We all know of the heroism of the Troops that hit the beaches on D-Day, June 6. What many people don’t realize is the Navy, in the form of Destroyers, were providing covering fire and taking the shore batteries from basically point blank (4000 yards and less) range to try to put them out of action and save the troops lives.
67 years ago today, the battle for Midway Island took place. Most Americans at the time didn’t even know where or what Midway Island was.
In June 1942, a month after the decisive U.S. victory in the Coral Sea, Japan was dealt a fatal blow at Midway Island-a blow that would turn the course of World War II in favor of the Allies. In August 1942 ALL HANDS, then known as the Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin, published the following account of the Battle of Midway-the beginning of the end of the fight in the Pacific.
Early in June, near the island of Midway, about 1100 miles to the west of Pearl Harbor, units of our Army, Navy, and Marine Corps joined action with a strong Japanese Invasion fleet which was approaching our Midway outpost.
At about 9 a.m., June 3, Navy Patrol planes reported a strong force of enemy ships about 700 miles off Midway, proceeding eastward. Nine U.S. Army B-17 Flying Fortresses based on Midway immediately were ordered to intercept and attack the approaching enemy. The Japanese force was approaching in five columns and was composed of many cruisers, transports, cargo vessels, and other escort ships. The Army bombers scored hits on one cruiser and one transport. Both ships were severely damaged and left burning.
About dawn on June 4, several groups of Army medium and heavy bombers and U.S. Marine Corps dive bombers and torpedo planes took to the air from Midway to attack the approaching enemy. Four Army torpedo bombers attacked two enemy aircraft carriers through a heavy screen of enemy fighter protection and a curtain of anti-aircraft fire. One torpedo hit on a carrier is believed to have been made. Two of the four bombers failed to return.
Six Marine Corps torpedo planes attacked the enemy force in the face of heavy odds. It is believed this group scored one hit on an enemy ship. Only one of the six planes returned to its base.
Sixteen Marine Corps dive bombers attacked and scored three hits on a carrier, which is to have been the Soryu. Only half of the attacking planes returned. Another group of 11 Marine Corps dive bombers made a later attack on enemy ships and reported two bomb hits on an enemy battleship, which was left smoking and listing.
A group of 16 U.S. Army Flying Fortresses carried out high-level bombing attacks, according three hits on enemy carriers. One carrier was left smoking heavily.
Shortly after the Marine Corps planes had left Midway, the island itself was attacked by a large group of carrier-based enemy planes. They were engaged by a badly out-numbered Marine Corps fighter force, which met the enemy in the air as he arrived. These defending fighters, aided by anti-aircraft batteries, shot down at least 40 of the enemy planes. As the result, the material damage to shore installations, though serious, was not disabling. No plane was caught grounded at Midway.
Meanwhile, U.S. Naval forces afloat were being brought into position. Our carrier-based aircraft were launched and were proceeding to the spot where the enemy’s previous course and speed would have placed him had he chosen to continue the assault. Unaware of the enemy’s of course, one group of Navy fighters and dive bombers searched along the reported track to the southeast until shortage of gas forced them to abandon the search. Some were forced down at sea when they ran out of gas. Most were later rescued.
A different flight composed of fighters, dive bombers, and torpedo planes concluded that the enemy was retreating. Fifteen torpedo planes from this group, located the enemy westward and proceeded to attack at once without protection or assistance of any kind. Although some hits were reported by radio, and although some enemy fighters were shot down, the total damage inflicted in this attack may never be known. None of the 15 planes returned. The sole survivor of the 30 officers was Ensign G.H. Gay Jr., who scored one torpedo hit on an enemy carrier before he was shot down.
Other torpedo planes proceeded to press the attack after the enemy had been located. In spite of heavy losses during these attacks, the torpedo planes engaged the attention of the enemy fighters and anti-aircraft batteries to such a degree that our dive bombers were able to drop bomb after bomb on the enemy ships without serious interference. Navy dive bombers scored many hits and inflicted upon the enemy the following damage:
The Kaga, Akagi, and Soryu, aircraft carriers, were severely damaged. Gasoline in planes caught on their flight decks ignited, starting fires which burned until each carrier had sunk. Two battleships were hit. One was left burning fiercely. One destroyer was hit and is believed to have sunk.
