[Mayo A. "Mike" Hadden, Jr. oral history interview (Part 3 of 4)]
In this four-part oral history, fighter ace Mayo A. “Mike” Hadden, Jr. discusses his military service with the United States Navy during World War II. In part three, he continues to describe his wartime experiences as a fighter pilot with Fighting Squadron 9 (VF-9). Topics discussed include his combat tour in the Pacific Theater aboard the USS Essex (CV-9), his aerial victories and notable combat missions, and stories about fellow pilots.
The interview is conducted by fellow VF-9 fighter ace Eugene A. Valencia and by John Floria, a former combat photographer for Life Magazine who spent time with VF-9 during the war. The interview takes place on board the USS Hornet (CV-12) during a change-in-command between Hadden, outgoing captain of the Hornet, and William M. Pardee, the incoming captain. Some sections of audio may be difficult to hear due to background noise from the ship.
Oral History Item Type Metadata
Mayo A. “Mike” Hadden, Jr. was born on August 14, 1916 in Holland, Michigan. He joined the United States Navy in 1941 and earned his Naval Aviator designation the following year. Assigned to Fighting Squadron 9 (VF-9), Hadden served aboard the USS Ranger (CV-4) during Operation Torch, flying missions over Morocco and supporting Allied forces during their invasion of French-controlled North Africa. He remained with VF-9 during their subsequent tours in the Pacific Theater and participated in missions in the South and Central Pacific. Hadden remained in the military after the war and went on to hold several command positions. During the 1960s, he commanded the USS Graffias (AF-29) and USS Hornet (CV-12), then served with the State Department, the Iceland Defense Force, and the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. He retired as a rear admiral in 1973 and passed away in 1986.