Talk:Marc Mitscher

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Untitled[edit]

I suspect that the reference to the "Mitscher Method" of turnip juice extraction is bogus. I can't find this anywhere else after a fair bit of Googling.

Jay Verkuilen jvverkuilen@gmail.com

Naming honor[edit]

NAS Miramar's airfield was called "Mitscher Field," in honor of this pioneer naval aviator.

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 04:08, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Falsified AAR[edit]

Does anyone know the reference for the bit about Mitscher falsifying his AAR at Midway? I've never heard this before, couldn't find anything about it in the online references, and a Google search turned up nothing.

--Arpadkorossy (talk) 18:45, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Agreed. A reference is sorely needed since Mitscher was, in the words of the great John Keegan, "a master of fast carrier operations", this alleged falsification is a major blemish to his reptuation and an accusation of this gravity should not be made without sources. Jonathan Chin —Preceding unsigned comment added by 140.109.140.87 (talk) 08:54, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Added and sourced. The material comes form Mrazek's book and is corroborated by several pieces of evidence, most notably that VF 10 pilots that ditched were found along a westerly heading, not the 239 heading in Mitscher's report. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dallan007 (talkcontribs) 17:23, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

Admiral Spruance, Mitscher's superior in the battle, refused to endorse the Hornet's after-action report as well. I believe that is also noted in "A Dawn Like Thunder". Best regards TheBaron0530 (talk) 21:39, 16 November 2016 (UTC)theBaron0530

making LCDR dates?[edit]

This page sites 2 different dates for when he make Lieutenant Commander. Is it February 1919, as listed in Early Life & Career, or is it July 1, 1921 as listed in Interwar Assignments? I am trying to find the dates elsewhere for verification, but am having difficulty finding anything concrete.

Melissa (1/21/10) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.249.19.66 (talk) 20:20, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Battle of the Philippine Sea[edit]

His actions during this battle was a major risk, and should receive more emphasis. The article on this battle give this more, and better, treatment. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.214.44.131 (talk) 23:21, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

Battles for the Central Pacific[edit]

The article incorrectly places Mitscher in command of the fast carrier force in the Marshalls and Gilberts operation. Admiral Pownall had command then. [1]

I believe the article states that Admiral Mitscher took command just after the task force had completed operations in the Gilbert Islands. He was in command by the time the Navy was ready to invade the Marshalls.Gunbirddriver (talk) 18:25, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

The timeline of Mitscher's operations in the Central Pacific is inaccurate. His first raid with Task Force 58 on the Marianas (Feb. 21-22) took place AFTER the raid on Truk (Feb. 16-17).

I think it is correct now, but if you have a good source and can site the chain of events you are free to do so. Gunbirddriver (talk) 18:25, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

There is no mention that the first Truk raid, Operation Hailstone (Feb 16-17, 1944) had the strategic value of proving that Truk could be bypassed, thereby clarifying that the next amphibious operation would be in the Marianas. This should be clear in an article on Admiral Mitscher.

I don't believe that question was answered with the Truk raid. The big point on the Truk raid was that they could pull it off at all. That was what no one (except Mitscher) really believed, as the mantra was land based aircraft are always superior to carrier based aircraft, plus their airbases cannot be sunk. The main point to stress on the Truk raid was that it showed the FCTF could take on almost any target, and go wherever and do whatever it pleased. Later, the FCTF showed it could just stand off shore and battle away against the local air defenses, as it did off Okinawa. The Truk raid began the change in the assessment of the staying power that the FCTF possessed. However I know they were considering whether or not Truk had to be taken. If you can source it than it could be added. Gunbirddriver (talk) 18:25, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

The entry makes no mention of Admiral Pownall at all, nor of his perceived deficiencies in command. Pownall was in command of the fast carriers during the Marshalls campaign. Mitscher replaced him in command because of Pownall's perceived deficiencies. This is significant in that Pownall's relief opened up the big job for Mitscher -- a job he would hold for the rest of the war. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Leftdefense (talkcontribs) 18:20, 22 May 2014 (UTC)

