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surviving members USS Langley, WWII, Battle of the Coral Sea

surviving members USS Langley, WWII, Battle of the Coral Sea

Posted: 31 May 2001 12:00PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 21 Jul 2006 3:36PM GMT
Surnames: Lynch
Would like to reach anyone who might have known my uncle Randle Ray Lynch who served on the USS Langley in the battle of the Coral Sea 1942. The ship was sank and survivors picked up. Want to hear anything about Ray Lynch.

Re: surviving members USS Langley, WWII, Battle of the Coral Sea

Aurora Loya (View posts)
Posted: 24 Jul 2002 6:41PM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi My name is Aurora Loya.My Father was a Jarhead and was in the United States Marine Crops From 1975-1985.I remember back when I was in 5 grade one of mine good friends Her name was Sarah Fitzgarled her Grand Father was in the Military and Fought in WWII I am not sure what his Frist name was but his last name was "Fitzgarled".Sarah told our 5th grade class the story of how Her GrandFather was one of the Surviers of a SubMarine Attack during WWII when one the Japanese Ships did a susprise Attack.I believe There where only 2 surviers one of them was My Friends GrandFather.Well I just wanted to say Thank You for Serving Our Country and Good Luck with Your Search!!

Re: surviving members USS Langley, WWII, Battle of the Coral Sea

Posted: 28 Jul 2002 5:36AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 21 Jul 2006 3:36PM GMT
Aurora,
Thank you for your post. My uncle served on the USS Langley. My search is not turning up anything but will keep trying. I appreciate your reply.

Re: surviving members USS Langley, WWII, Battle of the Coral Sea

Michele Westerdahl (View posts)
Posted: 23 Oct 2002 7:24PM GMT
Classification: Query
Came across your post and wondered if you have come across anything yet. If you haven't, you may want to write here:
National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63732-5100

Include your Uncles complete name, service #, social security #, branch of service, dates of service, date & place of birth and last unit assigned.

My Uncle was taken POW off the Langley and is listed as MIA/KIA. I hope this helps you. If you need anything, let me know. Will also see if I can find anymore information for you.

Re: surviving members USS Langley, WWII, Battle of the Coral Sea

Posted: 24 Oct 2002 5:00AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 21 Jul 2006 3:36PM GMT
Thanks for your reply. I have not really found anything. There is a reunion of the survivors of the 3 ships Lanley, Whipple, and Pecos but I have not contacted anyone yet.

How did you know your uncle was taken POW? My father always feared this but felt his brother was among the first to die as he worked in the engine room where the Langley was hit.

I have written the VA to get my uncle's VA file but will check in to the personnel records.

Any information you can give me would be great.
Thanks again. Look forward to hearing from you.

Re: surviving members USS Langley, WWII, Battle of the Coral Sea

Posted: 5 Nov 2002 6:21PM GMT
Classification: Query
I found that my Uncle was taken POW by the "information we received from the Government". Hense the listing of him as POW/MIA. But then again, who knows the truth.

Re: surviving members USS Langley, WWII, Battle of the Coral Sea

George McMichael (View posts)
Posted: 4 Feb 2003 1:37AM GMT
Classification: Query
I started to post a reply when I got dropped off. Don't know if it went to you or not, so will repeat myself. I have also been looking for Langley survivors. My interest is in what happened to the survivors after the ship wa sunk. Family lore in my family says that my cousin, Army Air Corps 1stLt John Bridge, was with one of the two army squadrons on board which were being ferried to the South Pacific. After Langley was sunk all but 16 of the personnel aboard Langley were picked up by "two escorting ships," which I assume to be references to USS Whipple (DD-217) and USS Edsall (DD-219). Then according to our family remebrances, survivors were transferred to other ships enroute back to Pearl Harbor. My cousin was on one of them (maybe an oiler), and it was sunk before it could make it back to Pearl. I would like to confirm, or disprove, the story as it was originally told me, and to learn the names of other ships involved so that I might try to track them down as well. If you could be of any assistance, I would appreciate it.






