In a recent reminisce about the Great Depression and WWII years, my memory was not as good as I thought it was with the result that Michael Tullidge "felt obligated and compelled to set the record straight". In so doing, he made several mistakes of his own which I feel likewise compelled to correct. A major error was the fact that he described the Battle of the Coral Sea as a "draw." Not having lived at that time as I did I can see where a fact checker could easily make an unforgivable mistake as he did by simply looking at numbers.

During May 1942, the Japanese sent a major naval force south with the intention of capturing Port Moresby and than invading Australia and, if that happened, the war might well have been lost before we had an opportunity to prepare. Instead, with a smaller force, our Navy sent the Japanese home never to try again. That was not a "draw" but a major naval victory followed by the victory at the Battle of Midway where the Japanese lost 292 planes and pilots, not 248.

So similarly with the Great Marinas Turkey Shoot, my memory failed me but according to the Naval statistics the enemy lost about 400 planes, not 450 to 645 as claimed by Mr. Tullidge and they were not the "excellent pilots" described by Mr. Tullidge, the ones who participated in the Pearl Harbor attack; those pilots had already been sent in to the Pacific in the Battle of Midway and other actions.

I apologize to those readers I may have mislead but I'm sure that those of you in your nineties who, like me, lived through and do remember those dark years would like our grandchildren to understand them and appreciate what it took to have the great nation we live in today.

If, however, you have some difficulty remembering just turn to Mr. Tullidge because he can set you straight - provided he gets his facts straight.

R. S. Bibbo, Banning


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