I believe that's true, that King was not satisfied with the aggressiveness of Pownall and he was rotated out of command. Mitscher came from shore duty in San Diego to command Carrier Division 3, and his command was soon expanded to be the whole of the FCTF, but he did not hold that command for the duration - as the Navy rotates commanders and McCain relieved Mitscher. Now it's true that McCain's rotation was delayed due to the fact that he was not an aviator and Mitscher was clearly more qualified, but that decision again came from King and Nimitz (of course). Admiral Pownall has his own page, and the details on why he was rotated away and not brought back would be better placed there.
Anyway, you do not need me or any other editor to change things. If your facts are right and you can cite them, then go ahead and correct the record. If other editors are not in agreement then they will revert it and you can talk about it on the talk page and attempt to gain an consensus from interested editors. We will then go with the consensus opinion, assuming it can be supported by proper, reliable ciatations. Gunbirddriver (talk) 18:25, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ Clark, J. J., Carrier Admiral, 1967

Carrier commander - unclear sentence[edit]

Hornet, then, was the real life "Shangri-la" that president Roosevelt referred to in his announcement of the bombing attack on Tokyo.

I'm a UK reader. This sentence appears strange to me. It needs clarification or (if anyone thinks it's loose and unencyclopaedic) deletion.

Kind regards, Notreallydavid (talk) 14:41, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

Yes, the planes were launched from the carrier Hornet. I am not sure if you are familiar with the events of the day, but the Roosevelt administration was quite unwilling to divulge any information about their secret military operations. Reports on the raid against Tokyo had appeared in Tokyo newspapers the day after, but when asked President Roosevelt had no comment. After some passage of time he was finally willing to concede that the raid had been accomplished with a group of US Army Air Force B-25 bombers. When asked where they had come from, all he would say was “Shangri-La":
Playing coy, Roosevelt said the bombers had taken off from “Shangri-La,” a fictional location in the 1933 novel “Lost Horizon.” Two years later, as an homage to the president’s wisecrack, the Navy commissioned an aircraft carrier named the USS Shangri-La.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/apr/12/news-doolittle-raid-leaks-slowly-roosevelt-silence/#ixzz3EMKnFAkT

I thought the sentence was clear enough, but perhaps one would need to know that even after the raid was completed the mission was kept secret, or perhaps more background on the phrase? I am not sure how it needs to be fixed. Feel free to reword it. Gunbirddriver (talk) 20:08, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

Controversy after Midway[edit]

We should be careful including this material into the article as it is rather speculative. Mrazek speaks of Mitcher's report as though he had authored it with intention to cover his mistakes to help keep his reputation spotless. Mitscher did not write after action reports. He assigned then to a subordinate and almost always signed them unread. The one exception was Burke's report following the Battle of the Phillipine Sea, which Mitscher was prepared to sign off on unread. However, Burke felt a chance to destroy the Japanese carrier fleet had been missed and he was critical of Spruance in his report. That being so, Burke insisted that Mitscher read the report before signing off on it. Mitscher did so, and then had Burke change the report so that Spruance was not criticized in it. This episode not only illustrates that Mitscher did not write reports, but it also shows his tendency to avoid blaming others for mistakes and missed chances. He would have been no different following Midway. He felt he had failed, but he would never have blamed his flight group leaders in an after action report that he wrote up. Gunbirddriver (talk) 18:16, 9 June 2015 (UTC)

