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Battle Name : Midway

Date(s) : 03 June 1942 - 06 June 1942

Part of : Second World War , Asia and Pacific , Central Pacific operations ,

Type of battle : Sea, Air


A key battle in the Pacific to turing the tide for the US forces. Japanese Adm. Nagumo's carrier force including the carriers Hiryu, Soryu, Akagi and Kaga approached Midway Island with an invasion force to secure the Japanese conquests on the Pacific. However the US forces were aware of the attack and prepared. On the night of the 3rd, Nagumo launched aircraft in a raid against Midway island itself, causing great damage and overwhelming the air defence force based there. However spotter aircraft from Adm. Spruance's Task Force 16 located the IJN's carrier forces and launched three waves of torpedo bombers against them during the morning. Little damage was done, but they delayed the Japanese preparations for a second strike against Midway. So when dive-bombers from Enterprise and Hornet arrived above the Japanese carriers around mid-day on the 4th, their decks were full of partially armed and fueled aircraft. The US aircraft scored direct hits on 3 of the 4 carriers, and Akagi, Kaga and Soryu went down. Later in the afternoon, aircraft from Hiryu located and severly damaged the Yorktown but at about the same time bombers from the Enterprise found and sank Hiryu too. On the 5th, the Japanese decided that, without aircover the invasion could not succeed so they withdrew. The following day (the 6th) the crippled Yorktown was finally sunk by Japanese submaries, and the IJN crusier Mikuma was sunk, but the war in the Pacific had turned. The Japanese navy had lost it's irreplacable carriers and more critically it's trained aircrew and was never able to recover the initiative.