Remembering the Battle of Midway
11 years ago
While June 6th is the anniversary of D-Day… let’s not forget the anniversary of the pivotal Battle of Midway, which is widely regarded as the most important naval battle of the Pacific Campaign of World War II. Between June 4–7, 1942, only six months after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, and one month after the Battle of the Coral Sea, the United States (U.S.) Navy under the command of Admiral Chester Nimitz decisively defeated an Imperial Japanese Navy attack against Midway Atoll, inflicting irreparable damage on the Japanese fleet commanded by Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto.
As rapidly as ships, men, and material became available, Nimitz shifted to the offensive. U.S. aircraft sunk the cruiser Mikuma, while the Japanese submarine I–168 torpedoed and sank the disabled Yorktown. Correctly perceiving he had lost and could not bring surface forces into action, Yamamoto aborted the invasion of Midway and withdrew. The defeat at Midway broke the back of the Japanese carrier fleet and resulted in the loss of invaluable air crews. The defeat marked the high tide of Japanese expansion. It also marked the end of major Japanese offensive operations as the initiative passed to the Americans. That August, U.S. Marines landed on Guadalcanal and began the long march to Tokyo.
Battle of Midway - Casualties:
- U.S. Pacific Fleet Losses
- 340 killed
- Aircraft Carrier USS Yorktown
- Destroyer USS Hammann
- 145 aircraft
- Imperial Japanese Navy Losses
- 3,057 killed
- Aircraft Carrier Akagi
- Aircraft Carrier Kaga
- Aircraft Carrier Soryu
- Aircraft Carrier Hiryu
- Heavy Cruiser Mikuma
- 228 aircraft
Battle of Midway Hero Spotlight
U.S. Marine Corps Major General Marion Eugene Carl, was a World War II fighter ace, record setting test pilot, and a notable naval aviator. During World War II he became the first-ever Marine Corps ace. The first of his credited 18 ½ “kills” was a Japanese Zero at the Battle of Midway.
Following the war as a test pilot, Carl was recorded at 650 mph, establishing a new world record . After his retirement after 34 years in the the Marine Corps, he returned to his native Oregon, where he and his wife Edna settled near Roseburg.
His memoir, Pushing the Envelope, coauthored with his friend Barrett Tillman, was published in 1994. He died  in 1998 at the age of 82, and was buried with full military honors in Section 4 at Arlington National Cemetery.
by Kevin Welker
When U.S. Air Force Captain Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in October, he also broke Carl’s record.
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Did you know?
Are the shoes specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet?
The shoes are standard issue military dress shoes. They are built up so the sole and heel are equal in height. This allows the Sentinel to stand with a straight back and perpendicular to the ground. A side effect of this is that the Sentinel can "roll" on the outside of the build up walking down the mat. Done correctly, the hat and bayonet will appear to not "bob" up and down with each step. It gives a more formal, fluid and smooth look to the walk, rather than a "marching" appearance.
The soles have a steel tip on the toe and a "horseshoe" steel plate on the heel. This prevents wear on the sole and allows the Sentinel to move smoothly during his movements when he turns to face the Tomb and then back down the mat.
Then there is the "clicker". It is a shank of steel attached to the inside of the face of the heel build-up on each shoe. It allows the Sentinel to heel click during certain movements. A guard change is considered great when all the heel clicks fall together and sound as one click. The guard change is occasionally done in the "silent" mode (as a sign of devotion to the Unknowns) with no voice commands - every thing is done in relation to the heel clicks and on specific counts.