Torpedo Squadron Four
A Cockpit View of World War II
Gerald W. Thomas
This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.
This book is an historical account of World War II as seen by Thomas from the cockpit of an Avenger, the US Navy's famous torpedo bomber. Serving on the aircraft carriers USS Ranger, USS Bunker Hill, and USS Essex, Torpedo Four was the only squadron that fought in both the Pacific and Atlantic Theaters.
In an air attack on Bodo, Norway, Thomas' plane was heavily damaged by AA fire. In spite of an oil leak that covered the cockpit canopy and reduced visibility to almost zero, he was able to crash-land on the carrier, saving himself and his two crewmen.
In the Pacific, he participated in attacks on Manilla, Mindoro, Luzon, Formosa, Saigon, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and Japan. He had just returned to the Essex after a strike on Luzon when the carrier was hit by a Kamikaze, killing 16.
Thomas was awarded 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 2 Air Medals, and 2 Presidential Citations for his combat actions in WWII. He retired from the Navy Reserve with the rank of Lieutenant Commander.