Langdon K. Fieberling
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Langdon Kellogg Fieberling was born on 3 January 1910 in Oakland, California, enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve on 7 October 1935, and after training and service as an aviation cadet, was commissioned ensign on 1 March 1937. From 26 July 1941, he aided in establishing Torpedo Squadron Eight (VT-8), and when this unit was activated, served with it in Hornet (CV-8).
When the aircraft carrier sailed from Norfolk, Va. for the Pacific in March 1942, half of the squadron remained behind to take delivery of new TBF Avengers, which would replace the obsolescent TBD Devastators. Fieberling's detachment reached Hawaii on 29 May — the day after Hornet had sailed. However, the airfield at Midway had room for a few more planes, so Fieberling led six of the 21 aircraft on to the island.
In the Battle of Midway, 4 to 6 June 1942, one of the turning points of the Pacific War, Lieutenant Fieberling led his flight in its heroic defiance of massive Japanese fighter and antiaircraft fire opposition to attack the enemy carriers on 4 June. They were the first Navy aircraft to attack the Japanese fleet, albeit without success. Of the 18 men, only Ensign Albert K. Earnest and Radioman 3rd Class Harrier H. Ferrier came back from the sortie. Fieberling was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his brave devotion to duty in this action.
- Ronald J. Drez (2001-11-28). Twenty-Five Yards of War: The Extraordinary Courage of Ordinary Men in World War II. Stephen Ambrose (1st edition ed.). Hyperion. ISBN 0-7868-6783-3. http://books.google.com/books?id=zYPXU-JygsUC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Twenty-Five+Yards+of+War&sig=s5U7LLLGpJXeiCC5_G3m_bhp-Fs. Retrieved 2008-01-28.