While escorting fighter bombers to Japan, Sahloff accidently had a midair collision in bad weather with his Commanding Officer, Dick Crommelin. Sohloff’s Hellcat ran into the tail of Crommelin’s Hellcat. His 13 foot steel propeller sliced off the Hellcats tail and sent Crommelin crashing into the ocean. Sohloff managed to fly his damaged plane back to the Yorktown. Crommelin was one of five Navy brothers. A ship was named after all of them, the USS Crommelin FFG-37.

Maury Proctor and Joe Sahloff rescued a shot down VF88 pilot named LT Howard Harrison by escorting a Navy seaplane from the Yorktown to the Sea of Japan. See story “Operation Dumbo”.

On the last day of the war, August 15th 1945, Proctor, Sahloff and four other Yorktown pilots ( Harrison, Hobbs, Hansen, and Mandeberg) were attacked by around 20 Japanese fighters. Harrison, Hobbs, Mandeberg, and Sahloff were shot down and KIA.

They had been radioed that the war was over and were returning to the Yorktown. Nobody told the Japanese that they had surrendered.

Submitted by John Haag.
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