Battle of Midway.

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Lucky13, May 30, 2007.

  1. Lucky13

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    Battle of Midway: 4-7 June 1942: Composition of U. S. Forces

    United States Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas

    Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, USN, Commander in Chief


    Carrier Striking Force
    Rear Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher, USN


    Task Force 17 (TF 17)
    Rear Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher, USN


    Task Group 17.5 (TG 17.5)


    Carrier Group
    Capt. Elliot Buckmaster, USN


    USS Yorktown (CV-5)
    -Capt. Elliot Buckmaster, USN
    Damaged by Japanese aircraft during the Battle of Midway, 4 June 1942,
    and sank after being torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-168, 7 June 1942


    USS Yorktown Air Group
    - Lt. Comdr. Oscar Pederson, USN

    Fighting Squadron 3 (VF-3)
    Lt. Comdr. John S. Thatch, USN
    25 Grumman F4F-4 (Wildcat)

    Bombing Squadron 3 (VB-3)
    Lt. Comdr. Maxwell F. Leslie, USN
    18 Douglas SBD-3 (Dauntless)

    Scouting Squadron 3 (VS-3)
    Lt. Wallace C. Short Jr., USN
    19 Douglas SBD-3 (Dauntless)

    Torpedo Squadron 3 (VT-3)
    Lt. Comdr. Lance E. Massey, USN
    13 Douglas TBD-1 (Devastator)


    Task Group 17.2 (TG 17.2)


    Cruiser Group
    Rear Admiral William W. Smith, USN

    USS Astoria (CA-34)
    USS Portland (CA-33)


    Task Group 17.4 (TG 17.4)


    Destroyer Screen
    Capt. Gilbert C. Hoover, USN


    Commander Destroyer Squadron 2 (Comdesron 2)

    USS Hammann (DD-412) - torpedoed and sunk by Japanese submarine I-168 following the Battle of Midway, 6 June 1942.
    USS Hughes (DD-410)
    USS Morris (DD-417)
    USS Anderson (DD-411)
    USS Russell (DD-414)
    USS Gwin (DD-433)


    Task Force 16 (TF 16)
    Rear Admiral Raymond A. Spruance, USN


    Task Group 16.5 (TG 16.5)


    Carrier Group
    Capt. George D. Murray, USN


    USS Enterprise (CV-6)
    Capt. George D. Murray, USN


    USS Enterprise Air Group
    - Lt. Comdr. Clarence W. McClusky, USN

    Fighting Squadron 6 (VF-6)
    Lt. James S. Gray, USN
    27 Grumman F4F-4 (Wildcat)

    Bombing Squadron 6 (VB-6)
    Lt. Richard H. Best, USN
    19 Douglas SBD-2 and SBD-3 (Dauntless)

    Scouting Squadron 6 (VS-6)
    Lt. Wilmer E. Gallaher, USN
    19 Douglas SBD-2 and SBD-3 (Dauntless)

    Torpedo Squadron 6 (VT-6)
    Lt. Comdr. Eugene E. Lindsey, USN
    14 Douglas TBD-1 (Devastator)


    USS Hornet (CV-8.)
    Capt. Marc A. Mitscher, USN


    USS Hornet Air Group
    - Lt. Comdr. Stanhope C. Ring, USN

    Fighting Squadron 8 (VF-8.)
    -Lt. Comdr. Samuel G. Mitchell, USN
    27 Grumman F4F-4 (Wildcat)

    Bombing Squadron 8 (VB-8.)
    -Lt. Comdr. Robert R. Johnson, USN
    19 Douglas SBD-2 and SBD-3 (Dauntless)

    Scouting Squadron 8 (VS-8.)
    -Lt. Comdr. Walter F. Rodee, USN
    18 Douglas SBD-1, SBD-2, and SBD-3 (Dauntless)

    Torpedo Squadron 8 (VT-8.)
    -Lt. Comdr. John C. Waldron, USN
    15 Douglas TBD-1 (Devastator)



    Task Group 16.2 (TG 16.2)


    Cruiser Group
    Rear Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid, USN


    Commander Cruiser Division 6 (Comcrudiv 6)

    USS New Orleans (CA-32)
    USS Minneapolis (CA-36)
    USS Vincennes (CA-44)
    USS Northampton (CA-26)
    USS Pensacola (CA-24)
    USS Atlanta (CL-51)


    Task Group 16.4 (TG 16.4)


    Destroyer Screen
    Capt. Alexander R. Early, USN


    Commander Destroyer Squadron 1 (Comdesron 1)

    USS Phelps (DD-360)
    USS Worden (DD-352)
    USS Monaghan (DD-354)
    USS Aylwin (DD-355)


    Destroyer Squadron 6 (Desron 6)
    Capt. Edward P. Sauer, USN

    USS Balch (DD-363)
    USS Conyngham (DD-371)
    USS Benham (DD-397)
    USS Ellet (DD-398.)
    USS Maury (DD-401)


    Oiler Group

    USS Cimarron (AO-22)
    USS Platte (AO-24)
    USS Dewey (DD-349)
    USS Monssen (DD-436)


    Submarines
    Rear Admiral Robert H. English, USN


    Commander Submarine Force Pacific Fleet (ComSubPac)
    Pearl Harbor, Hawaii



    Task Group 7.1 (TG 7.1)


    Midway Patrol Group

    USS Cachalot (SS-170)
    USS Flying Fish (SS-229)
    USS Tambor (SS-198.)
    USS Trout (SS-202)
    USS Grayling (SS-209)
    USS Nautilus (SS-168.)
    USS Grouper (SS-214)
    USS Dolphin (SS-169)
    USS Gato (SS-212)
    USS Cuttlefish (SS-171)
    USS Gudgeon (SS-211)
    USS Grenadier (SS-210)


    Task Group 7.2 (TG 7.2)
    "Roving Short-Stops"

    USS Narwhal (SS-167)
    USS Plunger (SS-179)
    USS Trigger (SS-237)


    Task Group 7.3 (TG 7.3)
    North of Oahu Patrol

    USS Tarpon (SS-175)
    USS Pike (SS-173)
    USS Finback (SS-230)
    USS Growler (SS-215)


    Shore-Based Air, Midway
    Capt. Cyril T. Simard, USN


    Patrol Wing 1 Detachment (Patwing 1 Det)
    Comdr. Massie Hughes, USN


    Patrol Wing 2 Detachment (Patwing 2 Det)
    Lt. Comdr. Robert Brixner, USN
    32 Consolidated PBY-5 and PBY-5A (Catalina)


    Torpedo Squadron 8 Detachment (VT-8 Det)
    Lt. Langdon K. Fieberling, USN
    6 Grumman TBF (Avenger)


    Marine Aircraft Group 22 (MAG 22)


    2ND Marine Air Wing
    Lt. Col. Ira L. Kimes, USMC

    Marine Fighting Squadron 221 (VMF-221)
    Maj. Floyd B. Parks, USMC
    Capt. Kirk Armistead, USMC
    20 Brewster F2A-3 (Buffalo)
    7 Grumman F4F-3 (Wildcat)

    Marine Scouting-Bombing Squadron 241 (VMSB-241)
    Maj. Lofton R. Henderson, USMC
    Maj. Benjamin W. Norris, USMC
    Capt. Marshall A. Tyler, USMC
    11 Vought SB2U-3 (Vindicator)
    16 Douglas SBD-2 (Dauntless)


    Seventh Army Air Force Detachment
    Major General Willis P. Hale, USA


    Capt. James F. Collins, USA
    4 Martin B-26 (Marauder)

    Lt. Col. Walter C. Sweeney Jr., USA
    13 Lockheed B-17 (Flying Fortress)

    Maj. G.A. Blakey, USA
    6 Lockheed B-17 (Flying Fortress)


    Midway Local Defenses
    Capt. Cyril T. Simard, USN


    6TH Marine Defense Battalion (reinforced), Fleet Marine Force
    Col. Harold D. Shannon, USMC

    Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 1 (MBTRON 1)
    Lt. Clinton McKellar Jr., USN

    Midway Island

    PT-20
    PT-21
    PT-22
    PT-24
    PT-25
    PT-26
    PT-27
    PT-28

    Kure Island

    PT-29
    PT-30
    Also 4 small Patrol Craft.


    Deployed along lesser reefs and islands of Hawaiian Group

    French Frigate Shoals

    USS Thornton (AVD-11)
    USS Ballard (AVD-10)
    USS Clark (DD-361)
    USS Kaloli (AOG-13)

    Pearl and Hermes Reef

    USS Crystal (PY-25)
    USS Vireo (ATO-144)

    Lisianski, Gardner Pinnacles, Laysan and Necker
    4 YPs (converted tuna boats)



    Midway Refueling Unit
    Comdr. Harry R. Thurber, USN

    USS Guadalupe
    USS Blue (DD-387)
    USS Ralph Talbot (DD-390)
     
  2. Lucky13

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    Battle of Midway: 4-7 June 1942: Composition of Japanese Naval Forces

    Combined Fleet

    Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto (Commander in Chief)
    in Yamato (Battleship)


    Chief of Staff, Rear Admiral Matome Ugaki


    Advance Expeditionary Force
    Vice Admiral Teruhisa Komatsu (Commander in Chief, Sixth Fleet)
    in Katori (Light Cruiser) at Kwajalein.

    Submarine Squadron 3

    I-168
    I-169
    1-171
    I-174
    I-175
    Deployed between latitude 20 degrees North, longitude 166 degrees 20 minutes West and latitude 23 degrees 30 minutes North, longitude 166 degrees 20 minutes West.

    Submarine Squadron 5

    I-156
    I-157
    I-158
    I-159
    I-162
    I-164 - sunk en route by USS Triton (SS-201), off Kyushu, Japan, 17 May 1942.
    I-165
    I-166
    Deployed between latitude 28 degrees 20 minutes North, longitude 162 degrees 20 minutes West, and latitude 26 degrees North, longitude 165 degrees West.

    Submarine Division 13

    I-121
    I-122
    I-123
    Bringing gas and oil to Lisianski Island and French Frigate Shoals.



    Carrier Striking Force (First Mobile Force)
    Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo


    Chief of Staff, Rear Admiral Ryunosuke Kusaka


    Carrier Division 1
    Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo


    Akagi

    Severely damaged by aircraft from the USS Enterprise (CV-6) NW of Midway Island, 4 June 1942, and scuttled by Japanese destroyers Nowake, Arashi, and Hagikaze, 5 June 1942.

    Akagi Air Group (aircraft numbers approximate)
    21 Mitsubishi carrier fighter (Zeke)
    21 Aichi Type 99 carrier bombers (Vals)
    21 Nakajima Type 97 torpedo bomber (Kate)


    Kaga

    Sunk by aircraft from the USS Enterprise (CV-6) NW of Midway Island, 4 June 1942.

    Kaga Air Group (aircraft numbers approximate)
    30 Mitsubishi carrier fighter (Zeke)
    23 Aichi Type 99 carrier bombers (Vals)
    30 Nakajima Type 97 torpedo bomber (Kate)


    Carrier Division 2
    Rear Admiral Tamon Yamaguchi


    Hiryu

    Severely damaged by aircraft from the USS Enterprise (CV-6) and USS Yorktown (CV-5) NW of Midway Island, 4 June 1942, and scuttled by Japanese destroyers Kazegumo and Yugumo, 5 June 1942.

    Hiryu Air Group (aircraft numbers approximate)
    21 Mitsubishi carrier fighter (Zeke)
    21 Aichi Type 99 carrier bombers (Vals)
    21 Nakajima Type 97 torpedo bomber (Kate)


    Soryu

    Sunk by aircraft from the USS Yorktown (CV-5) NW of Midway Island, 4 June 1942.

    Soryu Air Group (aircraft numbers approximate)
    21 Mitsubishi carrier fighter (Zeke)
    21 Aichi Type 99 carrier bombers (Vals)
    21 Nakajima Type 97 torpedo bomber (Kate)


    Cruiser Division 8
    Rear Admiral Hiroaki Abe

    Tone
    Chikuma


    Battleship Division 3, 2ND Section

    Haruna
    Kirishima


    Screen
    Rear Admiral Susumu Kimura, Commander Destroyer Squadron 10
    in Nagara (Light Cruiser)


    Destroyer Division 10

    Kazagumo
    Yugumo
    Makigumo
    Akigumo - detached to escort the Supply Unit, 3 June 1942.


    Destroyer Division 17

    Isokaze
    Urakaze
    Hamakaze
    Tanikaze


    Destroyer Division 4

    Arashi
    Nowake
    Hagikaze
    Maikaze


    Supply Unit


    Oilers

    Kyokuto Maru
    Shinkoku Maru
    Toho Maru
    Nippon Maru
    Kokuyo Maru


    Midway Occupation Force
    Vice Admiral Nobutake Kondo (Commander in Chief, Second Fleet)
    Chief of Staff, Rear Admiral Kazutaka Shiraishi


    Covering Group
    Vice Admiral Kondo


    Cruiser Division 4, 1ST Section

    Atago
    Chokai


    Cruiser Division 5
    Vice Admiral Takeo Takagi

    Myoko
    Haguro


    Battleship Division 3, 1ST Section
    Rear Admiral Gunichi Mikawa

    Kongo
    Hiei


    Screen


    Destroyer Squadron 4
    Rear Admiral Shoji Nishimura, in Yura (Light Cruiser)


    Destroyer Division 2

    Murasame
    Harusame
    Yudachi
    Samidare


    Destroyer Division 9

    Asagumo
    Minegumo
    Natsugumo


    Supply Unit

    Oilers

    Genyo Maru
    Kenyo Maru
    Sata
    Tsurumi

    Repair Ship

    Akashi

    Light Carrier

    Zuiho
    12 Mitsubishi carrier fighter (Zeke)
    11 Aichi Type 99 carrier bombers (Vals)

    Destroyer

    Mirazuki


    Close Support Group
    Rear Admiral Takeo Kurita, Commander Cruiser Division 7


    Cruiser Division 7

    Suzuya
    Kumano
    Mogami - damaged by aircraft from the USS Hornet (CV-8.) and USS Enterprise (CV-6) W of Midway Island, 6 June 1942.
    Mikuma - sunk by aircraft from the USS Hornet (CV-8.) and USS Enterprise (CV-6) W of Midway Island, 6 June 1942.


    Destroyer Division 8

    Asashio - damaged by aircraft from the USS Hornet (CV-8.) and USS Enterprise (CV-6) W of Midway Island, 6 June 1942.
    Arashio - damaged by aircraft from the USS Hornet (CV-8.) and USS Enterprise (CV-6) W of Midway Island, 6 June 1942

    note - Michishio and Oshio of Destroyer Division 8, damaged at Lombok Strait, were still under repair.

    Oiler

    Nichiei Maru


    Transport Group
    Rear Admiral Raizo Tanaka, Commander Destroyer Squadron 2
    in Jintsu (Light Cruiser)

    12 transports and freighters carrying "Kure" and "Yokosuka" 5TH Special Naval Landing Forces (S.N.L.F.) and Army Ichiki detachment; two construction battalions; "survey group", weather group, etc.; about 5,000 officers and men.

    - Two of the freighters were filled with US construction equipment and weapons captured at Wake Island.

    Oiler

    Akebono Maru

    Patrol Boats

    No. 1 - old Japanese destroyer Shimakaze.
    No. 2 - old Japanese destroyer Nadakaze.
    No. 34 - old Japanese destroyer Suzuki.
    Carrying assault detachments, S.N.L.F.


    Screen


    Jintsu (Light Cruiser)


    Desroyer Squadron 2

    Kuroshio
    Oyashio
    Hatsukaze
    Yukikaze
    Amatsukaze
    Tokitsukaze
    Kasumi
    Arare
    Kagero
    Shiranuhi


    Seaplane Group


    Carrier Division 11 - Rear Admiral Ruitaro Fujita

    Seaplane Carriers

    Chitose - 20 observation seaplanes

    Kamikawa Maru - 8 observation seaplanes
    Carrying seaplane group to be set up at Kure Island.

    Destroyer

    Hayashio

    Patrol Boat

    No. 35 - old Japanese destroyer Tsuta


    Minesweeping Group

    Converted Minesweepers

    Tama Maru No. 3
    Tama Maru No. 5
    Showa Maru No. 7
    Showa Maru No. 8

    Submarine Chasers

    No. 16
    No. 17
    No. 18

    Supply Ship

    Soya

    Cargo Ships

    Meiyo Maru
    Yamafuku Maru

    note - This Group, proceeding from Saipan and Wake, retired upon receiving word that the occupation of Midway had been given up.


    Main Body (First Fleet)
    Admiral Yamamoto


    Battleship Division 1

    Yamato
    Mutsu
    Nagato

    Light Carrier

    Hosho
    8 Nakajima Type 97 torpedo bombers (Kate)

    Destroyer

    Yukaze

    Seaplane Carriers

    Chiyoda
    Nisshin - carrying 2 motor torpedo boats and 6 midget submarines.



    Screen


    Destroyer Squadron 3
    Rear Admiral Shintaro Hashimoto in Sendai (Light Cruiser)


    Destroyer Division 11

    Fubuki
    Shirayuki
    Hatsuyuki
    Murakumo



    Destroyer Division 19

    Isonami
    Uranami
    Shikinami
    Ayanami


    Destroyer Division 20

    Amagiri
    Asagiri
    Yugiri
    Shirakumo


    Detachment from Main Body as Aleutian Screening (Support) Force
    Vice Admiral Shiro Takasu



    Battleship Division 2

    Ise
    Hyuga
    Fuso
    Yamashiro


    Cruiser Division (Light) 9
    Rear Admiral Fukuhara Kishi

    Kitagami
    Oi

    Supply Unit: Oilers

    Toei Maru
    Naruto
    San Clemente Maru
    Toa Maru

    note - Part of Destroyer Squadron 3 acted as Screen to this Force.
     
