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Location: /Squadron Patches/USN NAVY Squadrons

WWII Patch, USN, VT-15 The Avengers USS Essex

WWII Patch, USN, VT-15 The Avengers  USS Essex

Product Information
WWII US Navy Squadron Patch
USN VT-15  Torpedo SQ
Navy Torpedo Squadron 15

VB = Torpedo Bomb Squadron
"The Avengers"
USS Essex CV-9
4.75 x 5.5 inches


Air Group Fifteen
“The Fabled Fifteen” World War II squadrons from the AG-15 “Fabled Fifteen” carrier group flew from the aircraft carrier USS ‘Essex’ (CV 9) in the pacific theater. They were the top ranked Navy squadron of WWII with 26 Aces tallying 310 confirmed air kills, 348 ground kills, and 296,500 tons of shipping destroyed serving from May 1944 to November 1944.  They were were also known as Satan’s Playmates and they were to figure heavily in twenty-three major engagements, including two full-scale naval battles. During these they destroyed battleships, aircraft carriers, troopships, and more airplanes than any other group. They were to neutralize a dozen enemy bases, send scores of cargo ships to the bottom, destroy docks and dumps, gun emplacements and supply depots by the hundreds.  They moved twice as close to Japan as any other carrier group had ever been, set the record for enemy aircraft shot down in a single day with 67, produced the leading Navy ace of the war in Commander David McCampbell tallying 34 total kills with 9 in one sortie, took part in some of the great aerial fights of 1944 including the Marianas Turkey Shoot of June 19, the Formosa strikes of September, and the Leyte Gulf battles of late October winning glory and medals.

Air Group 15 was based off of the aircraft carrier USS Essex (CV-9) and it's equipment consisted of airplanes from three distinct types of squadrons.  1). The fighters, the fast single-seater Grumman Hellcats with heavy fire power from six machine-guns, and which may also carry rockets and small bombs.  2). The Curtiss Helldiver dive bombers. Besides the pilot, these planes carry an enlisted-man rear-seat gunner. Their job is to lay a one-ton bomb load upon the target from a very steep diving angle, and to strafe with their machine guns at the same time. 3). The torpedo bomber, the Grumman Avenger. It has two enlisted crewmen in addition to the pilot. It carries a ton of bombs, or depth charges, or aerial torpedoes, and like the Helldiver is designed for low-level attack.  Normally these three plane types worked together as a closely integrated team.

USS Essex CV9, the "Fightingest Ship in the fleet"; her airmen served during the War in the Pacific from 1943 to 1945.  Hellcat aces, Helldiver pilots, and their gunners, winners of the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, and the Medal of Honor. The Essex won 13 Battlestars. The most of any ship in the Essex class.

Awards and Citations
Thomas Marshall
Aviation Radioman 1st Class USNR - Air Group 15
Tom Marshall was a member of Torpedo Squadron VT 15. He served as a bellie gunner on a TBM Avenger. Air Group 15 was assigned to the U.S.S. Essex CV 9 in April of 1944, replacing AIr Group 9 which had accumulated and impressive war record. The Essex had just completed a month in a San Francisco area drydock and was preparing to join the Allied fleet for a massive offensive across the central Pacific towards the Philippines.  By November the air group had completed its rotation aboard the Essex. It had surpassed the exploits of its predecessor. As the fast carrier task force pushed the Japanese out of the islands the F6F Hellcats, SB2C Helldivers, and TBM Avengers reeked havouc on the enemy. From the "Marianas Turkey Shoot" in June to the Battle of Leyte Gulf in October, Air Group 15 built a reputation for itself, becoming known as the “Fabled Fifteen.” The air group leader was David McCampbell who had become the US Navy’s all-time leading ace with 34 aerial victories during World War II. On November 17, 1944 on the flight deck of the U.S.S. Essex, Tom Marshall was awarded his first Air Medal for a mission of July 24, 1944. Tom eventually flew 39 missions and earned Two Distinguished Flying Crosses and Six Air Medals

Kenneth Bryan Horton
    Date of birth: 31-Mar-22
    Place of Birth: Thomasville, Georgia
    Home of record: Thomasville, Georgia
1.   Navy Cross  -  Awarded for actions during the World War II
      The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Navy Cross to Lieutenant, Junior Grade [then Ensign] Kenneth Bryan Horton, United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Torpedo Plane in Torpedo Squadron FIFTEEN (VT-15), attached to the U.S.S. ESSEX (CV-9), during action against enemy Japanese forces in the vicinity of the Philippine Islands, on 5 November 1944. Striking against enemy shipping in the face of extremely heavy and accurate anti-aircraft fire, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Horton pressed home a vigorous attack to obtain a damaging torpedo hit on a hostile heavy cruiser and leave it in a sinking condition. By his courage, expert airmanship and unwavering devotion to duty, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Horton contributed materially to the success of our operations against the Japanese and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
      General Orders: Commander 2d Carrier Task Force Pacific: Serial 0878 (January 11, 1945)
      Action Date: 5-Nov-44
      Service: Naval Reserve
      Rank: Lieutenant Junior Grade
      Company: Torpedo Squadron 15 (VT-15)
      Division: U.S.S. Essex (CV-9)
2.  Navy Cross -  Awarded for actions during the World War II
      The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lieutenant, Junior Grade [then Ensign] Kenneth Bryan Horton, United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Torpedo Plane in Torpedo Squadron FIFTEEN (VT-15), attached to the U.S.S. ESSEX (CV-9), in action against the enemy Japanese Fleet, during the Battle for Leyte Gulf, on 25 October 1944. Despite airborne opposition and intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Horton pressed his torpedo attack at close range to score a hit on a hostile carrier which resulted in its sinking. His courage and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
      General Orders: Commander 2d Carrier Task Force Pacific: Serial 0451 (December 17, 1944)
      Action Date: 25-Oct-44
      Service: Naval Reserve
      Rank: Lieutenant Junior Grade
      Company: Torpedo Squadron 15 (VT-15)
      Division: U.S.S. Essex (CV-9)

Price: $205.00 $175.00


Product Code: PatchUSN.015.VT15
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