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Dedicated to the men who manned the ships
and the embarked composite squadrons
of Task Unit 77.4.3 (Taffy III)
on October 25, 1944

 

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Online since June 4, 1996

BOSAMAR logo:  USS GAMBIER BAY (CVE 73)
takes a pounding 
from the IJN heavy cruiser CHIKUMA

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from the personal collection of Gilbert J. Raynor
and the U.S.S. KITKUN BAY Association

General Motors FM-2 WILDCAT FIGHTER
OF COMPOSITE SQUADRON VC-5
LANDS ABOARD USS KITKUN BAY (CVE 71)


"THE WILDCAT PILOTS WERE GIVEN A FREE HAND TO STRAFE WITH THE HOPE THAT THEIR STRAFING WOULD KILL PERSONNEL ON THE JAPANESE WARSHIPS, SILENCE AUTOMATIC WEAPONS, AND, MOST IMPORTANT, DRAW ATTENTION FROM THE STRUGGLING ESCORT CARRIERS.

SOMETIMES TWO, OR FOUR WILDCATS WOULD JOIN UP FOR A STRAFING RUN. AGAIN, A WILDCAT WOULD JOIN UP AND RUN INTERFERENCE FOR AN AVENGER. THEN, LIKELY AS NOT, IT WOULD TURN OUT THAT THE AVENGER HAD NO TORPEDO OR BOMB AND WAS SIMPLY MAKING A DUMMY RUN. WHEN THEIR AMMUNITION GAVE OUT, THE FIGHTERS MADE DRY RUNS TO TURN THE PURSUERS."

Quote, RADM C.A.F. "ZIGGY" SPRAGUE, USN, COMMANDER TASK UNIT 77.4.3 (TAFFY III)

In remembrance;
for action against the
Imperial Japanese Navy Centre Force
on October 25, 1944

 

Composite Squadron VC-68
LCDR R. S. Rogers, USN
16 FM-2
12 TBM-1C

USS FANSHAW BAY (CVE 70)

Composite Squadron VC-65
LCDR R. M. Jones, USN
17 FM-2
12 TBM-1C

USS ST LO (CVE 63)

Composite Squadron VC-4
LT E. R. Fickenscher, USN
16 FM-2
12 TBM-1C

USS WHITE PLAINS (CVE 66)

Composite Squadron VC-3
LCDR W. H. Keighley, USN
14 FM-2
1 TBF-1C
11 TBM-1C

USS KALININ BAY (CVE 68)

Composite Squadron VC-5
CDR R. L. Fowler, USN
14 FM-2
12 TBM-1C

USS KITKUN BAY (CVE 71)

Composite Squadron VC-10
LCDR E. J. Huxtable, USN
18 FM-2
12 TBM-1C

USS GAMBIER BAY (CVE 73)

 

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4 Comments
Added by Aycock
May 1, 2013

Am looking for information about my uncle, his name is Elmer O. Aycock. He was killed October 25 1944 on the St. Lo.
Added by Court A. Koep
November 1, 2013

I have historical writings, pictures and memorabilia USS Kitkun Bay & VC-5. My father (Lt. Raymond Koep, USNR) flew the Gruman FM-2. Brought aboard 3-6-44 San Diego until replaced 11/7/44 replavced by VC-91 at Pearl. I would enjoy some information on VC-5.
Court@ckoep.com
Added by doughboy
December 17, 2013

Was vc-51 on the Gambier Bay, or some planes. I know a fellow who states that he flew off ths Gambier Bay the last morning but I am not seeing his name on the roster. I know he was a Naval aviator but it isn't make any sense. He is 92 after all.

Webmaster: Gambier Bay was VC-10
Added by Anonymous
August 16, 2014

My granfather was, AMMC George H. Cole, who was in VC-65. He was killed at the Battle of Leyte Gulf. He tried to put out the fire where the Kamakazie hit on the USS St. Lo. I have been to many of the reunions. This year my son, brother, Retired GMMC Kneale Franco and I, a Navy Veteran, SK3 Rae Franco-Rowe will be attending the Taffy III Reunion in San Diego.
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