Battle of Midway June 4 to 7, 1942

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by NorwichDad, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    We owe a lot to those brave americans who fought this battle, below OPORD from Adm Nimitz:

    From: Commander-in-Chief, United States Pacific Fleet.
    To: Commander Striking Forces (Operation Plan 29-42).

    Subject: Letter of Instructions.

    1. In carrying out the task assigned in Operation Plan 29-42 you will be governed by the principle of calculated risk, which you shall interpret to mean the avoidance of exposure of your force to attack by superior enemy forces without good prospect of inflicting, as a result of such exposure, greater damage to the enemy. This applies to a landing phase as well as during preliminary air attacks. - C. W. NIMITZ.

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    Three Squadrons of American Torpedo planes, old and obsolete at the time, attacked the four Japanese Carriers without fighter cover and were slaughtered by zeros covering their carriers. This enabled American dive bombers to attack the carriers uncontested and set three of Japan's Carriers into burning wrecks. Winstin Churchill in his 6th book on the war actually listed the names of those in the torpedo squadrons as a tribute and testiment to their bravery.

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    "The Battle of Midway, fought over and near the tiny U.S. mid-Pacific base at Midway atoll, represents the strategic high water mark of Japan's Pacific Ocean war. Prior to this action, Japan possessed general naval superiority over the United States and could usually choose where and when to attack. After Midway, the two opposing fleets were essentially equals, and the United States soon took the offensive.

    “Japanese Combined Fleet commander Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto moved on Midway in an effort to draw out and destroy the U.S. Pacific Fleet's aircraft carrier striking forces, which had embarrassed the Japanese Navy in the mid-April Doolittle Raid on Japan's home islands and at the Battle of Coral Sea in early May. He planned to quickly knock down Midway's defenses, follow up with an invasion of the atoll's two small islands, and establish a Japanese air base there. He expected the U.S. carriers to come out and fight, but to arrive too late to save Midway and in insufficient strength to avoid defeat by his own well-tested carrier air power.

    “Yamamoto's intended surprise was thwarted by superior American communications intelligence, which deduced his scheme well before battle was joined. This allowed Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, the U.S. Pacific Fleet commander, to establish an ambush by having his carriers ready and waiting for the Japanese. On 4 June 1942, in the second of the Pacific War's great carrier battles, the trap was sprung. The perseverance, sacrifice and skill of U.S. Navy aviators, plus a great deal of good luck on the American side, cost Japan four irreplaceable fleet carriers, while only one of the three U.S. carriers present was lost. The base at Midway, though damaged by Japanese air attack, remained operational and later became a vital component in the American trans-Pacific offensive."
     
  2. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    Torpedo Squdron 8

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  3. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    George Gay. Survivor of squadron Eight. In combined attacks without fighter cover they helped sink four Carriers and changed the direction of the War with their sacrifice. The Naval Zero's chased them on to the deck and the dive bombers had an open field without CAP.
     
  4. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    Wow...

    True American Hero's

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  5. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    Midway - NAVY CROSS: "For extraordinary heroism and distinguished service beyond the call of duty as a pilot of Torpedo Squadron Eight in the 'Air Battle of Midway', against enemy Japanese forces on June 4, 1942. Grimly aware of the hazardous consequences of flying without fighter protection, and with insufficient fuel to return to his carrier, Ensign Gay resolutely, and with no thought of his own life, delivered an effective torpedo attack against violent assaults of enemy Japanese aircraft and against an almost solid barrage of anti-aircraft fire. Although shot down while retiring from the torpedo attack, Ensign Gay, by his courage, skill and resourcefulness, survived and was subsequently able to provide valuable information concerning the action. His unflinching and conscientious devotion to the fulfillment of his mission was a determining factor in the defeat of the enemy forces and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

    Midway - PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION - TORPEDO SQUADRON EIGHT: "For extremely heroic and courageous performance in combat during the 'Air Battle of Midway,' June 4, 1942. Flying low without fighter support, Torpedo Squadron Eight began the perilous mission, 'Intercept and attack!' First to sight the enemy, the Squadron attacked with full striking power against crushing enemy opposition, scoring torpedo hits on enemy Japanese forces. Realizing to a man that insufficient fuel would prevent a return to the carrier, the pilots held doggedly to the target, dropping torpedoes at pointblank range in the face of blasting anti-aircraft fire that sent planes, one by one, hurtling aflame into the sea. The loss of twenty-nine lives, typifying valor, loyalty and determination, was the price paid for Torpedo Squadron eight's vital contribution to the eventual success of our forces in this epic battle of the air."

    Gay died on 21 October 1994 in Marietta, Georgia, and his ashes were spread over the Pacific where his 29 fellow aviators from Torpedo Squadron Eight died in action during the Battle of Midway.

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  6. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    Didn't know that his ashes were scattered over the Pacific. A "Beau Geste" and I salute him.
     
  7. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I didn't know that either. Brings a tear to my eye.
     
  8. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    On 21 June 1942, PBY aircraft from (VP 24) recovered a two-man crew from USS Enterprise (CV 6) TBD (VT 6), 360 miles north of Midway. Their plane had to land in the water on 4 June. The aviators were the last survivors of the Battle of Midway to be recovered. The men were: Aviation Radioman 3rd Class Douglas M. Cossitt and Aviation Radioman 1st Class W.A. Miller.


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