Admiral Chester Nimitz presenting the Navy Cross to Aviation Chief Machinist's Mate Harold F. Dixon aboard USS Enterprise at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Mar 1942.

Caption     Admiral Chester Nimitz presenting the Navy Cross to Aviation Chief Machinist's Mate Harold F. Dixon aboard USS Enterprise at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Mar 1942. ww2dbase
Photographer    Unknown
Source    ww2dbaseUnited States Navy
Identification Code   NH 62657
More on...   
Pearl Harbor Navy Base and Ford Island Naval Air Station   Main article  Photos  Maps  
Chester Nimitz   Main article  Photos  
Enterprise   Main article  Photos  Maps  
Photos at Same Place Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
Added By David Stubblebine

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
1 Jun 2020 07:24:28 PM

Enlisted pilot Harold Dixon, 42, was a TBD Devastator pilot flying from Enterprise in the South Pacific when he was forced to land at sea on 16 Jan 1942. The plane sank quickly leaving Tanner, along with his two crewmen, adrift in a rubber raft. Surviving on occasional fish speared with a pocket knife, two birds, and rain water, they survived 34 days in the open raft until landing on Danger Island (now Pakapuka Atoll) at the northern end of the Cook Islands where they were rescued.

The straight line distance from the estimated point of ditching to Danger Island was about 450 miles but it was estimated their actual path was closer to 1,200 miles. Dixon’s Navy Cross citation praised him for his heroism, leadership, and resourcefulness. Dixon’s crewmen were AOM2c Anthony J Pastula, 24, and RM3c Gene D Aldrich, 22. The aircraft was a TBD-1 Devastator, BuNo 0335.

The Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in World War II by Robert J. Cressman describes this event on 16 Jan 1942 (date of ditching) and 19 Feb 1942 (date of rescue) but lists the locations as East Longitude when they are both West Longitude.

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