Monday, December 30, 2013

Navy Pilot Sought and Destroyed Submarines

From the February 6, 2012, Canton (Ohio) Rep "World War II Then and Now: Navy pilot sought and destroyed enemy submarines" by Gary Brown.

MARVIN BLAIR FISHER was a 26-year-old graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and enlisted in the Navy a month before Pearl Harbor. He already had his private pilot's license.

He flew a torpedo bomber off aircraft carriers in the Pacific after getting his Navy Wings July 20, 1942 and flew off several carriers, including the USS Saratofga, before it was sunk.

His job was to protect the fleet and especially its aircraft carriers. Otherwise, he had nowhere to land. He dropped torpedoes and bombs and went after Japanese submarines. "We dropped a lot of depth charges" as well, he said. (Most often I regard depth charges as being dropped by surface ships.)

He added that once, "I actually saw two kamihaze planes hit each other before they could hit their target."

A problem faced by the crews of torpedo bombers was their slow speed and another was that they had to fly a straight course during attacks, making them easy targets: "They were huge planes...we were sitting ducks when we went that slow. And, you can't maneuver well with the load we carried." He recalls meeting Joe Kennedy, JFK's older brother, before he was killed.

Not All Fun and Games. --GreGen

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