Albert O. 'scoop' Vorse  Albert Vorse
Squadron: VF-2, VF-3, VF-6,VF-80
Ship: USS Lexington, Saratoga,
Enterprise, Ticonderoga, Hancock
Kills: 10 1/2    Plane: F4U/F4F/F6F
Medals: Navy Cross,Silver Star,
DFC(2),Air Medal
F6F
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    "Scoop" Vorse was one of the 'few' who were responsible for developing the tactics that later stood in good stead the whole of the US effort against the Japanese.
 
   

Tribute to an unsung hero

Copyright -2009- cv14@cv14.com
Additional photos,documents and text
courtesy of the Vorse Family - All rights reserved

    

      Albert Ogden (scoop) Vorse was born August 9, 1914 in Philadelphia, Pa. later moved to Andover Massachusetts where he attended Phillips Academy H.S.
      Perhaps the first Andover boy decorated in the war, he graduated from this school in 1933 and after four years of training at the naval academy graduated in 1937. After further extensive training, was sent out to the Marshall Islands. He was on both the USS Saratoga and USS Lexington when they were sunk. When he was a lieutenant, he was in the first group of planes to land on Guadalcanal.



      
On July 3, 1942, He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for His Participation in the Gilbert and Marshall  Islands engagements that February.


      



In August of 1942 Vorse was flying with VF-6 off USS Enterprise. Included here are some brief accounts of some of the actions while flying CAPS(Combat Air Patrols) in the area.


      Guadalcanal Landings - 7-8 August 1942


      August 7 1942 FLIGHT 324

    1313-1320: Nine VF launched. Lt.(jg) H.E. RUTHERFORD, leader.
     Mission:      Special Flight to get planes in the air for attack. Took the place of Flight 324.
     Action:        Five VF patrolled over Carriers. Four VF went to TULAGI. At about 1430 Lieut. A.O. VORSE, Jr. sighted three enemy dive-bombers at 10,000 feet, half way between TULAGI and GUADALCANAL. Shot one down in a dive. Remaining VF did not get close enough to open fire.

      Lt. Scoop Vorse, who was leading a pair of other Fighting-6 Wildcats over the western anchorage off Guadalcanal. was the first American to realize an attack was under way. Vorse happened to look down from 11,000 feet in time to see one of three japanese 'vals' rolling into its dive against a group of cruisers and destroyers anchored below. In a split second 'scoop' rolled straight into a dive of his own. His two wingmen saw him go, but they were unable to follow, and they did not see any targets in time to figure out what was going on. A little late off the mark-he was lucky to have been on the mark at all. Vorse was barely able to keep contact with the diving Vals. The best he could do for the moment was park well behind the tail of the rear Val and open fire from long range.
     The first val headed for destroyer Mugford and after it was spotted the Captain ordered a sharp turn to starboard. The first val dropped its bombs but missed its target. One of the second vals bombs struck the Mugford's aft super structure and killed twenty-one crewmen. The third val,never made a move on the injured destroyer, or any other ship. Scoop Vorse had been firing all the way down; certainly his bullets struck the Val, for the airplane's descent was marked by a trail of smoke. Whatever occurred, the Val dived straight into the water without ever lining up on a ship or opening its dive brakes. Score one for Lt Scoop Vorse, who pulled out to chase the other two but could not find them. Vorse was credited with one kill while the naval ships below were credited with the other two.


      USS ENTERPRISE 8-22-42
At daylight we were about 50 miles south of GUADALCANAL unfortunately no enemy vessels were reported in the TULAGI area.

At 0800 a section of SARATOGA scouts sighted and strafed an enemy destroyer about 75 miles north of TULAGI. The destroyers fired at the planes with machine guns. There was no apparent damage either to the enemy or to the planes.

At 1106, just a few minutes after being launched, Lieut. A.O. VORSE shot down a four-engine enemy patrol plane about 25 miles from the ship. It is possible that the enemy plane had an opportunity to sight our force and send a contact report before he was downed.

       Perhaps Vorse prevented that. though not confirmed. In any case it definitely 'would have' made a report, caused damage, and gathered a lot more info had Vorse not promptly spotted it and shot it down.
      One of the pilots under his command, Francis (Frank) "cash" Register who received the Distinguished Flying Cross and was recommended for the Naval Cross recalled the incident in his diary: At 1100 our section intercepted a 4-engine Jap patrol plane. Vorse, our section leader, set it afire on his first run so I didn't even get a shot. It went into a spin and the wings and tail came off. One man jumped out 'without' a parachute and I tried to catch him and shoot him but couldn't overtake him. Didn't make any difference though. He fell 8,000 feet
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Battle of the Eastern Solomons


'A Terrible Day': 24 August 1942
A Japanese air attack on USS Enterprise leaves 75 men dead and
nearly 100 wounded after 3 bombs explode causing severe damage.


      

August 24 1942- Eastern Solomons VF-6 off Enterprise

Launched: 6 VF (Flight 351).
Mission:     Combat Air Patrol.
Action:        SUMRALL, VORSE, and LOESCH shot down one 'zero' each. REGISTER shot down one 'zero' and one ME 109. VORSE landed in water near SARATOGA and was picked up by a destroyer. Landed on SARATOGA about 1740.


-Naval Bureau Bulletin No.309-

Extract from official navy bulletin
describing the encounter.
-Courtesy of Vorse family
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Vorse's Vipers VF-80

       air group 80
 -Air Group 80 insignia #160;-
 
 -LCDR Al Vorse -
wearing his "lucky green scarf"


       Fighting Squadron 80 was established 1 February 1944.  Assigned to command the new unit was LCDR Albert O. Vorse Jr.  On 16 October, 1944 Vorse was moved up to Air Group Commander.  In the fighter squadrons' first combat action of 5 November 1944, targets were airfields and ground installations northeast of Manila. The Vipers'  were credited with shooting down 4 Japanese "oscars" with "scoop" Vorse claiming one of the four.  The group also damaged several planes and installations on the ground.  For the next four months, Vorse's Vipers would wreak havoc on the Japanese navy.
      Operation sweep "easy", led by LCDR Vorse, launched at 1315 on 14 December.  Enemy airfields at Laog were thoroughly strafed resulting in the destruction of at least nine enemy and damage to many others.  As the attack concluded, Vorse saw three "Oscars" below him, followed by three more, and then by two "Tonys".  Although he had only one gun with ammo remaining, Vorse engaged the enemy and flamed the rearmost "Oscar".  None of the other Vipers  were able to engage.
      The target for 15 January was once again Formosa and flying conditions were extremely poor.While making a low-level attack on a destroyer, Scoop lost seven feet of his wing to AA gunfire.  The impact blew his F6F onto its back at 200 feet.  Struggling to hold the ' hellcat ' upright at just 50 feet above the surface, Vorse made it back to the task group by holding the stick all the way to the left with both hands.  After making a 160 knot water landing, he was once again picked up by a destroyer with nothing more than a few bumps and bruises.  The enemy destroyer he was attacking had been sunk as well as two other small ships.  Four more were damaged along with some shore installations.
      One month later the Navy Department released an official statement to the press describing the incident.



-Official Navy Dept. press release -
(courtesy of Vorse family)

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      For nearly four months, under the experience and guidance of LCDR Vorse, LT. Frank Gooding, and LCDR Pete Keith, the Japanese had indeed felt the Vipers sting. The squadron finished with 159.5 enemy aircraft destroyed in the air, and about 60 more probable destroyed/damaged.  Vorse's Vipers had done their job well, including the destruction of considerable enemy shipping and many aircraft and installations on the ground.

 


 
 
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