B 26 Marauders of the 69th Bombardment Squadron ( Medium ) / 38th Bombardment
Group and two from
the 18th Reconnaissance Squadron ( Medium ) / 22nd Bombardment Group,
attack Kido Butai at about 0710 June 4, 1942, using torpedoes instead of their normal bomb load. Two Zeroes of a group of six from the CAP slice through the diamond formation at 700 ft.,
as the Marauders starta quick descent to 200 ft. TBF Avengers of Torpedo 8 (Detachment) have started an attack just ahead. This is the moment when the formation started to break up.
CAPT James F. Collins
1st LT William S. Watson2ndLT L.H. Whittington
CPL Albert E. Owen SSGT Richard C. Decker
1st LT James P. Muri PFC Earl D. Ashley 2ndLT Pren Moore and 1stLT James Muri CPL Frank L. Melo, Jr. Lt. Col Jim Muri's hand-drawn diagram of how 'Susie-Q' flew right down the deck of the Japanese aircraft carrier 'Akagi' to escape the ship's anti-aircraft fire, after dropping the torpedo. (Courtesy Jim Muri, Lt.Col Ret.)
Crewmen from Collins' and Muri's
ships with the "Susie-Q" name cut
from the wreck of Muri's B26. This photo was taken shortly after the end
of the battle.
From the left are CPL Frank Melo, 2dLT's Colin Villines, Thomas Weems, Pren Moore, William Moore and Russell Johnson (Courtesy Jim Muri, Lt.Col Ret.)
ships were torpedoed, but both Collins and Muri managed to clear Kido Butai
and return to Midway with heavy damage.
Both pilots did fantastic jobs landing their heavily damaged Marauders without further incident, and without blocking the runway.
No crewmen from the two surviving B26's were lost although many were injured.