Inner Harbor is located at the western end of Sand Island at the southern end of Midway Atoll. To the north is Midway Lagoon. Furthere to the west is the Eastern Channel and Eastern Island. During 1943-1945 also known as "Submarine Basin".
During 1935-1936, Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) developed a seaplane operating area and shore facilities at this location to support Sikorsky S-42 "Pan American Clipper" flying boats.
During 1939, the U. S. Navy (USN) contracted several construction firms, which formed Contractors Pacific Naval Air Base for the construction of facilities for NAS Midway Islands to develop Sand Island Seaplane Base on Sand Island and Midway Airfield (Eastern Island Airfield) on Eastern Island.
Sand Island Seaplane Base
The shore facilities were located at the western edge of the Inner Harbor
Sand Island PT Boat Base
Located in Inner Harbor with shore facilities on Sand Island. During the middle of May 1942, twelve PT Boats from MTBS 1 (Squadron 1) under the command of Lt. Clinton McKellar, Jr. departed Pearl Harbor and made an open ocean crossing of 1,385 miles, the longest ever made by PT Boats. Only one boat, PT 23 aborted due to a broken crank shaft. The rest of the PT Boats make a refueling stop at Necker Island east of the French Frigate Shoals then arrived at Sand Island PT Boat Base. On June 4, 1942 During the Battle of Midway an air raid was sounded allowing the PT Boats leave dock and motor in Midway Lagoon where PT-21 and PT-22 contribute anti-aircraft fire and claim a low flying Zero that crashes into Sand Island. Another Zero strafed PT-25 (one officer and one enlisted man were wounded and 25 bullet holes impacted the hull). After the raid, PT-20, PT-22 and PT-28 return to Sand Island PT Boat Base then patrolled Midway Lagoon to rescue downed aviators. Later in the day at 7:30pm all eleven PT Boats sortied to search for the Japanese fleet including carriers reported 170 miles to the northwest but were unable to find them due to bad weather and returned to Sand Island by dawn on June 5, 1942. Returning, PT-20 and PT-21 spotted smoke 50 miles to the west of Midway and sped to investigate but only found an oil slick. After the battle on June 6, 1942 each PT Boats put to sea carrying one casket each, to bury the eleven U. S. Marines killed during the air raid and buried them at sea.
Starting in July 1942 until the end of the Pacific War, the Inner Harbor was also used as a submarine basin where a submarine tender was anchored to support U. S. Navy submarines. In July 1942 USS Fulton (AS-11) was stationed in the Inner Harbor to provide support services for up to four submarines until October 1942. The Inner Harbor's northern edge which became known as Submarine Basin. During June 1944, Auxiliary Repair Dry Dock (ARD) USS ARD-8 arrived from Pearl Harbor to provide repairs and refit capabilities until November 1945.
U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service - After the Battle of Midway
The Battle of Midway (1942) directed by John Ford includes combat footage during the Battle of Midway June 1942
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August 25, 2018