Service Number: 363417
Birth and Early Life:
Anthony Maday was a native of Chicago, Illinois
Enlistment and Boot Camp:
Maday enlisted on January 29 1942. He probably went through boot camp at MCRD San Diego.
Shortly after completing boot camp, Private Maday was assigned to Marine Air Group 21; from there, he went to squadron VMSB-241 on Midway. (1) His original duties with the squadron are unknown; when Second Lieutenant Kenneth Campion arrived on the island on May 26, 1942, Maday was designated as his gunner on Vought SB2U Vindicator #2067. With limited time to train, the inexperienced pair would be flying into the battle of Midway with little more than luck and guts on their side.
Date Of Loss:
Maday and Campion flew their Vindicator into an attack on a Japanese battleship on the morning of June 4, 1942. They survived the dive and managed to drop their bomb; although they missed the Haruna, they hoped to make it back to base to fight another day.
Campion formed up on Second Lieutenant George Lumpkin for the return flight; as they set their course, a Japanese float plane was seen approaching. Both pilots turned towards the enemy and fired a burst at him; Campion decided to give chase as the float plane raced back towards the covering fire of the fleet. Enemy Zero fighters spotted the two Vindicators and dove down on them; Lumpkin escaped into a cloud and lost sight of the other plane.
Maday’s single .30 caliber gun would have been no match for a pair of Zeros even under the best circumstances. Neither he nor Campion were ever seen again. (2)
Private Maday was awarded a posthumous Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions in the battle.
Next Of Kin:
Sister, Mrs. Frank Podolski
Status Of Remains:
Lost at sea.
Tablets of the Missing, National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
(1) Maday’s higher enlistment number suggests that he was probably fresh out of boot camp when assigned; he first appears on a roster at Midway on April 18, 1942.
(2) Lumpkin reported that after his gunner spotted the enemy planes he climbed into cloud cover, where he remained for five minutes flying on instruments. He was the last American to see Maday or Campion in the air.