US Pacific Fleet Marks 73rd Anniversary of the Battle of Midway
US Pacific Fleet Marks 73rd Anniversary of
the Battle of Midway
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tamara
Vaughn, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs.
Pearl Harbor, Hawaï – (NNS)
– June 5, 2015 – The U.S. Pacific Fleet staff commemorated the 73rd anniversary of the Battle
of Midway with a ceremony at its Pearl Harbor headquarters June 5.
The Battle of Midway was fought June 4-7, 1942 and was the decisive defeat that
effectively halted the Imperial Japanese Navy's advance across the Pacific.
Fleet Commander Adm. Scott Swift spoke of the battle's significance as the
turning point of World War II in the Pacific and the actions of then Fleet
Commander Adm. Chester Nimitz that contributed to victory.
Ceremony at fleet headquarters to commemorate the 73rd anniversary of the Battle
"Adm. Nimitz is someone I have studied for a long time," Swift said during
his opening remarks. "He was a very strategic thinker. In those three days that
[USS] Yorktown was being repaired in the dry dock he donned waders and walked
through the ship to encourage those who were working on the ship that the
mandate he had set to repair the ship in three days could be achieved.
"He understood what was being asked of those shipyard workers and that is
telling today," Swift said.
He went on to note to the more than 150 guests in attendance that this is not
simply history; it is, in fact, heritage.
"Numbers are important, but what's most compelling here is the commitment of the
force, the belief in what you're fighting for," Swift said. "Today isn't just
about the history of Midway, but it's also about our naval heritage there."
The ceremony included remarks from guest speaker and historian David Rosenberg,
who stressed how the United States was outnumbered and outgunned during this
"Through an extraordinary combination of the skill and courage of American
pilots, splendid intelligence, prudent risk taking by our commanders, that and
sheer luck," Rosenberg said. "The apparently inferior American forces were
Naval intelligence played a crucial role in the victory. In May 1942,
intelligence experts at the Combat Intelligence Unit at Pearl Harbor known as
Station Hypo intercepted 500 to 1,000 Japanese radio messages a day, deciphering
and translating roughly 25 percent. They provided Nimitz with the vital
information that the Imperial Japanese Navy intended to attack Midway Atoll.
"Imperial Japan seemed to be triumphant and unstoppable," Rosenberg said.
"Information dominance core of intelligence, cryptology, communications and
meteorology professionals gave Adm. Nimitz advance notice the knowledge of
Japanese objectives, virtually the enemy entire order of battle."
Rosenberg noted that it was a combination of intelligence, tactics, courage and
sacrifice that forever changed the course of the war and world history. The
interception and decryption of Japanese plans by naval intelligence specialists
in Hawaii allowed Nimitz to have his carriers ready and waiting for the Japanese
Additionally, Swift spoke of the importance of the Pacific region to America
during the battle and its importance today.
"All this folds into who we are today and the challenges we face, especially in
this theater of great uncertainty," Swift added. "What is most compelling is the
commitment to the force, the belief in what you are fighting for."
Although the attack occurred 73 years ago the lessons from this famous battle
are still being told.
"The event honored the legacy of the Battle of Midway and incredible sacrifices
that were made," said Cryptologic Technician (Collections) 3rd Class Devin
Bates, who attended the ceremony. "It makes sure that the memory of the Battle
of Midway, our heritage and what it stands for, is not lost to younger
generations of Sailors."
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See Also :
Naval District Washington Honors Battle of Midway Anniversary