Blue Raiders Triumph

by Nixon Galloway

Aircraft Action Report # 29 went into the books as the perfect example of defensive value of a tight formation to concentrate firepower while under attack. Early on October 12, 1944 two PB4Y-1s from VPB-116 were sent out to search for possible survivors of a PB4Y-1 lost the previous day off Iwo Jima. At 0900 the formation was attacked by eight zeros, several dropping phosphorus bombs before making their attack. After a running gun battle lasting forty-five minutes with the Navy Liberators flying as low as forty feet six of the eight zeros had been destroyed, with almost no damage to the Navy aircraft or injuries to the crew. Upon return to their base at Tinian, Lt. Bill Oliver, pilot of DAZY MAY, 38734, found but one 12.7mm bullet hole while the pilot of TYNYAN TYPHOON, 38800 had come through without sustaining a single hit!
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