Segment 9


When Kleiss returned he saw a carrier dead in the water. When he checked his YE-ZB he knew he still had a little way to go before he got to the USS Enterprise [Annotator's Note: CV-6).A few days later they were still looking for the Japanese fleet.There were over 200 ships out there looking for each other. All of Japan's ships were capable of doing 30 knots.Around 1928 the US signed the Washington Conference and so did the Japanese limiting what they could have. The US had a pacifist president at the time, President Hoover. Hoover wanted world wide disarmament and wanted to lead by example.FDR believed in aviation and had Douglas bring out the SBDs [Annotator's note: Douglas SBD Dauntless, naval dive bombers] and other planes. They [Annotator's Note: the Japanese] had gone out and gotten the best of everything and were way ahead at the beginning of the war.On 6 June [Annotator's Note: 6 June 1942] they went out looking for a battleship. They found some ships, including 2 big ones, but no battleship. Visibility was good, they had plenty of fuel, there was no antiaircraft fire, and there were no fighters. They left to look for the battleship. When they didn't find it they returned to the ships they had found earlier.The 2 big ships were the Mikuma and Mogami [Annotator's note: Japanese cruisers] which had been sent to destroy Midway. Kleiss' group concentrated on the Mikuma. Several hits were scored. Kleiss' bomb had hit on the left side of the ship.Then the group left for home. Cleo Dobson was sent to take pictures of the Mikuma to be sure that the ship had been damaged. The photograph shows only about 20 people standing on the stern of the ship. Kleiss does not remember people out there. He saw his bomb hit and some other bombs hit. The fighters with them were attacking the destroyers. On the far end the Hornet [Annotator's Note: aircraft from the carrier USS Hornet, CV-8] hit the Mogami.Kleiss states that of the 20 or so people on the stern in the photograph of the Mikuma, only 2 survived. Some crewmen had been picked up earlier but those on the stern in the photograph were all that were there when the ship sunk about an hour later.


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