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Battle of Midway June 4-7,1942: Details from 70 years Ago

Firsthand info available from a famous battle.

Someone read my Memorial Day blog and asked that I follow up with more details on the result of the great victory.  So here is some findings.

Admiral Fletcher was the overall Commander and was on the Yorktown which had been made sea worthy in 72 hours of patchwork at Pearl Harbor, in time for the effort.  When the Yorktown was disabled he turned command over to Admiral Spruance.  Admiral Spruance got command when Adm. Halsey was hospitalized for a skin desase at Pearl.  He had been on the Hornet and controlled also the carrier Enterprise.

The Yorktown Captain was Elliott Buckmaster.

After the enemy was located, the intial attack was made by Torpedo Squadron 8 and the slow moving torpedo planes were all shot down by fast moving Japanese fighters, with only Ensign Gay surviving.  It was great to be able to be with the likes of Lt. Cmdr. Richard Best who had hits on two carriers,  and now find that all he told me is history, especially that flight against the Hiryu was his last flight and the flight in which Frederick Weber was killed as his wingman, being hit as he went into his last dive. 

 My daughter Carole was a Navy Officer and served in San Diego at the time of the great Top Gun School there, teaching the the Navy Schools in San Diego.  So we spent many hours in facilities there.  It was great to see the inside of things there as I sailed from San Diego thinking we would land in Japan in 1945

The American Action involved  3 Carriers,  The Enterprize, the Hornet, and the Yorktown.  The fleet consisted of 25 support ships, 233 Carrier Aircraft, and 127 land based planes.  Not we had 28 ships total.

American losses were 1 Carrier sunk, the Yorktown.  1 destroyer sunk by a submarine, 180 aircraft destroyed with 307 men Killed In Action.

The Japanese had a much larger group, lead by 4 Carriers, battleships, heavy cruisers and even submarines.  Japanes losses were:

Sunk:        Carrier Akagi              267 dead

                  Carrier Kaga              92 dead

                   Carrier Soryu           711 dead

                   Carrier Hiryu             700 dead        2,181 dead on carriers

                   Hy Cruiser Aikumn     700 dead

                  Hy Cruiser Mogani         92 dead          792 dead on cruisers

                  One oiler                       23 dead            23

                                                Total                 3,057 all experienced and battle tested military personnel.  They were all missed by Japan later. but due to support ships many were saved as we had several who were shot down and executed one way or another.  But just think, this happened 70 years ago in the firat week of June.  A great victory with 3,057 skilled Japanes crewmen and only 307 Americans.  Thanks for reading and caring.

I guess I am concerned right now as the Republicans seem to want us to attack Syria and others, not seeming to understand that War is Hell in action and costly also.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Larry Lazar June 04, 2012 at 01:04 AM
Thank you for this George, and thank you for your service, both in the war back in the day, and serving our communities today.

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