Grumman TBM Avenger missing 1/3 of its wing after taking fire over Chichi Jima.
In the book “Flyboys” by James Bradley, the U.S Navy bombing raids on Chichi Jima were covered extensively. In the photo above, Lt. Bob Kings avenger was hit by anti aircraft fire. Losing control of his aircraft, he ordered his crew to bail out, while he was attempting to bail out himself, the aircraft righted itself and control was gained back. The crew members were never recovered and Lt. King was devastated at the loss of his crew. Although a tragic story, this photo represents the extremely rugged and reliable design of U.S Naval aircraft of the period.
Maybe with his crewmen bailing out, it changed the CG of the aircraft enough that he regained enough rudder authority to get control of it. Every war is a war of sacrifice, and he had the best intentions for his crewmen. He made the rational call, but survivor’s guilt is a bitch.