Segment 12


Kleiss knew Peter Gaido pretty well. When Kleiss was about to take off for his first carrier landing he was approached by a big guy asking if he could ride with him. The man wasn't deterred that this was Kleiss' first carrier landing. The man was Peter Gaido.When Kleiss was a Midshipman he served aboard the USS Arkansas [Annotator's note: BB-33]. His duty was in the boiler room. The area was a hell hole. The temperature was way over 100 degrees with 100 percent humidity. You didn't drink water by the cup you drank by the bucket and took salt tablets so they could stand to be there for 4 hours.Admiral Halsey [Annotator's note: Fleet Admiral William Frederick Halsey, Jr.] was great at bringing people together. He was able to get the brown shoes and black shoes to work together. He did the same with the enlisted men. He was always available to his crew and listened to their ideas. Kleiss thinks that if Halsey had been present during the Battle of Midway they would have done much more damage to the Japanese.Kleiss also credits the Marines that were present during the battle. The Marines were the reason that the Hiryu was 20 miles away. The flight leader was flying the worst plane imaginable and the flight had only 1 chart board between them.The Marines made glide bombing attacks on the Hiryu [Annotator's note: Japanese aircraft carrier].Kleiss's group was always kept up to date about the movements of the Japanese fleet prior to the 4 June attack.When Kleiss landed he calculated the difference between where he landed on his carrier and where his carrier was supposed to be according to the morning briefing. The ship was 80 miles from where it was supposed to be.Kleiss always carried extra supplies with him when he flew a mission. When he took off he wasn't scared. He checked everything. Some pilots didn't think about things like that.Kleiss saw a pilot almost go into the water during take off because the man hadn't checked everything.There wasn't time to get excited before a mission.


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