Lieutenant Hayden Martin Jensen (1911-1949)

During the second counterattack that afternoon, the Saratoga’s fighters fared much better. At about 1500 Lieut. Richard Gray, leading, with Ens. M.K. Bright, Lieut. Hayden M. Jensen, Lt. (jg) C.B. Starkes, Lieut. Marion W. Dufilho, Lt., (jg) F.O. Breen, Lieut. David C. Richardson, and Ens. C.D. Davy sighted 11 enemy dive bombers, type Aichi 99, which were flying unescorted. No warning of this enemy attack had been received. Lieut. Jensen, the first to sight the enemy and to give the alarm by radio, attacked and followed the enemy down through the antiaircraft fire from the ships, destroying 2 of the raiders. Lieut. Dufilho followed him, and also nailed 2 of the enemy planes while damaging a third. Lt. (jg) Starkes and Ens. Bright each accounted for 3 more, or a total of 10 shot down. Another flight of from 7 to 12 enemy dive bombers, however, attacked our ships unobserved by our own fighters or radar. They were reported by one of our scout bombers as they approached from another direction. Two of these planes were destroyed during their retirement. None of the dive bombers of the group intercepted succeeded in getting a hit on their targets, according to Lt. Comdr. Simpler. The hits were made by the unopposed attack.

Source: https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/USN-CN-Solomons/USN-CN-Solomons-15.html

 

Lieutenant Hayden M. Jensen was one of the VF-5 naval pilots who was part of the Cactus Air Force.

He is between Crews and Stover.


Source: http://valor.militarytimes.com/recipient.php?recipientid=20561

Hayden Martin Jensen

Date of birth: January 30, 1911
Date of death: June 6, 1949
Place of Birth: Minnesota, St. Paul
Home of record: St. Paul Minnesota

Jensen Hayden became a World War II Navy ACE, credited with shooting down five enemy aircraft in aerial combat.

Navy Cross

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Hayden Martin Jensen, United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Fighter Plane and leader of the Sixth Division, Fighting Squadron FIVE (VF-5), attached to the U.S.S. SARATOGA (CV-3), during action against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands, on 7 August 1942. Upon sighting a hostile force of eleven dive bombers intent upon raiding our transports and other surface vessels, Lieutenant Jensen, often pursuing his target through bursting shells of his own anti-aircraft fire, personally shot down two of the planes and damaged others. By his cool courage and superb airmanship, he contributed materially to the success of our forces in a vigorous attack which destroyed a total of nine Japanese bombers and effectively disrupted the enemy’s plans. His superb airmanship and unyielding devotion to duty, maintained with complete disregard for his own personal safety, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Authority: Board of Awards: Serial 28 (March 2, 1943)

Action Date: 7-Aug-42

Service: Navy

Rank: Lieutenant

Company: Fighting Squadron 5 (VF-5)

Division: U.S.S. Saratoga (CV-3)

 

Navy Cross

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Hayden Martin Jensen, United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Fighter Plane in Fighting Squadron FIVE (VF-5), attached to the U.S.S. SARATOGA (CV-3), in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands Campaign, on 24 August 1942. Intercepting a division of enemy bombers as they peeled off in a determined dive for our surface units, Lieutenant Jensen, grimly trailing them down with persistent fire, shot three into the sea before they could release their bombs, and damaged a fourth. By his relentless fighting spirit and aggressive courage he saved one of our aircraft carriers from possible bomb hits and contributed greatly toward demoralization of the entire Japanese offensive. His superb airmanship and unyielding devotion to duty, maintained with complete disregard for his own personal safety, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: 24-Aug-42

Service: Navy

Rank: Lieutenant

Company: Fighting Squadron 5 (VF-5)

Division: U.S.S. Saratoga (CV-3)

 

Distinguished Flying Cross

SYNOPSIS: Lieutenant Hayden Martin Jensen, United States Navy, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Fighter Plane in Fighting Squadron FIVE (VF-5), attached to the U.S.S. SARATOGA (CV-3), in action against enemy Japanese forces during World War II.

Action Date: World War II

Service: Navy

Rank: Lieutenant

Battalion: Fighting Squadron 5 (VF-5)

Division: U.S.S. Saratoga (CV-3)


 

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Lieutenant (junior grade) Frank Green

Lieutenant (junior grade) Frank Green was also part of the Cactus Air Force.

He is in front row on the left next to Nesbitt who is sitting. I could not find more information if he survived the war which in a way is good news. The only thing I could find was this…

It might be Lieutenant (junior grade) Frank Green.

