USS Hornet CV-8
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June 4, 1942: An SBD Dauntless landing on the USS Hornet CV-8 during the Battle of Midway.

June 4, 1942: At 14:30 hrs. a Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat (3-F-24) from VF-3 (USS Yorktown CV-5) lands on the USS Hornet CV-8 during the Battle of Midway. The aircraft had been damaged by Japanese Zeros and the pilot, Ens. Daniel C. Sheedy, was wounded in the leg. The aircraft landed hard causing the right landing gear to collapse and at the moment of impact the six .50 cal. machine guns opened fire killing five of Hornet's crew and wounding twenty others. (Note puffs of smoke coming from the aircraft's guns.)

It is believed that Ens. Sheedy failed to cut off the gun switch before landing, however a witness stated that he
noticed that the circuits for the switch had been "shot out" in combat and were therefore inoperable, and the man who first opened the cockpit noted that the switches were off. (Note: In Capt. Mitscher's report he states "Since the pilot cut the engine ignition switch after landing, it is probable that he cut the gun switches at the same time, perhaps without being fully aware of his actions.")

Ens. Sheedy was removed from the plane and personnel from Hornet noted several bullet holes in the cockpit
of Sheedy's plane including two in the instrument panel. The aircraft was then pushed over the side. In the
administrative report filed June 14, 1942 by Capt. Mitscher the last line states "There was no culpable neglect
or culpable inefficiency on the part of anyone connected with this accident".

June 4, 1942: Crewmen on the USS Hornet CV-8 tend to the wounded following the incident.

June 4, 1942: At 15:30 hrs. a second F4F-4 Wildcat (3-F-5) from VF-3 (USS Yorktown CV-5), piloted by
Ens. H. A. Bass USNR, lands on the USS Hornet CV-8 and again the .50 cal. machine guns open fire. Ens. Bass
stated he "had forgotten to close the firing circuit switch, and had inadvertently pressed the firing key when the
plane stopped suddenly". Fortunately the aircraft landed on the centerline and the bullets passed harmlessly
over the deck.

June 6, 1942: SBD Dauntless' (8-S-9 and 8-S-13) from VS-8 fly over the burning Japanese cruiser Mikuma.
A combined effort from aircraft from Hornet and USS Enterprise CV-6 landed at least five direct hits on the cruiser causing her torpedoes to explode. The ship sank sometime later in the day with the loss of 650 of her crew, 240 survivors were picked up by the Japanese cruisers Mogami, Asashio and Arashio. Two more
survivors were picked up by the USS Trout SS-202 three days later.
(Note: Mogami, Asashio and Arashio were all damaged by the same aircraft with Mogami taking six direct hits.)

Special thanks to Fred Branyan for his assistance in providing information and most of the photographs for
these pages. Without Fred's help these pages would not be possible.

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Page published Oct. 7, 2007