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Some more on the Broome SOC

November 15 2010 at 11:17 PM
Dave W  (no login)


Response to SOC putatively at Broome, March 3, 1942

Nelson,

You are absolutely right about errors multiplying in subsequent publicationsthe dreaded if its in print, it must be true fallacy that has made conspiracy theories viable and made research a headache. In the interest of that, heres what else I could find about Lamades SOC:

Bloody Shambles, Part 2, p.313 (if I had bothered to look on the next page):

from the harbour the SOC-3 floatplane had also just taken off. It was at this moment that the A6Ms arrivedThree A6Ms quickly latched onto the two airborne machines [the other was B-24A 40-2374] , the SOC-3 being forced down by Wt Off Osamu Kudo, Lt Jack Lamade and his gunner surviving the unequal contest.

From an Australian genealogy message board, dated May 2005
http://newsarch.rootsweb.com/th/read/AUS-WA/2005-06/1118657407):

BIPLANE MYSTERY : Does anyone know what became of Jack LAMADE and his biplane? On February 16,1942, a small Curtiss SOC-3 biplane float plane commanded by US Navy Lt Jack LAMADE was catapulted from the USN heavy cruiser USS Houston to the west of Darwin due to the fire risk to the ship about to join battle with Japanese naval and air forces. Jack took off from Broome on March 3 when the first devastating raid by Japanese Zero fighters began. He was chased but survived by dodging about at tree-top height. The little SOC-3 arrived at Crawley Bay on March 7, 1942. It possibly became a tug for anti-aircraft practice, continuing its USN service

Extracted from The Broome Attack by Mervyn W. Prime on this webpage:
lanbob.com/lanbob/FP-19BG/FP-1942-03AU-Mar.htm

The other machine to get airborne was a Curtiss SOC Seagull, flown by Lt. John D. Lamade USN, and his observer Tubbs. Lamade had certainly had an adventurous few days prior to this latest escape. While the cruiser USS Houston was steaming past the island of Lombok, in the Dutch East Indies, he was catapulted off the ship with orders to head for Broome. He was to have rejoined the ship about a week later, but it was to be bombed and sunk in the Sunda Straits by Japanese aircraft soon after he took off.

With little more than a school atlas to guide him (the West Australian coastline was poorly mapped in those days), Lamade struck the coast north of Broome, and then headed south. The gas gauge on his SOC was hovering near empty when he spotted the town after his 6-3/4-hour flight. In fact, the engine spluttered and died on approach as fuel ran out and he had to make a dead stick landing in the Bay.

As the Zeros swept in over Roebuck Bay, he had been preparing to depart for Port Hedland, 400 miles to the south. In the confusion, Lamade got his scout plane into the air and, with so many larger and more tempting targets to attack, the Zeros paid him scant attention - the Seagull was the only Allied plane to escape destruction on this day!

Hope this might shed a little more light on things.

Dave

 
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