Shortly after this battle, a force of about 36 enemy planes from the damaged carrier Hiryu attacked the U.S. aircraft carrierYorktown and her escorts. Eleven of 18 Japanese bombers in this group were shot down before their bombs were dropped. Seven got through our fighter protection. Of the seven, one was disintegrated by a surface ship’s anti-aircraft fire; a second dropped its bomb load into the sea and plunged in after it; while a third was torn to shreds by machine gun fire from U.S. fighter planes. Four enemy bombers escaped after scoring three hits.
Shortly afterward, 12 to 15 enemy torpedo planes escorted by fighters attacked Yorktown. Five succeeded in launching torpedoes, but were destroyed as they attempted to escape. Yorktown was hit and put out of action. The damage caused a list which rendered her flight deck useless. Her aircraft, however, continued operating from other U.S. carriers.
While this attack on Yorktown was in progress, some of her own planes located the carrier Hiryu in company with battleships, cruisers, and destroyers. Our carrier planes immediately attacked this newly-located force. Hiryu was hit repeatedly and left blazing from stem to stern. She sank the following morning. Two of the enemy battleships were pounded severely by bombs and a heavy cruiser was damaged severely.
During the same afternoon (June 4), a U.S. submarine scored three torpedo hits on the smoking carrier Soryu as the enemy was attempting to take her into tow. Soryu sank during the night.
Just before sunset (June 4) U.S. Army bombers delivered a heavy bomb attack on the crippled and burning ships. Three hits were scored on a damaged carrier (probably Akagi); one hit was scored on a large ship; one hit on a cruiser was left burning; and one destroyer was believed sunk.
By sundown on June 4 the United States forces had gained mastery of the air in the region of Midway.
At dawn (June 5) our forces were marshalling their strength for further assaults against the enemy fleets which by now had separated into several groups, all in full retreat.
In the afternoon of June 5, Army Flying Fortresses attacked enemy cruisers again and scored three direct hits upon one heavy cruiser. One the return ship, one of these planes was lost; a second was forced down at sea 15 miles from the Midway. All except one of the crew of the second plane were rescued. Early on June 6 an air search discovered two groups of enemy ships, each containing cruisers and destroyers.
Between 9:30 and 10:00 a.m., U.S. carrier planes attacked one group which contained the heavy cruisers Mikuma and Mogamiand three destroyers. At least two bomb hits were scored on each Japanese cruiser. One of these destroyers was sunk.
The attacks were carried on until 5:30p.m. Mikuma was sunk shortly after noon. Mogami was gutted and subsequently sunk. Another enemy cruiser and a destroyer also were hit during these series of attacks.
It was during this afternoon (June 6) that the U.S. destroyer Hammann was torpedoed and sunk by an enemy submarine. Most of her crew were rescued.
Repeated attempts were made to contact the remainder of the Japanese invasion fleet but without success. The battle was over.
The following is a recapitulation of the damage inflicted upon the enemy during the battle of Midway.
Four Japanese aircraft carriers, the Kaga, Akagi, Soryu, and Hiryu were sunk. Three battleships were damaged by bomb and torpedo hits, one severely. Two heavy cruisers, Mogami and Mikuma were sunk. Three others were damaged, one or two severely. One light cruiser was damaged. Three destroyers were sunk and several others were damaged by bombs. At least three transports or auxiliary ships were damaged, and one or more sunk.
The Battle of Midway was a complex and widespread action involving a number of engagements lasting more than three days and nights. Even our active participants in the numerous attacks and counter-attacks are unable to give an accurate account of the damage inflicted by any group in the many individual and unified attacks of our Army, Navy, and Marine Corps personnel.
Note that NOTHING was said about the code breakers, nor their work, as at the time that was still Top Secret. CDR Rochefort and his folks at Hypo had broken JN-25 which was the Japanese code, and the translated phrase “AF is short of water” was the clue that ADM Nimitz needed to move the Pacific Fleet. Sadly, he could not reinforce Midway itself (nor could they later reinforce Guam) for fear of giving away the fact they knew the attacks were coming.
I have been very lucky that during my Navy career, I actually got to Midway Island and was able to walk the ground both on Midway and East Island (which is basically as it was left in 1945).
It literally sent chills down my back to know that I was on the same land that was one of the first turning points in the war against Japan.
I have also seen the actual debriefing chart used to debrief ADM Nimitz after the battle occurred. That chart hangs in the Flag Cabin at Makalapa, HI across from ADM Nimitz desk. It also includes both US and Japanese movements, and the HYPO code information extracted from JN-25.
There will be a wreath laying at the Navy Memorial in DC today 4 June, between 2-3 pm. ADM Roughead the CNO and Gen. Amos the Asst. Commandant of the Marine Corps will be the speakers. This IS open to the public!