  3. Lucky13

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    Battle of Midway: 4-7 June 1942, Action Reports: Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet, Serial 01849 of 28 June 1942

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    28 June 1942

    Cincpac File No. A16
    Ser: 01849 UNITED STATES PACIFIC FLEET
    FLAGSHIP OF THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF
    From: Commander-in-Chief, United States Pacific Fleet.
    To: Commander-in-Chief, United States Fleet.

    Subject: Battle of Midway.

    Reference: (a) CincPac A16/(90) Ser. 01693 of 6/15/42.

    Enclosures: (A) Track of the Battle of Midway -- Composite of All Reports.
    (B) Copy of Cincpac A8/(37)/JAP/(26.2) (no date) and Cincpac A8/(37)JAP/(26) Ser. 01753 dated 21 June 1942.
    (C) ComCru, Task Force SEVENTEEN A16-3/(013) dated 12 June 1942.
    (D) Copy of Comtaskforce SEVENTEEN A16-3/A9(0029N) dated June 26, 1942.
    (E) Copy of NAS Midway NA38/A16-3 Serial 075 dated 18 June 1942 with ComHawSeaFron. 1st End. thereon.
    (F) Summary of Army Aircraft Attacks at Midway, ComGen.Haw. (8672).


    1. In numerous and widespread engagements lasting from the 3rd to 6th of June, with carrier based planes as the spearhead of the attack, combined forces of the Navy, Marine Corps and Army in the Hawaiian Area defeated a large part of the Japanese fleet and frustrated the enemy's powerful move against Midway that was undoubtedly the keystone of larger plans. All participating personnel, without exception, displayed unhesitating devotion to duty, loyalty and courage. This superb spirit in all three services made possible the application of the destructive power that routed the enemy and inflicted these losses:

    (a) 4 CV sunk -- Akagi, Kaga, Soryu, Hiryu -- with the loss of all their planes and many of their personnel. Estimated 275 planes, 2400 men.

    (b) 2 probably 3 BB damaged, 1 severely.

    (c) 2 CA sunk -- Mogami, Mikuma -- 3 or more others damaged, some severely.

    (d) 1 CL damaged.

    (e) 3 DD sunk, 1 other possibly sunk.

    (f) 4 AP and AK hit, 1 or more possibly sunk.

    (g) Estimated total number of personnel lost 4800.

    2. These results were achieved at the cost of the Yorktown and Hamman sunk and about 150 planes lost in action or damaged beyond repair. Our total personnel losses were about ninety-two (92) officers and two hundred and fifteen (215) men.


    PRELIMINARY OPERATIONS
    3. After the Battle of the Coral Sea it became evident that Japan was concentrating her fleet for movements of major importance against the Aleutians and Midway. Later indications were that the Midway expedition was a powerful fleet composed of a Striking Force, Support Force, and Occupation Force. An estimate of the composition of this fleet, since largely verified by reports of the battle, was:

    STRIKING FORCE
    CinC 1st Air Fleet (F)
    Cardiv 1
    Akagi (F)
    Kaga

    Cardiv 2
    Soryu (F)
    Hiryu

    Desron 10
    Nagara (F)
    12 DD

    Batdiv 3
    Haruna (F)
    Kirishima

    Crudiv 8
    Tone (F)
    Chikuma

    SUPPORT FORCE
    Crudiv 7
    Mogami (F)
    Mikuma
    Suzuya
    Kumano

    Cardiv ---
    1 CV or XCV

    Batdiv 3 2nd Sect.
    Hiyei
    Kongo


    CRUDIV 4 Part
    1 Atago Class CA

    Desron 2 Part
    Jintsu (F)
    10 DD

    OCCUPATION FORCE

    1 Takao Class CA
    1-2 Miyako Class CA(?)

    Airon 7
    Chitose
    Chiyoda

    AIRON 11(?)
    2-4 Kamigawa Class XAV

    Transdivs (?)
    8-12 AP

    Transdivs
    4-6 AK
    Desron 4
    12 DDs


    In addition, the plan was believed to provide for approximately 16 SS to be on reconnaissance and scouting mission in the Mid-Pacific -- Hawaiian Islands area.

    4. The status of the important Pacific Fleet forces at the time the afore-mentioned threats developed was as follows:

    (a) Task Force 17 had fought the battle of the Coral Sea from 4 to 8 May and was still in the South Pacific. The Lexington had been sunk and the Yorktown damaged to an extent which might require a considerable period of repair -- possibly even to trip to a West Coast Navy Yard. The remainders of the air groups of these two carriers were on the Yorktown urgently requiring reorganization and rest. The force had been continuously at sea since February 16.

    (b) Task Force 16 (Enterprise and Hornet with supporting cruisers and destroyers) was in the South Pacific, having arrived just too late for the Coral Sea action. it had been sighted recently, however, by an enemy reconnaissance plane and thus probably prevented an enemy occupation of Ocean and Nauru Islands.

    (c) Task Force 1 (containing battleships and a small destroyer screen) was on the West Coast.

    5. It was evident, if estimates of the enemy's strength and intentions were true, that the situation was most serious. Midway itself could support an air force only about the size of a carrier group; our carriers were far away; and perhaps only two would be fit to fight. Task Force 17 had already been recalled for repair and replenishment. Task Force 16 was immediately ordered north. At the same time a new force, Eight, was formed out of all cruisers with reach (five) and all destroyers available, (four), and sent to Alaskan waters to assist the Sea Frontier forces which were being assembled in that Area.

    6. Midway was meanwhile given all the strengthening that it could take. Long range Navy and Army aircraft, though necessarily difficult to protect on the ground and water, were moved in. It was considered most important that the enemy be discovered at a distance and promptly attacked. To provide essential close in air striking power, the Marine Air Group was increased to approximately 30 fighters and 30 dive bombers supported by six Navy new TBF torpedo planes and four Army B-26's fitted for dropping torpedoes. Many of these planes arrived just before the engagement. Despite a heavy inflow of planes from the mainland to Oahu and from there to Midway, the available numbers were never large enough to give a comfortable margin for losses. So critical, in fact, was this condition that after the first morning attacks at and off Midway the dive bombers, fighters and torpedo planes stationed there were nearly wiped out. Replacements of these types on Oahu were scanty and could not be got to Midway for the remainder of the battle.

    7. Midway's ground defenses were strengthened by the emplacement of new batteries, completion of underwater obstacles, laying of mines, etc. Additional Marine forces were moved in, including a part of the 2nd Raider Battalion with special equipment for meeting a mechanized landing assault. Other reinforcement included motor torpedo boats and YP's.

    8. Thirteen submarines were stationed on the 200 and 150 mile circles covering the western and northern approaches to Midway. A few submarines were placed in support of the 800 mile circle northwest of Oahu, and the last ones to become available on the 100 mile circle from that place. All submarines which could reach the Oahu-Midway area were employed and the consequent cessation of their offensive patrols accepted.

    9. Full consideration was given to employment of Task Force ONE in the defense of Midway. It was not moved out because of the undesirability of diverting to its screen any units which could add to our long range striking power against the enemy carriers. Events proved that every air unit which was employed could have ill been spared from the purpose for which it was used, even though the results were far beyond the expectations of most.

    As our air forces increase in strength relative to the enemy, and surface screening forces become available to permit a balanced force, the application of battleships' striking power will become practicable.

    10. The Commander-in-Chief, United States Fleet estimated that the enemy's plans included an attempt to trap a large part of our Fleet. he directed that strong attirtion tactics, only, be employed and that our carriers and cruisers not be unduly reisked. The whole siutation was a most difficult one requiring the most delicate timing on the part of our carriers -- if they could reach supporting stations in time. it so happened that they did. Task Force 16 arrived at Pearl Harbor on 26 May and departed on the 28th under command of Rear Admiral R. A. Spruance, U.S.N. as Task Force Commander, with Rear Admiral T.C. Kinkaid in command of Cruiser Group, and Captain A.R. Early in command of the Destroyers. Task Force 17 reached here on the 27th and sailed on the 30th, under command of Rear Admiral F. J. Fletcher as Task Force Commander with Rear Admiral W. W. Smith in command of the Cruiser Group, and Captain G. C. Hoover in command of the Destroyers. It was found, most fortunately, that the Yorktown and her aircraft could be placed in reasonable fighting condition in three days. Excellent work by the Navy Yard, the Service Force and all supporting services at Pearl Harbor made possible these prompt sailings.

    11. Task Forces 16 and 17 joined at assigned rendezvous northeast of Midway on 2 June, having previously refueled at sea. In compliance with my directive, Rear Admiral Feltcher, Commander Task Force 17, then moved the combvined forces to an area of operations north of Midway.

    12. Enclosures show composition of our own forces, which will not be relisted here. Broad tactical direction of all the forces in the Midway Area was retained by the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet.
     
  4. Lucky13

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    The Battle -- 3 June

    13. The enemy Occupation Force and perhaps part of the Support Force (see paragraph 3) was picked up in several contacts west of Midway on the 3rd, as shown on plot of battle, enclosure (A). The first contact was at about 0900 when a large number of ships (later reported as 11) were sighted by a Navy patrol plane, bearing 261° distant 700 miles from Midway, reported course 090, speed 10. (All times in this report are Zone plus 12. In studying Task Force 16 and 17 reports it must be kept in mind that times given by them are Zone plus 10.) There were several smaller groups of ships, indicating that the escort group for the occupation force and the various ships of this force were converging on a rendezvous for the final advance on Midway.

    14. About 1523, striking unit. About 1523, striking unit of 9 B-17's with four 600# demolition bombs each, contacted and attacked the large group. They reported the force now consisted of 5 BB or CA and about 40 other ships - DD, AP, AK, etc. The course made good since the morning contact was about 081°, the bearing of Midway. Distance was then about 570 miles from Midway. Two ships, a CA or BB and an AP or AK were hit and injured severely so that they fell out of column and sent up "huge clouds of black smoke which mushroomed above them". One other CA and one other AP or AK were possibly damaged.

    15. This was the only attack of the day, though at its close 4 PBY's armed with torpedoes were enroute to attack. Estimated results are:

    1 CA - damaged
    1 CA - slightly damaged
    1 AP or AK severely damaged
    1 AP or AK slightly damaged.


    4 June

    16. Attacks on the Japanese fleet began early this day and continued in force until nearly noon, with other attacks before sunset. Between 0130 and 0200 the 4 PBY's found and 3 attacked probably the same force the B-17's had hit; 10 or more big ships in 2 columns with 6 DD were observed. There were indications of another large group nearby. Bearing was still about 261° from Midway, distance reported about 500 miles, though part of the enemy force was closer. Two of the planes were able to press home attacks unobserved and each hit an AP or AK. This night attack by Catalinas was a daring and historical feat. Estimated results are 1 AK or AP sunk, 1 AK or AP damaged severely.

    17. The Japanese Main Striking Force assumed to have 4 carriers was not sighted on the third. These ships were apparently riding a weather front bearing down on Midway from the northwest. One carrier had been reported among the ships west of Midway, but this contact was not verified. It is possible that the Japanese had five carriers off Midway and that the fifth one moved from the west to the northwest for the engagements of the fourth of June, but there is no clear evidence yet to bear this out.

    18. Before dawn on 4 June, PBY's took off from Midway continuing their invaluable scouting that contributed so greatly to the success of the action. 126 B-17's were despatched by Commanding Officer, Midway, to attack the enemy transport force to the westward. At 0545 the most important contact of the battle was made. A PBY reported many planes heading for Midway 150 miles distant on bearing 320; 7 minutes later another PBY sighted 2 of the enemy carriers and many other ships on the same bearing, distant 180 miles, coming in at 25 knots on course 135.

    19. All serviceable planes at Midway were in the air before 0600 (except for 3 SB2U spares); 6 Navy TBF and 4 Army B-26 armed with torpedoes, and 27 Marine dive bombers were despatched to strike the enemy carriers. The B-17's proceeding westward were also diverted to the carriers. Midway radar picked up the enemy planes and, at 0615, 14 of the 27 fighter planes available made contact 30 miles distant with 60 to 80 dive bombers (possibly a few of these were twin engined horizontal bombers) and about 50 fighters. Severe fighting continued as long as our fighters were in the air, which was not long for most of them against these odds, accentuated by the poor maneuverability of these planes. Of the 27 fighters available, 15 were lost and 7 severely damaged. Statements from 9 of the 11 surviving pilots show that they shot down a total of 3 Japanese Zero fighters and 8 Aichi Type 99 dive bombers. Survivors believe the total number destroyed by all the fighter planes was probably 8 Zero fighters and 25 dive bombers.

    20. The first bomb hit Midway at about 0633 from horizontal bombers. Dive bombing and strafing continued for about 17 minutes. Considerable damage was done to nearly all structures above ground, the most serious at the time being the destruction of the power plant on Eastern Island. Little damage was done to the runways, the Japanese apparently leaving these intact for their own anticipated use. The antiaircraft batteries shot well, downing 10 planes and, with the fighters, damaging many more, so that our returning airplanes reported "large numbers of enemy planes down on the water and falling out of formation."

    21. The B-26's found their targets, 2 CV, about 0710 and made a most gallant attack. This is likewise another historical event, and, it is hoped, one soon to be repeated under better conditions - our Army's first attack with torpedo planes. Heavy fighter concentrations were encountered; 2 of the 4 planes did not return; one was shot down before launching his torpedo, and possibly the other, though it is said to have attacked and in pulling out touched the flight deck of the target before crashing into the sea. Both of the 2 planes that did return were so badly shot up by the terrific fighter and AA fire encountered that they were unserviceable. Survivors had no time to observe results, but approaches were such that it is velieved probably one torpedo hit.

    22. The TBF's made a similarly gallant attack almost simultaneously with the B-26's and against an equally determined and overwhelming number of fighters. At least 2 of them were shot down before they could launch torpedoes. Only one badly shot up plane returned. The pilot could not tell what happened to the remainder of his unit or how the attack fared. A B-17, on reconnaissance, reports seeing one of the planes make a hit. Although the TBF is a well armed plane, it is obvious that it cannot go through fighter opposition without fighter protection.

    23. At 0755 a group of 16 Marine dive bombers, under Major L. R. Henderson, USMC made a gallant glide bombing attack on one of the carriers in the Striking Force. The planes had been received too recently for training in dive bombing, so the Commander chose this less effective and more hazardous method of attack because it permitted lower pull outs. His and 7 other planes were shot down by overwhelming fighter opposition. The 8 planes that did return were badly shot up, one having 210 holes. The target, probably the Soryu, was hit 3 times and left afire.

    24. Soon afterward, at about 0820, the 11 SB2U Marine bombers from Midway made a glide bombing attack on a battleship, likewise against heavy fighter attack. Two hits are reported. When last seen the battleship was smoking and listed.

    25. The B-17 unit of 16 planes, under the Commanding Officer of the 431st Bombardment Squadron, Lt. Col. W.C. Sweeney, U.S.A., who led each flight he made in an outstanding manner, was directed to change its objective from the transport force to the carriers. Promptly and with skillful navigation the planes proceeded, picked up the enemy fleet on bearing 320° about 145 miles from Midway, and at 0814 began attacking from 20,000 feet, each plane carrying 8 500-pound demolition bombs. Result: Total of 3 hits on carriers, possibly 2 carriers hit with heavy smoke from one; carriers still maneuvering and operating normally. Since only one carriers was reported smoking, this was probably the same one, Soryu, the Marine dive bombers had set afire a few minutes earlier with 3 hits.

    26. The Midway Forces had struck with full strength, but the Japanese were not as yet checked. About 10 ships had been damaged, of which 1 or 2 AP or AK may have sunk. But this was hardly an impression on the great force of about 80 ships converging on Midway. Most of Midway's fighters, torpedo planes and dive-bombers -- the only types capable of making a high percentage of hits on ships -- were gone, and 3 of the Japanese carriers were still either undamaged or insufficiently so to hamper operations.

    27. This was the situation when our carrier attack began. Task Force 16 and 17, ready about 200 miles to the northeast of the Japanese carriers, had intercepted the first contact reports by the Midway scouts. At about 0700 launching commenced of the following attack groups, Yorktown's being temporarily held in reserve until her scouts returned (majority of fighters retained for combat patrol):

    Hornet - 35 VSB, 15 VTB, 10 VF
    Enterprise - 35 VSB, 14 VTB, 10 VF

    (Bombers carrying 1-1000 lb. or 1-500 lb. or 1-500 and 2-100 lb bombs)

    These two groups proceeded independently to attack.

    28. Dive bombers proceeded at a high altitude with the torpedo planes at about 1500 feet below the cloud base. Fighters failed to accompany the torpedo planes. Hornet's accompanied dive bombers expecting to provide protection for bombers and torpedo planes over enemy fleet. Torpedo planes proceeded separately and contact was lost with them. Enterprise's fighters likewise operated at a high altitude expecting fighters there and were not able to reach torpedo planes in time to assist. Lack of fighter support, visibility conditions, distance of attack, delay in locating the Japanese force, and Japanese tactics of concentrating fighters on torpedo planes all combined to prevent coordination of bombing and torpedo attacks, with resultant heavy loss of torpedo planes.
     
