Roundtable Forum
Our 21st Year
December 2017

In this issue.

Roundtable Opening Remarks
VT-8 Squadron Patch
Rescue of downed flyers
George Gay’s "Sole Survivor"
Origin of the Roundtable
Production Excellence and the Mark 13 Torpedo
Aircraft Markings and colour schemes
Yorktown Crew Member
Announcements and Questions
The Battle of Midway Roundtable Opening Remarks
The Battle of Midway Roundtable Current Discussions

Hope everyone had a good holiday season and a Happy New Year to all.  This month I was pretty busy so didn't get to doing much on the RoundTable.  Still we had quite a few items come up.  One of the submissions is on the Patch for VT-8.  At one time I had tracked down all the patches for squadrons I could find during the first year or so of the war.  However that information eludes me now.  Probably put it in a place I wouldn't forget.  I'm sure we all know how that goes.

We also have more information on the origin of the BOM RoundTable as well as downed flyers during the battle and of course more on the Mark 13 Torpedo.  Hope to have more time in the coming months to devote to the history of the Battle of Midway as well as getting to some books I have put on my shelf to read.  Speaking of which I ran across a book I had previously seen but have not read that is now available as a kindle book.  For those interested click on the image to got to the link:

VT-8 Squadron Patch

From Lloyd Hevelhorst
December 7th, 2017

For some time, several of us have been trying to ascertain exactly which Squadron patch (if any) was being worn by VT-8 during Midway. The green dolphin/8 Ball/skull patch has “VT-8” on it. Since the Squadron formed in 1941, and was stationed on the Hornet till October, 1941 (less than a year), logic would dictate this was the patch. Others maintain the Disney/Donald Duck patch is the correct one. Several of the scenes from the John Ford film show squadron members chalking faces onto the torpedo heads, which bear a close resemblance to the the torpedo face on the Disney patch.

Any information you might have on this question would be greatly appreciated.

Lloyd Hevelhorst

Editors Note:  I don't have solid research on the original patch for VT-8, but I believe it might have been the Green with Swordfish.  VB-8 had a similar patch.  I believe the second patch was worn later in the war when the squadron was reformed in 1943 and the new Air Group 8 was assigned to Intrepid.  Below is the patch for VB-8.

Rescue of downed flyers

From Richard Douglass
December 5, 2017

Regarding the rescue of Midway survivors, I plucked these two books from my library shelf to mention to readers of the Roundtable. I am sure many members have these, but some may not know about them.

1) Shot Down at Midway, by Lee Coleman McCleary is the story of his being shot down in a PBY, and later rescued by one. Published by McCleary in 1996.

2) The Last Flight of Ensign C. Markland Kelly, Junior, USNR, by Bowen P. Weisheit. It includes the rescue of VF-8 pilots who ditched June 4th. First published in 1993.

Both are fine reads by men who were there.

From Al de Lachica
December 31, 2017

Last Flight of C. Markland Kelly book.  I am wanting to find out if any copies still exist of Bowen Weisheit's book about End. Mark Kelly? It is near impossible to find! Any help would be appreciated.

Editors Note: You are correct. The book is exceptionally hard to find. I don't think the RoundTable ever had any copies, at least I never received any when I took over. However I did find one on the following site which I use fairly often to find out of print books.

There are other out of print book sites that I use but I didn't find a copy on any of them. Should probably grab this one as they only have one left and the price is pretty good.

George Gay’s "Sole Survivor"

From Jim Watson
December 5, 2017

I purchased a copy of this when I visited the Pima Air Museum at Tucson in September 1993. It was from a stack of about 30 copies. Mr. Gay’s signature and his “Keep America Strong” look just like the image in your November newsletter. In the years since I first read the account, I have wondered why Mr. Gay omitted VT-8’s breakaway from the remainder of the Hornet air group. He had to be aware of the dissension caused by CDR Ring’s poor leadership and perhaps for that reason did not want to fan the flames. This was probably a wise decision in wartime 1942 and even at the time he completed “Sole Survivor”, for eventually other Midway participants and competent historians aired the dirty laundry that occurred during the most critical naval action in American history. I never knew of the “flight to nowhere” until I read Mr. Kernan’s “The Unknown Battle Of Midway” in 2006, a testimony of how well the Waldron/Ring exchange was concealed from a lay historian like me.

Barrett and I are the same age. I was in Air Force POL in the early ‘70s. I’m sure a lot of us postwar “boomers” will never forget these awesome people who left us a wonderful country to grow up in. Unfortunately, I believe Mr. Evans’ prophecy has come true. The forces of darkness have “cancelled the gains won at such a price.”