The Lightbringer is NOW “proud” of his Muslim heritage as he goes to apologize once again (kiss ass) to the Middle Eastern Countries??? Ah… didn’t he spend the ENTIRE campaign saying he was NOT a Muslim and was a Christian???
Go over to Ambulance Driver’s and read this POST. It appears Chris and Melody Byrne of the Anarchangel are the same as you and I, and they’ve been fighting a lengthy, tedious and horribly expensive international custody battle for several years now, and the bills are coming due. They’re offering up a cookbook for donations, so if you can spare it, go help them out…
Okayyyy… I’m tired of the political crap, so a little aviation history…
Not necessarily correctly time sequenced, but an intriguing story never the less.
From NAA retiree’s newsletter, author D.S Scott.
Enjoy a trip back in time and wonder at what was accomplished. Quite frankly, as an aviation nut for most of my life, I’m flabbergasted at not only the humble beginnings, but the back and forth moves by some of the major players. I was lucky enough to meet Ed Heinemann at the Naval Aviation Museum back in the 70’s; he was very interesting to talk to…
In aviation history, decades before geeks and nerds altered our way of life, young and gutsy aviation pioneers changed the world with their wood sticks, bailing wire, canvas and aluminum.
How many of you know that in 1910, mighty Martin Marietta got its start in an abandoned California church? That’s where Glenn L. Martin with his amazing mother Minta Martin and their mechanic Roy Beal constructed a fragile biplane that Glenn taught himself to fly.
It has often been told how Douglas Aircraft started operations in 1920 in a barbershop’s backroom on L.A. ‘s Pico Boulevard . Interestingly, the barber-shop is still operating.
The Lockheed Company built the first of their famous Vegas’ in 1927 inside a building currently used by Victory Cleaners at 1040 Sycamore in Hollywood.
In 1922, Claude Ryan, a 24 year old military reserve pilot, was getting his hair cut in San Diego, when the barber mentioned that the ‘town’s aviator’ was in jail for smuggling Chinese illegals up from Mexico. Claude found out that if he replaced the pilot ‘sitting in the pokey,’ that he would be able to lease the town’s airfield for $50 a month – BUT he also needed to agree to fly North and East – BUT not South!
Northrop’s original location was an obscure So California hotel. It was available because the police had raided the hotel and found that its steady residents were money-minded gals entertaining transitory male hotel guests.
Glenn Martin built his first airplane in a vacant church, before he moved to a vacant apricot cannery in Santa Ana . He was a showman and he traveled the county fair and air meet circuit as an exhibitionist aviator. From his exhibition proceeds, Glenn was able to pay his factory workers and purchase the necessary wood, linen and wire. His mother, Minta and two men ran the factory while Glenn risked his neck and gadded about the country. One of his workers was 22-year old Donald Douglas [who WAS the entire engineering department]. A Santa Monica youngster named Larry Bell [later founded Bell Aircraft] ran the shop.
Another part of Glenn Martin’s business was a flying school with several planes based at Griffith Park , and a seaplane operation on the edge of Watts . His instructors taught a rich young man named Bill Boeing to fly. Then, Boeing bought one of Glenn Martin’s seaplanes and had it shipped back to his home in Seattle At the same time, Bill Boeing hired away Glenn’s personal mechanic. Later, after Boeing’s seaplane crashed in Puget Sound , he placed an order to Martin for replacement parts.
Still chafing from having his best mechanic ‘swiped,’ [a trick he later often used himself] Martin decided to take his sweet time and allowed Bill Boeing to ‘stew’ for a while. Bill Boeing wasn’t one to ‘stew’ and he began fabricating his own aircraft parts, an activity that morphed into constructing entire airplanes.
A former small shipyard nicknamed ‘Red Barn’ became Boeing Aircraft’s first home. Soon, a couple of airplanes were being built inside, each of them having a remarkable resemblance to Glenn Martin’s airplanes .. that, interestingly, had its own remarkable resemblance to Glenn Curtiss’ airplanes.
A few years later, when the Great depression intervened and Boeing couldn’t sell enough airplanes to pay his bills, he diversified into custom built speed boats and furniture for his wealthy friends.
After WWI, a bunch of sharpies from Wall Street gained control of the Wright Brothers Co in Dayton and the Martin Company in L.A. and ‘stuck them’ together as the Wright-Martin Company.
