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Lady Lex Located


Well-Known Member
According to Wikipedia:

TBD-1, Bureau Number 0298
Ex-VT-5 / USS Yorktown (CV-5) "5-T-7", Jaluit Lagoon, Marshall Islands.[34]
TBD-1 BuNo 0353
Ex-NAS Miami, Atlantic Ocean, Miami, Florida.[35]
TBD-1 BuNo 1515
Ex-VT-5 / USS Yorktown (CV-5) "5-T-6", Jaluit Lagoon, Marshall Islands.[32]
TBD-1 BuNo 0377
Ex-VT-2 / USS Lexington (CV-2) "6-T-7", Pacific Ocean, Mission Beach, California.[33][36]”

Looks like the Pensacola Museum was after the CA TBD a few years ago but there hasn’t been any recent news on recovery efforts.
I am convinced there is one in an old barn somewhere in Kansas and when I find it the farmer will say..."Son, she's all yours if you can get her out of there." :)
I knew salvagers pulled a bunch of WWII Navy planes out of Lake Michigan, but I didn't know that the salvage company was funded from the Pensacola Naval Air Museum. In 2011, a TBD was found off of San Diego, but alas it was too damaged to pull it up.
I believe the deal with those pulled out of the lake was an exchange of at least one restored to display condition for several that could then be rebuilt and would remain the property of the salvage crew. I might have the numbers mixed up, but I do know there was some type of agreement where both parties would end up with airframe(s).


Well-Known Member
I've been digging around. These kills could only have come from February 20, 1942. USS Saratoga had been torpedoed during a failed raid on Wake Island. VF-3 was taken off and sent over to the Lexington so VF-2 could "school up" on that fancy new Wildcat. Lexington departed Pearl to sweep down south and raid along the Gilbert and Marshall's chain. On February 20, 1942 IJN Rear Admiral Goto, ordered his 24th Air Flotillla (sound cools, why don't we have "air flotilla's?) to send all 17 of her Mitsubishi "Betty" bombers from Rabul to strike at the Lexington. To better search for the Americans, the Japanese split their aircraft into two groups and Lexington's radar acquired one of these at 16:25. The CAP (VF-3) tore into these teams of bombers destroying all 17. In fact, this is where Butch O'Hare cut his teeth.

Looking at the wreck, the airplane is marked either F-5 or F-6 (I think F-5) meaning it is the second or third aircraft in the second section of the squadron. (The one in the image is the third aircraft of the first section.) with a little bit of homework it would be easy to find out who was in that section and maybe even that ship. What I am fascinated by is the small red mark to left of the kills. Is that a "fighter sweep" broom? Did this ship strafe a submarine conning tower? There is more here than a stunning view of an old hero.
I thought I had read some history of the F4F with a name associated with it last night but now I can’t find it. Harrumph.

I was going to try and figure out where those kills would’ve come from myself, my guess would’ve been the Gilbert’s and Marshall raids as you figured.


Well-Known Member
I just guessed on reading about the events on shooting down all the Bettys, and figuring he got another kill at Midway.................what's WIX?