Editors Note:  It is likely he signed a number of copies during his book tours and used the same tag line for each so there are probably a lot of signed copies out there.  As for the prophecy, I have never been one to believe that one action necessarily negates another.  What the men and women of the United States did during WWII had a profound effect on the world.  But it was not of their own doing.  Had WWII somehow never happened how different the world might be now.  Or perhaps there would be little change.  Impossible to tell.  As has been pointed out many times it is hard to imagine how any other action during Midway would have produced a victory as complete as the one won.

Origin of the Roundtable

From Ron Russell
December 5, 2017

Regarding the origins of the BOMRT that you mentioned in the latest newsletter, it was actually started in 1990 by Bill Price, after a chance meeting with the son of PBY pilot Howard Ady. I said in Chapter 1 of "No Right to Win" (page 4) that it happened in October 1997, but that date refers to the first mention of Price's BOM email circular on the Internet, on Chris Hawkinson's excellent Midway website. I had always considered that (Oct. '97) as the start of the Roundtable as we've come to know it.

Another minor detail: Howard Ady (the pilot) is actually Howard Ady Jr. His son in Howard Ady III. Here's a photo (courtesy of Bill Vickrey) from the No Right to Win > Updates > Veteran Photos section of the website:

The statement on the "About the Roundtable" page is correct, it just doesn't have all the details. I left those for chapter 1 in the book. Price indeed made a chance acquaintance with Ady Jr. (the pilot) through his son, Ady III. In other words, the unexpected phone call from Ady III at the State Dept. led to an unexpected ("chance") acquaintance with his father, as explained in NRTW p. 4. Hope that clears up the overcast.

--Ron Russell

Editors Note:  Thank you for clearing up the confusion on my part.

Production Excellence and the Mark 13 Torpedo

From Warren Heller
December 7, 2017

I could not help but notice the contrast between the two discussions in the November newsletter. Jon Parshall’s great points about how our efficient mass manufacturing knowhow were a key element to winning the war vs. the counterpoint of the Mark 13 and how bad decision-making and poor leadership can hamstring even the best production techniques. We had all of the Mark 13s that our planes and subs could deliver; unfortunately, when they did hit the enemy, they usually didn’t hurt! We were fortunate that enough of our key weapons decisions turned out for the best. Thankfully, the Germans funded the V-2 parsimoniously early on and their attention to jet aircraft such as the ME262 was too little, too late. One shudders to consider what could have happened if the third reich had given serious production attention to these two weapons systems in 1939 in synch with our commencement of the Manhattan Project. Likewise, if the Japanese had mastered the long term patience displayed presently by China, the Pacific Rim part of the world could be exceedingly unpleasant today.

Warren Heller
(son of Yorktown CV-5 veteran)

Aircraft Markings and colour schemes

From Paul Welch
December 7th, 2017

Editors Note:  Regarding his search for aircraft markings.  Here are some good books on the Japanese aircarft. The first one is expensive now but you might be able to find it at a more reasonable price in a used bookstores.

They have a whole host of different books on Japanese markings and are pretty extensive.

I'll continue to search my library for the books on US aircraft markings. The interesting thing is the US did not specifically mark or paint aircraft per squadron like the Japanese air squadrons so there is not a ton of references except fairly general color schemes.

From Paul Welch
December 7th, 2017

Many thanks for getting back to me with these. As you suggest, the first one I will have to look around for (!) but the other two are certainly affordable. I’d always assumed US aircraft had markings that would tie them to a particular squadron, specific tail colours, letters or whatever. Another interesting newsletter! Bob Jones’ pointer to a book about downed airmen, and Jon Parshall’s article were particulalry interresting.

I haven’t got through all the back issues of the Forum newsletter yet, so this may have come up before. I recently saw an impressive Japanese film called ‘The Admiral’, made in 2011, about Yamamoto, also has a long Midway sequence, which is actually on YouTube here

The film is available on Amazon, though this seems to be Region 2, I assume there is a Region 1 version

It is well worth watching, but is not a ‘warts and all’ portrayal!

I also saw another very good Japanese film called ‘The Fighter Pilot’, which tells the story in flashback form of the war service of a Japanese naval pilot, leading up to his role of a Kamikaze. There’s some impressive digital effects, and it includes a Midway sequence. It’s on Amazon, though this link is to a Region 2 DVD, I assume there is also a Region 1

I found a couple of clips on YouTube, one of screenshots, but the film is well worth watching.


