Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake commemorated the Battle of Midway June 4 during morning colors in front of the Headquarters Building with a ceremonial wreath lying and moment of silence.
The Battle of Midway took place June 4-7, 1942, and is recognized as the turning point of the Pacific campaign in World War II. By leveraging critical operational intelligence to learn of an impending attack, the U.S. Navy was able to outmaneuver Japanese forces and turn the tables on the enemy, sinking multiple attacking ships, including four of their aircraft carriers and inflicting irreparable damage on the Japanese fleet. The Imperial Japanese Navy was never again able to mount a carrier offensive of any significance for the duration of the war.
Many historians consider the Battle of Midway as the most stunning and decisive blow in the history of naval warfare. The following is an excerpt from a message from the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert:
“As we mark the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Midway, we should never forget the significance of this conflict to our legacy. In the early days of June 1942 and only six months after the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor, our Navy shaped a defining moment in history and forged a proud chapter in our Naval heritage. With countless self-sacrificing efforts, skill and the fighting spirit of our Sailors, our U.S. Navy won the Battle of Midway despite being at a numerical disadvantage to a formidable opponent. This stunning and decisive victory enabled the start of a U.S. Navy offensive in the Solomon Islands that set the United States and its allies on the road to victory in the Pacific.
“This historic victory at Midway can be attributed to traits that continue in our Navy today: Bold, confident and proficient Sailors willing to go into harm’s way with well-built, resilient ships and aircraft. Our Sailors and Marines demonstrate this same warfighting ethos etoday as they face unique and demanding challenges, on land and at sea, operating forward, fully ready around the globe. This legacy is built on the foundation of veterans, like those at Midway, who have blazed the trail before us.
“Let us never forget these brave veterans and their legacy. They shaped world events for many years and we will continue to do so, for it is in our DNA. As Navy professionals, it is up to us to preserve and celebrate our rich history, knowing that understanding our past will empower us to overcome future challenges. . . .”