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    29. Sometime after 0830, when the last attack that morning by Midway planes was completed, the Japanese striking force commenced retirement to the north or northwest. Consequently it was not found in the estimated position by our carrier attack groups. Hornet Group Commander made the decision to turn south, to search along the enemy's reported track, and failed to make contact. All 10 of the fighters were forced down for lack of gas and lost at sea, though 8 of the pilots have been recovered. All but 2 of the dive bombers eventually got back to the Hornet (11 via Midway) without attacking.


    30. The Enterprise Group Commander, proceeding separately decided to turn north to search, estimating that enemy must have reversed course. This was one of the most important decisions of the battle and one that had decisive results. Soon after 1000 he made contact and prepared to attack.

    31. Meanwhile the Hornet's torpedo squadron led by Lt. Comdr. J. C. Waldron had found the enemy and without hesitation at about 0920 conducted a most gallant and heroic attack entirely unsupported. They were met by overwhelming fighter opposition abut 8 miles from the 3 carriers they attacked, and followed all the way in, being shot down one by one. The remnant drove in their attack to close range. Voice intercepts indicate that they shot down some Japanese fighters and made some hits.

    32. Not a plane survived this magnificent devotion to purpose. One pilot, after attacking and probably hitting the Kaga at close range, with his gunner already killed, crashed near the Akagi, ducked under his seat cushion to prevent being machine gunned, and from this reserved position observed the fierce attacks that followed.

    33. Yorktown and Enterprise torpedo squadron led respectively by Lt.Comdr. L. E. Massey, U.S.N. and Lt.Comdr. E.E. Lindsey, U.S.N. attacked later with equal courage and determination, and similar crushing losses. Both are believed to have made hits, but both were almost completely destroyed, Enterprise losing 10 out of 14 planes and Yorktown 10 out of 12. Despite the many difficulties, exact coordination with dive bombers was almost achieved, the torpedo planes launching their attack only a few minutes before the bombers. Even had they attacked later, in perfect coordination, without adequate fighter protection their losses would have been probably as great. Recognizing the torpedo plane for the menace it is, the Japanese concentrated most of their fighters and antiaircraft fire on it. The results was that the VT squadrons were a sacrifice that enabled the dive bombers to make their attack almost unopposed, with disastrous results for the enemy.

    34. At 0830 Yorktown commenced launching the following attack group, dive bombers being armed with 1000 lb. bombs:

    17 VSB 12 VT 6 VF

    These proceeded with VT's at 1500 feet, 2 VF at 2500 feet, 4 VF at 5-6,000 feet and bombers at 16,000 feet. Contact was made at about the same time as by the Enterprise planes and attack delivered almost simultaneously.

    35. When the Hornet torpedo squadron attacked, there were 4 carriers dispersed in a wide roughly circular formation. Akagi, Kaga and Soryu were in the same general vicinity, probably having just landed planes. Soryu was smoking, showing signs of heavy damage, as was also a ship some distance away that resembled a battleship. The surviving Hornet VT pilot, Ensign Gay, USNR, had been in the water only a few minutes when the Enterprise and Yorktown dive bombers struck hard and most effectively. Both Kaga and Akagi, between which he lay, were hit repeatedly, the planes on deck that they sought to launch being ignited until the two ships burned fiercely from stem to stern. Soryu was also hit again and continued to burn.

    36. The dive bombing attacks by both Enterprise and Yorktown squadrons began at about the same time, between 1020 and 1025. Many hits were made on each carrier. Some pilots considering them destroyed attacked other ships. The following damage was inflicted:

    3 carriers - Akagi, Kaga, Soryu set afire and ultimately destroyed.
    2 Battleships - 1 1,000 lb. hit each, one a mass of flames.
    1 CL or DD - 1 1,000 lb. hit, believed DD sunk.

    37. All submarines were ordered to close on the enemy Striking Force but the only submarine attack of the day was by Nautilus which at 0710 sighted smoke from torpedo plane hits and antiaircraft fire on bearing 331° True. After closing, she sighted a formation including a carrier and battleship which she attacked unsuccessfully at long range, and was herself depth charged. About 1000 the ships had disappeared. At 1029 4 large columns of grey smoke (probably from dive bombing attack) showed over the horizon; Nautilus closed the nearest of the 4 and at 1359 fired the first of 3 torpedoes into the smoking carrier Soryu. The Grouper in a similar situation was unable to get in to attack because of the enemy's intensive anti-submarine measures.

    38. At the time Soryu was on even keel, hull apparently undamaged, fires under control, towing arrangements in process. The three hits caused fires to break out again and personnel to abandon ship. Cruisers escorting the carrier depth-charged Nautilus which went to deep submergence. When the periscope was raised at 1610, the Soryu was observed burning fiercely and escorting vessels had departed. At 1840 heavy underwater explosions occurred accompanied by a billowing cloud of black smoke. At 1941 Nautilus surfaced. No ship, smoke, or flame was in sight.

    39. At 0815 Task Force SIXTEEN radar had picked up a twin float seaplane, 36 miles to the south, which probably reported our formation's position. During Yorktown and Enterprise Group dive bombing attacks on the Japanese carriers, the Kaga and Akagi tried to launch planes. They were probably at the time preparing to attack our carriers. The carrier Hiryu, according to survivors picked up on 18 June (4 officers and 31 men), at this time drew off to the northward undamaged. Soon afterwards a Japanese message was intercepted "inform us position enemy carriers."


    40. Lacking complete information on the number and location of enemy carriers, at 1150 Yorktown launched scouts to search sector 280-030 to 200 miles. Immediately thereafter at 11552 Yorktown's radar picked up many planes approaching from Westward, distant 32 miles. These were later determined to be 18 dive bombers and 18 fighters. As one fire precaution Yorktown drained the gas system and introduced CO2.

    41. The Combat Air Patrol of 12 fighters located the enemy planes at about 9,000 feet altitude and attacked, shooting down 11 of the bombers. Out of the melee from time to time seven planes broke out and dived through heavy antiaircraft fire. Of the first 3, one was caught by a 5" burst and disintegrated; the second dropped its bomb, which was a miss and plunged into the sea; the third was cut into fragments by automatic gun fire, but the bomb tumbling down exploded on the flight deck aft of the island and wiped out two 1.1 mount crews. At 1214 a hit in the uptake forced the Yorktown to stop, largely because boiler gases were drawn in to firerooms making them uninhabitable. A third hit landed in the forward elevator well starting fires adjacent to the forward tanks of gasoline without igniting it.

    42. At 1402 with all fires extinguished and temporary repairs to the uptake completed, Yorktown was able to go ahead. Her position then was Latitude 33-51 N, Longitude 176 W, course 090°. Speed was gradually increased to 19 knots by the time of the next attack. Pensacola, Vincennes, Balch, and Benham had meanwhile joined from Task Force SIXTEEN.

    43. Approaching aircraft were again picked up on various bearings, the largest group being on 340°, distant 25 miles at 1433. The total attacking force was 12 to 15 torpedo planes and 10 to 18 fighters. The fighter combat patrol shot down 4 to 7 of the planes. About eight of the torpedo planes came on into the fire of Yorktown's screen which was so heavy that observers thought it incredible that any got through. Three were shot down. Fighters just launched by Yorktown went into the heavy antiaircraft fire to attack the remaining five, which succeeded nevertheless in launching torpedoes. The last two, released at about 800 yards, at 1445 hit Yorktown amidships on the port side. All the torpedo planes were shot down, three by fighter and ship fire before or as they passed the Yorktown, two as they attempted to pass through the heavy fire of the screen.
     
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    44. Within ten minutes after being hit, Yorktown was listed 20 to 25° to port. In another ten minutes personnel began abandoning ship. It seemed that the Yorktown might capsize, and that she certainly would should she be hit again. Another attack seemed imminent throughout the afternoon. Radar contacts of unidentified planes were frequent, three of which at different times turned out to be Japanese seaplanes. The ship, however, continued to float through the night, list remaining about constant.

    45. Both attacks on Yorktown were made by the Hiryu planes. At 1430, just as the Hiryu torpedo planes were coming in radar range of Yorktown, one of the Yorktown's scouts contacted the Hiryu with 2 BB, 3 CA and 4 DD in 31°-15' N, 179°-05' W, course north, speed 20. Task Force 16 launched an attack group of 16 dive bombers from Hornet and 24 from Enterprise (14 of these being Yorktown planes) which beginning at 1705 for half an hour dived on the Japanese formation. On 6-12 fighters were encountered, good evidence that Japanese plane losses had been very heavy in the day's fighting. Results of attack were:

    CV Hiryu -- Hit many times and aflame from bow to stern.
    1 BB -- 2 500 or 1000 lb. bomb hits.
    1 BB 2 1000 and 1 500 lb. bomb hits.
    1 CA -- 2 500 lb. hits.

    With the destruction of the Hiryu our forces had won mastery of the air, although at the time it was not clear whether all carriers had been accounted for and whether or not more than four carriers were in the area.

    46. Between 1810 and 1830 twelve (12) B-17's in several flights struck the last blow of 4 June. Of these, 6 planes, attacking directly out of Oahu, in order to conserve gas did not climb to the usual attack level but made runs at 3600 feet. Each group was attacked by Zero fighters. These may have come from the Hiryu. Some of the flights reported a large CV burning and 1 or 2 small CV; but the unit most experienced in operations over the sea reported only one carrier which was burning, and a burning BB or CA accompanied by a number of other ships. Three 500 lb. bomb hits are reported on the damaged CV, one on a BB (probably CA), one on a CA (smoking badly), and one on a DD (probably sunk). A patrol plane, in this vicinity until about 1800, from a distance reported that a ship sank when hit by a salvo of bombs.

    47. Summary of losses inflicted on the enemy on 4 June.

    MIDWAY FORCES

    Time of attack, unit and type of attack.
    0130 4 PBY, Torpedo.
    0710 4 B26 6 TBF, Torpedo.
    0755 16 VMB, Glide bombing.
    0820 11 VMB Glide bombing.
    0814 16 B17 Horizontal high altitude.

    Ship Sunk
    1 CV 1 hit

    Ship Damaged
    1 AP or AK 1 hit
    2 CV (estimate 2 hits)
    Soryu (CV) 3 hits
    BB 2 hits
    1 CV 1 hit
    Soryu (CV) 2 hits
    Only 1 carrier, Soryu, damaged enough to limit operations at this time.


    CARRIER FORCES
    Time of attack, unit and type of attack.
    0920 15 VTB (Hornet), Torpedo.
    1020 26 VTB (Enterprise, Yorktown), Torpedo. Akagi -- Hit many times, burning fiercely.
    1022 50 VSB (Enterprise, Yorktown), Dive bombing. Kaga -- Hit many times, burning fiercely.

    Ship Damaged
    Kaga (CV) 1 hit
    1 CV 1 hit (estimated)
    1 CV 2 hits (estimated)
    1 CV 1 hit (estimated)
    Soryu -- several hits.
    1 BB 1000 lb. hit, severe damage, mass of flames.
    1 BB -- 1-1000 lb. hit.
    1 CL or DD -- 1-1000 lb. hit, believed sunk.
    After these attacks 3 carriers out of action and later sank.

    SUBMARINE
    1359 Nautilus Torpedo Soryu -- 3 hits; this ship sunk by Aircraft and Submarine.

    CARRIER FORCES
    1705 40 VSB (Hornet, Enterprise, Yorktown), Dive Bombing. Hiryu -- Many hits, sank next morning.

    Ship Damaged
    1 BB -- 2 hits
    1 BB -- 3 hits
    1 CA -- 2 hits
    After this attack 4 Japanese carriers were out of action.

    MIDWAY FORCES
    1810 12 B17 Horizontal Bombing

    Ship Sunk
    1 DD

    Ship Damaged
    Akagi (CV) -- 3 hits
    1 CA -- 1 hit
    1 CA -- 1 hit, smoking




    5 JUNE

    48. After attacking the Hiryu, Task Force 16 stood to the eastward and back to the westward during the night. Fighter attacks on B-17's before sunset indicated possibly a fifth Japanese carrier northwest of Midway and there was every indication that the enemy was continuing to close. The first information on the 5th was Tambor's report of many ships 90 miles west of Midway. This looked like a landing attempt, so Task Force 16 changed course to a point north of Midway and increased speed to 25 knots. When reports after daylight made it clear that the Japanese had reversed course, the Task Force headed west and then northwest in pursuit of a burning CV lagging behind 2 BB (1 damaged), 3 CA and 4 DD. At 1500-1530 a striking group of planes from each carrier set off in a 250 mile search to the northwest, unsuccessfully; the only quarry found were 2 DD (possibly only 1) which were bombed but not hit.

    49. Because of the night contact indicating that the enemy was persisting in his plans for a landing attack, all submarines were directed to close Midway in order to take advantage of the opportunity to attack transports and supporting ships when they were most vulnerable. After the retirement of the enemy became apparent, the fastest submarines were sent in chase and others returning from western patrols were directed to the expected lines of retirement of the enemy.

    50. There were several contacts on the 5th by scouting planes, the two major ones being:

    (a) a transport group west of Midway trailed by 2 damaged CA (reported as BB);

    (b) the already mentioned retiring striking force of 2 BB (1 damaged), 3 CA, 4 DD trailed by a burning carrier to the northwest.

    About 0430 12 B-17's departed in search of the western group but because of unfavorable weather could not locate them. Later, as more patrol plane reports came in, they found the target and attacked just after a group of 12 Marine dive bombers. These leaving Midway at 0700 had struck a wide oil slick about 40 miles from the CA's and followed it in to attack position. Dives began at 0808. Results were:

    1 CA (already damaged) -- 1 hit forward, 1 close miss astern.

    When the planes left between 0820 and 0830 the CA was listed "badly" to starboard and turning in sharp circles to starboard.

    51. Eight B-17's attacked both the damaged CA's about 0830 with 4 to 8-500 pound bombs per plane, altitude 19,000 -- 20,000 feet. They report one certain hit on stern of 1 CA.

    52. At 1320 in the afternoon, 7 B-17's armed with 8-500 bombs each set out to the northwest to attack the remnants of the Japanese striking force; and at 1545 another group of 5 departed. Enroute, the first group sighted 1 CA but found nothing beyond. On the return journey, bombing from 9,000 to 16,000 feet, they report making 3 hits on the CA, bearing 300° distant 300 miles from Midway. The second group likewise found and attacked only 1 CA, bearing 320°, 425 miles from Midway, no hits. On this attack one pilot dropped his bomb-bay gasoline tank with the bombs and did not return. One other plane ran out of gas and landed in the sea 15 miles from Midway, plane and 1 of the crew lost. These were the only losses of B-17's attack on the Japanese fleet.

    53. Summary of losses inflicted on the enemy 5 June:


    1 CA (already damaged) 1 hit (Both hits may have
    1 CA (already damaged) 1 hit been on same CA)
    1 CA 3 hits
     
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    6 JUNE 1942

    54. Task Force 16's search to the northwest on 5 June had been unsuccessful and weather conditions there were deteriorating. The best opportunity for contacting any of the fleeing enemy units appeared to be to the West. Therefore, on the evening of 5 June the force was turned to a westerly course, and speed reduced to 15 knots because of a growing shortage of fuel in the destroyers.

    55. At 0510, 6 June, 18 VSB were launched for a 200 miles search in the western semicircle. Two contacts were made almost simultaneously. The first at 0640 was of 2 CA and 2 DD on course SW, speed 15 bearing about 275, distance 400 miles from Midway. The second at 0645, bearing about 280°, distance 435 miles from Midway, through variously identified, appears to have been the Mikuma and Mogami with 3 or 4 DD on course west, speed 10.

    The Hornet's planes launched the first attack, striking the Mogami group between 0930 and 1000. Positions plotted on chart of battle are estimated from all data available and do not accord with Hornet's plot. Results appear to be:

    1 CA -- 2-1000 lb., 1-500 pound bomb hits.
    1 CA -- 2-1000 lb. bomb hits
    1 DD -- 1-500 lb. bomb hit. A cruiser SOC pilot saw this ship sink.

    57. Enterprise Group now attacked most effectively. After sighting 2 CA with 2 or 3 DD, part of the group searched ahead for the reported BB. One of the VB Squadrons, however, quitting the search began attacking the two CA at about 1140. The other squadrons came in at intervals later so that the last attack was not finished until after 1300. From the stories of survivors of Mikuma it appears that the first planes at 1140 hit and disabled the Mikuma and the last ones about 1300 finished her off when a bomb amidships detonated her torpedoes. The Enterprise Group reported 1 CA as "dead in the water burning furiously with heavy explosions" shattered and abandoned. If they had waited a few minutes their account would have been different. She heeled over and sank very soon after the last hit.

    58. The other CA, apparently the Mogami, was also hit but proceeded westward making an oil slick and smoking heavily. Two destroyers accompanied. her.

    59. Two hours later the Hornet launched the final attack of the four day battle with 1000 pound bombs, leaving the Mogami gutted and abandoned, and reporting hits on another CA or CL and one hit on a destroyer. A photographic plane, which obtained the pictures accompanying enclosure, while over the Mogami hulk about 1730 saw a CL and a destroyer fleeing to the westward.

