A selection of related stories of
U.S. Naval Aviation In the South Pacific during WW II

Featuring the Lexington Aircraft Carrier
and her dedicated crew as key participants in

The Battle of the Marianas — June 1944

Chapter 3
The Tom Bronn Story

Page 6 of 7 Pages

Reminiscent Words and Images from Tom Bronn

Memories of a personal
incident involving
Admiral Mitscher.

From reading this collection or stories, you are aware Admiral Mitscher spent most of his time in Flight Operations, seated looking aft and from there watched carrier operations. On my 75th carrier landing I failed to catch a wire and went into the barrier designed to stop a plane that failed to catch a wire. We pilots knew that the Admiral always requested that the pilot who hit the barrier come up to Flight Operations to “visit” with him. When my plane was secured on the deck, I expected to be greeted by a messenger requesting that I go see the Admiral.

As stated in other parts of this collection of Lexington stories, Admiral Mitscher’s main office was the bridge of the carrier flagship, Lexington, of Task Force 58. While stepping down from his observation chair he is quoted as saying “Anybody who rides with the wind in his face is a plain damn fool.”

Photo Ctsy: Mission Beyond Darkness by Bryan & Reed

The messenger was there but with a message I did not expect. I learned that day that the Admiral was not just enjoying the fresh air from his perch. He had focused on the tailhook on my plane and saw that the hydraulic system that held the hook in an extended and downward direction had failed and my hook was bouncing over every wire that I normally would have had an opportunity to catch. The message from the Admiral was that the barrier crash was not my fault. Just another reason why this former Naval Aviator holds Admiral Mitscher in such high esteem.

War Years Photos

Above:Mr. (Tom) and Mrs. (Jim) Bronn,
shortly after Tom’s commissioning and
their wedding in November 1942.
Photo Ctsy: Tom Bronn

Above: Aviation Cadet Tom Bronn with sister Betty, ca 1942
Photo Ctsy: Tom Bronn

Tom Bronn with
ARM/1c E. P. Linson,
Radio-Radar Crewman,
Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii,
14 January 1944
Photo Ctsy: Tom Bronn

Del Delgado, Tom’s shipboard
roommate on the Lexington,
killed during battle for Saipan.
Honolulu, Hawaii
Mid-Summer, 1943
Photo Ctsy: Tom Bronn

Above: Mac McLellan
Maui, Hawaii
Late 1943

Right: Formal portrait of
Tom Bronn at time of
departure from active
duty, September 1945

Photos Ctsy: Tom Bronn

Chapter 3— End of Page 6 of 7 Pages — Go to Page 7

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Cover PageEditor’s IntroductionTable of Contents

Fred Gwynn’s “Torpedo 16 Chapter — 1234


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