Pilots of US Navy Torpedo Squadron 13 in their ready room aboard carrier Franklin just before the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea, 24 Oct 1944; squadron command Lieutenant Commander Larry French seen second

Caption     Pilots of US Navy Torpedo Squadron 13 in their ready room aboard carrier Franklin just before the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea, 24 Oct 1944; squadron command Lieutenant Commander Larry French seen second ww2dbase
Photographer    Unknown
Source    ww2dbaseUnited States National Archives
Identification Code   80-G-290733
More on...   
Philippines Campaign, Phase 1, the Leyte Campaign   Main article  Photos  Maps  
Franklin   Main article  Photos  
Photos on Same Day 24 Oct 1944
Added By C. Peter Chen

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Christopher - Duluth says:
13 Jun 2009 05:12:40 PM

During the battle of the Sibuyan Sea several crews were lost. Of them was my Uncle, Harold Joseph (aka Bud) Shane. He was part of a three man crew whom were shot down. I don't have the pilot's name. They were the only plane to be lost that day. I would love to know the identies of the pilots in this picture.

Christopher - Duluth GA
2. Christopher-Duluth says:
2 Jun 2012 07:33:09 AM

Update: 25-10-1944, From the Deck log of the Uss Franklin (CV13)

Time: 08-12
[Course change annotations omitted]
Steaming as before. 0803 completed launching strike baker consisting of 6 VB and 7 VT. 0912 commenced launching CAP. 0914 completed launching CAP consisting of 4 VF. 0930 commenced landing aircraft. 1019 completed landing planes of Strike Able, search group, CAP #1, and 2VT, 2 VB from U.S.S. Enterprise. All planes returned except 13-Tare-11, TBM Bu. No 73456, pilot Ensign T.P. Brooks, Jr., (321264), A-V(N), air crewmen Shane, H.J. 2434951, USN, and Ploger, P.J. 3125009, ARM3c, USNR. Last seen making water landing south of Japanese fleet, position Lat 19-10 N., Long 16-25 E.

The three crewmen, Pilot Brooks, and crew Shane (my uncle) and Ploger died at sea. Reportedly, there were pictures taken of the downed plan as further information from the official death notification to the family stated: "When the plane in which he was flying, a unit of Torpedo squadron thirteen, was lost during an attack upon an enemy carrier task force northeast of Luzon Island, in the Philippines. Shane was a member of a plane, one of eight planes, which took off from the USS Franklin to participate in a strike against a Japanese carrier task force. Shane's plane was shot down by an enemy fighter and crashed into the sea after the attack. No survivors were seen to escape from the plan."
I would still like to identify the pilots in this picture and searching for any other information specific to this mission on 25-10-1944.
3. T. McKinny says:
10 Dec 2012 06:35:55 PM

Looking at the photo, I was told by my Dad that the young man to the right is last name of Clive. He too was shot down that day and perished. My Dad is pictured next to Clive. His name was John McKinny. My Dad's flight log also lists Pilot Freligh as having been shot down. His log states he dropped 2000 pound bombs on this mission and assisted in the sinking of an enemy carrier.
4. Joseph A Springer says:
28 Apr 2013 10:33:27 PM

Bob Freligh's account of his shootdown and subsequent ditching is detailed in my book INFERNO: The Life and Death Struggle of the USS FRANKLIN in WWII. (Harold Shane is listed on page 144.) Jim Metcalf was Jack Lawton's gunner and flew wing in Shane's flight. Metcalf stated that Brooks was indeed shotdown by a Japanese fighter, which made a single high speed pass through the formation. Lawton is in the picture also. I have names for others. But do not recall specifics (it was ten years ago). @ T.McKinny: Be sure to get your father my book INFERNO. I covered VT-13's record in detail. In fact, I unsuccessfully attempted to contact your father for an interview. I managed to locate four or five pilots. -~JS~
5. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
29 Apr 2013 09:53:35 PM

Fascinating stuff. Some minor details emerge: “Christopher-Duluth” excerpts the Franklin Deck Log listing the BuNo of Ens Brooks’ aircraft. This BuNo was part of a batch of TBM-1C Avengers that, up to now, has not appeared on the list of Navy & Marine BuNo’s so it is always good to learn the fate of these aircraft. The coordinates of the ditching are problematic, however. 19-10 N, 16-25 E is in the middle of the southern Sahara. The engagement where Ens Brooks was lost was the Battle off Cape Engano so 19-10 N, 126-25 E is more likely.

Certainly these are mere clerical details, however, and they in no way overshadow the courage of any of these brave young men.
6. wjr says:
25 Jul 2015 08:19:43 PM

The fellow to the furthest right, with the cigarette, is my father, William Dean Ray. He put a torpedo into the Zuiho a bi later.
7. Tom McKinny says:
12 Sep 2016 09:48:16 PM

I enjoyed your book, Inferno Mr. Springer. I'm sorry you weren't able to get in touch with my dad, but it brought back many memories of the stories he told me over the years. He passed away in October. Of 2012 and I read your book shortly thereafter. Thank you for memorializing the brave men!

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