    60. The only other attack on 6 June was by a flight of 11 B-17's sent out to attack the transport force on its estimated retirement course. This force was not found. On the return by separate routes one section of 6 of these at 1640, bearing about 262, 400 miles from Midway, dropped a pattern of 20-1000 and 1100 pound bombs and reported two hits on a cruiser which "sank in 15 seconds". This was the U.S.S. Grayling hastily submerging. Fortunately she received no damage.

    61. Results of attacks on 6 June were:

    2 CA, Mogami and Mikuma, sunk.
    1 CL or DL damaged.
    1 DD sunk.
    1 DD damaged by strafing.

    62. After Yorktown was abandoned on 4 June, Hughes was left to guard her during the night. Task Force 16 cruisers rejoined their force. Part of Task Force 17 proceeded to tanker rendezvous for fueling; remainder of Force proceeded to eastward clear of Yorktown with plans for salvage next day. Viero, Seminole, Navajo, and Fulton, had meanwhile been dispatched to assist. The following morning the Hughes rescued from Yorktown 2 wounded enlisted men, who had not been found in the darkened damaged ship when she was abandoned, and a Yorktown fighter pilot, shot down in action, who rowed up in his boat. Viero joined about noon 5 June and at 1436 began towing at about 2 knots on course 090. Gwinn joined about 1600 and put salvage party aboard. Monoghan joined soon afterwards. Salvage party was removed at dusk.

    63. At 0220 on 6 June Hammann, Balch and Benham joined under commanding officer Yorktown. Destroyer screen circled at 12-14 knots. Salvage party went aboard (later Hammann secured alongside to assist) and had reduced list several degrees when at 1335 torpedo wakes were observed. At 1336 Yorktown received 2 hits, and Hammann 2 hits, one under her bridge and the second just abaft the mainmast. Hammann sank at 1339 with many heavy explosions, probably depth charges or warheads, which killed a number of personnel in the water. Questioning of Hammann personnel has brought out that not only were the safety forks in place, but they were inspected after Hammann was hit. There is a possibility that another torpedo struck as she sank, detonating warheads or depth charges.

    64. Remaining salvage party was removed from Yorktown and surviving personnel rescued from the sea. Search for the submarine continued with intermittent contacts (many false) and depth charge attacks all afternoon, one bringing up heavy oil. At 1845 heavy black smoke was sighted on the horizon 19,000 yards from the destroyers and was soon identified as coming from an enemy submarine (smoke probably from Diesels) proceeding away from Yorktown at high speed. Destroyers gave chase and opened fire. Submarine submerged at about 2127 with last splashes on in deflection and apparently straddling. Search was continued until about 0300, 8 June with no results except location of a large oil slick, diesel odor. It is believed the submarine was damaged but not sunk.

    65. After slowly capsizing to port, at 0501, 7 June, in about 30-36 N, 176-34 W, Yorktown sank.


    LESSONS AND CONCLUSIONS FROM THE ACTION

    66. This action brings out some new lessons and drives home other definite ones previously learned. For convenient reference, at the expense of some repetition, these are discussed in this section.

    67. The Concept of a Mobile Air Force is not acceptable for the Mid-Pacific area with present planes and present facilities. For a long coastal district it may be possible to maintain large air forces at major dispersing centers and to move them effectively from point to point as the situation requires. This is not true of the area in which Oahu is the central base. Most points are too weakly held and do not yet have adequate service units and facilities. Pilots in our rapidly expanding air forces are not and will not for some time be sufficiently trained to operate effectively in a number of remote and unfamiliar localities. Distances over water between landing fields are too great -- we could not get fighter reinforcements to Midway on 4 June after virtually all the fighters there had been put out of action combating the one short Japanese raid. The lesson is simply that we must provide more and more planes permanently based at those advanced stations which are subjec! t to enemy attack.

    68. Planes for Army and Navy. One of the primary weaknesses which showed up quickly in action was the Navy's lack of certain plane types already in use by the Army, and equally the unsuitability of certain Army types for the type of job required of them in these island areas. Each service must obviously have the types of planes it requires, regardless of any earlier agreements of Joint Boards which limit types or functions.

    (a) The Navy PBY's, while excellent for long range search, do not have the performance or defensive characteristics required to stand up against strong enemy air opposition. The vital requirement of continuous tracking, therefore, fails when enemy air enters the picture. On the other hand, the Army has its B-17's and B-24's, types which are very well adapted to this service. Sufficient numbers of these types should be immediately made available to the Navy for long range search and tracking purposes.

    (b) High altitude horizontal bombing has proven itself relatively ineffective against maneuvering surface vessels. As Commander Cruiser Division SIX states, "Our own sea forces, and apparently enemy sea forces, have little respect for high altitude bombing, the results of which are mostly 'near misses'," and not hear enough. Even in peacetime, high altitude horizontal bombing from abut 10,000 feet results in only a small percentage of hits on a maneuvering target of battleship size, and as the altitude increases the percentage goes further down. Such results will not stop a determined fleet. On the other hand, the aircraft torpedo and dive bomber have proven themselves, in this action as well as in all prior experience of other belligerents, to be the only truly effective weapon for such attack. Island and coastal based planes should consist of a large percentage of these types, whether they are manned by the Army or the Navy.

    (c) It has been our practice to complement Marine fighter squadrons on shore with planes of carrier type. This results in a distinct and unwarranted reduction in performance and ability to combat the enemy. Having adequate ground facilities, the Marine VF squadrons ought to be furnished with the very best fighting planes available to the country. Because of the limitations which carrier operation imposes on Naval planes, suitable fighters will naturally be Army types.
     
  8. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    69. More Planes are Required in Oahu. We must speedily increase the flow of planes of all types, with service units, facilities and personnel, to the Mid-Pacific area. Strong aircraft reinforcements in the Hawaiian-Midway area were received in flights of B-17's from the west coast and in the highly valuable Hammondsport and Kittyhawk during the last half of May. Even so, the shore based aircraft strength in this area was not adequate in numbers or in types and could not alone have stopped or even checked the Japanese advance. Had we lacked early information of the Japanese movement, and had we been caught with Carrier Task Forces dispersed, possibly as far away as the Coral Sea, the Battle of Midway would have ended far differently.

    70. A Grid System Capable of Easy Application to extensive joint over water operations by Army and Navy, or by either or both in conjunction with Allied air or naval forces, is a necessity. Neither the Navy basic grid nor the Air Warning Service grid is universally adaptable. Each possesses particular advantages for particular uses. Both were available during the Battle of Midway. Neither was used. Instead, recourse was had to designating positions either by bearing and distance from a prearranged reference point or in latitude-longitude coordinates, the only two methods quickly applicable by an air pilot or navigator without extensive advance preparation. This present British lettered coordinate system, SP 02274, provides for designating positions by either bearing and distance from any even degree latitude-longitude intersection or in encoded latitude-longitude coordinates. This system has worldwide application, distribution to allied naval forces is already complete, and security is good. We should adopt it.

    71. The excellent Coordination of Dive bombing and torpedo plane attacks, so successful in the Coral Sea, was missing in the Battle of Midway. Chief among the factors preventing coordination were the Japanese tactics in concentrating fighters on our torpedo planes. This let the dive bombers in so that we sank their carriers just the same, but at the very high cost of most of our torpedo planes.

    72. TBD planes are fatally inadequate for their purpose. The loss of the brave men who unhesitatingly went to their death in them is grievous. The TBF is much improved, but still cannot attack ships defended by fighters without fighter support. Long range carrier fighters must be developed.

    73. The Japanese apparently had fighter protection over their carriers from about 20,000 feet on down to the torpedo plane attack level. We shall have to establish at least 2 levels of fighter combat patrol.

    74. Our F4F-4 is markedly inferior to the Japanese Zero fighter in speed, maneuverability, and climb. These characteristics must be improved, but not at the cost of reducing the present overall superiority that in the Battle of Midway enabled our carrier fighter squadrons to shoot down about 3 Zero fighters for each of our own lost. However much this superiority may exist in our splendid pilots, part at least rests in the armor, armament and leak proof tanks of our planes.

    75. In most engagements of fighters were outnumbered. For this campaign the number of fighters in each carrier was increased from 18 to 27. It may be necessary to increase even further the percentage of VF types carried.

    76. Replacement carrier air groups must be ready ashore so that after battle a depleted carrier group can be brought to a shore station for refreshment and replacements. Each replacement group should be kept as a complete unit and should be highly trained before going to sea.

    77. Satisfactory training still shows up a one of the greatest difficulties in war operations, both for antiaircraft gunners and aircraft personnel. Task Force commanders are taking every opportunity possible underway to fire practices and train pilots in attack procedures. At best, this training can only prevent deterioration of skill. Basic and thorough refresher training must be given at shore schools. The proficiency of our personnel, both ship and aircraft, will not reach the level desired until shore schools and training devices under development are fully in service.

    78. Aircraft should be launched and attack completed with the absolute minimum loss of time. Once the attack was joined, our pilots pressed it home with resolution and matchless audacity; but it is believed their successes would have been greater and their losses smaller had there been closer coordination of attacking types.

    79. Aircraft tracking of enemy formations has been unsatisfactory because of inadequate types and numbers of planes. Early, accurate, and continuous information of the enemy is essential for successful attack by carrier groups. Contact once made must be held and tracking information broadcast. Tracking should be conducted by shore based planes, when in range of suitable bases. The Japanese employment as scouts of seaplanes carried by tenders warrants study. No matter how efficient this search and tracking, carriers should still maintain an alert search with their own planes, accepting reduction in offensive power for greater security. The Japanese have been very successful with non-carrier searching, but in the Coral Sea and at Midway they were caught with planes on deck.

    80. Fighter direction was much better than in the Coral Sea. Over half the bombers and torpedo planes that attacked the Yorktown, along with a number of accompanying fighters, were shot down. Development of tactics in stationing fighters at various altitudes and distances from the carrier, along with the Fighter Direction School now being established in Oahu, should produce further improvement.

    81. Superfrequency voice sets are needed for fighter direction and other limited range voice communication.

    82. Communications were swift and efficient. By placing all Midway planes, whether Army or Navy, and all submarines operating there on a common radio frequency with provision that surface craft intercept these reports, many relays of enemy information were eliminated with consequent earlier receipt by interested commanders.

    83. All carriers must have two search Radars, one (if not both) of which is at least equal in performance to CXAM. The SC does not meet this requirement.

    84. Gasoline fires in carriers are a serious menace. Yorktown, though hit by three bombs and set afire, had no gasoline fires, possibly because of the effective use of CO2 in the gasoline system.

    85. Gunnery still improves on those ships that have been in action a number of times. Some crews have been in enough battles to consider themselves seasoned veterans. Part of the improvement is in better fire discipline that comes with battle experience. A very important part comes from the greater number of automatic weapons now on our ships. Most ships need more of these. The greatest need, at present, is for the directors and lead computing sights now under manufacture for automatic weapons.

    86. Effectiveness of aircraft torpedoes and bombs must be increased.

    (a) A larger torpedo warhead is urgently required. The present strengthened torpedo is a favorable step in the right direction, but the torpedo must be designed for much higher speed drops. In the Midway action the B-26 and TBF planes received their most serious losses from Japanese fighters when they slowed down to limiting torpedo dropping speed.

    (b) Had the 1000 lb. armor piercing bomb under development been available for dive bombers, fewer of the many ships that were hit would have escaped; and fewer hits would have been needed to destroy the carriers.

    87. The value of a close screen in protecting carrier against torpedo planes was demonstrated during the attacks on the Yorktown. Not over 4 planes got through to launch torpedoes. Unfortunately she was slowed down by previous damage or she might have avoided these. A strong screen of 4 cruisers and a squadron of destroyers is the present minimum requirement for task forces containing a carrier. Present reorganization of forces places them at approximately this strength.

    88. Combined training is needed by land based aircraft and Fleet units to provide for better exchange of information and coordination of attack. The superior operations of the unit of B-17's under Lieut. Colonel W. D. Sweeney, U.S.A. of 431st Bombardment Squadron show the benefit of prolonged experience with naval forces which this squadron had obtained during coordinated patrol operations. All units require more training in sending clear, complete and accurate reports that will give a commander all the information he needs to know, completely correct, without repeated questioning.

    89. Correct information is still one of the hardest things for a commander to get in action. It is especially difficult in such a battle of many battles as this one was, spread over a vast sea area. Training, suitable tracking aircraft, and some of the other steps mentioned in the foregoing paragraphs should alleviate this difficulty. It is considered that Commanders of Task Force SIXTEEN and SEVENTEEN and Naval Air Station Midway showed sound judgement and decision in correctly interpreting the many confused situations that came up during the action.

    90. The performance of officers and men was of the highest order not only at Midway and afloat but equally so among those at Oahu not privileged to be in the front line of battle. I am proud to report that the cooperative devotion to duty of all those involved was so marked that, despite the necessarily decisive part played by our three carriers, this defeat of the Japanese Arms and ambitions was truly a victory of the United States' armed forces and not of the Navy alone.

    signed
    C. W. NIMITZ
     
  9. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Hey Lucky, I was wondering if you could get me some details on the battle of Midway.

    :) WOW. Great information.
     
  10. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Cincpac File No. UNITED STATES PACIFIC FLEET
    A8/(37)JAP/(26) FLAGSHIP OF THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF
    HRK
    Serial 01753 JUNE 21 1942

    From: Commander-in-Chief, United States Pacific Fleet.
    To: The Chief of Naval Operations (Director of Naval Intelligence)
    Via: The Commander-in-Chief, United States Fleet.
    Subject: Interrogation of Japanese Prisoners taken after Midway Action 9 June 1942.


    1. Two Japanese naval ratings were rescued from a raft on 9 June after the Midway Action by U.S.S. Trout and brought to Pearl Harbor for interrogation. Names of prisoners were: Katsuichi Yoshida, a Chief Radioman, and Kenichi Ishikawa, third class fireman, both from the Japanese cruiser Mikuma. Upon arrival Pearl Harbor it was necessary to send Yoshida to the Naval Hospital, Pearl Harbor, due to crushed ribs. An additional report will be made when this man has been interrogated. Ishikawa was interrogated by this office and the following information obtained. It is believed this man told the truth to the limit of his knowledge of the Japanese Navy. Contrary to usual practice this man was not in the least reticent about discussing Japanese Naval affairs. He should be catalogued for further interrogation, if such be desired.

    2. As has been estimated, Crudiv 7 was made up of the four cruisers Mogami, Mikuma, Kumano and Suzuya. This division arrived at Kure from Singapore on 22 April where they went into drydock. It was on this date that Ishikawa first joined the Mikuma from the Kure Armed Guard. On 15 May the division left Kure for three days of exercises with Batdiv 1 in the area around Hashirajima, which is an island south of Kure in the Inland Sea. The division returned to Kure on the 18th of May and liberty was granted that evening. (This man did not corroborate the statement previously obtained from Nakamura taken by the Nashville in the raid upon Japan, who stated that since the beginning of the war there had been no liberty in the Japanese Navy). Crudiv 7 sailed from Kure the night of 18 May by way of the Bun go Channel for Guam. One day before arriving at Guam, Ishikawa stated he saw 15 or 20 transports. The trip to Guam took 4 or 5 days. Upon arrival at Guam, ships entered the harbor, moored alongside a tanker and received fuel. Stayed at Guam one day then departed for the Midway Attack in company with Crudiv 7 and two destroyers. At this point the prisoner stated the new name for Guam is Omiyajima as has been previously reported. Upon leaving Guam the division officer informed his division (the engineering division) of the plan to attack Midway. He also stated that after leaving Guam, his division officer announced at Quarters that upon the completion they would proceed to the Aleutian Islands and from there to Australia. The ship refueled once between Guam and the point of attack. As far as can be determined Crudiv 7 was not in visual contact with the transports or any other ships, other than the two DDs, at any time after the first day prior to the arrival at Guam. About two days prior to the attack on this division by American aircraft, the Kumano and Suzuya left the company of the Mogami and Mikuma and the prisoner knew nothing further of their part in the engagement or any casualties they might have incurred.

    3. The prisoner stated he had spent three nights on the raft. Since he was picked up on the 9th of June it is believed that the Mikuma was sunk on the 6th of June. The first attack occurred two days prior to the sinking, at which time the ship received a bomb hit in the Warrant Officers Mess. This would make the first attack on 4 June. The following day the ship received no attacks, but on the 6th about noon time, she was again attacked, by 2-engine bombers and received hits on the fo'cas'le, bridge area and amidships. The hit on the fo'cs'le put the forward guns out of commission. The hit near the bridge area set off some ready service AA shells, causing considerable damage to bridge structure and personnel. Several torpedoes were exploded amidships by the hit in that vicinity. The ship caught fire and two destroyers tried to come alongside to rescue personnel; but were driven away and forced to abandon the attempt to rescue survivors, when attacked by an additional flight of American aircraft. One of these destroyers received a hit on the stern and broke out into flame aft. Ishikawa did not know if this destroyer sank. The Mikuma capsized and sank within an hour and a half after initial bombing this date and he found himself on a raft with 19 other men, after having jumped over the side. He estimated there were several hundred men in the water, but the majority of the crew had not been able to get off the ship, before she turned over. When picked up by the Trout on the 9th there were only two men remaining on the raft, the others having either died or fallen off the raft while asleep at night. The men had no food nor water during these three days.

    4. At some time after the first attack on the 4th a notice was published on board the Mikuma to the effect that the Midway attack had been abandoned and that this division would operate with Batdiv 1. Just when this notice was published is not known, but thought to be on the 5th. Ishikawa believes that the transports were ordered to return to home waters at this time.

