The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon 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
  • The Herald Bulletin NWS - HB0417 - mother arrest - JC 4a Parents speak out about mother coaching baseball after gun incident

    A decision by the Brooklyn Little League to keep a mother who pulled a gun out during a school meeting in the league as a coach and board member has resulted in some parents taking sides on the issue.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB01006 - snow storm - JC 59a FEMA approves disaster aid for 19 counties

    After initially rejecting Indiana's request for federal aid following a brutal winter, the Federal Emergency Management Agency approved disaster relief on Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB0420 - Ellks - JC 2a Rezoning approved for Elks Lodge building With no objections from surrounding property owners, the former Elks Lodge at 1803 Broadway has been rezoned for a planned banquet hall and catering service.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS-HB0423-Primary Election Treasurer Rep-Micah Mitchell Incumbent challenged by first-time candidate

    Kelly Gaskill says she's made numerous improvements in the operation of the Madison County treasurer's office since taking the helm in 2011. But her Republican challenger in the May 6 primary, Micah Mitchell, doesn't shy away from criticizing how Gaskill has run the office.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • NWS - HB0423 - Symphony for Kids - JC 31a.jpg Symphony for Kids draws Anderson-area students

    Nearly 1,000 fifth- and sixth-grade students attended the Anderson Symphony Orchestra's performance Tuesday during the annual Symphony for Kids concert at the Paramount Theatre.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arrest Log: April 23 Arrests made by Madison County law enforcement on Monday and Tuesday, based on Madison County Jail records.

    April 23, 2014

  • Saturday auction fundraiser for Misty Eads On Saturday, a fundraiser auction will be held at Florida Station Church of God, 1045 W. 375N, for Misty Eads who has a rare kidney artery disease called polyarteritis nodosa that requires a kidney transplant.

    April 23, 2014

  • What's Where: April 23 Local meetings and activities are scheduled Wednesday.

    April 23, 2014

  • NWS - HB0423 - Primary Treasurer Dem - Tamie Dixon-Tatum Treasurer candidates want partnerships

    Democrats Kathy Mougeotte and Tamie Dixon-Tatum explain how they were inspired to run for a political office. They are opponents seeking their party's nomination for treasurer in the May 6 primary.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Local & State Briefs: April 23

    A compilation of local and state news items published Wednesday in The Herald Bulletin.

    April 23, 2014

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