Wright-Martin began building an obsolete biplane design with a foreign Hispano-Suiza engine. Angered because he had been out maneuvered with a bad idea, Martin walked out taking Larry Bell and key employees with him.
From the deep wallet of a wealthy baseball mogul, Martin was able to establish a new factory. Then his good luck continued, when the future aviation legend Donald Douglas, who Glenn persuaded to join his team. Quickly emerging from the team’s efforts was the Martin Bomber, the Martin MB-1.
Although too late to enter WWI, the Martin bomber showed its superiority when Billy Mitchell made everyone mad at him by sinking several captured German battleships and cruisers.
In Cleveland, a young fellow called ‘Dutch’ Kindelberger joined Martin as an engineer. Later, as the leader of North American Aviation, Dutch became justifiably well-known.
Flashing back to 1920, Donald Douglas had saved $60,000, returned to L. A. and rented a barbershop’s rear room and loft space in a carpenter’s shop nearby. There he constructed a classic passenger airplane called the Douglas Cloudster.
A couple of years later, Claude Ryan bought the Cloudster and used it to make daily flights between San Diego and Los Angeles . This gave Ryan the distinction of being the first owner/operator of Douglas transports. Claude Ryan later custom built Charles Lindbergh’s ‘ride’ to fame in the flying fuel tank christened: The Spirit of St. Louis .
In 1922, Donald Douglas won a contract from the Navy to build several torpedo carrying aircraft. While driving through Santa Monica ‘s wilderness, Douglas noticed an abandoned, barn-like movie studio. He stopped his roadster and prowled around. That abandoned studio became Douglas Aircraft’s first real factory.
With the $120,000 contract in his hand, Donald Douglas could afford to hire one or two more engineers. My brother Gordon Scott had been schooled in the little known science of aviation at England ‘s Fairey Aviation, so he hired Gordon.
My first association with the early aviation pioneers occurred when I paid my brother a visit at his new work place. Gordon was outside on a ladder washing windows. He was the youngest engineer. Windows were dirty. And Douglas Aircraft Company had no money to pay janitors.
Gordon introduced me to a towhead guy called Jack Northrop, and another chap named Jerry Vultee. Jack Northrop had moved over from Lockheed Aircraft. And all of them worked together on the Douglas Aircraft’s world cruiser designs. While working in his home after work and on weekends, Jack designed a wonderfully advanced streamlined airplane. When Allan Loughead [Lock-heed] found a wealthy investor willing to finance Northrop’s new airplane, he linked up with Allan. Together, they leased a Hollywood workshop and constructed the Lockheed Vega. It was sensational with its clean lines and high performance. Soon Amelia Earhart and others flew the Vega and broke many of aviation’s world records.
I had the distinct pleasure of spending time with Ed Heinemann who later designed the AD, A3D and A4D. He told me how my Dad would fly out to Palmdale with an experimental aircraft they were both working on. They would fly it around for a few hops and come up with some fixes. After having airframe changes fabricated in a nearby machine shop, they would hop it again to see if they had gotten the desired results. If it worked out, Mr. Heinemann would institute the changes on the aircraft’s factory assembly line. No money swapped hands!
In May 1927, Lindbergh flew to Paris and triggered a bedlam where everyone was trying to fly everywhere. Before the first Lockheed Vega was built, William Randolph Hearst had already paid for it and had it entered in an air race from the California Coast to Honolulu . In June 1927, my brother Gordon left Douglas Aircraft to become Jack Northrop’s assistant at Lockheed. While there, he managed to get himself hired as the navigator on Hearst’s Vega. The race was a disaster and ten lives were lost. The Vega and my brother vanished. A black cloud hung heavily over the little shop. However, Hubert Wilkins, later to become Sir Hubert Wilkins, took Vega #2 and made a successful polar flight from Alaska to Norway . A string of successful flights after that placed Lockheed in aviation’s forefront.
I went to work for Lockheed as it 26th employee shortly after the disaster and I worked on the Vega. It was made almost entirely of wood and I quickly become a half-assed carpenter.
At this time, General Motors had acquired North American consisting of Fokker Aircraft, Pitcairn Aviation [later Eastern Airlines] and Sperry Gyroscope and hired Dutch Kindelberger away from Douglas to run it Dutch moved the entire operation to L.A. where Dutch and his engineers came up with the P-51 Mustang.
Interestingly, just a handful of young men played roles affecting the lives of all Americans ….. as it initiated the Southern California metamorphosis, from a semi-desert with orange groves and celluloid, into a dynamic complex, supporting millions.
