Midway Atoll is a 2.4 square mile atoll in the central Pacific, one-third of the distance frorm Hawaii and Japan, within 161 miles east of the International Dateline. Comprises of two major island: Sand Island and Eastern Island.
On December 7, 1941 Japanese destroyers bombarded Midway.
Midway Mavis Reconnancence Mission
The Japanese had planned a second K-Operation raid
prior to the Midway campaign. Lieutenant Hashizume flying an H6K
Mavis was shot down by U.S. Marine fighters while trying to photograph
the facilities on Midway.
Midway Islands was the turning point of the war in the Pacific,
when US land
and aircraft carrier based units sank four Japanese aircraft carriers
in a two-day sea battle that broke the back of the Imperial
fleet. Visitors to Midway Islands are exploring its waters and beaches
for the first time in half a century, and finding a treasure
remarkably well preserved wartime items. A
great number of US and Japanese fighters and bombers crashed in
around Midway during the war.
The most important naval battles
in history and a turning point in the Pacific war. The TBF Grumman Avenger flown
by pilots of a shore-based element of Torpedo Squadron 8, began its combat career
with attacks on the Japanese Fleet during the Battle of Midway.
The battle would result in the Japanese Navy's first naval defeat in over
300 years and the loss of four carriers. During the battle, 4 B-26s,
in conjunction with US Navy torpedo bombers, attack a carrier; 2 of the
B-26s are shot down. In further morning action 14 B-17s attack a task force
approaching Midway at a distance of
145 miles; they claim several hits on carriers and 2 Zekes shot down.
In the late afternoon 2 B-17s attack a carrier force, claiming
hits on a battleship and a carrier and 9 aircraft shot down; 4 other B-17s claim
a hit on heavy cruiser 185 miles from Midway.
6 B-17s, en route to Midway from Hawaii,
bomb ships 170 miles from Midway,
claiming hits on a burning carrier, the Hiryu, hit earlier in the battle, and
a destroyer, which is claimed sunk. The Battle of Midway ends. Japanese losses include 3,500 men, four
carriers, a cruiser, 332 aircraft, and many of their bravest, most experienced
pilots. American losses include 307 men plus 105 aircraft lost. Sunk was USS Yorktown CV-5 and USS Hammann DD-412.
runways, buildings, bunkers and other wartime remnants still stand.
Bomb craters and long strings of strafing bullet marks from Japanese
Zero fighter aircraft still stitch across runway aprons and building
faces, evidence that Japan brought the battle onto Midway's shores. The atoll is an unorganized, unincorporated territory of the United States.
Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife Reguge
USFWS has contracted with a private company, Midway Phoenix Corporation,
to provide access and management for public visits to the islands.
The contractor provides airplane service from Lihue, Kauai, and guests
are put up in refurbished barracks and fed at a dining hall left
from Navy operating days. Part of the tour fees paid by visitors
is used to preserve, manage and expand the wildlife habitat.
Located in Midway Atoll, includes Midway Airfield (Eastern Island Airfield)
Located in Midway Atoll
Pilot Smith ditched June 22, 1943
LB-30 Liberator Serial Number AL589
General Clarance Tinker KIA June 7, 1942
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May 22, 2017