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USS Enterprise CV-6
The Most Decorated Ship of the Second World War

LT Lafe C. Shannon Sr. was a pilot in VF-20: Air Group Twenty's fighter squadron. During its deployment on Enterprise, from 16 August to 23 November 1944, AG-20 operated as far north as Okinawa, as far south as the Palaus, and engaged with great effect in the Battle of Leyte Gulf: the largest naval battle in history. Notably, during AG-20's deployment, there was not a single successful enemy air attack on the Big E.

Below is LT Shannon's flight log for the period during which he and AG-20 operated from the Big E. As presented here, it essentially duplicates the original. The only exceptions are the omissions of columns for "pilot" and "passenger", as LT Shannon was always the pilot, and never carried a passenger. The log gives a good sense of the number and variety of missions flown by the Big E's airmen at this stage of the war.

August 1944
DateType of MachineNumber of Machine Duration of FlightCharacter of FlightRemarks
31F6F-5580093.9STRIKEAttack on Chichi Jima Bonin Is.
September 1944
DateType of MachineNumber of Machine Duration of FlightCharacter of FlightRemarks
1F6F-5580134.2B CAPBonin Is.
2F6F-5580394.4B CAPIwo Jima Bonin Is.
7F6F-5580491.7STRIKEUlithi Is.
8F6F-5581222.5T CAPStrafe on Yap catapult
9F6F-5701000.5NFerry Nassau to "E"
10F6F-5580283.2STRIKENapalm bomb Palau - first napalm drop in Pacific.
10F6F-5580253.0T CAPStrafe on Palau
11F6F-5581113.1STRIKERockets catapult Palau
12F6F-5584223.2STRIKERockets Palau
13F6F-5584633.2STRIKERockets Palau
14F6F-5580303.2STRIKERockets Palau
October 1944
DateType of MachineNumber of Machine Duration of FlightCharacter of FlightRemarks
10F6F-5580110.3STRIKEDFL Okinawa Shima
10F6F-5584223.8STRIKEOkinawa Shima
13F6F-5584685.0Air Coord. 
13F6F-5581171.5CAPcatapult 1 Francis, 3 Bettys (1/4 Betty) dusk Landing.
15F6F-5580092.7CAP(2 Oscars)
16F6F-5580355.1SNASPjumped by about 10 rats
19F6F-5583822.5Zcatapult destroyer escort
20F6F-5580503.0CAP"A" day at Leyte, central Philippine 2 BBs, 1 CA, 4 DDs.
24F6F-5585745.8SEARCHAttack on Jap Fleet
25F6F-5584493.8STRIKEJap Fleet: 1 CV, 2 CVL, 1 CVE BBs, CAs, CLs, DD - a great day for us.
27F6F-5581173.7T CAPover Leyte dusk landing
28F6F-5588372.7SEARCHcatapult Wheels wouldn't retract. Landed aboard Kadashan Bay (CVE)
29F6F-5580595.3T CAPOver Leyte
29F6F-5580590.5Ncatapult returned to Big "E"
30F6F-3421293.3CAPForce under attack Suicide attack. Franklin & Belleau Wood were crashed on.
November 1944
DateType of MachineNumber of Machine Duration of FlightCharacter of FlightRemarks
1F6F-5580334.1CAPHappy Birthday
9F6F-5582443.8KGroup Grope
13F6F-5589593.3SWEEPcatapult Luzon
16F6F-5710681.9Nnew plane from Sitko Bay (CVE 86) to Big "E"
19F6F-5580252.2SCRAMBLEcatapult. Team got 3 Bettys (1/4 Betty) 1.0 night flying night landing
22F6F-5580652.2STRIKEcatapult. Napalm drop on Yap Is

LT Shannon and Air Group 20 transferred to Lexington CV-16 on 23 November 1944. That same day, Lexington's Air Group 19 transferred to Enterprise, to be transported back to Pearl Harbor, where Enterprise would receive Night Air Group 90.

Flight log presented with kind permission of Curt Shannon, son of Lafe C. Shannon (deceased).

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