View Full Version : The Cactus Airforce

Sergeant Dorr
06-01-2007, 07:05 AM
These small bundles of fearless fighters that went up against thousands of japanesse planes and beat them back. P.S. Can anyone tell me the island their base was on?

Rising Sun*
06-01-2007, 06:58 PM

Info here http://www.daveswarbirds.com/cactus/cactus.htm

06-02-2007, 02:39 PM
Cactus Air Force refers to the ensemble allied air power assigned to the island of Guadalcanal from August 1942 until December 1942 during the early stages of the Guadalcanal Campaign, particularly those operating from Henderson Field. The term "Cactus" comes from the Allied code name for the island.

06-09-2007, 06:07 PM
I saw a show just last night on the History Channel on it. It was mostly about one pilot who had never seen combat before. On his first outing he shot down - I think I have this right - 7 planes! Incredible, but in his interview he did say that the Japanese planes caught fire awfully easily. His own plane was hit by friendly fire in the wing, but he still shot down one or two planes after that before ditching in the sea. Naturally, he received the Medal of Honor and lived to tell the tale. That was some little air force operating out of Henderson Field. Were they all Marine pilots or were they regular navy pilots?

I think when they attacked the Japanese, it was something like 5 US planes against may 16 or 18 times their number, so there were either very foolish or very brave or probably both. They did the job.

Carl Schwamberger
08-05-2007, 06:05 PM
"Were they all Marine pilots or were they regular navy pilots?"

They were a mix, including US Army pilots. As the Japanese pressed their counter attack any avaialable pilots were sent as replacements. Some Army squadrons were sent as well to help tip the balance.

During the worst weeks the groups that went aloft were often mixed as here were seldom any squadrons at even half strength. ad hoc squadrons and flights drawn from any pilots & aircraft fit to fly were made up as needed.

Sergeant Dorr
09-10-2007, 11:56 AM
I also saw a show on the history channel called dogfights and this one guy was made an ace in fifteen minutes after takeoff.