Chichi Jima

August 3 - 4, 1944:

Contact was made with the Japanese supply ships and their escorting warships just north of Chichi Jima Island and torpedo planes and dive bombers from the Task Force were launched to intercept and destroy the enemy warships.  Chichi Jima was the furthest north of the islands in the Volcano and Bonin Islands group and less than 500 miles off the coast of mainland Japan and Tokyo.

Torpedo Squadron 31 was launched from USS Cabot to take part in this engagement along with fighter aircraft which which flew cover for them.

In 2 days of this engagement all Japanese vessels were sunk.

4 cargo ships of 4,000 tons
3 escorting destroyers
1 light cruiser
5 barges carrying troops
Several smaller auxiliary vessels were sunk

Lt. Edward. E. Wood commanding officer of VT-31 is credited with sinking Matsu class destroyer escort in the attack
Lt. James Stewart is credited with sinking 2 troop barges and a direct hit on a Matsu class escort destroyer.
Lt. Packenham is credited with torpedoing and sinking an AK (cargo ship)
Ens. Mellin is credited with a direct hit on an AK (cargo ship)

Bombing and strafing missions were flown over Iwo Jima and Chichi Jima Islands once again and airfields, buildings, gun emplacements, and barracks were destroyed. Several aircraft were destroyed on the ground. FIghter aircraft from the other aircraft carriers in Task Force 38 did engage and shoot down enemy aircraft but VF-31 did not encounter any

Lt (jg) Donald Hornberger, airman AMM2c Robert Anderson, and radioman ARM2c Kenneth Pohl of Torpedo Squadron 31 were lost in this action


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