The theory has legs, having been picked up by Parshall and Tully and by Symonds. We should include some of this material in the article, since it is a significant view of the battle, while acknowledging that it is controversial. That's the Wikipedia way, as near as I can tell.
If you look in the article above this paragraph that has been added you will see these events explained. Stanhope C. Ring was the air group leader, and he had the say on what heading the groups should take. Ring decided on 263 degrees (due west) as the best course to find the Japanese. It may be he took that heading looking for a second pair of carriers, as only two were identified in the PBY's report. That is not known. It is known John C. Waldron, commanding the torpedo squadron, was adamant that 239 degrees (southwest) would be the best course to engage. Waldron was over ruled, and the groups took off together, as was the air doctrine, to make a coordinated attack with SDBs and Devastators, while the Wildcats flew fighter protection. Ring led the groups on course 263. Some time after take off Waldron broke radio silence(!) and told Ring they were going to miss the Japanese fleet. Ring insisted that the groups stay together as per doctrine. Waldron disobeyed his orders and took his Devastators to course 240.(!?) Breaking up the air groups was against orders and against air doctrine. It meant that if either group did find the Japanese carriers they would have to face the Japanese air defense by themselves. The act was a courtmartial level offense. In the event he lost his whole group. Meanwhile, there was no second pair of carriers to the north, and Ring missed completely to the north. The Enterprise SBDs did fly off at 239 degrees and they missed completely as well, but to the south. However they did spot the Arashi steaming at high speed north to regain the carrier task force. The Enterprise SDB group followed the heading of the destroyer northward and ended up flying straight to the carrier group. Their attacks placed bombs on the Kaga and Akagi, resulting in their eventual sinking. The fact that the report submitted by Mitscher on June 13 fails to point out these events is not surprising, as he was not a man to ridicule his aviators if he felt they were doing their best. There is no way he was going to expose Waldron to a posthumous court martial. Mrazek suggests that the omissions were due to Mitscher's desire to avoid personal criticism. That is completely speculative. That is, the claim is made with no evidence of support. Mitshcer's career is lengthy and well documented. In full review of his extensive career, Mrazek is unable to point to a single episode that would match the motivations that he suggests guided Mitscher's actions here. In fact, Burke relates that Mitscher ordered Burke to destroy Mitscher's personal records at the end of his career for fear that in reviewing them some people would be critical of officers Mitscher had served with. Mitscher did not want that. Burke destroyed them as he was directed. Such a defamatory claim as Mrazek makes should not be included in the wiki article without having some sort of support for it. Symonds' article concludes that the after action report filed by Mitscher did not mention the failure of the group leaders to follow orders because the victory had been complete and there was nothing to be gained by sullying the records of his officers. Therefore, he submitted a report that was not accurate on the facts. Symond is saying Mitscher did this for his men, not for himself. I find that to be plausible and consistent with Mitscher's career, but it is still conjecture. Either the section in question should omitted from the article, or it should be re-written in a neutral voice. Specualtive statements should be excluded, and the section should be properly cited with page numbers. Gunbirddriver (talk) 01:44, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
I've had a chance to reveiw "Shattered Sword" by Parshall and Tully. I find no place where they suggest Mitscher falsified his battle report to place himself in a better light. They do state that Ring was in command of the air groups, that the Hornet's groups departed together at 07:55, and they suggest the course was due west. They go on to state that Waldron left company at 08:25 and took a new course of his own accord. Gunbirddriver (talk) 15:05, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
I think the issue definitely needs to be included in Mitscher's bio because it remains an important question about how the man is perceived and it pertains to a major battle that he took part in. What has been generally accepted is the fact that Ring led his pilots on a 263 heading, and the AAR says it was 239. Whether he wrote it or not, Mitscher signed off on that AAR and no other reports were filed, not by Ring or any of the other surviving squadron commanders. Mitsher's motivations are what's speculative. Either he did it to protect the reputation (or in Waldron's case the memory) of his fliers, or he (or his staff) did it to cover their tracks. Mrazek states that Mitscher backed Ring's choices even over Waldron's protests. It seems highly unlikely that a seasoned aviator like Mistcher would not have some say as to where his birds were going. Whatever the cause, this is an important moment in Mitscher's career and the fact that it remains controversial (as evidenced by this discussion) warrants its inclusion.Dallan007 (talk) 17:42, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
I agree with Dallan007, but it needs to be handled better. Let us consider a reworking of it. Gunbirddriver (talk) 17:49, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

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