"Pilots, Man Your Planes!"   
                                         WWII U.S. Naval Aviation Collector's Guide                                                                              
 
         Hellcats  over  PROVENCE  
                           VF-74 & VOF-1 IN OPERATION DRAGOON

Above:  With operations completed, VF-74 poses with aircraft number 9 as a backdrop. LT Horacek is standing, second from right. On August 30th, CVE 69 left the assault area and returned to Corsica. While at anchor in Ajjacio harbor, memorial services were held for LCDR Bass on September 2nd. On the 3rd, they departed, with a brief stop-over in Oran before sailing for the United States on September 6th. Arriving on the 16th, a ten day leave period commenced. Upon their return, orders from CominCh arrived announcing the squadron's decommissioning as of October 1st, 1944.

Below:  A type-written, mimeographed copy of the "History Of Fighting Squadron Seventy Four" was given to all hands after the completion of the campaign. The three pages reproduced below are stark testament to the intensity of air operations carried out over the course of thirteen days, a relatively short period of combat for a Navy fighter squadron at the time. The ultimate sacrifice made by five of their squadron mates and the toll taken on squadron aircraft are evidence of the fierce opposition they faced from a determined and well-armed enemy.