"United States Leads in Great Battle in the Pacific" -- NY Times, June 7, 1942                 America Defeats Japan Against All Odds June 3-7, 1942                 America Victorious at Battle of Midway!


During World War II was no exception, and the NY Times newsflashes provided up-to-date messages that informed the public about events that took place all over the world. In addition to providing valuable information, this method of communication kept the public engaged in the war effort, and instilled a sense of patriotism that has lasted for generations.

Did You Know?

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    Midway Atoll

    Midway Atoll is the next to last island of the Hawaiian Island chain and lies 1,299 miles northwest of Oahu

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    3 Small Islands

    Midway is a coral atoll and consists of 3 small islands: Sand (the largest), Eastern, and Spit (the smallest)

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    Emergency Landing

    Midway Atoll is “midway” between Japan and the continental United States, making it a an important emergency landing site for trans-Pacific flights, which continues today.

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    Midway was utilized by AT&T in 1903 during the laying of the first trans-Pacific undersea telegraph cable

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    Pearl Harbor

    After bombing Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Japan attempted to occupy Midway Atoll during the Battle of Midway, which would have put Hawaii at risk for further attack.

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    What Could Have Been

    Of course, Japan could have attacked the mainland of the United States if they occupied Hawaii.

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    Code Breakers

    In a stroke of tactical genius, American Navy code-breakers in Pearl Harbor came up with a plan: that Marines stationed on Midway would send a bogus message that Midway (code-named “AF“ by the Japanese) was out of water. This message was picked up by the Japanese, who, in open communications, relayed their intent to attack “AF”. American intelligence officers intercepted these communications, which resulted in America’s discovery that Japan was going to attack the Atoll on or around June 4, 1942. America then had the advantage of knowing beforehand that an attack on Midway was imminent.

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    June 4-7

    The Battle of Midway took place on these days in 1942.

  • Outnumbered

    American forces were outnumbered by Japanese forces in the Pacific, therefore an American victory was “Against All Odds”

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    Japanese Destruction

    All four Japanese aircraft carriers were destroyed---as well as most of their attack aircraft--- by American Navy pilots

  • Put on the Defensive

    Japan never again took the offensive in World War II after the Battle of Midway

  • Over in Europe...

    Since America was victorious at the Battle of Midway, U.S. military resources could continue to be dedicated to winning the war against Hitler and Mussolini in the “European theater”, thus preserving democracy for the western world

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    Closed to the Public

    Midway was utilized by the Navy from the 1940’s until 1996, when Midway was turned over the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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    Midway Revisited

    In 1993, American veterans who fought in the Battle of Midway traveled to Japan and met face-to-face with their Japanese counterparts for the first time---they treated each other with honor and respect

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    Monument to the Past...

    The IMMF placed a monument to the brave soldiers who fought in the Battle of Midway on Midway Atoll in June 1995

  • and Hope for the Future

    The IMMF is currently working on restoring public visitation to Midway Atoll so that those who would like to visit this historic site can do so

Forces and Losses

The following three charts offer a statistical glimpse into the precise number of forces and losses at each of these locations:

In Their Own Words

Great battles can achieve world fame, usually for one of two reasons. One is that they changed the course of history in a decisive way. Salamis, Trafalgar and Jutland are Midway Islands notable examples. The other is by representing a monumental triumph of the human spirit over grave adversity. One thinks of the handful of Greeks under Leonidas, who achieved lasting fame even in defeat by dying at Thermopylae. The Battle of Midway is almost unique in meeting both criteria. It changed the entire course of World War II in the Pacific toward victory, and it was won by a smaller force of U.S. ships and airplanes against the combined might of the Japanese Navy.

Taking Departure

As the Flagship International Midway Memorial Foundation takes departure from safe harbor and heads out to sea, the Captain on the bridge finds his mind wandering back to June 4, 1942, and he whispers softly to himself:

Men of Midway

Men of Midway, still on duty,
Far beyond the western shore,
Strong in courage, love of country,
Unconquered, as in days of yore.

To the nation, send your message,
Down the Years, a clarion call
Whate'er the odds, the answer, courage,
Bravery still will vanquish all.

When the call of duty beckons,
Proud to fight for home and nation,
Rise and meet the foe that threatens,
As T'was done on Midway station.

Men of Midway, still on duty,
Down the ages, at the fore
Leading, guiding, still inspiring
As you did in days of yore..

-Captain John W. Crawford, USN (Ret.)

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