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Jersey_Seven
01-19-2005, 06:32 PM
Excerpt from Gerald Astor's "Wings of Gold" Presidio Press, 2004

Situation: The Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, 1943. A PYB spotted enemy carriers approaching the carrier group about 360 miles off. An air group consisting of dive-bombers, torpedo planes and a figher escort was lauched to make contact. The group had no success and extended the search, maybe a bit too long. On return from their search it was night and they were running out of gas. Strict radio silence was in effect. Edward 'Whitey' Feightner is quoted by Astor:

"All at once... the group commander started to circle. This was where the carrier should have been. It's now dark and there's nothing visible down there. Still no radio transmission; apparently there were submarines all over the area. We started to spiral down and there was a ceiling of broken clouds, maybe 600 to 800 feet. You could see under it. The moon wasn't up yet; it was really black...

About this time, I noticed -- my gosh-- I could see the water in my wing lights. Swede Vejtasa was down there, making small turns, and all of a sudden he just straigtened out and headed off. Wha he had done was find a slick [oil] from the task force with his wing lights, down on the water. We were ten to fifteen feet off the water. I turn around and everybody is following us. Swede's leading the way and I'm on his wing. Forty-five miles away, we found th task force. He did it just by [finding] a bearing from that leak."

Great story... Imagine... 10-15 feet off the water at night, no moon!! What if 'Swede' following the slick in the other direction?

Jersey_Seven
01-19-2005, 06:32 PM
Excerpt from Gerald Astor's "Wings of Gold" Presidio Press, 2004

Situation: The Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, 1943. A PYB spotted enemy carriers approaching the carrier group about 360 miles off. An air group consisting of dive-bombers, torpedo planes and a figher escort was lauched to make contact. The group had no success and extended the search, maybe a bit too long. On return from their search it was night and they were running out of gas. Strict radio silence was in effect. Edward 'Whitey' Feightner is quoted by Astor:

"All at once... the group commander started to circle. This was where the carrier should have been. It's now dark and there's nothing visible down there. Still no radio transmission; apparently there were submarines all over the area. We started to spiral down and there was a ceiling of broken clouds, maybe 600 to 800 feet. You could see under it. The moon wasn't up yet; it was really black...

About this time, I noticed -- my gosh-- I could see the water in my wing lights. Swede Vejtasa was down there, making small turns, and all of a sudden he just straigtened out and headed off. Wha he had done was find a slick [oil] from the task force with his wing lights, down on the water. We were ten to fifteen feet off the water. I turn around and everybody is following us. Swede's leading the way and I'm on his wing. Forty-five miles away, we found th task force. He did it just by [finding] a bearing from that leak."

Great story... Imagine... 10-15 feet off the water at night, no moon!! What if 'Swede' following the slick in the other direction?

Waldo.Pepper
01-19-2005, 08:52 PM
Jesus.

horseback
01-19-2005, 11:41 PM
Vejtasa was a prewar trained Naval Aviator. An awful lot of those guys were the stuff of legends...

cheers

horseback

drapis
01-20-2005, 01:11 AM
Does somebody know why would they call Vejtasa "Swede"?

His name doesn't sound Swedish at all, more like Czech http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

EnGaurde
01-20-2005, 01:23 AM
i sit in front of my pc at work and i feel myself rotting away... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/cry.gif

but for the opportunity to fly with the calibre of men that would have the nouse to devise that method.

or perhaps come up with something like that myself? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/59.gif

i was born in the wrong age.

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

woofiedog
01-20-2005, 08:13 AM
Links: http://www.au.af.mil/au/goe/eaglebios/96bios/vejtas96.htm

http://www.cv6.org/1942/santacruz/santacruz_3.htm



Stanley W. Vejtasa
"Swede" set a record for Wildcat pilot by scoring seven victories in one mission. He started as an SBD pilot on the Yorktown, and shot down three Jap planes while flying with VS-5. Flatley and Vejtasa (along with Lieutenant Fritz Faulkner, also of VS-5) all received their orders to VF-10 at about the same time, just prior to the Battle of the Coral Sea. After that engagement, Yorktown and her task force went to Tongatabu where they met up with Lexington's escorts and some transports. The Lexington survivors - and Flatley, Vejtasa, and Faulkner - went aboard transports that proceeded directly to San Diego, arriving there on 2 June 42. (Vejtasa was never a member of VF-42.) Flatley put VF-10 in commission on 3 June 42. Lieutenant Vejtasa served with VF-10, on the Enterprise. During the crucial Battle of Santa Cruz, on October 26,1942, the Enterprise and Hornet were repeatedly attacked by large numbers of Vals. The 'Grim Reapers' of VF-10 had their hands full. Leading the "Red Seven" division, Swede caught a string of Vals headed for the Hornet and quickly knocked down two of them, while his wingman got another. Then he turned his attention to some Kates just arriving from the Zuikaku. Dodging their fire as well as American AA, he downed five more of the low-flying torpedo planes. Out of ammunition, he could only watch as the Enterprise was then hit by two bombs.

But the 'Big E' didn't sink, although 23 Wildcats and 10 pilots from the two carriers were lost defending them. The Battle of Santa Cruz was a draw, or perhaps a slight tactical victory for the Japanese. However, the Americans weren't driven off Guadalcanal, and the 150 lost Japanese fliers couldn't be replaced.


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