"Wake Island Sentinel"

The Ready Room

Acrylic on Canvas, 14" x 18"

     Carl Davidson was born on January 19, 1917. He was the only child of Harry and Della Davidson of Canistota, South Dakota; Della died in the 1920s and Harry gave up farming to become a merchant before remarrying and moving to Sioux Falls.    Bob    Davidson graduated from the University of South Dakota in June 1938, and decided on a career in the armed forces.

     On December 22, Carl Lieutenant Davidson climbed into Wildcat F-9 and took off from Wake. The time was 1000; mechanical problems prevented his wingman, Captain Herbert Freuler, from taking off for another thirty minutes. It was a beautiful day for flying, and visibility was such that Davidson was able to see a flight of 33 carrier-based    Kate    bombers, escorted by six Zeros, approaching Wake Island. He radioed his discovery to Freuler, kicked the throttle, and engaged despite overwhelming odds.

    Captain Freuler, racing to the aid of his comrade, saw Davidson    hot on the heels of one Zero, but another enemy fighter had come up behind the lieutenant   s F4F-3 with its guns blazing. The last Freuler saw of them, the three planes were receding into the far distance over the ocean with the Grumman still tightly sandwiched between the two Zeros.   1Freuler soon had troubles of his own; two more Zeros latched onto his fighter, shooting up the engine and wounding him in the shoulder. He lost sight of Davidson in his struggle to evade the attackers, and managed to land just before his aircraft   s engine died for good.

     Lieutenant Davidson was never seen again; PO3 Isao Tahara of the Hiryu (the same pilot who had wounded Freuler) claimed credit for shooting Davidson   s Wildcat into the sea.2 No trace of him or his airplane was ever found.

-Missing Marines.com

26/03/2019 13:21:13

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