    5. Ishikawa saw the Mikuma turn over and sink. He did not know if the Mogami had been sunk or not. However, at the time of the Mikuma's sinking he stated Mogami was on fire (this command has photographs of the burning and abandoning of a Mogami class cruiser with extensive damage amidships and aft. These pictures were shown to Ishikawa, who stated that it was not the Mikuma, because the Mikuma's extensive damage had been forward and around the bridge area). To recapitulate: Insofar as Ishikawa knew the Japanese have sustained the following damage: Mikuma sunk, Mogami on fire, one destroyer hit on fantail, which caught fire aft.

    6. The Mikuma carried three planes and two catapults, one plane being stowed in a hangar. He described a method of plane recovery, whereby the plane would taxi up alongside the ship beneath the crane and be hooked on without the use of Cast Recovery apparatus.

    7. His description of the engineering plant of the Mikuma corresponded to the information given in Janes' Fighting Ships 1940.

    8. He was asked specifically if the Japanese Navy had any sort of electric apparatus which could determine the approach of enemy planes, prior to the time that the enemy planes could be seen and if at any time he had ever seen any bedspring-like antennaes above the mast or director of any ships of the Japanese Navy. We made a statement to the effect that we had heard from a German that the Japanese had such an instrument. He denied any knowledge of Radar equipment, but was of the impression that they had some sort of apparatus on board, which involved the use of earphones for detection of approaching planes and surface vessels. (Photographs of the damaged Mogami class cruiser show no Radar Screens). The Mikuma carried no underwater sound apparatus or depth charges.
     
  11. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    9. Ishikawa when questioned about the Japanese carrier strength stated he knew of the following ships" Akagi, Kaga, Soryu, Hiryu, Ryujo, Zuikaku, Shokaku and Zuiho. He stated he had never seen nor heard of a carrier named Shoho or Ryukaku. He also said that he had served with a petty officer who had had service on a new converted carrier named the Hayataka (first character is Hayai meaning fast, second character is Taka meaning falcon). (Note: Being an enlisted man, Ishikawa may have been confused on the characters. He later changed his mind, stating that the first character was JUN, hayataka meaning falcon). He sated that the conversion of the Hayataka had just been completed 22 May. He had never heard of carriers name Jun (or Shun) yo or Hiyo. When questioned as to whether the Tsurugisaki and Takasaki had been converted into aircraft carriers, he professed ignorance. he several times stated that he had heard of an aircraft carrier named the Chokai (first character CHO meaning bird, second character KAI meaning sea). His attention was called to the fact that the Japanese had a cruiser named Chokai, but he insisted that there was also an aircraft carrier named Chokai. His reason was that once in Kure a friend of his pointed out two aircraft carriers in the harbor and called them the Hayataka and Chokai. The Yawata Maru he stated is now an aircraft carrier.

    10. He stated that the battleship Yamato was the latest battleship in the Japanese Navy and was the flagship of the Commander-in-Chief, Combined Fleet, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. He stated that this ship was 57,000 tons, but he did not know the number of stacks nor the number of guns or turrets, although having professed seeing this ship. He did not believe the Japanese were building battleships, but he did not definitely know, because of the great secrecy surrounding shipbuilding. At this point it might be well to state that he claimed the Hayataka was built at the Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Company at Nagasaki and thought the displacement was around 20,000 tons. He also stated he had heard the Japanese were building quite a number of submarines.

    11. When questioned concerning the sinking of the Houston, he stated that although he was not aboard the ship at the time, he had heard by rumor that the Houston and another ship had been sunk by planes of the Zuikaku from behind, along with destroyers.

    12. He stated he saw the Zuikaku in Kure on the 22nd of May. He said so far as he knew she had not been damaged after the battle of the CORAL SEA.

    13. When asked concerning the attitude of the average seaman towards the present war, he stated that they considered it their duty to fight. He also said the average citizen had the same feeling toward the war although as individuals, there is no enmity toward Americans. He said that the Japanese people realized that Japan had struck the first blow in the war, but felt that American had started the war by the imposition of economic restrictions upon Japan. The general attitude being that everybody wanted peace, but that it was their duty to fight until the war was won.

    14. The prisoner stated that food was not too plentiful at home, but they had all they wanted to eat on board. Cigarettes are plentiful for the men. A special holiday is declared at irregular intervals, possibly to celebrate some military success, at which time beer and sake in passed out to all hands. The officers and men habitually wear khaki, except when very warm, at which time the top is removed, exposing the white undershirt.

    15. According to Ishikawa, he received no accounts of the bombing of Tokyo by way of newspapers or conversations with other Japanese. He knew Tokyo had been bombed, however, but had no idea of the extent of the damage. Likewise, he knew nothing of the CORAL SEA Engagement, and professed complete ignorance of geographical names associated with the Southwest Pacific.

    16. Ishikawa is 22 years of age (21 years according to Occidental Calendar), nonchalant and most content with his lot as a prisoner of war in the United States. He has no particular desire to return to Japan before the termination of the war -- in fact, he would prefer to remain here. From all observations, he is endeavoring to be cooperative within the resources of his meager knowledge of the Imperial Japanese Navy.

    [signed]
    C. W. Nimitz

    Copy to:

    ComSoWesPac (2 copies - 1 copy for BELLCOMIN).
    Comsopac (1 copy)
    Combat Intell., 14th N.D. (1 copy)
    C.T.F. 11 (1 copy)
    C.T.F. 16 (1 copy)
    C.T.F. 17 (1 copy)
    C.T.F. 18 (1 copy)
     
  12. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    CRUISERS, PACIFIC FLEET
    Pearl Harbor, T. H.,
    14 June 1942.

    From: Commander Cruisers, Pacific Fleet.
    To: Commander-in-Chief, United States Pacific Fleet.

    Subject: Battle of Midway.

    1. The following general account of the Battle of Midway is submitted pending receipt of reports from subordinate commanders and the preparation of a detailed report.

    2. All times are local, plus ten zone.

    3. Task Force SIXTEEN was sighted in Latitude 32 - 04 N., Longitude 172 - 45 W. at 1730, June 2, 1942 and was directed to operate ten miles to Southward of Task Force SEVENTEEN. Both forces proceeded to the West during the night, and on the Third to the North. Searches of sector 240° - 060°, distance two hundred miles were conducted by Yorktown air group but poor visibility and rain squalls reduced their effectiveness. Enterprise and Hornet maintained their air groups in readiness as a striking force. During the night of June 3-4 both forces proceeded toward a point two hundred miles North of Midway. Reports of enemy forces to the Westward of Midway were received from Midway and Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet. These reports indicated the location of the enemy Occupation Force but not the Striking Force.

    4. At 0620, June 4, Yorktown launched security search of Northern semi-circle distance one hundred miles and combat air patrol. Enterprise assumed functions of fighter director. The two forces were directed to operate five to ten miles apart. Task Force SIXTEEN to Southwestward. Course was initially to Eastward. At 0800 received contact report from Midway plane of enemy force consisting of two carriers and other types including battleships bearing 320°, distance 180 from Midway on course 135°, speed 25 knots. Directed Task Force SIXTEEN to proceed to Westward and launch attack groups against enemy forces. At 0845 landed Yorktown scouts and relieved combat air patrol. Changed course to 225° and speed to 25 knots. At 0910 Task Force SIXTEEN commenced launching attack groups and gave as their Point Option course 260°, speed 25 knots. Yorktown attack group was held in reserve pending receipt of information on additional enemy carriers which it was hoped would soon be located by our shore based aircraft. No such report having been received by 1025 and fearing that we might be caught with all planes on board it was decided to launch half the bombers and all torpedo planes with six fighters as escort to attack the same objective as Task Force SIXTEEN. Launching was completed at 1106 and combat patrol was relieved at 1118. Remaining half of bombers were brought up from hanger deck and made ready for an attack on the still unlocated additional carriers. During this period Task Forces SIXTEEN and SEVENTEEN drew out of sight of each other due to former proceeding to the Westward and the latter having to head Southeastward for launching. After launching Task Force SEVENTEEN took course 240°, speed 25 knots.

    5. Many radar contacts commenced to develop about noon but there was no certainty as to their friendly or enemy character owing to their multiplicity and the fact that the aircraft of Task Forces SIXTEEN and SEVENTEEN were returning and the exact location of the former was not known. Radio intelligence indicated that the enemy had sighted our carriers. At 1327 bombers returned from the attack and reported having bombed and possibly destroyed on enemy carrier. A radar contact at 1335 bearing 320°, distance twenty five miles was believed to be enemy but fighter interception failed. It was decided to launch a search group as we still had no report of enemy carriers other than the one group sighted in the morning. At 1350 completed launching search group to search sector 280°-030°, distance 200 miles and twelve fighters for combat patrol. Search group was armed with bombs to attack enemy if located.

    6. At 1352 radar contact bearing 275°, distance 32 miles closing. Increased speed to 30 knots. Fighters intercepted and shot down many enemy planes. At 1407 bombing and torpedo attack commenced on Yorktown and continued until 1415 at which time radar was out of commission and Yorktown had received three bomb hits causing Yorktown to stop. The fire from the island structure which resulted from bomb hits made the communication office and flag plot untenable and the Force Commander and Staff personnel assembled on the flight deck. Because of temporary loss of Radar and difficulty of communication from the Yorktown and control of the Task Forces, and because of the immobility of the Yorktown, the Force Commander decided to shift his flag to the Astoria. This was done at 1500. Air coverage was requested from Task Force SIXTEEN and Midway. Portland was directed to prepare to take Yorktown in tow.

    7. The Pensacola, Vincennes, Balch and Benham joined from Task Force SIXTEEN at 1530. The 1600 position of Yorktown was latitude 33-52 N., Longitude 176-00 W. Shortly after 1600 Yorktown was able to increase speed and by 1625 was up to 17 knots. A visual message from Yorktown indicated that her search group had sighted previously unlocated enemy carrier which was later attacked by Task Force SIXTEEN. Radar contacts indicated enemy planes approaching. Those fighters which had been refueled were launched. About two fighters remained on board. At 1635 fighters intercepted and engaged enemy torpedo planes and fighter escorts, destroying many. At 1541 enemy torpedo attack was directed at Yorktown scoring two hits. The heavy explosion was followed by loss of light, power and mobility. The ship commenced listing to part and list increased to about twenty seven degrees. At 1714 started abandoning ship in anticipation of her capsizing and further enemy attacks. About twenty three hundred survivors were picked up by destroyers. At 1827 enemy single float seaplane sighted and destroyed by fighters. Other seaplanes were sighted during the following hour. some of which were probably destroyed by fighters. About 1830 completed recovery of survivors and due to reduced fighting efficiency as a result of overcrowded conditions and lack of air coverage, the Force proceeded to the Eastward. Hughes was left to guard Yorktown. Pensacola and Vincennes were detached to rejoin Task Force SIXTEEN which was sighted shortly before dark. It was intended to transfer survivors from destroyers to Portland during the night and have her return with them to Pearl. Astoria and destroyers were to return to Yorktown at daylight to attempt her salvage. A despatch was subsequently received from Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, directing the transfer of survivors to Fulton which he was sending out from Pearl Harbor. Key personnel were to be returned to Yorktown for salvage operations. Captain Buckmaster and about 180 of his key officers and enlisted men were placed aboard Hammann as a salvage party. Hammann, Balch and Benham were detached and returned to Yorktown. Other ships proceeded to Eastward to fuel and join Saratoga (Task Group 11.1) in accordance with orders from the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet.

    signed
    Frank Jack Fletcher
     
  13. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    UNITED STATES PACIFIC FLEET
    File No. FLAGSHIP OF COMMANDER CARRIERS
    A16-3

    Serial 0144-A 16 June 1942

    From: Commander Task Force SIXTEEN.
    To: Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet
    Via: Commander Task Force SEVENTEEN

    Enclosure: (A) CO Hornet Serial 0018 of June 13, 1942, with enclosures thereto.
    (B) CO Enterprise Serial 0133 of June 8, 1942, with enclosures thereto.
    (C) CO Enterprise Serial 0137 of June 13, 1942, with enclosure thereto.
    (D) Comcrudiv SIX Serial 058 of June 11, 1942, with enclosure thereto.
    (E) CO Pensacola Serial 056 of June 8, 1942, with enclosure thereto.
    (F) Comdesron SIX Serial 094 of June 12, 1942, less enclosure.


    1. Enclosures are forwarded herewith. Where discrepancies exist between Enterprise and Hornet reports, the Enterprise report should be taken as the more accurate.

    2. On 4 June, Task Force SIXTEEN consisted of 2 CVs, 5 CAs, 1 CL and 9 DD.

    3. The following is a general outline of the operations of Task Force SIXTEEN during the three days, 4-6 June, during which attacks against Japanese forces took place off Midway. All times given are zone plus ten, which is two hours ahead of Midway time, zone plus twelve.

    4. Thursday, 4 June.

    (a) We received our first contact report at 0740. Task Force SEVENTEEN was about 10 miles to the N.E. of us with search in the air. Task Force SIXTEEN headed toward the contact at 24 knots. When we got within striking distance, about 0900, we turned south into the wind and launched attack groups. The order of launching was: (1) VF for fighter patrol, (2) dive bombers armed some with 500, remainder with 1000 lb. bombs, (3) torpedo planes, (4) VF to accompany TBDs. Launching time was about one hour. Carriers then headed for contact at 25 knots.

    (b) Our estimate of enemy CV movements was that he would continue into wind to close Midway, so as to recover, reservice and launch new attack. We felt that we had to hit him before he could launch his second attack, both to prevent further damage to Midway and to ensure our own safety.

    (c) Unfortunately, our presence was discovered by an enemy seaplane scout while we were launching. As this plane was to the southward of us, I assume he may have come from a seaplane tender southeast of Midway. Whatever the cause, enemy CV turned back to the northward instead of continuing toward Midway, as we have figured he would. Our dive bombers who were conducting a modified search enroute to the target, failed to make contact at first and did not arrive until after the TBDs and their accompanying VF.

    (d) By this time enemy CVs, had been recovering their planes and were preparing to launch their second attack, which would undoubtedly have been on our CVs and not on Midway. The presence of the third carrier was not know when we launched our attack; and the presence of a fourth was not realized until much later, as she appears to have been somewhat separated from the first three.

    (e) Very unfortunately for themselves but very fortunately for the fate of the action, our TBDs gallantly attacked without waiting for the arrival and support of our dive bombers. The torpedo plane attack, while not in itself very effective, caused the enemy to maneuver radically and prevented him from launching. Our dive bombers arrived in the nick of time, caught one enemy CV (Akagi) with most, if not all, of his planes on deck. The other carriers had some planes on deck. This resulted in the burning and subsequent destruction of the first three carriers. The wiping out of our torpedo plane squadrons was, I believe, done largely by enemy VFs. This seems to have pulled enemy VFs down and left the air clear for our dive bombers. The heavy losses in dive bombers appear to have occurred through forced landings, out of gas. We rescued the crew of one such Enterprise plane Friday afternoon. Others have since been sighted and rescued from Midway. Hornet dive bombers failed to locate the target and did not participate in this attack. Had they done so, the fourth carrier could have been attacked and later attacks made on Yorktown by this carrier prevented.

    (f) The Yorktown air group played an important part in this first attack. Their search gave us that afternoon the information of the location of the fourth carrier. This enabled us to launch the late afternoon attack which crippled the fourth carrier and gave us incontestable mastery of the air. After the first attack on the Yorktown her planes then in the air landed on the Enterprise and Hornet. They took part in all subsequent attacks and were of the greatest value in making up for planes lost in the first attack.

    (g) When the first attack was made on the Yorktown, she was nearly out of sight of us to the northwestward. From the heavy smoke that appeared, I judged that she had been hit. Our aircraft operations and the relative direction of the light wind prevailing prevented us from ever getting a good look at her until she had been abandoned after the second attack. I sent two CAs and 2 DDs to her assistance after the first attack and continued to furnish VF protection. Our late afternoon attack on the fourth carrier was, except for this, the best action we could take for the protection of all hands.

    (h) After recovering our air groups following their second attack, Task Force SIXTEEN stood to the eastward and back to the westward during the night. A radar contact while on course north abut 0330 was responsible for some unscheduled movements. I did not feel justified in risking a night encounter with possibly superior enemy forces, but on the other hand, I did not want to be too far away from Midway the next morning. I wished tot have a position from which either to follow up retreating enemy forces or to break up a landing attack on Midway. At this time the possibility of the enemy having a fifth CV somewhere in the area, possibly with his Occupation Force or else to the northwestward, still existed.

    5. Friday, 5 June.

    (a) At daybreak Friday, Task Force SIXTEEN was headed to he westward at 15 knots in an area of bad flying weather. Our first contact was the one made by the Tambor reporting the enemy 90 miles west of Midway. This looked like a landing, so we took a course somewhat to the northward of Midway at 25 knots. As the forenoon drew on, reports began to come in which indicated a retreat and not an attack. While I had not believed that the enemy, after losing four carriers and all their planes, would remain in an offensive frame of mind, still that possibility could not be overlooked, especially with the uncertainty about a fifth carrier in the area. The Tambor's report might mean only that the retirement order had been slow in being issued or had failed to reach the ships she sighted.

    (b) About 1100 we sighted at VP on the water. I sent the Monaghan to take off the crew, but told her not to destroy the plane. About 1300 the Monaghan signalled that the bombsight had been overlooked and was still in the plane. I sent her back to get the bombsight and ordered her to report to the Yorktown.

