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WWII Patch, USN, VT-3, Battle of Midway

WWII Patch, USN, VT-3, Battle of Midway

Product Information
WWII US Navy Squadron Patch
Navy Torpedo Squadron 3

Torpedo Squadron Three (VT-3), USS Saratoga/SB2U-2 and TBD-1
~4.5 inches

VT-3 used 71 Douglas TBD Devastators between October 1937 and June 1942. They starred in the 1941 movie Dive Bomber  VT-3 loaned the United States Marine Corps a Devastator, BuNo. 1518, from 26 March 1941 till 5 June 1941, which was used by USMC VMS-2.

Battle of Midway, 4-7 June 1942
Composition of U. S. Forces - United States Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas
Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, USN, Commander in Chief
Carrier Striking Force - Rear Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher, USN
Task Force 17 (TF 17)   Rear Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher, USN
Task Group 17.5 (TG 17.5) -  Carrier Group  -  Capt. Elliot Buckmaster, USN
USS Yorktown (CV-5) -Capt. Elliot Buckmaster, USN  -  Damaged by Japanese aircraft during the Battle of Midway, 4 June 1942, and sank after being torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-168, 7 June 1942
USS Yorktown Air Group - Lt. Comdr. Oscar Pederson, USN
Fighting Squadron 3 (VF-3) Lt. Comdr. John S. Thach, USN  -  25 Grumman F4F-4 (Wildcat)
Bombing Squadron 3 (VB-3) Lt. Comdr. Maxwell F. Leslie, USN  -  18 Douglas SBD-3 (Dauntless)
Scouting Squadron 3 (VS-3) Lt. Wallace C. Short Jr., USN  -  19 Douglas SBD-3 (Dauntless)
Torpedo Squadron 3 (VT-3) Lt. Comdr. Lance E. Massey, USN  -  13 Douglas TBD-1 (Devastator)

from wikipedia:  The Battle of Midway (Japanese: ミッドウェー海戦) is widely regarded as the most important naval battle of the Pacific Campaign of World War II.  Between 4 and 7 June 1942, approximately one month after the Battle of the Coral Sea and six months after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States Navy decisively defeated an Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) attack against Midway Atoll, inflicting irreparable damage on the Japanese.

The Japanese operation, like the earlier attack on Pearl Harbor, aimed to eliminate the United States as a strategic power in the Pacific, thereby giving Japan a free hand in establishing its Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. The Japanese hoped that another demoralizing defeat would force the U.S. to capitulate in the Pacific War.

The Japanese plan was to lure the United States' few remaining aircraft carriers into a trap. The Japanese also intended to occupy Midway Atoll as part of an overall plan to extend their defensive perimeter in response to the Doolittle Raid. This operation was considered preparatory for further attacks against Fiji and Samoa.

The plan was handicapped by faulty Japanese assumptions of American reaction and poor initial dispositions. Most significantly, American codebreakers were able to determine the date and location of the attack, enabling the forewarned U.S. Navy to set up an ambush of its own. Four Japanese aircraft carriers and a heavy cruiser were sunk in exchange for one American aircraft carrier and a destroyer. The heavy losses in carriers and veteran aircrews permanently weakened the Imperial Japanese Navy. Japan's shipbuilding and pilot training programs were unable to keep pace in replacing their losses while the U.S. steadily increased output in both areas.

Despite their losses, the American torpedo attacks indirectly achieved three important results. First, they kept the Japanese carriers off balance, with no ability to prepare and launch their own counterstrike. Second, their attacks pulled the Japanese combat air patrol out of position. Third, many of the Zeros ran low on ammunition and fuel.  The appearance of a third torpedo plane attack from the southeast by Torpedo Squadron 3 (VT-3) at 10:00 very quickly drew the majority of the Japanese CAP to the southeast quadrant of the fleet.  Better discipline, and employment of all the Zeroes aboard, might have enabled Nagumo to succeed.

By chance, at the same time VT-3 was sighted by the Japanese, two squadrons of American SBD Dauntless dive bombers from Enterprise and Yorktown, VB-6 and VB-3 respectively, were approaching the Japanese fleet from the northeast and southwest. They were running low on fuel because of the time spent looking for the enemy. However, squadron commander C. Wade McClusky, Jr. decided to continue the search and by good fortune saw the wake of the Japanese destroyer Arashi. The destroyer was steaming at full speed to rejoin Nagumo's carrier force after having unsuccessfully depth-charged the U.S. submarine Nautilus, which had earlier unsuccessfully attacked the battleship Kirishima.[75] Some bombers were lost from fuel exhaustion before the attack commenced.

McClusky's decision to continue the search was credited by Admiral Chester Nimitz, and his judgment "decided the fate of our carrier task force and our forces at Midway..." The American dive-bombers arrived at the perfect time to attack. Armed Japanese strike aircraft filled the hangar decks, fuel hoses snaked across the decks as refueling operations were hastily completed, and the repeated change of ordnance meant bombs and torpedoes were stacked around the hangars, rather than stowed safely in the magazines, making the Japanese carriers extraordinarily vulnerable.

Enterprise's VB-6 air group split up and attacked two targets. Beginning at 10:22, McCluskey and his wingmen scored hits on Kaga, while to the north Akagi was attacked four minutes later by three bombers. Yorktown's VB-3 commanded by Max Leslie went for Sōryū scoring hits. Simultaneously, VT-3 targeted Hiryū, which was sandwiched between Sōryū, Kaga, and Akagi, but scored no hits. The dive-bombers, within six minutes, left Sōryū and Kaga ablaze. Akagi was hit by just one bomb, which penetrated to the upper hangar deck and exploded among the armed and fueled aircraft there. One bomb exploded underwater very close astern, the resulting geyser bending the flight deck upward and also causing crucial rudder damage. Sōryū took three bombs in her hangar deck; Kaga, at least four, possibly five. All three carriers were out of action and were eventually abandoned and scuttled.

Price: $95.00

Product Code: PatchUSN.003.VT3
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