The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia
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Naval Historical Center #NH104260.
"Baldy" Pownall had commanded Enterprise shortly after her shakedown cruise and was credited with bringing the ship to a high level of efficiency. During the Pacific War, he was given command of the first fast carrier task group formed from the newly-constructed Essex and Independence-class carriers. However, he had no previous combat experience, and he handled his force unaggressively during its first raid on Marcus Island and on subsequent raids into the Gilberts and Marshalls.
During the Marcus
raid of August 1943, "Jocko"
Clark objected strongly to a decision by Pownall,
to clear the area before searching for five downed
(Tuohy 2007) Clark received permission to carry out the search, which was fruitless, but which endeared him to his aviators.
You've got the widest yellow streak up your back of any admiral I've ever seen in my life.... I don't care if when I return to Pearl I don't have a ship and I don't have a command. You can make me a seaman second tomorrow, but this is my ship and I'm going to send out a search for them!
Pownall did make one important innovation: He persuaded Nimitz and Lockwood to station submarines off target islands to rescue downed aviators. This greatly improved morale as well as reducing losses of highly trained aircrew.
||Commander, YP Vedette
||Commander, DD John
||Commander, CV Enterprise
||Rear admiral||Commander, Carrier Division 3
||Commander, Naval Air Forces, Pacific Fleet|
Historical Center (accessed 2008-5-10)
USS Enterprise CV6 (accessed 2008-5-10)
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