Skip to comments.Norman 'Dusty' Kleiss, Battle of Midway hero, dies at 100
Posted on 05/14/2016 11:05:28 AM PDT by DFG
I knew the day might come. The news still hurt.
The daughter of an amazing war hero called the other night to say her father was dying. An overnight email a day later told me that Norman "Dusty" Kleiss, 100 years old, hero of the Battle of Midway, had died Friday. He was the last surviving dive-bomber from the sea battle that turned the tide of World War II. In discussing Dusty with his daughter, we agreed it was as if the pilot was determined to reach the age of 100 before his health faded. Several weeks ago, there was a big weekend party in San Antonio, where he lived. Family, friends and even some, uh, belly dancers attended.
(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
RIP Great Man.
He leaves us crybabies off Iran led by a CO shitcanned for incompentence.
Our dive bombers literally snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
No radar. Dead reckoning.
Getting back to the ship to land before running out of fuel was a miracle.
And he did it again and again - after combat in which he watched all his buddies killed.
But he got the Jap carriers.
Yep. Those guys were amazing.
The Japanese pilots were so intent on killing Americans (see Bushido) that they broke discipline and left their carriers open to attack by the dive bombers.
What it must have been like to be at the back of the formation of torpedo planes that were attacking! You see your buddies being destroyed but you slowly lumber on hoping that they might miss you but knowing you are going to die.
We didn’t just destroy four Japanese aircraft carriers at Midway.
We destroyed the morale of the Japanese Navy.
They saw those big, slow torpedo planes pressing the attack. They realized our guys were just as brave and disciplined as they were.
Those American sailors shocked the Japanese to their very hearts!
Hooray for the torpedo plane crews and hooray for the dive bomber crews who pressed the attack!
My God....the courage.
And for every man who took up his weapon and stood on the wall during that tragic time.
My God....the courage.
The TBD Devastator was obsolete even before the war started. Sad to start a war with obsolete equipment. It was really a biplane wot the top wing cut off.
RIP, Norman “Dusty” Kleiss.
It was more than that.
After pilots dropped their one torpedo, and were utterly incapable of further attacks, they got back in formation with their colleagues pressing their attacks.
They couldn’t do anything to hurt the Japanese, but they could still draw fire away from those who could.
Ah, but there were any number of COs disgraced in the course of WW2, for good and bad reasons! Admirals Kimmel & Gormley and General Fredendall all got sacked for incompetence along with many others of less auspicious rank.
Myself, I am not so certain that it was incompetence of the officer or orders from higher authority that led to that SPECTACULAR FUBAR in the hands of the Iranians! Given the political nature of the military in this Administration, especially noting the large number of senior officers resigning, it strikes me that this could be a scapegoat!
As for Norman Kleiss, Atten'hut, Hand Salute! R I P
“He leaves us crybabies off Iran led by a CO shitcanned for incompentence.”
Quite the contrast. We are so screwed today.
Herman Wouk’s War and Rememberance is a must read to understand the incredible sacrifice of the torpedo plane squadrons....they knew their mission was virtually doomed to fail, and that they would probably all be killed.
Although the two books The Winds Of War and War And Remembrance are fictional stories, they accurately describe the true history of WWII.
When it came to the telling of the story of the Battle of Midway, Wouk broke from the fictional narrative to describe the actual men of the torpedo plane squadrons...he was so moved by their heroics, he dedicated that section of the book to them, so that what they specifically did would never be forgotten.
Along with the Brewster Buffalo and the Curtiss P-40! This is always the problem with playing defense, the aggressor chooses the time of attack when he has the best of things!
Yet, here and now, we are hollowing out our military with too few men and weapons. Once again I see our weakness embolden our very real enemies!
100 year old WW2 vet?
I still have the mindset that only WW1 vets could ever be that old.
Vietnam vets are in their late 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.
Imagine, you’re 20 years old with the world in front of you. You blink, and you’re 65 with a lifetime of experiences. It goes by so damn fast...:(
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