Yorktown Crew Member

From Ron Russell
December 17th, 2017

Here's a belated reply to an inquiry in the October newsletter from reader Daniel C. Roe, who asked about his father aboard the Yorktown.

Although this isn't much, I did find him in the published Yorktown roster on the Roundtable's website. Charles O. Roe is listed as an AOM3/C (aviation ordnanceman), suggesting that he was enlisted member of one of the embarked squadrons (could've been any of them).

To research the name of a Yorktown BOM vet on our website, start at the home page and hover "The Roundtable" on the blue toolbar at the top. Click "Special Features," then click link #9, "USS Yorktown Muster Lists." All KIA/MIA names are listed plus the entire roster of survivors taken aboard USS Fulton; virtually all of Yorktown's enlisted compliment. There is a separate accounting of officers, including air group pilots.

There are a few errors or omissions in the lists, but not many. Over the years I've found those references to be a gold mine of info on the Yorktown's BOM personnel.

--Ron Russell

From David Parnell
December 28th, 2017

In the November 2017 issue Bill Vickrey was looking for information concerning a Yorktown survivor named Roe. Mr. Vickrey was unable to provide any information from his documents. I have copies of the deck logs of USS Portland and it includes lists of Yorktown survivors taken on board from Balch, Benham, Anderson and Hammann. ROE, Charles O. AOM3c is on the list. I don't know if this is the man Mr. Vickrey was looking for but he was among the survivors taken aboard and transferred to Fulton later that day. Other users of the Roundtable might have emailed with this information, but on the chance someone hasn't I thought it might help.

Best Wishes

Announcements and Questions

Model of LT Samuel Adams MIA 6222 06/04/42 of VS-5 (plane #V-S-15) USS Yorktown

From Craig Viturale
December 23rd, 2017

I am the great nephew of LT Samuel Adams MIA 6222 06/04/42 at the Battle of Midway. His plane was designated V-S-15 on the USS Yorktown. I would like to build a tribute model to Honor him and his rear Gunner J. Karrol. I am seeking someone who may have known him and am especially interested in how the markings on the planes were placed. There is much confusion about this. Any pictures, stories, or insight would be greatly appreciated. I can be contacted at (please send them to the Roundtable email and I'll forward them) and I thank you in advance for your assistance in making this Honor a reality.

I know that on June 4 LT Samuel Adams was assigned to LT Wally Short's group A. I have attached the operation schedule for that day. As for the markings, modelers frequently do their work from a photo. Few photos of that air group are available, however I do know that the plane number was marked on the leading edge of the wing and the front (or maybe the underside) of the couling. I have seen photos of the side markings depicted as S-9 and 5-S-9 for example, but it is unclear weather these are pre or post Midway. I do very much appreciate your efforts and look forward to hearing from you again.
My Very Best
- Craig.

Editors Note:  I am not sure there is anyone on the RoundTable any longer who knows him but I'll post the message. There may be some historians and modelers that would have information on the aircraft markings but if not I'm sure I have a pretty good idea of what the markings would be and I can supply those to you if nothing else. I'll also contact the Yorktown Veteran's group and see if they have someone that might have known him. They just sent me their fall newsletter so I know they're still around.

Lawrence T. Fuglaar

From Gail Dunbar
December 8th, 2017

My husband’s uncle was killed at Midway. We have not found his name on list of men who perished there. His name was Lawrence T. Fuglaar. Any information will be appreciated. He was killed in the plane he was flying.
Gail Dunbar

Editors Note: I have looked through the records I have and do not find his name. Do you have a little more information on him, like was he Navy or Army and possibly a rank, or a squadron or anything else that might help. I have a complete list of all pilots and crewmen for the aircraft stationed on Midway and the Carriers. His name does not appear. If he was lost at Midway I most certainly would think I would have his name. Now that said there were several PBY's on recon patrol that were lost and some of the crewmen are not accounted for perfectly. So he could have been in one of them. Also if he wasn't actually lost during the battle but perhaps in an accident before or after the battle I might not have his name. At any rate if you have some additional information to help me track him down I can look further. Thank you for contacting the RoundTable. We'll do what we can to help.

Battle Of Midway Vets

From Michael
December 31, 2017

Hello, I am a high school student from NJ and over the past year I have been interviewing Great Depression Survivors, world war 2 and Korean war veterans. I have been doing this because I love history and one day I would like to write a book on the last men and women from these events. I was wondering if you might be able to help me out. I was wondering if there was any Battle Of Midway Veterans who would be able to answer a questionnaire about their time in the service. I would appreciate it a lot.

Thank You