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Well known pic from the Pacific War

Discussion in 'Naval Warfare in the Pacific' started by Slipdigit, Sep 7, 2007.

  1. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    A familiar pic that is the featured pic for wikipedia today.

    Lieutenant Walter L. Chewning, Jr., USNR, the Catapult Officer, is climbing up the plane's side to assist the pilot from the burning aircraft. The pilot, Ensign Byron M. Johnson, escaped without significant injury.

    My question for you, how big are Lt Chewing's kahunas? He must have quite a set.

    In all sincerity, if the time ever presents itself, I hope that I am able to show at least half the bravery of either of these men.



    [​IMG]
    Size of this preview: 800 × 551 pixels
     
  2. TA152

    TA152 Ace

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    My question is how many AA gunners wet their pants ! :eek: :p
     
  3. Peppy

    Peppy Idi Admin

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    Balls of steel Jeff! He is stepping on the fuel-filled drop tank to get to the pilot!

    This photo is exactly why I'm into history, events like this are almost commonplace in a global war, and are much rarer in today's "safer" world.
     
  4. Hawkerace

    Hawkerace Member

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    Men like that, win the war in my books.
     
  5. skunk works

    skunk works Ace

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  6. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Father O'Callahan was one of two men to earn the Medal of Honor that day, the other being Lt. j.g. Donald Gary.
     
  7. fsbof

    fsbof Member

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    I have a video about USS Enterprise (on which Lt Chewning's action occurred), and it includes movie footage of that event - the F6F crash lands near the edge of the deck, slips into the gun gallery, and catches fire . . . and then the Lt sprints across the deck and up onto the wing. Watching unfold what he must've seen from the deck before leaping up to save the pilot makes one appreciate the incredible bravery Lt Chewning displayed that day.
     
  8. Hawkeye90

    Hawkeye90 Member

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    Certainly a visible definition of courage.
     
  9. val healon

    val healon recruit

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    I'd love to see that video.Does anybody know if WALTER L CHEWING is still breathing air?...He personifies the reason NIMITZ & HALSEY were able to fight the odds successfully in the early years in the pacific.
     
  10. Mehar

    Mehar Ace

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    Unfortunately this is the first time I am seeing this image. :(

    Jack: I agree!
     
  11. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    Not only that, the entire weight of the plane is resting on that drop tank (notice the starboard landing gear is not in contact with the deck) and the port wing which is over the side of the ship. If that drop tank breaks away from the plane, the whole thing could easily slide over the side.
     
  12. luketdrifter

    luketdrifter Ace

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    The bravery of this action is not only unbelievable it's hard to even fathom. Human nature in this instance is to run, run far far away from there! Amazing photo, and one of my favorite all time.
     
  13. Tomcat

    Tomcat The One From Down Under

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    Amazing, Thanks for posting that Jeff even if it was 2 years ago.
     
  14. Tristan Scott

    Tristan Scott Member

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    Walter Lewis Chewning of Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, (February 19, 1914 - February 4, 1990)

    Ensign (later Lieutenant) Byron Milton Johnson of Potter, Nebraska (May 19, 1920 - February 20, 2005)
     
  15. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    Lieutenant Commander Walter L Chewing, USNR, of Cynwid, Pa., was awarded the Navy and Marine Corp Medal for his actions of 10 November 1943. (Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin, April 1945.)
     
  16. jemimas_special2

    jemimas_special2 Shepherd

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    Slip,

    Great pic! I've been staring at it for the last five minutes... this thread reminds me of a thread Lou started a while back http://www.ww2f.com/wwii-general/34729-greatest-generation.html?highlight=92nd from the words of one of our mods..

    Well done DG, it's neat to see your response applied to multiple threads ;)

    all the best,

    Jem
     
    dgmitchell likes this.
  17. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    And thus becomes that rarest of breeds, a person who had their MOH actions recorded on film.
     
  18. Gromit801

    Gromit801 Member

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    Actually, the drop tank is broken off, and at an angle, and you can see a gap between tank and airframe. The port landing gear is well stuck in the gun galley, supporting the F6F. It's a lucky thing the carrier was steaming into the wind for flight operations, blowing the flames back and away form the pilot of rescuer.
     
  19. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    I'm not sure, but that "angle" you see between "tank and frame" may be nothing more than the flames coming from the tank and obscuring part of the tank, and there is no "gap" between tank and airframe. The drop tank appears to be still connected, at least partially, to the plane. The port landing gear appears to have been sheared off when the plane slid off the flight deck. The weight of the plane is obviously resting on something other than the port wing or landing gear; there is nothing else to support the weight of the plane save the drop tank. Don't forget, even carriers heel slightly when turning and roll in waves at sea, making it possible for the plane to slide over the side. The fact that the plane;s port wing is already resting on the outboard edge of the gun gallery indicates that part of the weight of the plane is already over the side.
     
  20. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    Have to agree with Gromit801 here. If you click on the picture and zoom in you can see the attachment point laying horizonally to the deck and the seam of the tank turned 90 degrees.
     

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