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Letters: 6-9-17

Updated: 
June 9, 2017 - 12:05am

Humbling what soldiers did at Midway

It has been 75 years since the Battle of Midway was fought. Without any doubt this was probably the greatest victory in American Naval history and it certainly was the reason Hawaii was not invaded by the Empire of Japan.

As a 2-year-old, born and living on Maui, it is certain I would not have made it through a Japanese internment camp had the invasion taken place. The article in the Sunday paper honoring C. Wade McClusky Jr. was very heartfelt as it described how his Navy Dauntless Dive Bombers sank three Japanese aircraft carriers in the course of battle. The article is the cause for me to write this tribute to the men of the torpedo squadrons.

The United States had three aircraft carriers at Midway. Each carrier had a squadron of TBD Devastator torpedo bombers. They were obsolete planes, but they were all the United States had. They were configured thus:

• Yorktown: VT-3; squadron leader Massey, 13 TBD Devastators, 12 planes shot down; 1 survived

• Enterprise: VT-6; squadron leader Lindsey, 14 TBD Devastators, 11 planes shot down; 3 survived

• Hornet: VT-8; squadron leader Waldron, 15 TBD Devastators, 15 planes shot down, 0 survived

• Total planes: 42; total survived: 4

The men of these squadrons pressed their attack on the Japanese carriers. In doing so they drew the air cover protecting the carriers down to sea level, thus paving the way for the McCluskey-led dive bombers to dive upon the unprotected carriers. In short order, the Japanese carriers were hit and the Kaga, Soryu and Akagi were sunk.

To think, only 84 brave men, 75 giving their lives, turned the tide of battle allowing our dive bombers to strike and sink these carriers. Japan was never able to recover from these losses. The amazing bravery of these 84 men actually won the battle for America. My country should erect a memorial to Torpedo Squadron’s VT-3, VT-6 and VT-8 so all our citizens can pay homage to the men that changed the course of World War II and the history of the world. What these brave men accomplished that fateful day 75 years ago will forever humble me.

Michael Bates

Kamuela

Catch-up tax too segregating

I wonder whether Mr. Santos has fully thought through his logic regarding the idea of charging a “catch-up tax” to newcomers. Whenever anyone in the U.S. moves from one state to another, the people of the receiving state could say, with Mr. Santos, “These people have not contributed any money toward our economy but expect to sit at our table.”

If I should move to Chicago, I haven’t paid anything toward the city’s beautiful lakefront. I think we want freedom across the country to live unhindered where we choose.

Mike Keller

Kailua-Kona

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