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NEWS | May 24, 2011

Weapons Station hosts Battle of Midway commemoration ceremony

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jennifer Hudson Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs Office

Joint Base Charleston-Weapons Station is hosting a commemoration ceremony, June 3, recognizing the 69th anniversary of one of the most significant naval battles in history: the Battle of Midway.

The event will be held at 11 a.m. at Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum, home of the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (CV 10). The event is expected to have several veteran organizations as well as guest speakers in attendance. The required uniform for service members in attendance will be service dress whites for E-6 and below, summer whites for E-7 and above and Class As for all other participating branches of service.

The Yorktown was the tenth aircraft carrier to serve in the fleet and was brought to Charleston in 1975. Although originally designated to be named BonHomme Richard, the ship was renamed Yorktown to honor USS Yorktown (CV 5) that was sunk during the epic Battle of Midway in June 1942.

Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto planned to attack Midway Island in an effort to draw out and destroy American forces after the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo and the Battle of Coral Sea. Wanting to invade and set up a Japanese air base at Midway, Admiral Yamamoto expected a conflict with American forces but only after his forces had taken the island.

However, Yamamoto's intended surprise attack was intercepted by U.S intelligence. After learning of Yamamoto's plans, Admiral Chester Nimitz devised his own plan to have the American fleet on standby and waiting for Japan's naval forces.

On June 4, 1942 the three-day battle took place, resulting in the loss of four Japanese carriers while the U.S. only lost the Yorktown. Although the base at Midway was damaged during the attack, it continued to remain operational and later became a vital component in the American trans-Pacific offensive. The Battle of Midway became one of the most historical naval battles ever fought and changed the course of the war in the Pacific.

For additional information, call the Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs office, at 963-5608.