Monday, September 22, 2014

Denver Veteran Saw Doolittle Take Off-- Part 2

"About noon, the captain came on the speaker and said, 'In case you are wondering what we are going to do will all these here planes, we're going to bomb Tokyo.'  It was just silent for a few minutes, then everybody started yelling and hollering."

In June, Russell Plybon was on the USS Hornet at the Battle of Midway and in October at the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands where the Hornet was attacked by dive bombers and torpedo planes and he was nearly killed.  A plane crashed and then a 2,500 pound bomb went off.  Shrapnel from a second bomb killed 33 gunners and gravely wounded others, including Plybon.

He was taken to the fantail where the chaplain was performing sea burials.  Plybon remembered thinking, "Gosh, I got to not die or they'll have me on that board.  Fortunately, before the Hornet sank, he had been evacuated to a destroyer. via a rope between the two ships.  One man was evacuated at a time in a bucket.  Afterwards, he spent eight months in a hospital and still has some shrapnel in his body from that day.

--GreGen

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