria. Fletcher is behind him, just to the right of the boat's centerline, wearing binoculars with white straps. Commander Chauncey Crutcher, Astoria's Executive Officer, is watching in the upper left.
    Note letters "AST" on the boat's bow.

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

    Online Image: 122KB; 740 x 640 pixels

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

     
    Photo #: 80-G-32235

    Battle of Midway, June 1942


    USS Astoria (CA-34) stops to pick up the crew of a ditched Bombing Squadron Three (VB-3) SBD-3 scout bomber at about 1342 hrs on 4 June 1942. The downed plane, sinking just astern of the cruiser, was piloted by Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Paul A. Holmberg.
    A second SBD, flown by VB-3's Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Maxwell F. Leslie, is low in the center, preparing to ditch. A PBY is also nearby, visible just to the left of Leslie's SBD. The two VB-3 planes were returning from attacking the Japanese aircraft carrier Soryu and were unable to land on USS Yorktown (CV-5) after she was hit and temporarily stopped by Japanese dive bombers.
    Photographed from USS Pensacola (CA-24).

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

    Online Image: 70KB; 740 x 530 pixels

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

     
    Photo #: 80-G-32238

    Battle of Midway, June 1942


    A Bombing Squadron Three (VB-3) SBD-3 scout bomber about to ditch alongside USS Astoria (CA-34) at about 1342-1348 hrs on 4 June 1942. The plane was one of two, flown by Lieutenant Commander Maxwell F. Leslie, the VB-3 Commanding Officer, and Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Paul A. Holmberg, that were returning from attacking the Japanese aircraft carrier Soryu and were unable to land on USS Yorktown (CV-5) after she was hit and temporarily stopped by Japanese dive bombers. Nearly out of fuel, both ditched successfully near Astoria.
    Photographed from USS Pensacola (CA-24).

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

    Online Image: 71KB; 740 x 605 pixels

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

     
    Photo #: 80-G-32307

    Battle of Midway, June 1942


    An SBD-3 scout bomber, probably flown by the Bombing Squadron Three (VB-3) Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Maxwell F. Leslie, ditches alongside USS Astoria (CA-34) at about 1348 hrs on 4 June 1942. This was one of two VB-3 planes that ditched near Astoria after they were unable to land on the damaged USS Yorktown (CV-5).
    Photographed from atop Astoria's after superstructure. Note her port aircraft crane, and an SOC floatplane on her port catapult.

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

    Online Image: 121KB; 740 x 610 pixels

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

     
    Photo #: 80-G-312004

    Battle of Midway, June 1942


    A Bombing Squadron Three (VB-3) SBD-3 scout bomber, probably flown by Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Paul A. Holmberg, ditches near USS Astoria (CA-34) at about 1342 hrs on 4 June 1942. This was one of two VB-3 planes that ditched near Astoria after they were unable to land on the damaged USS Yorktown (CV-5).
    A PBY is flying nearby, in right center.

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

    Online Image: 96KB; 740 x 620 pixels

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

     


    For further coverage of the the dive bombing attack and its results, see:

  • The Bombing Attack on Yorktown;
  • Yorktown Stopped after the Dive Bombing Attack; and
  • Scenes on Yorktown after the Dive Bombing Attack.

    For links to pages on the torpedo plane attack later in the day, see:

  • Japanese Attacks on USS Yorktown, 4 June 1942 -- Overview and Special Image Selection.

    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 9 April 1999
    Coding updated 25 April 2009