    (c) As the general situation (and the weather) cleared, it became evident that a choice of objectives for chase and attack was the next matter for decision. We had reports of two groups either of which contained good targets. One was to the west of Midway, the other to the northwest. I chose the one to the northwest. It was farther away, but it contained the crippled CV and 2 BBs, one of them reported damaged.

    (d) We stood to the northwestward at 25 knots, using the position reported during the forenoon by a VP. There were no trailing reports, and, as the day wore on, this position began to grow rather cold, but it was the best we had. About 1600 a flight of B-17's overtook us. Our challenge was unanswered, but I signalled them that we would launch an attack about 1700. We heard them report our position so we knew our movements were known to Midway. Later we received the disquieting information that B-17's were returning without having located their target.

    (e) Our attack groups were launched after 1700, went out 250 miles, but only sighted and bombed two small vessels, reported as CLs or DDs. I believe they were DDs and I doubt if any hits were made, although one was claimed. Our aircraft got back in the growing darkness, which required lights and search lights. All landed safely, except one VSB of the Hornet which crashed astern of the Enterprise, personnel saved by DD. One Yorktown SBD was shot down by enemy A.A. fire.

    (f) The situation which presented itself that night was that no targets had been sighted for 250 miles ahead on the last reported course of the enemy, and some planes reported the weather ahead as not so favorable. I figured that the enemy DDs would report our attack and that they might either get the protection of bad weather ahead or else change course to the westward to head for Japan and to throw us off. In either event a change in our course to the westward seemed desirable. Accordingly we took course 280°, speed 15 knots, for the rest of the night, and at daylight launched a 200 mile search, covering 180°-360°. That night the undesirability of running down any enemy BBs in the dark presented itself as a reason for slowing, as did the growing shortage of fuel in DDs.
     
  14. Lucky13

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    6. Saturday, 6 June.

    (a) Our search was fortunate in finding two groups of enemy vessels to the southwestward about 40 miles apart. The more southerly group was reported as 2 CAs and 2 DDs; the other as 1 CV and 5 DDs, later changed to 1 BB and 3 DDs. This second group has since been determined to have been 2 CAs, 1 CL or DL, and 2 DDs.

    (b) The Hornet air group, VSBs and VFs, was launched to attack the BB and DDs. By the time the Hornet planes had returned, the Enterprise was ready and her air group was sent in to attack the BB group again. This was followed by a second attack by the Hornet on the same objective.

    (c) As a result of these attacks, the following damage was inflicted: 1 CA sunk, 1 CA disabled and abandoned, one DD sunk, one DD strafed by VFs, and one or two hits on what was a CL or DL.

    (d) After the last attack group had returned to Enterprise we launched two photographic planes, one with still, the other with movie camera. The stills have been forwarded and the movie film is also being sent in for development.

    (e) All through the day there had been no question in our minds that a BB was involved. That evening, when questioning the pilots of the two photographic planes, I found one of them quite certain that a CA of the Mogami class, and not a BB, was involved. The photographs bore him out. The ship is the same as the one appearing in the 1940 Jane. Everyone who saw this ship says she appeared to be much larger than a CA. From this fact and from her toughness I suspect that her displacement may be considerably in excess of 10,000 tons. She was reported as definitely larger than the other cruiser accompanying her, which may have been a CL or DL. The smaller ship with a DD was last seen leaving a heavy oil streak about 15 miles away. These ships left many survivors on board the big CA and in the water. I believe the larger ship sank during the night.

    (f) The high speed steaming on each of the three days had reduced our DD fuel on hand to a point where vessels were approaching the lower limit. I sent the Maury and Worden back to the rendezvous with the Cimarron. This left us with 4 DDs, below which number it seemed inadvisable to go on account of Jap SSs reported in the area.

    7. Except for the Hornet dive bombers failing to find the target on the forenoon of 4 June, all operations were conducted approximately as intended, and the work of the carrier squadrons on which the success or failure of the action depended was beyond praise. This applies particularly to the first attack made on 3 CVs about noon on 4 June which decided the action. The attacks made at this time by the torpedo squadrons, prior to the arrival of the dive bombers, was of an especially gallant nature.

    8. No ships of Task Force SIXTEEN except those sent to report to Commander Task Force SEVENTEEN after the first attack on the Yorktown on the afternoon of 4 June were in actual contact with any enemy forces. The Enterprise and the Hornet were ably handled. Cruisers and destroyers screened and supported these carriers without specific orders and in accordance with doctrine throughout the three days in a most satisfactory and efficient manner.

    9. The following is a brief summary of the more important points brought out by the action:

    (a) Losses in attacking planes are due primarily to enemy VF and not to A.A. fire.

    (b) Ships unsupported by VF are easy prey for CV air attack.

    (c) In duel between CVs side which is able to strike first blow without being itself hit wins.

    (d) CVs are most vulnerable to damage from fire. This is especially true when they are caught with planes on deck.

    (e) Carrier air groups should be complete units which have been highly trained while operating from a shore base before they go on board carrier.

    (f) A carrier air group which has been in action and has suffered heavy losses should go ashore to receive its replacements and to train these until the squadrons and the group are again ready for combat duty. This means that replacement air groups must be ready.

    (g) A.P. bombs suitable for our present dive bombers are required. With present 500 and 1000 lb. bombs attack against armored ships does not disable until ship has been knocked to pieces by many more hits than should be necessary.

    (h) Strafing attack against DDs by VFs temporarily stops their A.A. fire by driving exposed personnel to cover.

    (i) Dive bombing attacks on DDs are not profitable because of the difficulty of obtaining hits on such a small and highly maneuverable target. Such attacks should not be made if a larger and more valuable target is available.

    (j) Early and accurate information of movements of an enemy force to be attacked is essential for successful carrier operations. This should be obtained, whenever possible, by other than CV aircraft, both to retain maximum CV striking power and to avoid disclosing the fact that any CVs are in the area.

    (k) The performance of our F4F-4 is reported as greatly inferior to the Jap "Zero" fighter. The ammunition supply for 6 guns of our VFs in inadequate. For use against the unprotected "Zero," 4 machine guns instead of six in our F4F-4's, with the weight saved used for additional ammunition, merits consideration. A new VF with greater range and maneuverability is required.

    (l) The new TBF should be substituted for the TBD as soon as possible.

    (m) The advantages of operating at least two carriers together were manifest. The fact that the Enterprise and Hornet were in the vicinity of the Yorktown permitted many of her planes to go to these vessels after she was crippled and to continue to operate from them throughout the action. This both saved the Yorktown planes and made up for Enterprise and Hornet losses incurred in the first attack.

    signed
    R. A. SPRUANCE.
     
  15. Lucky13

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    CVS/A16-3> 0F10/Ld
    U.S.S. Hornet
    Serial 0018
    San Francisco, Calif.,
    June 13, 1942.

    From: Commanding Officer.
    To: Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
    Via: Commander Task Force SIXTEEN.

    Subject: Report of Action -- 4-6 June 1942.

    Reference: (a) U.S. Navy Regulations, Art. 712.
    (b) CincPac despatch of 6 June 1942.

    Enclosure: (A) Photograph of burning Japanese Cruiser.
    (B) List of casualties.
    (C) Recommendations for awards.
    (D) Report of Commanding Officer, VF-3.
    (E) Copy of reference (b) (paraphrased).
    (F) Squadron track charts.
    (H) Statement of Quillen, L. ARM3c, U.S. Navy.
    (I) Constructive Time analysis of events of June 4, 1942.

    1. In accordance with CinCPac Operation Plan 29-42, the Hornet got underway from Pearl Harbor at 1130, May 28, 1942, recovering the Air Group at sea, at 1530 the same afternoon. One SBD would not start at EWA Field, and the pilot was flown to the ship in the rear seat of a TBD. This particular Pilot, Lieutenant W J. Widhelm, U.S.N., was later credited with two direct 1000-lb. bomb hits on a battleship, or heavy cruiser, on June 6. An additional SBD, Ensign R.D. Milliman, U.S.N.R., pilot, was lost the following morning when it crashed about 15 miles from the ship while on intermediate air patrol, probably due to engine failure. No personnel were recovered. The air Group then consisted of 27 VF, 35 VSB, and 15 VTB, which aircraft strength was maintained until contact was made with the enemy, except for temporary decommissionings for minor repairs.

    2. After passing through KAUAI Channel, course 296° T. was maintained until the afternoon of May 31, when course was changed to 290° T., and maintained until arrival at Point "Luck" on 1 June. On the night of May 30 a CinCPac intelligence report, giving an accurate estimate of the Japanese Midway force organization, was received. During May 31 two reports were received that Japanese bombers had been sighted northwest of Midway. At 1630, June 2, Task Force 17 was sighted. The two forces remained separated, but usually within visual contact. Task Force 16 remained in the vicinity of Point "Luck" until June 3. Word having been received that the enemy main body had been sighted bearing 261° T., 700 miles from Midway, course was set to the southwest.

    3. It was at about this time that several despatches were sent to the Task Force Commander in high command ciphers. It is strongly recommended that carriers be issued a class 5 cryptographic allowance; these ships may well become separated during continuous air operations and the carrier commanding officers require all available information. The receipt of this information will obviate the necessity for a large part of the visual traffic so difficult to deliver by semaphore from the Task Force Commander to the carriers.

    4. The first indication of the possible location of another enemy force was received at 0810, June 4, in CinCPAC 041807 which reported the sighting of a seaplane bearing 320° T., 100 miles from Midway. Two minutes later came a report of many planes in the same vicinity, and 14 minutes later another of 2 enemy CV on the same bearing, distance 180 miles. This ship was called to General Quarters, and remained in that condition until after dark.

    5. At 090 (all times given hereafter are zone plus 10) commenced launching the Air Group for attack; VSB loaded with 500-lb. bombs, VTB with torpedoes and VF with M.G. ammunition only. The objective, enemy carriers, was calculated to be 155 miles distant, bearing 239° T. from this Task Force; one division of 10 VF, Squadron Commander (Lieutenant Commander S.G. Mitchell, U.S.N.) in charge, was sent with 35 VSB and 15 VTB, to afford fighter protection. Deferred departure was used. A combat air patrol had been maintained since one half hour before sunrise. An unfortunate aerological feature of the day's action was the fact that the wind was light (about 4 knots) and directly away from the enemy; every time the combat patrol was relieved, or a forced landing was recovered, our attack planes had a longer run back to the ship, and increased the distance between this force and the enemy. Between 1320 and 2100, launching and recovery operations were being conducted almost continuously on a generally easterly heading and at high speed. The VSB returned from the search in groups, Scouting 8 and Commander Hornet Air Group together. One section of Bombing 8 returned alone. Thirteen planes of Bombing 8 landed at Midway due to lack of gas; two of these ran out of gas and landed in the Lagoon at Midway. The remaining eleven were gassed, ordered to attack the enemy, and return to Hornet if possible. They were unable to locate the enemy and landed on board at 1727.

    6. None of Scouting 8 or Bombing 8 made contact with the enemy on the above flight. After searching the prescribed bearing the Squadrons turned south to search in the direction of enemy advance. As it turned out, had they turned north, contact would probably have been made. This was due to the fact that when planes took off, they took course to intercept the enemy, at that time reported headed on course 140° T., speed 25 knots. About one hour after the planes had departed the enemy reversed his course and started his retirement. We did not break radio silence to report this to the planes. None of Fighting 8 which went with the attack group returned to the ship. They remained with the VSB until forced to head for Midway due to lack of gas. Five pilots have been rescued; without information as to point of rescue. They are assumed to have landed in the water on a line running 320° T. from Midway.

    7. Torpedo 8, led by Lieutenant Commander John C. Waldron, U.S.N., was lost in its entirety. This squadron flew at 100 knots below the clouds while the remainder of the group flew at 110 knots, climbing to 19,000 feet. Lieutenant Commander Waldron, a highly aggressive officer, leading a well trained squadron, found his target and attacked. Attention is invited to Enclosures (C) and (D) and to reference (b). This Squadron in deserving of the highest honors for finding the enemy, pressing home its attack, without fighter protection and without diverting dive bomber attacks to draw the enemy fire. Ensign G.H. Gay, A-V(N), U.S.N.R., is worthy of additional praise for making a torpedo hit and for the presence of mind he showed in hiding under his seat cushion, after being shot down, for several hours, thereby probably saving his own life and giving us an excellent eye-witness picture of the damage caused by the attack on the enemy carriers.

    8. Very little was seen by this ship of the enemy attacks on the Yorktown. At 1410, enemy torpedo planes were reported to be attacking Task Force 17, which was almost hull down on the horizon to the northwestward. Many anti-aircraft bursts were clearly visible, and at least 3 planes were seen to fall in flames. Heavy columns of dark smoke soon rose from the direction of the Yorktown. Commander Task Force 17 and Portland plain language despatches reporting the air attack were intercepted shortly thereafter. During the attack VF-8 fighters shot down three enemy Zeroes and two dive bombers; one VF-8 plane was shot down. Yorktown planes were noted approaching this ship to land and one section of VSBs was, for a short while, thought to be enemy VTB. One Yorktown fighter plane, whose pilot was wounded in the foot, crash-landed aboard. He had not cut his gun switch. Upon crashing, all six of his machine guns commenced firing in the direction of the island and continued firing for about 2 seconds. .50 caliber bullets sprayed the after end of the island, killing the after 5-inch gun control officer, Lieutenant R.R. Ingersoll, U.S.N., (son of Vice Admiral Ingersoll), and 4 enlisted men, and wounding 20 others, the majority of whom were in Battle II behind one-inch especially hardened armor plate. The bullets penetrated not only this armor plate but also penetrated a 1/4" steel I-beam.

    9. Aircraft operations on easterly courses shortly caused this ship to lose sight of the Yorktown. The VSBs were being rearmed. When the 11 planes of VB-8 returned from Midway they had only to be gassed. Had they located the enemy and made their attack prior to their return, they probably would not have been ready to send on the next flight.

    10. At 1803 commenced launching the second attack group, consisting of 16 VSBs. The target was then assumed to bear 278° T., distant 162 miles and was supposed to consists of two or three burning CVs, 1 or 2 BBs, CAs and DDs. At 1930 the attack was commenced; three hits were made on one BB (2 1000-lb. bombs and 1 500-lb. bomb); 2 500-lb. bomb hits were made on a heavy cruiser. All planes returned from this attack, the last plane landing aboard at 2059. The one enemy CV sighted was not attacked, as it was burning throughout its entire length and was assumed to be of no further value as a target.

    11. During the night of 4-5 June the task force retired to the eastward until 0200, 5 June, when course was changed to 000° T., and at 0348 to 270° T. At 0110, 3 June [sic: presumably this should read "5 June"] the casualties, resulting from the accidental firing of the VF machine guns, were buried at sea. During the night, information received indicated that an enemy force was bearing 320° - 340° T., 170 - 200 miles from Midway, on course West to Northwest, and that there was a probability that a carrier was still able to operate planes.
     
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    12. At 0930, speed was changed to 25 knots and the force maintained generally westerly courses throughout the day. At 1712, commenced launching the attack group, consisting of 26 VSBs. The enemy force at this time was thought to bear 325° T., distant 240 miles from Midway, and to consist of 2 BBs, 4 CAs, 1 CV and some DDs. At 2004, having failed to sight any major enemy force after conducting a 315-mile search, the attack group attacked an enemy CL or DD in a position 278 miles bearing 315° T. from the Hornet position at time of launching. No direct hits were observed; it is estimated that 5 500-lb. bombs landed within 100 feet of the target. All planes returned with the exception of one which landed in the water near the Enterprise due to fuel exhaustion; personnel were recovered in a fine manner in the darkness by the Aylwin. Most of the landings were made after complete darkness had set in. Few of the pilots had previous night carrier landing experience. All planes returned with very little gas; one plane landed, out of fuel, in our arresting gear.

    13. Course 280° T., speed 15 was maintained during the night, the enemy having been reported to be heading slightly south of west, probably to join the Southern forces. Shortly before sunrise Enterprise launched a reconnaissance flight to search the area from 180° through West to 360° for a distance of 200 miles. Contact was made by the pilot in the section 230°-240° T., the enemy bearing 239° T., distance 150 miles from this force. The contact report made by radio and due to voice error the expression "BB" was heard as "CV". Accordingly, 1 CV was reported to Commander Task Force 16. The pilot immediately returned to base and reported correctly 1 BB, 1 CA, 3 DD, by message drop and verbally. Cruisers were then ordered to gain and maintain contact with their SOCs, track the enemy and keep the OTC informed.

    14. At 0957, commenced launching air group of 26 VSB and 8 VF. The latter were ordered along in case of previously undetected air opposition. They aided in the attack by effectively strafing destroyers. At 1150 the air group commenced its attack on the enemy force which consisted of 1 BB, 1 CA, and 3 DDs, 142 miles bearing 235° T. from Hornet 1015 position, resulting in the following: 2 1000-lb. bombs and 1 500-lb. bomb on the BB plus two 1000-lb. hits on a CA; one 500-lb. hit on the stern of a DD. Four VF strafed one DD which probably sustained heavy personnel casualties on the bridge and upper works. One of Hornet VSB was apparently hit and shot down by AA fire in this attack. All pilots of this attack insist that the principal target was definitely a BB (probably Kirishima class) and not a CA. All planes except the one shot down were recovered at 1245 and rearmed.

