Skip to comments.Today in U.S. military history: first Naval aviator to earn the Medal of Honor
Posted on 08/21/2018 7:27:55 AM PDT by fugazi
1918: When enemy fighters shoot down Ensign George M. Ludlows Machhi M.5 seaplane (featured image) off the Austria-Hungary coast, Charles H. Hammann lands beside him and rescues the downed aviator. Hammans fighter is also damaged, and the winds high and seas choppy, but he manages to take off with Ludlow holding the struts behind him (the plane wasnt designed to carry two pilots) and flies 65 miles across the Adriatic Sea to the air station at Porto Cassini, Italy. The plane sinks from the weight of the extra passenger after landing but both aviators are safe.
Hammann, an enlisted pilot at the time, becomes the first Naval aviator awarded the Medal of Honor and commissioned as an ensign after his daring flight.
1942: On Guadalcanal, around 900 soldiers of Japans 17th Army slam into about 2,500 Marines manning positions along Alligator Creek. Wave after wave of Japanese soldiers are cut down by the Marines, killing well over 700 attackers including the Japanese commander while inflicting nearly 100 percent casualties.
1944: The F8F-1 Bearcat Grummans last piston-powered fighter makes its first flight. The warplane can fly faster and climb more quickly than the venerable Hellcat, but enters service too late to see action in World War II. The Blue Angels will begin using the Bearcat for their demonstrations, and many Navy and Marine aviators including Neil Armstrong consider the agile warplane as their favorite.
1957: The Soviet Union launches the R-7 Semyorka (the seven in Russian), the worlds first intercontinental ballistic missile. The R-7 was capable of carrying a 3-ton nuclear
(Excerpt) Read more at victoryinstitute.net ...
They probably would have tipped their wings in salute and may have escorted him back. People on both sides saluted and respected their vanquished foes.
WHAT? It wasn’t juan mclame? Yeah, I know better.
Unfortunately Hamann was killed in an aircraft accident at Langley Field, Virginia less than a year later. Hence the Sims Class destroyer named for him sunk at the Battle of Midway.
During the early stage of WWI, enemy aviators used to salute one another in the air. That is, until one of them brought a gun...
Reminds me of...Pardo’s Push
It was considered bad form during WWI to gun down an already downed pilot. Probably had to do with the fact that flying then was hairy enough as it was, so respect was given.
That all changed by the next war, for the most part. Everyone and everything was a target. However, there were a few examples of chivalry performed by luftwaffe pilots towards crippled allied aircraft in WWII.
Long sideburns, holy schnapps, waltz music.
Any idea where to obtain a good resume of Hammann’s brief sojourn on this earth? His family, upbringing, etc? Fascinating he was likely raised in the same place and era as Babe Ruth.
Does such a bio exist? If not, it should!
USS Hammann DD-412 was tied up along side the damaged USS Yorktown CV-5 on June the 6th 1942. She was aiding the DC parties on Yorktown when 1 of 4 torpedoes fired at Yorktown, by a Japanese submarine, hit her amidships. She sank in less than 4 minutes. Eighty of her sailors were killed. In later years, Hammann survivors were always warmly welcomed at the reunions of the Yorktown crew.
It is a Macchi M5, not a Machhi M5.
The F8F Bearcat just missed seeing action in WWII.
VF-19 had re-equipped with the fighter and was on board the Langley steaming for the warzone west of Hawaii when the Japanese surrendered.
That’s interesting, the DD-412... The DD-214 is the discharge certificate for former military types...
I haven’t seen anything extended about him. Brief background on MOH site. I did not check the USNA Alumni site.
Thank you. I will do a little more research, and if nothing exists maybe I will poke around and get some info and write something myself. Theres no excuse for somebody else during an intrepid as that to be forgotten.
As daring and.
I knew he died in 1919, but didn’t know until I read the comments here that it was due to an aircraft accident. There are some pretty smart people here at FR and that’s why I share, to see the discussions.
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