Re: surviving members USS Langley, WWII, Battle of the Coral Sea

Posted: 6 Feb 2003 8:31PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 21 Jul 2006 3:36PM GMT
I first wish you luck in your search. As for the Langley and survivors story I can tell you what I have read from excerpts of books at the Emil Buehler Naval Aviation Library in Pensacola, Fl about the Langley, which was generously sent to me by Mac Donald who works at the Library. The Langley was transporting American fighter planes from Australia to Java. The closest and safest place to unload the planes was in Tjilatjap. (Please read the book "Rape of an Empire" chapter 11 as it tells so much of WHY.) The Whipple and Edsall were sent to escort the Langley through the mine fields. They rendezvoused on the morning of the 27th. The need for the planes was to great for Langley to wait for a safer night entry into Tjilatjap so followed orders and started in with the escorts. The Langley was then attached for the visible planes on deck. The Langley went dead in the water and was listing as water rushed into the forward hull. Sixteen were lost and the ship was abandoned, survivors picked up the the Whipple and Edsell. The Whipple then sank the Langley. The 2 ships were then told to turn over the Lanley survivors to the Pecos which was on her way to Ceylon for fuel. On the morning of Feb 28 under the threat of Japanese planes in the area they quickly transfered the survivors under a rain squall nearby. It took until the next morning to finish (Mar 1). The Edsall and Whipple were headed back to Java. Eight hours later the Pecos was attacked by Japanese planes for 3 hours. The Pecos sent out a distress signal and was sunk at 1548 (abandon ship order was given). The Whipple picked up the signal and reversed direction to come to the aid of Pecos. It arrived at 2200, 2 hours before midnight trailing cargo nets and life lines for any survivors to grab on to. Of the 2 ships carring a total of some 700 men, 220 survivors were picked up. The Whipple could not stay in the area to rescue more survivors as there was a Japanese sub in the area that they were unable to sink.
I hope this is of help. Reading the book (I do not know the author) gives you a better picture but you can get the just of the story form this. There is a Langley/Pecos or Whipple reunion that takes place each year. I think this years will be in New Orleans around October.
I have gotten away from this part of my research but if you find out anything could you please let me know as I would love to hear and learn more of the survivors and stories.

Thanks and good luck.

Re: surviving members USS Langley, WWII, Battle of the Coral Sea

George McMichael (View posts)
Posted: 7 Feb 2003 2:05AM GMT
Classification: Query
I have come across a slightly different report of EDSALL's final few days, a copy of which I will provide below. I am close enough to the Navy Archives at the Navy Yard in Washington, DC, that I will try to get down there and see what else I can find. Thanks for your input.
=========================
Early on March 1, 1942 Edsall had completed transfering rescued survivors from the Langley to the oiler Pecos near Flying Fish Cove off of Christmas Island.  She then was then ordered to deliver her thirty two passengers, (pilots and mechanics whose dissassembled aircraft were aboard the Langley and Seawitch originally bound for Indonesia), to Indonesia to join resistance to Japanese forces which had landed there.  Lcdr. Nix, in light of heavy Imperial Japanese forces in the area, requested confirmation of those orders which were confirmed.  She steamed off north to execute these orders and was never heard from again.  An hour later her orders were rescinded and along with the rest of the heavily damaged fleet she was ordered to retire to Australia.  Other ships received these orders via radio but it was not certain that Edsall received these orders; Edsall was however was caught on her way back to Australia by Nogumo's fleet and her fate was not known until 1952, more details of her crew and passenger's fates did not emerge until 1980.

At this point, there was a fairly detailed description of a two-hour running gun battle which ended in the sinking of EDSALL.

P.S. If you could send me your email address, I will pass on anything else I come across. Thanks.

Re: surviving members USS Langley, WWII, Battle of the Coral Sea

Posted: 20 Aug 2009 1:38PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Donovan
While transferring the survivors in Flying Fish Cove, Christmas Island, an air raid forced a hurried departure and, ij fact, one Langley officer was left ashore. He was Lt Cmdr Thomas Donovan. When the japanese took the Island on 31 March 1942, he was taken prisoner and interned along with the small remnant group of Europeans on the Island. The Indian troops in the small garrison had mutinied and murdered their British officers and comrades but spared Donovan and the civilians, who were treated as POWS for the remainder of the war. In 1943 food shortages forced a ransfer to the Celebes, where the camp conditions were very grim indeed. I have seen records that Donovan survived to be repatriated but I have not heard anything of his later life. How many Langley survivors lived to return to the US after the war?
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