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Battle of Midway

June 4 - 7 1942

US Navy's Battle of Midway site

 

Ships & Aircraft of the Battle of Midway Excellent detailed descriptions of all ships and planes. lncludes Order of Battle and maps.


 

"My greatest hope is that we encounter a favorable tactical situation, but if we don't, and the worst comes to worst, I want each of us to do his utmost to destroy our enemies. If there is only one plane left to make a final run-in, I want that man to go in and get a hit. May God be with us all. Good Luck, happy landings, and give 'em hell."

- Lt Commander J C Waldron, USN. Commander, Torpedo Squadron 8, USS Hornet (CV-8). Navy Cross (Posthumous). Killed in action, Battle of Midway. Graduate of Rapid City High School, Class of 1920; US Naval Academy, Class of 1924. His mother was a member of the Lakota Nation.

Here is a photo of Midway atoll today, from overhead

Midway Atoll from the air

 

Three paintings from the art collection of the US Navy. Click on the paintings to find out more.

"Coming Aboard" (left) and "Task Force Hornets" (right) by L. B. Smith

(left) SBD dive bombers returning from an attack. Captain Marc Mitscher in the foreground.

(right) F4F Wildcat fighters parked ("spotted") while pilots (in yellow) discuss tactics. (Fighter pilots talk with their hands a lot.)

Dive bombers landing on USN acircraft carrier in 1942fighters and pilots, USS Hornet, 1942

 

"Famous Four Minutes" by R. G. Smith

Three Japanese aircraft carriers set on fire - 1030, 4 June 1942

R.G. Smith, rgsmithart.com

 

SBD "Dauntless" dive bombers from carriers Enterprise (CV-6), and Yorktown (CV-5), made this attack. Click on the picture to find out about Lieutenant Commander Wade McCluskey, who (like LtCdr Waldron) found the Japanese carriers, led the dive bomber attack, and was awarded the Navy Cross.

 

The USS Yorktown (CV-5), first aircraft carrier and third US Naval vessel of that name, was sunk in this battle. A new USS Yorktown (CV-10), second carrier and fourth naval vessel of that name, went into action in April 1943, was in 11 major battles, and survived the war.

 

Battle of Midway Art Chronology Five pages of art and historical commentary about the battle. Lots of paintings and action photos. Excellent resource.

 

The three aircraft types used by the American aircraft carriers at Midway:

TBD Douglas Devastator at Midway

 

 

SBD Dauntless Battle of Midway

 

 

F4F Wildcat Midway

Click on the aircraft above to find out more about Jimmy Thatch.
He invented the "Thatch Weave" maneuver that let F4Fs like this one fight Zeroes without getting killed.

"For the first time Lt. Commander Tadashi Nakajima (75 kills) encountered what was to become a famous double-team maneuver on the part of the enemy. Two Wildcats jumped on the commander's plane. He had no trouble in getting on the tail of an enemy fighter, but never had a chance to fire before the Grumman's team-mate roared at him from the side. Nakajima was raging when he got back to Rabaul; he had been forced to dive and run for safety." Saburo Sakai, famous Japanese ace.

 

 

Zero fighter

 

Kate torpedo bomber

 

 

Val dive bomber

 

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