• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Who Is John Powers?

    He graduated from Annapolis. He flew the Douglas SBD “Dauntless” dive bomber, a plane that had a reputation for being slow and outmoded even before World War II began. The SBD served as the mainstay of the Navy’s carrier strike force into 1943.

    On May 7, 1942, Powers led his section of bombers in the Battle of the Coral Sea, the Navy’s first real chance to strike back after the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor. He would make history leading the first U.S. pilots ever to take down an enemy carrier. That morning they spotted the Shokaku 8,000 feet below and began their run. They screamed past enemy fighters and through black clouds of anti-aircraft bursts, and their windshields fogged so badly that the pilots had to fly nearly blind.

    Powers held 1,000 pounds until he dropped to 1,000 feet, because that was the only way to ensure that he wouldn’t miss his target. He also knew at that height he couldn’t miss. He also knew his plane would not survive the back blast.

    Powers and his backseat crewman traded their lives to protect us. Powers received the Medal of Honor posthumously.

    I told the story of John Powers at CPAC in Chicago as part of panel that compared the foreign and national security policy of two sons of Illinois—Reagan and Obama.

    It is a reminder that you wind up fighting the wars with the military you have. When you invest in unpreparedness—it’s the men and women we send out to protect us who pay the price.

    Reagan rebuilt America’s military after decades of war and neglect. We have been living off that legacy for over 20 years. President Obama is planning the largest reduction in national defense since the end of the Cold War. “America at Risk,” a recent series of videos produced by The Heritage Foundation, highlighted the troubles ahead.

    The problem is this: Is anyone in the White House watching them?

    Watch the videos from our America at Risk series:

    America at Risk: Kerry Kachejian on the Importance of Military Readiness

    America at Risk: Dave Deptula on the Military’s Aging Aviation Force

    America at Risk: Tom Shanahan on the Navy’s Readiness Crisis

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    One Response to Who Is John Powers?

    1. Bobbie says:

      why America and her military aren't protected from a man of many with conflicting interests to his own oath of office is deeply treacherous and extremely treasonous! It's by nature to wonder what kind of military he's hiding from us!

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×