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Location: /Squadron Patches/USN NAVY Squadrons

WWII Patch, USN, VS-2 VB-10 LEATHER #1

WWII Patch, USN, VS-2 VB-10 LEATHER #1

Product Information
WWII US Navy Squadron Patch - LEATHER #1
USN VS-2
USN VB-10
Navy Scouting Squadron 2
Navy Bombing Squadron 10
VS = Antisubmarine Reconnaissance Scout Squadron
VB = Bomb Squadron
4.5 inches

Battle of the Coral Sea
The Battle of the Coral Sea. The battle, fought during May 4–8, 1942, was a major naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II between the Imperial Japanese Navy and Allied naval and air forces from the United States (U.S.) and Australia.

In an attempt to strengthen their defensive positioning for their empire in the South Pacific, Imperial Japanese forces decided to invade and occupy Port Moresby in New Guinea and Tulagi in the southeastern Solomon Islands. The plan to accomplish this, called Operation MO, involved several major units of Japan's Combined Fleet, including two fleet carriers and a light carrier to provide air cover for the invasion fleets, under the overall command of Shigeyoshi Inoue. The U.S. learned of the Japanese plan through signals intelligence and sent two United States Navy carrier task forces and a joint Australian-American cruiser force, under the overall command of Frank Jack Fletcher, to oppose the Japanese offensive.

Task Force 17 - Vice Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher
     Task Group 17.5 (Carrier Air Group) - Rear Admiral Aubrey Fitch, Officer in Tactical Command (OTC)
          Lexington Air Group - Commander William B. Ault
                + Fighting 2 (VF-2) - 21 Wildcat fighters
                + Bombing 2 (VB-2) - 18 SBD dive bombers
                + Scouting 2 (VS-2) - 17 SBD dive bombers
                + Torpedo 2 (VT-2) - 12 TBD torpedo bombers
          destroyers Morris, Anderson, Hammann, Russell

Cactus Air Force
Cactus Air Force refers to the ensemble of Allied air power assigned to the island of Guadalcanal  from August 1942 until December 1942 during the early stages of the Guadalcanal Campaign, particularly those operating from Henderson Field. After December, the official name of the unit became Allied Air Forces in the Solomons, but Cactus Air Force was still used frequently to refer to the organization. The term "Cactus" comes from the Allied code name for the island. In April, 1943 the organization was redesignated as AirSols.

U.S. Navy and Marine fighter pilots, who had little high-altitude flying experience to begin with, were at a disadvantage from the start because their F4F Wildcat was not in the same class as the Japanese A6M Zero when it came to service ceiling, rate of climb, and maneuverability. The Zero fighter was lighter, faster, a better climber, and had twin 20mm wing mounted cannons, as well as two light machine guns. The American pilots learned quickly not to dogfight  with the Zero. Instead, if they became engaged with one, they would give it a quick, diving firing-burst and then dive away to regroup, climb, and attack again. Cactus pilots had to constantly refine their tactics and techniques, rely on teamwork in dogfights and improve their gunnery to remain effective against the Zeroes.

Because of the Zero's maneuverability, American pilots quickly adapted hit and run tactics similar to those used by the American Flying Tigers in China and Burma[50] and the tactic of a two-plane mutually protecting flight section. This technique had previously been developed by the U.S. Navy fighter pilots John Thach and Edward O'Hare, and it was known as the "Thach Weave." The aircraft would remain in the same general area of one another and if Zeroes showed up, they had a better chance of engaging the aircraft on the tails of their wing men.

All aviation units on Guadalcanal were subordinate to Commander, Aircraft, Guadalcanal (ComAirGuadal).
Aboard the USS Enterprise
    * VF-10
    * VB-6
    * VB-10
    * VS-10
    * VT-10
The Cactus Air Force's dive bombers and torpedo planes sank or destroyed 17 large enemy vessels, including one Japanese battleship, one heavy cruiser (the Kinugasa), one light cruiser (the Yura), three destroyers (the Asagiri, Murakumo, and Natsugumo), and twelve transports, possibly sank three destroyers  and one heavy cruiser, and heavily damaged 18 other ships, including one heavy cruiser and five light cruisers. Most notable was the battleship Hiei, which the CAF, along with aircraft from the Enterprise, and B-17s from Espiritu Santo, finished off after she had suffered serious damage from American cruisers  and destroyers  during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal.

The fifteen Marine combat squadrons that fought on Guadalcanal during this time suffered from 94 pilots killed or missing-in-action, with another 177 evacuated with wounds or with sickness (especially severe malaria). Total figures for Japanese aerial losses during the Guadalcanal campaign have never been calculated

The Battle of Guadalcanal would become the defining point for Marine Corps aviation in World War II and for the next fifty years. The great lessons learned for Marine Corps aviation units were the debilitating effects of not having air superiority; the importance of the use of radar; the vulnerability of enemy transport and warship targets; and the vital importance of quickly acquiring expeditionary airfields during amphibious operations.

Medal of Honor recipients
Six aviators who served in the "Cactus Air Force" received the Medal of Honor for their actions during the Battle of Guadalcanal (August 1942-February 1943):
    * John L. Smith
    * Robert E. Galer
    * Joe Foss
    * Harold W. Bauer
    * Jefferson J. DeBlanc
    * James E. Swett

Price: $285.00 $250.00


Product Code: PatchUSN.002.VS2VB10.v1.LEATHER
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