    15. At 1239 Enterprise launched her first attack of this day; interceptions on the voice attack frequency indicated a large measure of success.

    16. The wind was light but favorable throughout the day, blowing straight from the enemy; launching was conducted occasionally without deviation from Fleet course or speed.

    17. Upon the return of the Enterprise Group, 24 VSB were launched at 1530 for what proved to be the final attack of the three-day action. One deferred forced landing returned at 1602. At 1645, the attack was begun on the enemy force consisting of 1 CA (probably Kinugasa class), 1 CA or CL, and 2 DDs. The enemy force was at this time about 110 miles 264° T. from Hornet position. Results of this attack are as follows: One 1000-lb. bomb hit on CA, six 1000-lb. bomb hits on CA or CL, 1 1000-lb. bomb hit on DD. Very heavy explosions were seen in the CA, and it was left completely gutted by fire, personnel abandoning ship. At 1728 the attack group returned, without losses, and was recovered. Retirement was commenced on a northeasterly course. Cruiser seaplanes assumed the inner air patrol.

    18. The Commanding Officer desires to commend the entire crew of the Hornet to the Commander-in-Chief as deserving of high praise for their performance of duty during the subject action. All hands conducted themselves in a manner fitting the Navy's best traditions. There were no outstanding individuals, as the action was purely an air action, and there is no cause for censure. Recommendations for awards to the Air Group are contained in Enclosure (C).

    19. Recapitulation of own and enemy losses follows (personnel casualties by name are included in Enclosure (B)):

    Own losses:

    15 TBD on 4 June (1 pilot rescued).
    12 F4F-4 on 4 June (6 pilots rescued).
    5 SBDs 4-6 June (4 pilots and 4 RM rescued).

    Enemy losses as a result of Hornet group offensive action:

    1 torpedo hit on CV (Ensign Gay) (Probably more by VT-8.).
    3 Zero fighters shot down.
    2 dive bombers shot down.
    2 1000-lb. bomb hits on BB.
    1 500-lb. bomb hit on BB.
    2 500-lb. bomb hit on CA or CL.
    2 1000-lb. near misses (under 50') on BB.
    1 DD strafed by 4 VF.
    *2 1000-lb. bomb hits on CA.
    1 500-lb. bomb hit on DD.
    1 1000-lb. bomb hit on CA.
    6 1000-lb. bomb hits on CL or CA.
    1 1000-lb. bomb hit on DD.

    *NOTE: Made by Yorktown pilots flying with VS-8.

    20. Following are conclusions drawn from the action which are particularly applicable to aircraft:

    (a) A fighter capable of coping with the Zero fighter is urgently required.

    (b) VF which accompany the attack group should have the same cruising range as the aircraft they accompany.

    (c) Combat patrols should consist of elements at intermediate and high altitudes. Vectoring a fighter from 20,000 feet to 1000 feet and back to 20,000 feet consumes an inordinate amount of fuel.

    (d) Increased emphasis on the simplification and workability of aircraft radios is needed. Throat microphones are generally unsatisfactory.

    (e) When carriers are widely separated, each carrier should conduct its own fighter direction; this was ordered by Commander Task Force 16 when this ship got separated from the Enterprise. All carriers, in addition to the one in which the OTC is embarked, should be informed of the number, type and location of the planes which all other carriers have launched.

    21. Attention is particularly invited to Enclosure (C). Inasmuch as the action covered by this report was an action involving actual combat by aircraft only, as far as this vessel was concerned, and considering the strategic importance of the battle, it is urged that the awards recommended in Enclosure (C) be granted. In particular, the Commanding Officer feels that the conduct of Torpedo Squadron Eight, led by an indomitable Squadron Commander, is one of the most outstanding exhibitions of personal bravery and gallantry that has ever come to his attention in the records of the past or present.

    signed
    M. A. MITSCHER.
     
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    CV6/A16-3/(60-Br)
    ( 0133 ) U.S.S. ENTERPRISE (CV6)

    At Sea
    June 8, 1942

    From: The Commanding Officer.
    To: The Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet

    Via: Commander Task Force Sixteen.
    (Rear Admiral R.A. Spruance, U.S. Navy).

    Subject: Battle of Midway Island, June 4 - 6, 1942 -- Report of.

    Reference: (a) Articles 712 and 874, U.S. Navy Regulations, 1920.

    Enclosures: (A) Track Chart.
    (B) Photographs of enemy CA, damaged in the action of June 6, 1942.
    (C) Executive Officer's Report.


    I. PRELIMINARY.

    1. On the afternoon and evening of June 3, 1942, the general situation prior to the battle was as follows (times throughout are Zone plus 10): Task Force Seventeen and Task Force Sixteen had previously rendezvoused in the general vicinity of "Point Luck", approximately 350 miles northeast of Midway Island and were operating in that area closing Midway during darkness and opening during the day, remaining east of the longitude of Midway. Both Task Forces had completed fueling to capacity and the oilers despatched to their rendezvous. The Senior Officer Present Afloat and Officer in Tactical Command was in Yorktown. The two task forces were separated but were within visual contact. They were operating independently but generally conforming in their movements. At 2150 course was changed to 210° T. toward a 0630, June 4, rendezvous (31° 30' N; 176° 30' W) designated by Commander Task Force 17. At 1812 a radio message from Flight 312 to Radio Midway was intercepted "2 enemy destroyers 2 cargo vessels course 020 speed 13".

    2. At 2000, June 3, 1942, Enterprise, Flagship of Commander Task Force 16 was in position 33° 16' N, 175° 46' W, course 100° T, speed 15 knots and zigzagging according to Plan Number 7. Wind south 9, clouds cumulus 7, visibility 30, sea smooth.

    3. The following significant messages were received during the night of June 3 - 4:

    At 0447 -- from Flight 44 t Radio Midway "large enemy forces bearing 261° T, distance 500 course 080 speed 13 x ten ships".
    At 0734 -- from Flight 58 to Radio Midway "enemy carriers".
    At 0753 -- from Flight 58 to Radio Midway "many planes heading Midway bearing 320 distance 150".
    At 0803 -- from Flight 92 to Radio Midway "2 carriers and battleships bearing 320° distance 180 course 135 speed 25".
    At 0807 -- from Commander Task Force 17 to Commander Task Force 16 "proceed southwesterly and attack enemy carriers when definitely located".

    II. THE ACTION.

    Time

    0906 Commenced launching attack group of 33 VSB, 14 VT, 10 VF.
    15 VSB armed with one 1000 lb. bomb each.
    12 VSB armed with one 500 lb. bomb and two 100 lb. bombs each.
    6 VSB armed with one 500 lb. bomb each.
    14 VTB armed with torpedoes.
    1015 Type 97 enemy twin-float seaplane sighted bearing 180° T., distance 72,000 yards. Combat Patrol failed to find this plane although radar and lookouts confirmed its position.
    1129-1132 Launched 8 VF for second Combat Patrol
    1145-1152 Landed first Combat Patrol 8 VF.
    1202 Commander Enterprise Air Group sighted Japanese Force composed of 4 CV, 2 BB, 4 CA, 6 DD.
    1220 VT commenced attack; probably one hit on CV.
    1222 VSB commenced dive bombing attack; two (2) CV badly damaged with many direct bomb hits, left in flames. Position of enemy force, Lat. 30° 05' N, Long. 178° 50' W.
    1244-1247 Launched 8 VF for third Combat Patrol.
    1255 Commenced landing VF escort.
    1316-1329 Landed second Combat Patrol 8 VF.
    1337-1340 Launched 8 VF, fourth Combat Patrol.
    1405 20 enemy planes reported bearing 310° coming in. (Attack on Yorktown followed).
    1410 Completed landing attack group.
    1433-1435 Launched 8 VF, fifth Combat Patrol.
    1437-1438 Landed 5-B-3 and 5-B-16 (Yorktown planes). Yorktown pilot reported Yorktown in bad shape. Heavy smoke seen from Yorktown.
    1442-1448 Landed 5-B-7, 5-B-8, 5-B-9, 5-B-10, 5-B-12, 5-B-14, 5-B-15 (Yorktown planes).
    1451-1459 Landed 5-F-2, 5-F-3, 5-F-8, 5-F-21, 5-B-4, 5-B-5, 5-B-6, 5-B-11, 5-B-13, 5-B-17 (Yorktown planes).
    1504-1505 Landed 5-F-10, 5-F-15 (Yorktown planes).
    1539-1541 Launched 6 VF, sixth Combat Patrol.
    1547-1559 Landed third and fourth Combat Patrol, 16 VF.
    1610 VF shot down seaplane tracker 50 miles south of our force.
    1645 Received message from Yorktown scout, "1 CV, 2 BB, 3 CA, 4 DD, 31° 15' N, 179° 05' W, course 000, speed 15."
    1730 Commenced launching second attack group composed of 24 VSB.
    11 VSB armed with one 1000 lb. bomb each.
    13 VSB armed with one 500 lb. bomb each.
    1742-1752 Landed fifth and sixth Combat Patrols 10 VF. 6-F-12 Mach. Warden missing and reported to have landed in water out of gas. Also landed 3 VF and 3 VSB from Yorktown. Landed 6-S-16 from Attack Group.
    1835 Combat Patrol (6-F-1 shot down 4-engine enemy seaplane).
    1842-1846 Launched 12 VF for ninth Combat Patrol.
    1850-1852 Landed 5 VF of seventh Combat Patrol. Also landed 1 VF and 4 VSB from Yorktown.
    1905 Attacked Japanese Force composed of 1 CV, 2 BB, 3 CA, 4 DD, position Lat. 31° - 40' N, Long. 179° - 10' W. Left 1 CV and 1 BB severely damaged and mass of flames.
    1928-1930 Landed 2 VF of eight Combat Patrol and 1 VF from Yorktown.
    1958-2005 Launched 20 VF for tenth Combat Patrol.
    2008-2034 Landed 20 VSB of Attack Group. (3 did not return). Landed 9 VF of ninth Combat Patrol. Landed 2 VF of tenth Combat Patrol.
    2034 Completed landing attack group.
    2046-2056 Landed 17 VF of tenth Combat Patrol.
    2120 Landed 1 VF of tenth Combat Patrol. Last plane landed.


    During the night June 4 - 5 distance from Midway of approximately 150 miles was maintained by steaming east and north and then retracing the track.

    June 5, 1942.

    Wind SE 9, clouds cumulus 9, visibility 20, sea smooth.

    1025-1029 Launched 12 VF for first Combat Patrol. 6 Yorktown VF to land aboard Hornet upon completion of patrol.
    1300-1302 Launched 6 VF for second Combat Patrol.
    1315-1318 Landed 6 VF of first Combat Patrol.
    1616-1619 Landed second Combat Patrol 6 VF.
    1700 Commenced launching attack group composed of 32 VSB (VB-3, VB-6, VS-5, VS-6). Objective 1 burning CV, 2 BB, 3 CA, 4 DD. Position of objective given as at 1000, Lat. 32° - 00' N, Long. 179° - 32' W, course 310, speed 12 knots. (Approximate distance estimated to be 230 miles.)
    32 VSB with one 500 lb. bomb each.
    2030 Objective not found. Attacked 1 CL position Lat. 33° - 00' N, Long. 177° - 00' E. Damage undetermined.
    2058-2100 Landed third Combat Patrol
    2203 Completed landing group; 30 VSB plus 5 VSB from Hornet.


    During the night June 5 - 6, the course was 280° T, the speed 16 knots and zigzag Plan Number 6 was followed during moonlight.

    June 6, 1942.

    Wind SW 16, clouds cumulus 2, visibility 50, sea smooth.

    0702 Launched search group of 18 VSB to search relative sector 180° - 360° (t) distance 200 miles. 18 VSB with one 500 lb. bomb each. Four of these landed on Hornet. Fourteen returned with bombs.
    Launched first Combat Patrol 6 VF.
    0759 Landed 6-B-17 -- Deferred forced landing.
    0845 8-B-2 (operating from Enterprise) contacted enemy, 1 CV, 5 DD, position Lat. 29° - 33' N, Long. 174° - 50' E, course 270°.
    0930 (about) -- Contact report on enemy -- 2 CA, 2 DD, Lat. 28° - 55' N, Long. 175° - 10' E, course 215°, speed 15.
    0952-0954 Launched 6 VF second Combat Patrol.
    0959-1009 Landed first Combat Patrol 6 VF.
    1015-1039 Landed 14 VSB from morning search.
    1231 Launched 8 VF third Combat Patrol.
    1245 Commenced launching attack group composed of 31 VSB, 3 VT, 12 VF, position of objective given as of 1350, Lat. 29° - 33' N, Long. 175° - 35' E, course 270° speed 15 knots, armed as follows:
    31 VSB with one 1000 lb. bomb each.
    3 VTB with torpedoes.
    1315-1316 Landed second Combat Patrol, 6 VF.
    1350 Commenced attack, dive bombing and VF strafing. VT did not attack. Damage: left 1 CA (Mogami) severely damaged and aflame, 1 CL damaged, 1 DD damaged with minor explosions. (Note: There was no CV in this group.)
    1527-1615 Landed third Combat Patrol, 6 VF. (Hornet took over Combat Patrol). Landed 10 VF of Attack Group. Landed 28 VSB of Attack Group, Two Hornet planes and 6-B-1 landed on Hornet.
    Landed 3 VTB of Attack Group with torpedoes, attack not completed.
    1753 Launched 2 VSB for photographic flight of above damaged ships. Photographs are Enclosure (B).
    1829-1835 Launched 12 VF for fourth Combat Patrol.
    1844 Landed 6-F-7. Could not retract wheels.
    1950 Landed 6-F-26. Deferred forced landing.
    2100 Landed fourth Combat Patrol.
    2107 Recovered photographic group.
     
  18. Lucky13

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    III. PERSONNEL AND MATERIAL.

    1. The attack delivered upon enemy carriers by the torpedo squadrons of our forces is believed to be without parallel for determined and courageous action in the face of overwhelming odds. These crews were observed to commence their attack against heavy anti-aircraft fire from the enemy carriers and supporting vessels while opposed by enemy Zero fighters in large numbers. The enemy fighter opposition was so strong and effective that ten torpedo planes out of fourteen of Torpedo Squadron SIX did not return. It is recommended that the Navy Cross be awarded to each pilot and gunner of Torpedo Squadron SIX who participated in this bold and heroic attack. A separate letter containing details of all aircraft attacks and specific recommendations for awards will be submitted.

    2. Personnel losses in the Air Group were heavy, particularly Torpedo 6. A summary to date which is subject to final check is as follows:

    TORPEDO SIX
    Plane Pilot and Gunner
    6T1 LtCdr. E.E. Lindsey, USN. GRENAT, C.T., 279 45 11, ACRM, USN.
    6T2 Ens. S.L. Rombach, A-V(N), USNR. GLENN, W.F., 360 18 53, ARM2c, USN.
    6T6 Lt.(jg) J.T. Eversole, USN. LANE, J.U., RM2c, 299 90 90, USN.
    6T9 Ens. R.M. Holder, A-V(N), USNR. DURAWA, G.J., 300 32 99, ARM3c, USN.
    6T10 Lt. A.V. Ely, USN. LINDGREN, A.R., 223 42 69, RM3c, USN.
    6T12 Ens. F.C. Hodges, A-V(N), USNR. BATES, J.H., 368 48 44, RM2c, USN.
    6T13 Lt. P.J. Riley, USN. MUSHINSKI, E.J., 268 28 74, ARM2c, USN.
    6T14 Ens. J.W. Brock, USN. BLUNDELL, J.M., 410 41 61, ARM3c, USN.
    6T7 Lt.(jg) L. Thomas, USN. LITTLEFIELD, H.F., 238 59 08, ARM2c, USN.
    6T8 Mach. A.W. Winchell, USN. COSSITT, D.M., 413 55 55, RM3c, USNR.

    BOMBING SIX
    6B5 Lt.(jg) W.E. Roberts, A-V(N), USNR. STEINMAN, W.B., 376 01 68, AMM1c, USN.
    6B6 Ens. D.W. Halsey, A-V(N), USNR. JENKINS, J.W., 372 17 00, RM3c, USN.
    6B8 Ens. T.F. Schneider, A-V(N), USNR. HOLDEN, G.L., 300 09 02, ARM2c, USN.
    6B9 Ens. E.A. Greene, A-V(N), USNR. MUNTEAN, S.A., 401 42 22, RM3c, USNR.
    6B11 Ens. T.W. Ramsay, A-V(N), USNR. DUNCAN, S.L., 376 06 50, AMM2c, USN.
    6B13 Lt.(jg) J.J. VanBuren, USN. NELSON, H.W., 382 02 50, ARM1c, USN.
    6B14 Ens. N.F. Vandivier, A-V(N), USNR. KEANEY, L.E.J., 283 21 96, Sea1c, USN.
    6B15 Ens. G.H. Goldsmith, A-V(N), USNR. PATTERSON, J.W., 387 23 15, ARM3c, USN.
    6B18 Ens. B.S. Varian, A-V(N), USNR. YOUNG, C.R., 356 55 07, ARM3c, USN.
    6B3 Ens. F.T. Weber, A-V(N), USNR. HILBERT, E.L., 382 18 65, AOM3c, USN.

