THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY ISLAND
great naval strategists, Admiral Chester Nimitz, Commander of the U.S.
Pacific Fleet and Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, once a student at
Harvard University and principal planner of the successful Pearl Harbor
sneak attack, were destined to clash over which nation was to control
the Pacific, using aircraft as the ultimate weapon.
Yamamoto had more aircraft carriers and more planes, and one, the Zero,
was superior in most respects to all U.S. war planes in the
battle. That battle was fought June 4th through June 7h of 1942,
only six months after the disastrous Japanese sneak attack on our Pearl
Harbor Hawaii naval base.
Nimitz had several advantages: The U.S. had broken the Japanese Naval
code JN-25. This enabled our Navy to know the destination of the
Japanese Armada and what the overall plan was meant to achieve:
occupation of every base America had in the vast Pacific. Nimitz
operated from an island he had stocked with vast amounts of fuel and
ammunition available to the U.S. aircraft.
He sent out Navy PBY Amphibian aircraft in an effort to pinpoint the
exact location of the Japanese fleet. One of them found it less than
300 miles from Midway.
crucial moment came when the captain of one of the Japanese
carriers decided he needed to change the armament on his aircraft from
torpedoes to bombs in order to destroy the facilities on Midway and
fatefully decided to also refuel his aircraft while doing so.
The introduction of a squadron of U. S. Douglas Dauntless Dive bombers
made superb drops on the four carriers and sank them all..
It was a decisive victory that foretold the ultimate outcome of the war with Japan.
Phil Richardson, Editor