BATTLE OF MIDWAY – WWII
4–7 June 1942
Six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, 26 U. S. Navy warships, 16 submarines, 233 carrier-based aircraft, and 127 land-based aircraft met 27 Imperial Japanese Navy warships, 248 carrier-based aircraft, and 28 floatplanes at Midway in a major and decisive naval battle of WWII.
Japanese command believed that naval dominance could only be obtained by destroying American aircraft carriers. Admiral Yamamoto devised a plan to draw out what remained of the American fleet by attacking a target relatively close to Pearl Harbor. U.S. intelligence; however, was able to break Japanese codes which enabled Pacific Fleet commander Admiral Chester W. Nimitz to understand the exact Japanese plans. Nimitz placed available U.S. carriers in position to surprise the Japanese moving up for their preparatory air strikes on Midway Island itself.
Midway Atoll, Pacific Theater
Task Force 16
Task Force 17
Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz
Rear Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher
Rear Admiral Raymond Spruance
US ARMY AIR FORCE
MIDWAY NAVAL AIR STATION
Capt. Cyril T. Simard, Commanding
11th Air Fleet
Marshal Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto
Admiral Nobutake Kondō
Vice Admiral Chūichi Nagumo
Rear Admiral Tamon Yamaguchi
A victory for the United States
U.S. forces suffered the sinking of fleet carrier USS Yorktown, and the destroyer USS Hammann, along with about 150 aircraft destroyed, 307 killed in action, including 3 killed as prisoners. Japanese carriers Akagi, Kaga, Hiryū, and Soryū were sunk; as was the heavy cruiser Mikuma. Heavy cruiser Mogami was badly damaged, 248 aircraft destroyed, 3,057 killed, and 37 captured. Japanese Naval Captain Yanagimoto went down with his ship, the Soryū. U.S. Major General Clarence L. Tinker, Commander, 7th Air Force, personally led a bomber strike from Hawaii against the retreating Japanese forces on 7 June and was killed when his aircraft crashed near Midway Island.
Actual combat footage of the Battle of Midway
Actual footage of USS Yorktown
Japanese footage of aircraft carriers Akagi and Kaga