    SCOUTING SIX
    6S3 Ens. J.Q. Roberts, A-V(N), USNR. SWINDELL, T.R., 262 28 14, AOM1c, USN.
    6S15 Ens. J.R. McCarthy, A-V(N), USNR. HOWELL, E.E., 382 11 71, RM3c, USN.
    6S12 Ens. C.D. Peiffer, A-V(N), USNR. JECK, F.C., 224 16 97, Sea1c, USN.
    6S4 Lt. C.R. Ware, USN. STAMBAUGH, W.M., 287 22 69, ARM1c, USN.
    6S5 Ens. F.H. O'Flaherty, A-V(N), USNR. GAIDO, B.F., 300 20 05, AMM1c, USN.
    6S6 Ens.F.H. Shelton, A-V(N), USNR CRAIG, D. W., 412 11 15, RM3c, USNR
    6S14 Ens. J.C. Lough, A-V(N), USNR. HANSEN, L.D., 368 49 16, RM3c, USN.
    6S1 Ens. J.N. Vammen, A-V(N), USNR. GLARY, M.W., 356 14 29, AMM2c, USN.


    3. Aircraft losses as the result of 3 days action:

    Torpedo SIX Bureau No. (Ten (10))
    6T1 - TBD-1 0289
    6T2 - TBD-1 1512
    6T6 - TBD-1 0366
    6T7 - TBD-1 0294
    6T8 - TBD-1 0367
    6T9 - TBD-1 0378
    6T10 - TBD-1 0342
    6T12 - TBD-1 0365
    6T13 - TBD-1 1505
    6T14 - TBD-1 0327

    Bombing SIX Bureau No. (Eleven (11))
    6B3 - SBD-3 4682
    6B5 - SBD-3 4581
    6B6 - SBD-2 2153
    6B7 - SBD-3 4532
    6B8 - SBD-2 2105
    6B9 - SBD-2 2123
    6B11 - SBD-3 4620
    6B13 - SBD-2 2180
    6B14 - SBD-2 2125
    6B15 - SBD-3 4542
    6B18 - SBD-2 2145

    Scouting SIX Bureau No. (Nine (9))
    6S1 - SBD-3 03207
    6S3 - SBD-3 8524
    6S4 - SBD-3 03206
    6S5 - SBD-3 03224
    6S6 - SBD-3 03225
    6S10 - SBD-3 03208
    6S12 - SBD-3 4600
    6S14 - SBD-3 4612
    6S15 - SBD-3 4615

    Fighting SIX Bureau No. (One (1))
    6F12 - F4F-4 5062


    4. Ammunition expended:

    Expended
    57 1000-lb. bombs
    67 500-lb. bombs
    22 100-lb. bombs
    48,000 .50 caliber
    40,000 .30 caliber


    5. Steps have been taken to replenish Air Group losses of personnel and material.

    6. The ship, although subjected to threat of air attack on several occasions experienced no actual attack and suffered no damage during actions on June 4-5-6.

    7. It is extremely difficult to determine the extent of the damage inflicted upon the enemy by Enterprise, as the air groups of all carriers, as well as land based aircraft at Midway, participated in continuous attacks on enemy units throughout the three days action. Based upon reports available to Enterprise, it is estimated the following damage was inflicted upon the enemy:

    3 CV's sunk.
    1 CV on fire and badly damaged (probably sank night of June 5).
    1 CA wrecked and abandoned.
    3 CA heavily bombed.
    3 DD sunk.

    8. The efficiency of the ship for war operations is considered outstanding and all munitions of war are considered satisfactory.

    signed
    G.D. MURRAY.
     
  19. Lucky13

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    CV5/A16-3 (CCR-10-oah) U.S.S. YORKTOWN
    PACIFIC FLEET
    18 JUN 1942

    From: The Commanding Officer.
    To: The Commander-in-Chief, U.S. PACIFIC FLEET.
    Via: Commander Task Force SEVENTEEN.
    (Commander Cruisers, U.S. PACIFIC FLEET)

    Subject: Report of Action for June 4, 1942 and June 6, 1942.

    Enclosures: (A) Executive Officer's Report for June 4-7, 1942.
    (B) Sketch of Japanese Disposition when Attacked by Yorktown attack group.
    (C) Copy of Report of Damage.


    1. This report of action is compiled entirely from memory of officers in the ship and Air Group who had intimate knowledge of the various events as they took place. Although approximate times are stated, it may be that some of them are somewhat in error.

    2. On the morning of June 4, 1942, Yorktown was a part of Task Force SEVENTEEN, Pacific Fleet, under the direct command of Rear Admiral Frank Jack FLETCHER, Commander Task Force SEVENTEEN. Information had been received on the morning of June 4 that enemy forces, including two carriers, had been located to the Northwestward of Midway.

    At dawn, ten VSB of VB5 were launched to search the Northern semi-circle for a distance of 100 miles as a security search against surprise by enemy carriers not previously located by our forces. This search returned at about 0830 with negative results and was landed on board after launching a six-plane combat patrol of fighters. The deck was then spotted for take-off of the attack group.

    From 1030 to 1050 took off an attack group composed of seventeen VSB and VB3, twelve VT from VT3, and six VF from VF3. This attack group was launched about an hour and fifteen minutes after Enterprise and Hornet launched their attack groups. Orders were to attack the two enemy carriers previously reported. It had originally been planned to launch all VSB but, as it was considered highly probably that there were two additional carriers in the vicinity which had not yet been located, seventeen VSB were held in reserve to search for and attack these carriers.

    At 1115 launched six fighters for Combat Air Patrol and landed the six fighters then in the air. Respotted the flight deck with thirteen VF and seventeen VSB for immediate take-off.

    At 1300 launched ten VSB from VS5 to search the sector from 280° to 020° true for a distance of 250 miles to locate and attack enemy carriers. The seven remaining VSB were spotted in the Hangar, fully gassed, and armed with 1,000 pound bombs. A twelve plant combat air patrol was launched.

    After this launching, two VSB, from the Enterprise Attack Group, which had been badly damaged in action landed and were struck below. Six VF of the combat air patrol and four VF of the Yorktown Attack Group were landed. The last one to land crashed into the barriers and was struck below. Emergency repairs to barriers No. 4 and 5 were made. Ensign BASSETT of the VF attack group failed to returned and was reported by the Squadron Commander as having been heavily hit.

    At about 1359, while fueling the fighters which had turned on board, Radar detected and enemy attack group coming in from a bearing about 250° true, distance 46 miles. These planes had apparently come in at a low altitude and when first detected by Radar were observed to be climbing. Radio Electrician V.M. Bennett, USN, Radar Operator, estimated that there were between 30 and 40 planes in the attack group.

    As soon as the enemy attack group was detected by Radar, the fueling of planes was discontinued and the sixteen VSB planes of Yorktown Attack Group, which were then in the landing circle, were directed to form a combat air patrol in order to clear the landing circle and the general area of own anti-aircraft gun fire. An auxiliary gasoline tank on the stern, containing about 8000 gallons of clear aviation gasoline, was dropped over the side. Fuel lines were drained and filled with CO2 at 20 pounds pressure. The gasoline tank compartments had been previously filled with CO2 and all compartments were closed down and secured.

    All our fighters in the air were vectored out to intercept the enemy and did intercept at from 15 to 20 miles. The enemy attacking planes were reported as being a squadron of 18 bombers supported by 18 fighters. They were attacked vigorously. As the attacking planes approached the ship they could be seen clearly through binoculars, and it appeared that the organized attack had been broken up. Planes were seen flying in every direction, and many were falling in flames. Of the entire group, seven got through the combat patrol and these made three hits on Yorktown, having released their bombs at about 500 feet. It is believed that none of the enemy planes escaped.

    Just before the attack began, the ships of Task Force SEVENTEEN were in anti-aircraft screening formation, radius of screen one mile, speed 25 knots. As the attack approached, speed was increased to the maximum (about 30 1/2 knots) and radical turns were made to avoid bombs. The enemy bombers were under intense anti-aircraft fire from automatic guns as they approached their release points. Of the three which made hits, two were shot down just after releasing their bombs and the other went out of control just as his bomb was released. The bomb from this plane tumbled in flight and hit just abaft No. 2 elevator on the starboard side, exploding on contact, and making a hold in the flight deck about ten by ten feet. This hole was repaired within about 25 minutes. This bomb killed and wounded many men on 1.1" mounts 3 and 4, on machine guns in the vicinity, and the after end of the island structure, and below in the Hangar. Fragments pierced the Hangar Deck. Fires were started in three planes on the Hangar Deck, the two damaged planes from Enterprise and one Yorktown plane fueled and armed with a 1,000 pound bomb. lieutenant A.C. Emerson, USN, Hangar Deck Officer, released the sprinkler system and water curtains in the two after bays and quickly extinguished this fire which otherwise would have undoubtedly developed into a serious conflagration.

    The next bomb hit came form the port side, piercing the flight deck, and exploded in the stack, starting fires as follows: (a) on the stack where paint caught fire and flaked off in patches, starting other fires wherever this burning paint fell. (b) in the Photographic Laboratory where photographic film caught fire. (c) in the Executive Officer's Office and First Lieutenant's Office.

    Aside from personnel casualties, the most serious effect of this bomb hit was that it ruptured the uptakes from boilers 1, 2, and 3, completely disabled boilers 2 and 3, and extinguished fires in boilers 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. The firerooms containing all saturated boilers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6) were filled with smoke and gases from the bomb hit and from the boilers themselves. In spite of the difficult situation, personnel of No. 1 boiler remained at their station and kept this boiler steaming with two burners. By closing the throttle, steam pressure was able to be maintained at 180 pounds and No. 1 boiler was thus able to keep steam auxiliaries going. Speed immediately dropped to about six knots and at 1440, about 20 minutes after the bomb had hit, all engines were stopped.

    The third bomb hit came from starboard, pierced the starboard side of No. 1 elevator and exploded on the fourth deck, starting a persistent fire in a rag stowage space, adjacent to the forward gasoline stowage and the magazines. the magazines were flooded. It is believed that the surrounding of the gasoline tanks by CO2 as has been previously described, prevented the igniting of gasoline.

    At about 1540, one hour and ten minutes after the bomb explosion in the uptakes, sufficient repairs had been effected to the uptakes to enable boilers 1, 4, 5, and 6 to be cut in. After boilers 4, 5, and 6 were put back on the line, number 1 was secured in order to eliminate discharge of gases from that boiler into other firerooms. At 1550 the engine room reported ready to make 20 knots or slightly better.

    As soon as the bomb explosion had so slowed the ship as to prevent landing and flying off planes, the attack group planes in the air were directed to land on one of the other carriers. As the planes of the combat patrol required fueling, they, too, were directed to land on one of the other carriers. All of the previous combat patrol had to land for fuel or ammunition, and a relief patrol of four fighters had been sent by Hornet, then about forty miles away. These four planes had been relived in turn by six Yorktown planes which had been rearmed and re-fueled on board Enterprise.
     
  20. Lucky13

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    By 1550 fires were sufficiently under control to warrant fueling the fighters then on deck. Fueling of these fighters had just started when Radar picked up another approaching Air Group, bearing about 340° true at a distance of 33 miles. Since this group appeared to be climbing, it was immediately determined to be enemy; fueling of planes on deck was stopped, the gasoline system was again drained and secured with CO2, four of the six fighters in the air were vectored out to intercept this group. Of the ten fighters on board, eight had as much as 23 gallons of fuel and these were launched to contact the incoming planes. Within a few second, the remaining two fighters of the Combat Air Patrol were vectored out to intercept.

    At about 1600 went ahead emergency full speed. Actual speed developed through the water was about 20 knots.

    Our fighters intercepted the enemy planes at about ten to fourteen miles distance and announced that they were Japanese torpedo planes. At least three of the attacking torpedo planes were shot down by fighters prior to the delivery of their attack. As the attack approached, all planes were taken under heavy gun fire by Yorktown and screening vessels and it is believed that some of them were shot down by ships' gun fire prior to the dropping of their torpedoes, and that all but one of them were eventually shot down.

    By radical maneuvering, at least two torpedoes were avoided. At about 1620 a torpedo hit on the port side at approximately frame 90, followed shortly thereafter by a second torpedo hit at approximately frame 75. All power was lost, steam dropping immediately and electric power failed completely. The rudder was jammed at about 15° left, and the ship became dead in the water. The ship immediately took a progressively increasing list to port. Word was passed to prepare for another air attack. Ammunition was replenished and batteries were made ready for firing. The Damage Control Officer, Commander C.E. Aldrich, USN, from his station in Central Station, reported that without power nothing could be done to correct the list. The Engineering Officer, Lieutenant Commander J.F. Delaney, USN, reported that all fires were out, all power was lost and it was impossible to correct the steadily increasing list. The after auxiliary diesel was running but the switchboards had been destroyed so that no power was available. The Engineering Officer and Damage Control Officer were ordered to secure below and to direct all personnel to lay up on deck and put on life preservers.

    Since the list had steadily increased to 26°, the Commanding Officer and Damage Control Officer both felt that the ship would capsize in a few minutes. In order to save as many of the ship's company as possible, the Commanding Officer ordered the ship to be abandoned. The ship was in total darkness below decks, and it was very difficult to move around because of the heavy list. Wounded personnel were lowered to life rafts and to boats sent by accompanying destroyers and cruisers.

    After report had been received that all wounded personnel had been evacuated from Battle Dressing Station No. 1 and Sick Bay, and after all personnel in sight had left the ship, the Executive Officer went down a line on the starboard side. The Commanding Officer then inspected the starboard side from the cat walk and 5" gun platforms, then returned to the flight deck opposite No. 1 crane. He then proceeded down through Dressing Station No. 1 and forward through the Flag Country and the Captain's Cabin to the port side and down the ladder to the Hangar Deck. On this inspection no live personnel were found. By this time the port side of the Hangar Deck was in the water. The Commanding Officer then left the ship by means of a line over the stern and was eventually picked up by the Hammann and shortly thereafter was transferred to Astoria where he reported to Commander Task Force SEVENTEEN, who had transferred his flag to Astoria when the ship stopped after the dive bombing attack.

    In conference with Commander Task Force SEVENTEEN, it was determined that a salvage party would return to Yorktown to attempt to save her and bring her into port. Accordingly, on the morning of June 6, the Commanding Officer with 29 selected officers and 141 enlisted men returned aboard Yorktown and found conditions the same as when the ship was left. U.S.S. Vireo had a tow line to the ship and was keeping her headed up into the seas to prevent rolling, and was towing her very slowly. The fire in the rag stowage, which had been started by the bomb hit which pierced No. 1 elevator, was still burning.

    A careful plan of Action had been determined upon and was carried out by each department.

    Damage Control -- put out the fire in compartment A-305-A. Make careful inspections below deck to determine extent of damage. Reduce list by removing top side weights on the port side and by pumping and counter-flooding, utilizing power from destroyer until salvage tug should arrive.

    Gunnery -- prepare automatic guns to resist air attack. Assist Damage Control Officer by cutting loose and casting overboard 5" guns and other removable weights on port side.

    Air -- throw overboard all planes and other removable weights on port side.

    Engineering -- make careful inspection below decks to determine extent of damage; assist Damage Control Officer in correcting list.

    Navigation -- Attempt to bring rudder amidships.

    Communication -- maintain visual communications with other ships of the task group. Secure and save or destroy important papers.

    Supply -- prepare to subsist on board personnel of the salvage party.

    Medical -- collect and identify the dead on board. Bury the dead after funeral services conducted by the Commanding Officer.

    The Commanding Officer of the Hammann brought his ship alongside the starboard side of Yorktown, furnished water to fight the fire still burning in the rag storeroom, furnished pumps for counter-flooding starboard tanks, and electric power to operate submersible pumps for pumping in the enginerooms. The other five destroyers, Balch, Benham, Gwin, Anderson, and Monaghan, under the command of Commander Destroyer Squadron SIX, Captain E.P. Sauer, USN, formed anti-submarine and anti-aircraft screen around Yorktown at a distance of about 2,000 yards, speed 14 knots. The conduct of Commander Arnold E. True, U.S. Navy, the Commanding Officer of the Hammann, cannot be too highly praised. Had it not been for the Hammann remaining alongside in the open sea no salvage operations could have been undertaken.

    Considerable progress had been made in salvage and in reducing the list by mid-afternoon. One 5" gun had been dropped overboard and another was practically ready for dropping. Several airplanes on the port side had been cast loose and dropped over the side. The fire in the forward rag storeroom had been put out. Two starboard fuel oil tanks had been filled by water pumped from the Hammann, and considerable water had been pumped form the engine rooms by submersible pumps. The list had been reduced by about two degrees.

    At about 1536 a salvo of four torpedoes was seen to be approaching the ship on the starboard beam from beyond the line of the screen. The alarm was given by firing one of Yorktown's twenty millimeter guns and by passing the word, "Torpedo Attack." Hammann immediately went to General Quarters. Men were seen to be working on Hammann's depth charges, and it is believed that these were gotten ready for firing by men regularly stationed there. They had been set on safe, and safety forks had been inserted prior to Hammann's coming alongside Yorktown. The first torpedo hit Hammann approximately amidships and caused her to sink very rapidly. Two torpedoes hit Yorktown just below the turn of the bilge at the after end of the island structure. The fourth torpedo passed just astern of the Yorktown.

    Approximately a minute after Hammann's stern sank, a terrific explosion occurred, apparently from her depth charges. This explosion killed many of Hammann's and a few Yorktown personnel who were in water and caused serious injuries to personnel from both Hammann and Yorktown who were then in the water and who were later rescued.
     
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