Abercrombie, William Warner, ENS

Fallen
 
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Last Rank
Ensign
Last Primary NEC
131X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Pilot
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1941-1942, VT-8
Service Years
1940 - 1942
Ensign
Ensign

 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
Oregon
Oregon
Year of Birth
1914
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Nicole Summers, MMFN to remember Abercrombie, William Warner, ENS.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Medford, OR
Last Address
Marriam, KS

Casualty Date
Jun 04, 1942
 
Cause
Hostile-Body Not Recovered
Reason
Air Loss, Crash - Sea
Location
Pacific Ocean
Conflict
World War II
Location of Interment
Forest Hills Cemetery - Kansas City, Missouri
Wall/Plot Coordinates
(memorial marker)

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 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Early in the morning of 4 Jun 1942 Hornet launched her air group of 59 planes to attack the Japanese carriers. VT-8, separated from the rest of the Air Group, found the enemy carriers and commenced their attack. And attack they did! Headlong into the maelstrom without fighter protection the 15 planes of VT-8 pressed their attack through an onslaught of enemy fighter and anti-aircraft fire. One by one the torpedo planes were sent hurtling into the sea. All 15 aircraft were shot down with the loss of 29 of the 30 aircrew. ENS Abercrombie and his radioman/gunner, ARM2 Bernard P. Phelps did not return. Their remains were unrecoverable.            
   
Comments/Citation

Service number: 098514

Navy Cross
Awarded for actions during World War II
Service: Navy
Battalion: Torpedo Squadron 8 (VT-8)
Division: U.S.S. Hornet (CV-8)
Citation: The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Ensign William Warner Abercrombie (NSN: 0-98514), United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Torpedo Plane of Torpedo Squadron EIGHT (VT-8), attached to the U.S.S. HORNET (CV-8), during the "Air Battle of Midway," against enemy Japanese forces on 4 June 1942. Grimly aware of the hazardous consequences of flying without fighter protection, and with insufficient fuel to return to his carrier, Ensign Abercrombie, resolutely, and with no thought of his own life, delivered an effective torpedo attached against violent assaults of enemy Japanese aircraft and against an almost solid barrage of anti-aircraft fire. His courageous action, carried out with a gallant spirit of self-sacrifice and a conscientious devotion to the fulfillment of his mission, was a determining factor in the defeat of the enemy forces and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
 
   
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Pacific Air Offensive (1942-45)/Doolittle B-25 Attack on Tokyo
Start Year
1942
End Year
1942

Description
The Doolittle Raid, also known as the Tokyo Raid, on 18 April 1942, was an air raid by the United States on the Japanese capital Tokyo and other places on Honshu island during World War II, the first air raid to strike the Japanese Home Islands. It demonstrated that Japan itself was vulnerable to American air attack, served as retaliation for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, and provided an important boost to U.S. morale while damaging Japanese morale. The raid was planned and led by Lieutenant Colonel James "Jimmy" Doolittle, U.S. Army Air Forces.

Sixteen U.S. Army Air Forces B-25B Mitchell medium bombers were launched without fighter escort from the U.S. Navy's aircraft carrier USS Hornet deep in the Western Pacific Ocean, each with a crew of five men. The plan called for them to bomb military targets in Japan, and to continue westward to land in China—landing a medium bomber on Hornet was impossible. Fifteen of the aircraft reached China, and the other one landed in the Soviet Union. All but three of the crew survived, but all the aircraft were lost. Eight crewmen were captured by the Japanese Army in China; three of these were executed. The B-25 that landed in the Soviet Union at Vladivostok was confiscated and its crew interned for more than a year. Fourteen crews, except for one crewman, returned either to the United States or to American forces.

After the raid, the Japanese Imperial Army conducted a massive sweep through the eastern coastal provinces of China, in an operation now known as the Zhejiang-Jiangxi Campaign, searching for the surviving American airmen and applying retribution on the Chinese who aided them, in an effort to prevent this part of China from being used again for an attack on Japan. An estimated 250,000 Chinese civilians were killed by the Japanese during this operation.

The raid caused negligible material damage to Japan, but it succeeded in its goal of raising American morale and casting doubt in Japan on the ability of its military leaders to defend their home islands. It also caused Japan to withdraw its powerful aircraft carrier force from the Indian Ocean to defend their Home Islands, and the raid contributed to Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto's decision to attack Midway Island in the Central Pacific—an attack that turned into a decisive strategic defeat of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) by the U.S. Navy in the Battle of Midway. Doolittle, who initially believed that loss of all his aircraft would lead to his being court-martialled, received the Medal of Honor and was promoted two steps to Brigadier General.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1942
To Year
1942
 
Last Updated:
Oct 12, 2018
   
Personal Memories
   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  62 Also There at This Battle:
 
  • Harp, Edward Blaine, RADM, (1929-1961)
  • Meek, W. D., AN, (1941-1945)
  • Nowatzki, Richard, LCDR, (1941-1973)
  • Saunders, Billie, HR, (1942-1945)
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