Norman "Dusty" Kleiss was just 26 when he took off almost 74 years ago
in his Douglas bomber from the carrier Enterprise, near Midway. A short
time later, he delivered the second successful hit on the Japanese carrier
Kaga, with a 500 lb bomb, sending it to the bottom of the Pacific.
Climbing out, his plane was attacked by a Zero, his gunner, shot it down.
Returning to the Enterprise, he had time for a sandwich and a quick nap,
then took off again. This time he delivered a 500 lb bomb onto the
carrier Hiryu, it too sank. In one morning he was key in sinking two
Japanese carriers and one Zero. The Japanese lost 4 carriers in one
morning, all they had in that huge invasion fleet, which turned around
and headed home. It was a setback they never recovered from. The
American force was a fraction of what the Japanese had that day.
Kleiss was the last of the living dive bomber pilots from the Battle of Midway.