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/seattletimes/obituary.aspx?n=francis-e-green-frank&pid=148313965

This is part of his obituary…

In 1941 he graduated from Whitman College where he made lifelong friends. He enjoyed attending several reunions at Whitman. Frank enlisted in the Navy in 1941. After receiving his wings he trained pilots at Corpus Christi TX for the growing Pacific fleet. He was a carrier pilot and landing signal officer on the aircraft carrier Belleau Wood, in Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

 

Lieutenant David C. Richardson (1914-2015)

Source

https://www.usni.org/heritage/richardson

After growing up in Mississippi, Richardson attended the Naval Academy, where he was on the boxing team. Following his graduation in 1936, he served as a junior officer in the battleship Tennessee BB-43, and was on board when she went aground in San Francisco in 1937. He completed flight training in 1940 and reported to Fighting Squadron Five; the squadron was at times in CV-3, CV-4, CV-5, and CV-7. He flew F3Fs and F4Fs, including combat in the latter during the Guadalcanal campaign in 1942. Later in the war he was involved in tactical aviation training in Florida and carrier group readiness training in Hawaii.

After the war Richardson studied at the Royal Navy Staff College in London, later at the U.S. Naval War College, where he helped write analyses of wartime battles. He commanded Carrier Air Group 13 in the Princeton (CV-37), helped plan for the NATO military structure, and then was XO of the escort carrier Badoeng Strait (CVE-116) off Korea. After duty in aviation planning for ComAirPac and OP-05, he was on the CinCSouth staff in Naples, then commanded the oiler Cimarron (AO-22) and ASW carrier Hornet (CVS-12). He had a tour from 1961 to 1964 in the OP-06 organization in OpNav, then served as Commander Fleet Air Norfolk during his first flag tour.

In 1966 Admiral David McDonald, the CNO, chose Richardson to command Task Force 77 during carrier air strikes against North Vietnam. In that billet, Richardson did much to integrate intelligence, planning, and operations. After a tour as Assistant DCNO (Air), he served as Commander Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean, 1968-70. That tour was notable for Richardson’s role in creating the Ocean Surveillance Information System to monitor Soviet naval operations. His final active tour was as Deputy CinCPacFlt prior to his retirement in 1972. Since that time he has remained quite active in various roles in connection with the naval intelligence community.


Postscript

Lieutenant David C. Richardson (1914-2015) was amongst VF-5 pilots that fought alongside Marine pilots on Guadalcanal.

Captain Leroy Coard Simpler (1905-1988)

This says it all about VF-5 contribution to the Guadalcanal Campaign.

Excerpt from the book

FIGHTING FIVE’S VALEDICTORY

Beginning 17 October VF-5 reassembled at Efate after its eventful tour at CACTUS (11 September-16 October 1942). In a sense a phantom squadron, VF-5 contributed mightily to the defense of Guadalcanal, although it never received proper recognition of that fact. The big Navy squadron brought twenty-four F4F Wildcats and ultimately thirty-two experienced pilots to CACTUS at a time when Marine fighter strength ebbed. Credited with 45 kills (12 fighters, 21 medium bombers, 5 float-Zeros, and 7 float planes), Japanese records indicate VF-5 actually accounted for some 22 enemy planes (7 fighters, 8 land attack planes, 4 float-Zeros, and 3 float planes). During the same period, victory credits for VMF-223, VIM-224, and VMF-121 totaled 100 planes, whiLe enemy sources point to the real tally as about 38 (12 of 31 fighters, 15 of 47 medium bombers, 3 of 4 dive bombers, 1 of 2 reconnaissance planes, 2 of 3 float-Zeros, and 5 of 13 float planes). VF-5 lost six pilots killed or missing in action and four wounded and evacuated. Combat cost seven F4Fs, operational accidents six, and seven sustained bombs or shells on the ground)

In an analytical action report and with detailed interviews, Lieutenant Commander Simpler distilled the vital lessons from VF-5’s battle experiences on Guadalcanal.

They were especially important, for VF-5 saw the must protracted combat of any carrier fighting squadron. For the first time Navy VF fought from a land base rather than a flattop, and Simpler considered that “far more intense and difficult for VF”‘ than shipboard service. He found it necessary to watch his pilots carefully to see the effects of the “stress of continued action. The lack of adequate sleep and living conditions at Guadalcanal proved crucial: “A man’s ‘guts’ is directly proportional to how rested he is nothing more or less.” Simpler also elucidated his basic philosophy of command, which he followed to the letter at CAC’T’US:

In wartime, a squadron commander has got to be a squadron commander: he can’t be wishy-washy: he has to take responsibility freely. He’s got to assert himself always and never send anyone where he wouldn’t go himself.

He described in detail the familiar drawbacks of the Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat, namely low climb rate, slow speed, and insufficient range. He added the interesting observation:

The common practice is to judge a fighter by the number of planes it destroys. This is most misleading. Any fighter’s worth is determined by the number of enemy planes who escape to return again.

Under this criterion the noble Wildcat indeed proved deficient at CACTUS.

