Mitscher, Marc

Mitscher, Marc (Andrew)

(1887–1947) naval aviator; born in Hillsboro, Wis. The son of an Indian agent, he graduated from the Naval Academy in 1910, became an early convert to aviation, and commanded naval air stations during World War I. Taking charge of the new aircraft carrier, USS Hornet, in October 1941, “Pete” Mitscher became one of the great carrier group commanders of World War II. From January 1944 on, his Central Pacific carrier force operated as a powerful, self-supporting vanguard as U.S. forces swept toward Japan. Mitscher's force is perhaps best remembered for the "Marianas turkey-shoot" of June 19–21, 1944, in which 400 Japanese aircraft were shot down on the first day of the battle.