As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.
George H.W. Bush once said that the only Heroes in World War II had been killed in action. He was only a survivor.
I wonder about heroic acts and criminal acts. I wonder about how many times an American pilot bragged about what a hero he was, when an event like this took place.
In World War II, in the South Pacific, the submarines were the frontline after Pearl Harbor, and they were the American war effort, period. As America advanced back across the Pacific, the subs were often stationed as rescue flankers to pull Americans out of the water, from certain death. In one such operation the Tunny was in Palau and had just done battle with the Imperial Japanese super battleship, Musashi.
Tunny had struck the big girl with two solid hits, but the Musashi was maneuvering to get away, and survived for 6 more months in the war.
As the Tunny was in position then as a rescue ship, she surfaced awaiting radio orders and was observing the American bombers in action, when she spotted nine torpedo dive bombers. I will leave the story form from this point:
"The following day Tunny's jinx caught up with her again. While on surface 30 miles west of Palau, waiting for calls to pick up downed aviators, and watching our planes bombing, she sighted a formation of nine torpedo bombers passing to westward. Suddenly, two of them peeled off and headed for Tunny. The leading plane turned away but the second came so low that U.S. wingmarkings were plainly visible and dropped a 2,000-pound bomb, which landed 30 feet from the starboard side and exploded abreast the maneuvering room. Scott had already "pulled the plug" and the submarine went deep to check damage.
The shock of the explosion caused only a short and a fire in the main power control cubicle which was quickly extinguished. At the time of this attack, Tunny was well within the area where bombing of submarines was forbidden. Some trigger-happy fly-fly boy had again narrowly missed killing 80 of his countrymen and destroying a 10 million dollar ship stationed at that particular spot for the express purpose of saving his life."
There were in place specific regulations from the Fleet to not ever attack submarines, unless they were firing on the American ships first, as the subs were extremely vulnerable in these waters.
That is what is without excuse in this. These pilots knew the area they were in. Their commander knew the orders. The fleet knew the rules, and there were aviators pealing off, making a diving run on an American submarine.
I doubt these aviators were ever disciplined or that a fitting end was met in being shot down by the Japanese. Instead, this officer most likely returned to America, to a nice high paying war industry job, where he wowed people about what a fly boy hero he was.
Thankfully for the crew and families of the Tunny, this hero was as bad of pilot as he was an American, because he had almost murdered a group of Americans. And you have to know fly boys, in this bastard pulled off, looking to get glory for his attack.
Not all are heroes. There are far more cowards, and in them interspersed, are murderers who showed up in numbers of families in America, whose children tell tales about how brave their hero was.