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Eastern Solomons - 24 August 1942 (Read More...)

August 24, 1942
G.C.T.L.C.T.(Zone Minus 11 1/2 Time).
22551025 Launched three VTB (flight 347-A).
Mission: Inner Air Patrol for Task Force 11.
Action: Maintained patrol without incident. All planes landed at 1354.
22571027 Launched eight VSB (Flight 355).
Mission: Intermediate Air Patrol.
Action: Maintained patrol. At 1105 6-S-10 Lieut. R.B. WOODHULL, pilot, sighted a submarine at Lat. 09-21 S., Long. 163-35 E., which submerged immediately. Reached attack position 3 minutes later and dropped bomb 1200 feet ahead of the wake. No results observed. No further contacts made. Landed all planes at 1355.
23071037 Launched three VTB (Flight 347-B).
Mission: Inner Air Patrol for Task Force 16.
Action: Maintained patrol without incident. Landed all planes at 1351.
23301100 SARATOGA attack group returned from Guadalcanal.
00301200 1200 position: Latitude 09° 05' S. Longitude 162° 58' E. Course and speed made good since 1200, August 23: Course 347.7° T. Speed 2.8 knots.
00421212 Changed axis to 100° T.
01351305 Launched 14 VF for Combat Air Patrol.
Mission: Combat Air Patrol.
Action: Received several vectors. BARNES group intercepted and shot down one float seaplane. All planes landed on SARATOGA at 1525.
01391309 Launched sixteen VSB and seven VTB (Flight 395).
Mission: Relative search, sector 290-090, distance 250 miles from Lat. {illegible}, Long. 163-03 E. Planes searched probable areas in pairs (290-000). Less likely areas were searched by single planes (000-090).
Action: Searched sectors assigned. The {illegible} wing pairs of search planes independently sighted a Japanese Task Force. 6-B-5, Ensign R.D. GIBSON, pilot, and Lieutenant J.T. LOWE, Jr., pilot, sighted an enemy force consisting of 5 CA and 3-5 DD about 210 miles NNW of the ENTERPRISE. Attacked one of the enemy CA at 1510. Scored two near misses with two 500 lb. bombs. 6-B-1, Lieut. R. DAVIS, pilot, and 6-B-6, Ens. R.C. SHAW, pilot, located an enemy force of 2 CV, 4 CA, 6 CL, and 8 DD about 190 miles NNW of the ship. At 1545 attacked one CV believed to be SHOKAKU and scored two very near misses on starboard quarter with 500 lb. bombs.
About 1440, 6-T-1, Lt.Comdr. C.M. JETT, pilot, and 6-T-6, Ens. R.J. BYE sighted a portion of the enemy fleet consisting of 1 CV, 2 CL, and 3 DD. At about 1510 made horizontal bombing runs and dropped four 500 lb. bombs from 12,200'. All four dropped in the wake within 150' of the stern.
About 1500 6-T-5, Lieut. J.N. MYERS, pilot and 6-T-13, Mach. H.L. CORL, pilot, sighted enemy CA. After gaining altitude for an attack sighted one CV and 3 DD. Both planes were intercepted by 3 Zeros and forced to retire.
6-T-14, Ensign H.L. BINGAMAN, pilot, and 6-S-18, Ensign J.H. JORGENSON, pilot, sighted one CV and 3 DD about 1500. They were intercepted by enemy planes and headed for the ENTERPRISE. Most of the search planes returned during the JAP attack and made attacks on enemy planes as they were leaving our disposition.
Landed fourteen VSB and three VTB at 1839. 6-B-5 landed in the water. Ensign R.D. GIBSON, pilot, and E.R. ANDERSON, RM3c, were recovered by the FARRAGUT, no injuries. 6-S-18 landed in the water. Ensign J.H. JORGENSON, pilot, and A.H. BAYNETTI were recovered uninjured by the MONSSEN. 6-T-5, Lieut. J.N. Myers, pilot,landed on the SARATOGA. 6-T-6, landed in the water. Ensign R.J. BYE, pilot, and crew were picked up by the BALCH. 6-T-14, Ensign H.L. BINGAMAN, pilot, and crew missing, later picked up on Stewart Island. 6-T-13, Mach. H.L. Corl, USN, pilot, T.R. TOWNSEND, AOM2c, USN, and D.D. WILEY, RM3c, USN, crew missing.
01471317 Launched three VSB (Flight 327).
Mission: Inner Air Patrol for Task Force 11.
Action: Carried out mission. 6-S-15, Ensign H.R. BURNETT, pilot, was returning just prior to JAP attack. He attacked dive-bombers recovering from their dive near his position 6 miles NW of the ship and shot down one dive-bomber about 1715 using fixed guns. Landed all planes at 1827.
01481318 Launched three VSB (Flight 348).
Mission: Inner Air Patrol for Task Force 16.
Action: Carried out mission. Landed all planes at 1826.
01551325 Enemy bomber reported bearing 210° T., distant 25 miles by Combat Patrol. Went to general quarters.
01561326 Enemy plane shot down bearing 230° T., distant 10 miles.
01591329 Formed cruising disposition I-V.
02001330 Enemy bomber previously reported destroyed.
03011431 Enemy seaplane shot down bearing 300° T., distant about 28 miles.
