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Winter 2005

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"THE IMMF PLANS TO HOST A WEEK OF EVENTS IN HAWAII IN REMEMBRANCE OF THE 65TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY IN JUNE 2007"

The International Midway Memorial Foundation (IMMF) plans to host a week-long series of events in remembrance of the 65th anniversary of the Battle of Midway in Hawaii in June 2007. Implementation of this goal will require that the IMMF obtains the necessary funds to ensure the success of this special week. The process to secure the funds has already begun.

Atoll With veterans of World War II passing away every day, the Foundation will put forth a very strong effort to have a Battle of Midway Ceremony on Midway Atoll during that weekof the remembrance. I will write a letter to Secretary of Interior, Gale Norton and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) requesting permission for the Foundation to hold a very special ceremony on Midway Atoll during that time and inviting the Secretary to be a speaker at the event.

The programs for the 65th anniversary of the Battle of Midway in Hawaii and Midway will be presented in future issues of the newsletter. The format of the events will be similar to those held in Hawaii and Midway in the past. Those persons interested in attending may place their name/names on the list by contacting the IMMF at the address or E-mail listed at the end of this newsletter.

THE IMMF IS CONTACTED BY WASHINGTON'S 2005 MIDWAY COMMITTEE:

The IMMF has been contacted by Washington's 2005 Midway Committee. This committee represents an organization called the "Coalition for Midway", which was formed to promote the significance of the Battle of Midway to the American public and to honor the veterans of that conflict. Its many members include Vice Admiral William Houser, USN (Ret.), Rear Admiral Frederick Lewis, USN (Ret.), Chairman; Rear Admiral John Kirkpatrick, USN (Ret.) of the National Capitol Commandery; Louis Kriser of the Navy League; Rear Admiral P.D. Smith, USN (Ret.) of the Association of Naval Aviation; Captain Charles Todd Creekman, Jr. USN (Ret.) of the Naval Historical Foundation; Captain Bill Erickson, USN (Ret.) of the Surface Navy Association; David Barna, William Price of the Battle of Midway Round Table; Charles de Gruy of Whitney, Bradley and Brown and others.

Monument James Noone and I had met with Admirals Lewis and Whitey Feightner at the Army-Navy Club in Washington, D.C. in February to discuss how this committee and the Foundation could assist each other in carrying out the mission of preserving the memory and the significance of the Battle of Midway in an efficient and productive manner. The IMMF agreed to attend their meeting on March 16th to present the Foundation's views on this issue to the committee's members. The outcome of the meeting will be discussed in the next issue of the "Midway Sentinel."

THE WHITE HOUSE RESPONDS TO THE FOUNDATION'S AND CONGRESSMAN JOHN J. DUNCAN'S LETTER CONCERNING MIDWAY:

On November 15, 2004 I wrote a letter to the President George W. Bush concerning the Midway Islands. This letter was accompanied by a cover letter from Congressman John J. Duncan (TN) which strongly supported the Foundation's concern and solution regarding the Midway Islands. Due to security reasons, the reply from the White House was not received by Congressman Duncan until January 21, 2005. It stated that the White House was giving the letters their close attention and reviewing our correspondence for appropriate action.

DR. WILLIAM S. DUDLEY REMAINS ACTIVE IN THE FOUNDATION:

The Foundation is very pleased to report that Dr. William Dudley has written expressing his strong desire to continue his support for the IMMF's work in preserving the memory of the Battle of Midway. Bill continues to be the IMMF's Chief Historian and will be participating in its future meetings. Thank you, Bill.

COLONEL WILLIAM R. LUCIUS, USMCR (Ret.) AND CAPTAIN JOHN F. CAREY, USMC (RET.) PASS AWAY:

Since the last newsletter, two Midway veterans have died:

Colonel William R. Lucius, USMCR (Ret.): I first met Bill in 1993 at a Defenders of Midway meeting in Saint Louis. From that time to the day he passed away, he was steadfast in his support of the mission of the Foundation.

Plane On that fateful day—June 4, 1942—Bill was the warrant officer for Marine Air Group (MAG)-22. At 0630 Bill was hurrying toward his slit trench near the mess hall as Japanese planes were approaching Midway. Major William Benson called out from the command post dugout: "Bill, I have the best dugout on the island, as well as the best communications equipment. Why don't you stay with me?" "I was so scared at Pearl Harbor", Bill said, "that I hardly saw the Japanese planes; I don't want to miss them now." Ten minutes later the incoming Japanese planes scored a direct hit on the command post killing Benson. The meaning of his fateful decision was not lost on Bill.

Bill was a good person and he will be missed by all. Good-bye, Bill.

The second Midway veteran is Colonel John F. Carey, USMC (Ret.) I was introduced to Colonel Carey by Major Douglas Rollow, USMCR (Ret.) years ago at the Chevy Chase Club. John became a strong supporter of the IMMF's mission to preserve the memory of the Battle of Midway.

In the early morning hours of June 4, 1942, then-Captain John Carey was readying his out-dated Grumman F4F-3 "Wildcat" fighter (VMF-221) on the airstrip on Eastern Island of the Midway Atoll. At 0600 all planes on Midway were airborne and the 25 aircraft of VMF-221 waited for the incoming 108 Japanese planes launched from all four Japanese carriers.

John saw the planes first and gave the warning in Marine fliers shorthand "Hawks at Angels 12" meaning he had spotted the Japanese planes coming in at 12,000 feet.

All 25 American fighters swiftly arrived on the spot to intercept the oncoming enemy planes. Carey took the fight to the enemy first and "scratched" the Japanese lead sectional leader. When John attempted a second run, Japanese Zeros bullets struck his cockpit and bullets entered both of his legs. Seeing that Carey was unable to have full control of his aircraft, second Lt. Clayton M. Canfield, USMCR escorted John back to Midway. It became apparent that one of Carey's tires was flat when upon reaching Midway's airstrip John's aircraft ground-looped as he attempted to land his plane.

Today, both Midway veterans have joined their other "Band of Brothers" in heaven, and heaven is the benificiary of their deaths. However, all Americans are the beneficiaries of their heroic lives. We will miss them both.

Stay tuned! And don't touch that dial.

HAPPY EASTER TO EVERYONE FROM CHRIS AND MYSELF.

EDITORIAL STAFF:

JAMES M. D'ANGELO
M. CHRISTINE SIMS

IMMF
5530 Wisconsin Avenue
Suite 1147
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
(301) 652-0677
Website: www.immf-midway.com

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