Segment 11

Annotation

When the Marines went out that morning to find the Japanese carriers they would have known where they were and wouldn't have wasted so much time looking for them if there would have been good communication between groups. [Annotator's note: referring to Battle of Midway]Some of the Scouting 6 planes ran out of gas and had to ditch. Tony Schneider ran out of gas before they even hit the Kaga [Annotator's note: Japanese aircraft carrier].Kleiss believes that if Admiral Halsey [Annotator's note: Fleet Admiral William Frederick Halsey, Jr.] had been present for the battle, he would have done a better job. He would have made certain that everything was done together instead of having the air groups going in different directions. There was a lack of communications between Task Force 16 and Task Force 17.In Kleiss' squadron Earl Gallaher was the commander. When the group went out in May 1941 Gallaher was recognized as a top pilot. They did a lot of training. They did a lot of night attacks and never lost a plane during training. They also practiced landing aircraft. When a plane landed it took about 30 seconds to cleat the deck for the next plane. One time Kleiss' group was able to land at 10 second intervals.There were good people in the air groups and they had Admiral Halsey. They knew that if they went down in the ocean, Admiral Halsey would pick them up if at all possible. During an attack on Wake Island, Tom Ebersole and his crew had to ditch in the ocean. Admiral Halsey turned the whole fleet around and went looking for the downed airmen. He picked them up then returned to position to make the Midway battle 1 day later.They had some wonderful leaders that would help them out. One day they were attacked by about 40 Japanese bombers. They headed into an area that was covered with clouds. Only 3 Japanese planes found them. The antiaircraft gunners aboard the carrier were very good.At the start of the war, radio controlled planes were used for training. The gunners became experts. When the first bomber made its attack the anti aircraft gunners got the plane before it dropped its bomb. The second plane dropped its bomb early and missed. The third tried to crash into the carrier. One guy got into the back seat of an SBD and shot the Japanese planes down with the twin .30's [Annotator's note: .30 caliber machine guns].Halsey had seen the man shoot down the enemy plane and called for him. It turned out to be Peter Gaido. After shooting down the enemy plane ha had grabbed a fire extinguisher and helped fight the fire that the crashing plane started. Halsey promoted Gaido to Aviation Machinist Mate 1st Class right on the spot.

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