03151445 Launched 6 VF (Flight 351).
Mission: Combat Air Patrol.
Action: SUMRALL, VORSE, and LOESCH shot down one "0" each. REGISTER shot down one "0" and one ME 109. VORSE landed in water near SARATOGA and was picked up by a destroyer. Landed on SARATOGA about 1740.
03291459 Changed course to 335° T., changed speed to 20 knots.
04201550 Launched 4 VF (Flight 342).
Mission: Combat Air Patrol.
Action: Vectored out about 50 miles to NW. BROOKS shot down 1 "VT" and 1 "VB", MANKIN 1 "VB", RHODES 1 "VB" and MARCH 1 "VT". Landed all planes on ENTERPRISE at 1840.
04231553 Changed speed to 25 knots.
04401610 Launched 16 VF (Off SARATOGA)(Our planes launched by SARATOGA).
Mission: Combat Air Patrol.
Action: All four sections vectored out NW at 12,000'. Failed to intercept. RUNYON's section sighted and attacked "VB's" just prior to their approach and entry into dive at about 1705. RUNYON shot down 3 VB and 1 "0" and PACKARD 1 "VB". During and after enemy's "VB" recovery, BAUER's group accounted for the following: BAUER, 1 "VB", HALFORD, 1 "VB". BARNES group: DIBB, 2 "VB", BREWER 2 "VB", and 1 "0"; and JOHNSON 1 "VB". GAY's group: GAY, 1 "0"; LINDSEY, 1 "0"; and DISQUE, 2 "0". REID and BARNES failed to return after this attack. DISQUE landed on ENTERPRISE about 1840 after having cockpit straddled by 7.7's and vacuum tank punctured. His flaps failed to lower and he crashed into the barrier. Others returned to SARATOGA. At least one of the missing planes observed shot down by Task Force 16 AA fire during dive-bombing attack.
05241654 A large group of planes reported bearing 315° T., distant 54,000 yards.
05251655 Launched 2 VF (Flight 373).
Mission: Combat Air Patrol.
Action: Carried out mission. Landed on ENTERPRISE at 1850.
05281658 Prepared to repel air attack.
05281658 to 1708 Launched eleven VSB and eight VTB. (Flight 300). Lt.Comdr. M.F. LESLIE, leader.
Mission: Attack enemy CV force reported Lat. 06-25 S., Long. 161 E., course 270, speed 20, at 1445.
Action: The Attack Group was unable to effect a rendezvous during confusion caused by JAP air attack. Eleven VSB proceeded on mission but failed to make contact and landed at LUNGA FIELD. Results of this flight not available. One VTB, unable to retract landing gear, remained near the ship until the deck was ready for landing. Shortly after launching 6-T-4, Mach. J.R. BAKER, pilot, was attacked by a dive bomber. C.L. GIBSON, ARM3c, gunner fired two bursts and the enemy plane crashed in the water in flames. Six VTB proceeded on mission, but were unable to contact the enemy. At 1905, (sunset 1833) they reversed course and headed for the ENTERPRISE. 6-T-0, Lt.Comdr. M.F. LESLIE, AGC, proceeded on mission alone. Searched for Jap Force until 1915 and returned to the ship.
05341704 MONSSEN reported enemy aircraft sighted bearing 335° T.
05391709 Enemy aircraft reported coming overhead.
05421712 Enemy planes overhead. Attack commenced, concentrated on ENTERPRISE, which took radical avoiding action at high speed (about 27 knots). Three hits and three near misses were received.
06011731 Steadied on course 130° T.
06221752 Changed speed to 20 knots.
06531823 Landed 3-B-33, Ensign W.A. BEHR, pilot, from SARATOGA Air Group. Emergency landing on return from attack.
07021832 Launched 6 VF (Our planes off SARATOGA).
Mission: Combat Air Patrol.
Action: Vectored several times. No contacts except friendly. Landed about SARATOGA at 1950.
07081838 Landed one VTB (landing gear failed to retract after launching).
07131843 Lost steering control. Rudder full right against stops. Engines backed full to stop ship and avoid destroyers. Steering control shifted to Central and rudder came back to 20° right. Commenced steaming in a circle at 10 knots. Attempted to steer using engines. Regained steering control at 1923.
07251855 GRAYSON left formation to proceed westward to position of Point Option and direct planes to carrier.
08191949 Changed course to 180° T., changed speed to 15 knots.
08302000 2000 position: Latitude 08° 58' S. Longitude 164° 02' E.
08462016 Changed speed to 25 knots.
10132143 Changed speed to 15 knots.
10282158 to 2200 Landed two VTB. 6-T-12, Ensign E.B. Holley, pilot, crashed into island structure. Five remaining VTB landed about the SARATOGA. Eleven VSB landed at LUNGA FIELD.
11402310 Set material condition Baker forward of frame 157.
11442314 Secured from general quarters and set condition of readiness two.

(Signed) A. C. Davis
Captain, U.S. Navy,

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