The Herald Bulletin

Overnight Update

Local News

June 3, 2007

Nation: Battle of Midway was pivotal, underdog World War II victory

By AUDREY McAVOY

Associated Press Writer

HONOLULU — Six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, a weakened and outnumbered U.S. fleet limped north to confront a flotilla of Japanese ships advancing on the remote Pacific atoll of Midway.

A Japanese victory would have cost the U.S. a strategically critical scrap of land between Hawaii and Japan, and could have decimated U.S. naval forces. Instead, the U.S. sank four Japanese aircraft carriers and snatched the military advantage from Tokyo.

Monday marks the 65th anniversary of the start of the three-day battle that changed the course of the World War II. Three Midway veterans in their 80s and 90s and the current Pacific Fleet commander will visit the island 1,300 miles northwest of Honolulu for a ceremony hosted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which today runs a nature reserve on the atoll.

“Americans like underdogs, and here we are underdogs,” said Donald Goldstein, a University of Pittsburgh history professor. “I think that’s what made it so good — that we shouldn’t have won and we did.”

The victory came after a string of U.S. setbacks in the Pacific.

Japanese forces ousted the U.S. from Wake Island, Guam and the Philippines in rapid succession in the months after Pearl Harbor. Japan also drove the British, U.S. allies, from Singapore.

By targeting Midway, the Japanese navy aimed to take control of the U.S. patrol plane base there and destroy what was left of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Conquering the island was a way to protect the Japanese homeland from U.S. air raids and prevent the U.S. from interfering with Tokyo’s plans to dominate the Asia-Pacific.

One of the U.S. aircraft carriers sent to confront the Japanese, the USS Yorktown, had been hastily patched up just few weeks after being severely damaged in Battle of the Coral Sea.

Text Only
Local News
  • NWS - HB0420 - egg drop - 30.jpg Helicopter aids in Easter egg drop

    Four months of planning was gone in about one minute on the Lapel football field Saturday as The River Church held its third annual Easter egg drop. Church pastor Tyson Priest found out more than 22,000 plastic eggs don’t last long when hundreds of local children are racing to pick them up as quickly as possible. But he didn’t seem to mind.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB0420 - Ellks - JC 2a Former Elks building being reborn Just months after it closed, the former Anderson Elks Lodge could be reopening as a banquet hall and catering service. The Anderson Plan Commission on Tuesday will consider a rezoning request from James D. Sargent and Nettie Cox to rezone the building from residential to industrial use.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB0420 - Funderburk - 04 Man tries to restore father's tainted legacy When news broke earlier this month that the Anderson Dental Clinic had been shut down and several employees, including owner Sally Metzner, had been arrested, Mark Funderburk's main concern was the patients. "A lot of them kept going there because of my dad even after he passed away," he said. "And they didn't deserve this."

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wagons for Warriors asks for donations

    The Pendleton American Legion post is accepting donations for a project called Wagons for Warriors.

    April 19, 2014

  • Mounds State Park hosts birding weekend featuring live hawk Mounds State Park will go to the birds April 25-27 as the park hosts “Bird the Mounds.”

    April 19, 2014

  • Tim Kean: Can we have a 'A New State of Mind?' I have recently read some great articles about people coming together to make a difference in the lives of children facing food insecurity. The collective effort of a group can provide some much-needed food to kids who may not have a meal when they return home from school or during the weekend.

    April 19, 2014

  • SPL - PT041014 - Ken de la Bastide column - Ken sig Ken de la Bastide: County may eliminate Data Processing Board

    Action two weeks ago by the Madison County Commissioners to close Data Processing Board meetings to the public might run afoul of the Indiana Open Door law, and a local resident is considering filing a complaint with the Public Access Counselor’s office for a determination.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arrest Log: April 20

    Arrests made by Madison County law enforcement on Friday and Saturday, based on Madison County Jail records.

    April 19, 2014

  • BIZ - HB0420 - Scott wise -TM Gaining an edge and spreading the word in 2014 Scott owner of Scotty’s Brewhouse with locations in Indianapolis, Muncie, Mishawaka and Bloomington, encourages business owners to interact with customers and use powerful tools such as Twitter, Facebook or even with a blog to their advantage.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB0216 - Mitch Daniels Purdue office Daniels joins 2016 presidential debate commission

    Mitch Daniels spurned calls to run for the White House in 2012, but the Purdue University president will have a hand in the 2016 race.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

March Staff Photos


Buy and browse more photos from The Herald Bulletin

More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
Auto Industry Book
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Facebook