Although this technological explosion had startling humble beginnings, taking root as acorns in – a barber shop’s back room – a vacant church – and an abandoned cannery – but came to fruition as mighty oaks.
Well, Sotomajor will be confirmed if you believe the LWLs…
They are already crowing about having TWO premptive cards to play, the race card AND the gender card. From what I’m hearing inside the beltway, it’s already started…
Also, plan on hearing a lot about “snippets”, “half-sentences”, “out of context”, and other buzz words as the dems machine cranks up to derail any and all opposition to Sotomajor. Although I haven’t seen it, one of the LWLs that works in the office was talking to one of her friends about a “team” email she had gotten and how, “Everybody just has to stay on message to make sure nobody can counter without feeling the pain in the media, and especially push hard with any Hispanic friends to get them up in arms if there is any negative media.”
What happened to selecting the best person for the job based on, oh something novel, LIKE QUALIFICATIONS???
I predict this will go ugly early in the media, driven by the left, to shut off ANY questions… sigh…
Well, I guess everyone has heard Sonia Sotomayor has been nominated as the replacement for Souter on SCOTUS…
All this has done is reaffirm, at least in my mind, the Lightbringer doesn’t care a flip about the Constitution and is simply trying to stack the deck as much as he can! She is an average Judge, no really tough cases (she wouldn’t even hear the Reverse Discrimination case by Ricci et al over the firefighter promotions, which is now at SCOTUS), she is definitely anti-gun, anti-2A, and is going to get confirmed anyway because the Dems have enough votes to put her on the court without any problems…
BUT, she is female, Hispanic, Liberal, and has a sob story background- That puts all the checks in the box for the Obamabots, so who cares whether or not she is really the best candidate? They sure as hell don’t!
You can go HERE and read some of her statements and see the video of HER view of what the appeals courts do. You can go over to Texas Fred and read his post with leads to other posts/blogs.
Folks, this is, in my opinion, the first shot across the bows of the silent majority. I think the Obamabots are going to see what they can get away with on this one… How far they can push the envelope, how well the dems actually perform to get her on the SCOTUS, and prime the pump because the Lightbringer thinks he’ll get to do this again and again…
I’m writing my Congresscritters, asking them to look at qualifications and agendas of this woman, because I STRONGLY believe she will hurt the US more than help it…
What you do is up to each of you, but I simply ask you to consider whether you really want someone like this interpreting/making your laws for the next 20-30 years…
Or would you rather have someone like Justice Diane Wood? If you want a female, why not get one of the best? sigh…
Banging head on soapbox now…
It was a pleasure to finally meet Snigs’ clan and J.R. Shirley today. We did an impromptu blogmeet (kinda, sorta) for lunch over in Augusta, GA. Once again I was impressed with the folks in real life, as they ALL are down to earth and VERY sharp! Snigs’ kids were probably the nicest most polite kids, and the quietest I have seen in oh, forty forevers… Of course, something about if they got out of line they were dead meat “might” have had something to do with it… Or maybe not ☺
J.R. has my admiration, simply because he teaches school- I couldn’t do that, at least not without ending up under the jail because I’d have smacked one of the back talking little twerps… J.R. did admit it wasn’t easy, but he hung in there! Now he’s on to bigger and better things.
J.R. has an interesting background, and is a shooter too! We also found out we know people in common (cue small world music)! Snigs piped up that we probably know people in common, as she was raised over in Covington, GA where some of my relatives are…
J.R. related the story of the threat made by one of his students that he posted about, and Snigs’ hubby James made an interesting observation, since he works for GA Dept of Corrections, and I think he’s right when he said he’d probably be seeing “most” of them in the near future…
It’s no wonder Snigs does as well as she does in school, she reminds me of the ol’ Steel Magnolia… All Southern sweetness and light on the outside, real pretty, but solid steel underneath, and NO qualms about doing what is right, regardless of what is going on around her. If she’s not the top graduate out of nursing school, it sure wont be for lack of effort!
I think we solved the world’s problems at least once or twice, talked guns, travel, guns, school, guns, kids, snakes, idiots… well you get the drift ☺
I had to bail early, as the Maytag man was meeting me at my place to install a new microwave (yes they DO make service calls, of course in this case, it helps that he’s a friend and I bought the original one from him in 1994…), even on a Sunday; this is because I have to go back tomorrow.
Hopefully we can do this again in the future and actually get a little shootin in too!