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Midway – We Remember.

June 7, 2012

The scene on board USS Yorktown (CV-5) shortly after the carrier was hit by three Japanese bombs during the Battle of Midway. (U.S. Navy photo)

70 years ago this past week, the outnumbered U.S. Pacific Fleet began an epic clash against the unbeaten Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II. After suffering an array of defeats and an unprecedented loss of territory across the Pacific, the U.S. Navy finally gained the offensive hand in the 1942 Battle of Midway. Decisiveness, strategy, and good luck all came together, and the Americans proved to the the Imperial Japanese fleet that they were a force to be reckoned. All four Japanese aircraft carriers were lost, along with several experienced aviators. The United States lost one carrier, the USS Yorktown. But the notion and sentiment that bobbed in the waves was unsinkable: this had been the greatest battle in U.S. naval history.

Earlier this week, War in the Pacific National Historical Park on Guam joined forces with Joint Region Marianas to hold a commemoration ceremony, marking 70 years since the Battle of Midway. The ceremony featured a wreath-laying in memory, the recognition of one of Guam’s Pearl Harbor survivors, and a military static display. This display allowed the general public to view military craft and machinery up-close, with the experts who operate them on-hand to answer questions.

War in the Pacific National Historical Park honors the bravery and sacrifices of all those who participated in the Pacific Theater of World War II, and we salute our current armed forces serving valiantly all over the globe.

The guest of honor, Manuel Cruz Diaz, 90, of Toto, Guam. Mr. Diaz served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and was aboard the USS West Virginia where he witnessed the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Thank you for your service, Mr. Diaz!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Mustang.Koji permalink
    June 8, 2012 5:10 am

    I lost my neighbor, USMC Sgt. Doreston Johnson, earlier this year. He was wounded in action aboard the Big E during both Midway and the Solomon Island campaign while manning the 20mm’s.

    • Pacific Island Ranger permalink*
      June 8, 2012 6:31 am

      Thank you for sharing. Our nation is coming to terms with the fact that everyday we are losing our WWII vets. Their individual and collective actions changed the course of world history. May we never forget what they did at places like Midway. Aloha

      • Mustang.Koji permalink
        June 8, 2012 7:58 am

        Thank you, Pacific Island Ranger, for your kind reply. I had the fortune of living in a neighborhood rich with WWII veterans. They have all learned to forgive but could not forget.

        For those that are interested, with a little bit of digging, you can find actual declassified WWII CINCPAC combat reports; as an example, Mr. Doreston’s bravery in action is documented here in this August 1942 report and can be seen at about the 3:52 mark:

        I am posting this for those reading your blog that may have interest in learning of their own relative’s bravery. As you know, these veterans have earned the right to keep their memories with them to their final resting places.

  2. Jerry Callender permalink
    June 8, 2012 10:43 am

    Very nice – My dad was an ACMM serving on PBYs, and from my mom I learned he was aboard the “verifyin” PBY that found the Japanese fleet that set up the Battle for Midway…I never got to hear of his involvement in WWII as he was killed when his PBY collided with a Corsair and 7 brave men were killed. I was barely 3 years old.

    • Mustang.Koji permalink
      June 8, 2012 12:40 pm

      He was a great American, Jerry. I thank him and your family for his service and place in history.

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