Simpler’s action report received favorable endorsements up the chain of command from ComSoPac to CominCh in Washington. Rear Admiral Fitch (1 December 1942) described it as an “excellent presentation,” and Admiral Halsey (20 December 1942) called it “timely, well concerned and most informative.” On 17 January 1943 VAdm. John Towers, ComAirPac, noted “the effectiveness of our carrier squadrons in combat operations from advanced shore bases is gratifying.” Certainly their training and fundamental doctrine appeared sound. Yet he was concerned about the misuse of specialist pilots, noting that they operated from ashore only from “grave necessity.” He desired the carrier pilots be reserved for sea duty if at all possible. On 22 February Rear Admiral Spruance, Pacific Fleet Chief of Staff, seconded Towers’s comments and stressed the need to conserve carrier pilots. He considered the “performance at Guadalcanal of Fighting Squadron Five, under the command of Lieutenant Commander Simpler, … highly commendable.”


https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=86270143

About Captain Leroy Coard Simpler (1905-1988)

Birth: June 19, 1905
Lewes, Sussex County, Delaware, USA
Death: November 6, 1988

Captain, U.S. Navy

From the Emil Buehler Library, National Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola, FL:

SIMPLER, LEROY COARD

Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to LeRoy Coard Simpler, Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Fighter Plane and Commanding Officer of Fighting Squadron FIVE (VF-5), embarked from the U.S.S. SARATOGA (CV-3), in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands during the period 11 September 1942 through 6 October 1942. Lieutenant Commander Simpler led his fighter squadron against overwhelming formations of enemy Japanese aircraft in the Solomon Islands area, thereby contributing to the destruction of 17 Japanese planes, and personally shooting down one Zero-type fighter. His squadron accounted for a total of 35 enemy planes during service in the area from 11 September to 6 October 1942. Lieutenant Commander Simpler’s outstanding courage, daring airmanship and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 313 (April 1943)

Born: June 19, 1905 at Lewes, Delaware
Home Town: Milton, Delaware

David Hansen’s Corsair, a fitting tribute to VF(N) 101

A Corsair for Bob

Collection David Hansen

http://imodeler.com/2017/06/a-corsair-for-bob/

 

Model by David Hansen

 

Colorised version done by Pierre Lagacé

 

Bob Brunson in 1946 (Collection Bob Brunson via Tom Harmer)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More on David Hansen

http://imodeler.com/author/david-hansen/

 

 

Preserving the past

Written by Tom Harmer, Richard Harmer’son

On September 7th, 1996 the Tailhook Association of aircraft carrier based fighter pilots issued this Lifetime achievement award to my Dad. On this Veteran’s Day I’m posting this in his honor. It includes a listing of most of the significant assignments he performed during his term of service in the Navy (1938 – 1965).


THE TAILHOOK ASSOCIATION
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD 9/7/96

Presented to Captain Richard E. Harmer, U.S. Navy, Retired

Richard E. “Chick” Harmer enlisted in the Navy in 1930 and served six months on board USS Saratoga (CV-3). Subsequently, he attended and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, and, after two years as a deck officer on board USS Mississippi, he entered Navy flight training and was designated a Naval Aviator in February 1938. Before World War II, he flew the SB2C Helldiver with Scouting Squadron 5 on the USS Yorktown out of Pearl Harbor, transferred to Fighting 5 (with the F3F-3 and later F4F-4) which later transferred to the USS Wasp (located in Bermuda on December 7th, 1941) and then reformed on the USS Saratoga along with the survivors from the Battle of Midway, at Pearl Harbor in July of 1942. In August of ’42, Harmer provided air cover as executive officer of the Fighting 5 Squadron in the capture of Guadalcanal and air-to-air combat with the Japanese in the carrier battles that followed.

Often referred to as “the father of night carrier operations,” Captain Harmer was among the first Naval Aviators, in the early stages of World War II to realize that significant tactical advantage could be gained through night fighter operations from U.S. aircraft carriers. Transferred to Project Affirm in November of 1942, the Navy’s aerial radar program, Harmer was instrumental in the development of night fighter tactics and, in early 1943, was assigned as commanding officer of VF(N)-101, the Navy’s first nightfighter squadron, flying the F4U-2 Corsair from the deck of USS Enterprise (CV-6). Under Harmer’s leadership, VF(N)-101 made a 1943 combat deployment in the Pacific which ended up in the Battle of Philippian Sea off of Saipan in the summer of 1944 which accounted for five confirmed enemy aircraft kills, one probable, and four damaged, without loss of aircraft or pilot of his squadron. In 1949, Composite Squadron 3 was established to train and provide night fighter detachments to Pacific Fleet carriers. Under Harmer’s leadership from 1949 to 1951, VC-3 established a baseline for carrier night fighter operations and tactics that proved highly valuable in 1950 and subsequent with the United States involvement in the Korean War.
Captain Harmer earned a Master’s Degree in Education at Stanford University, served as executive officer of both NAS Patuxent River and USS Princeton (CV-37), attended Naval War College, and had a Washington tour in the Bureau of Naval Personnel. He commanded the AVP Floydsbay (seaplane tender) USS Randolph (CVS-15 aircraft carrier), served as a carrier division chief of staff USS Independence, Chief of Staff of Thirteenth Naval District (Wa, Or, Id) and acting Commandant of Thirteenth Naval District prior to his retirement from active duty in 1965.

Presented with greatest respect and admiration, by and for the membership of the Tailhook Association, this Seventh day of September 1996.


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