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After Action Report
Date of Action: October 3, 2008
VMF-251 took off at 2305 with nine F4F-4 Wildcats. Squadron assigned to defend carrier task group with 412th and VFA-169. 251 circled CV to form up and climb to altitude. Flights organized as follows:
At Angels 15 squadron split up. Red Flight began patrol arc from bearing 90 of task force to bearing 000, Blue Flight from 000 to 90. Flights further divided between Angels 15 and Angels 25.
At or about 2315 contact made by ranging patrols with enemy 109 fighters. Blue Flight encountered enemy with high element of Red led by Sidle at about 2330. Remainder of Red under Wyatt turned NW after carrier warning.
At about 2335 Wyatt and HAMMERR encountered Bf-110s attacking carrier group, already engaged by 412th. Wyatt and HAMMERR engaged, but unable to intercept due to superior speed of enemy. CV not maneuvering and quickly sunk by enemy strike. Wyatt and HAMMER continued pursuit, and HAMMERR downed 110 at 2340.
Red Flight regrouped and proceeded NE to last position of Blue, engaged by number of 109s. Red sighted enemy at about 8000ft and engaged. Bodie shot down 109 at 2339. Morgan downed 109 at 2342. Red Flight entered engagement at about 2345. Wyatt downed 109 at 2345, and HAMMERR and Sidle each claimed another at 2346. Bodie shot down 2345 and Roche damaged and forced to bail out on egress at 2346. Wyatt claimed additional 109 at 2348, before being wounded.
Squadron on deck and attempted egress. Sidle shot down 2348, and Gwardyak at 2349. Wyatt crashed after blacking out from wounds at 2350, and Trol shot down 2351.Morgan, HAMMERR and Lane withdrew. Lane crashed at 0008. Morgan and HAMMERR recovered by 0008.