7 June 1942

7 June 1942



Far East

Japanese troops invade the Aleutian Islands

North Africa

German troops attack Bir Hakeim

On Sunday, June 7, 1942, the American merchant vessel SS Coast Trader is torpedoed and sunk by the Japanese submarine I-26, 35 miles southwest of Cape Flattery near the Straits of Juan de Fuca. Fifty-six survivors from the 3,286-ton freighter are eventually rescued by the fishing vessel Virginia I and the Canadian corvette HMCS Edmunston (K-106). The SS Coast Trader is the first American vessel the Imperial Japanese Navy sinks off the coast of Washington State during World War II.

The Japanese vessel I-26 was a 356-foot Junsen Type-B Class submarine built in Kobe, Japan, in 1941. With a crew of 101 officers and men, they were the Japanese Navy’s largest and most successful class of underwater boats. The submarines, called “I-boats,” were fast, had long range and even carried a small collapsible float plane (a Yokosuka E14Y1 “Glen”) which could be launched by compressed-air catapult from the foredeck. The I-26 was one of nine Japanese B-class submarines prowling the West Coast from the Aleutian Islands to San Diego during 1941 and 1942.

The I-26 was responsible for sinking the SS Cynthia Olson, the first American merchant vessel to be sunk by a Japanese submarine in World War II. The SS Cynthia Olson, en route from Tacoma, Washington, to Honolulu, Hawaii, was torpedoed on December 7, 1941, some 1,000 miles northeast of Honolulu all 35 crewmembers were lost.

The SS Coast Trader (formerly the SS Point Reyes) was a 324-foot freighter built by the Submarine Boat Company, Edison, New Jersey, for the U. S. Shipping Board in 1920. The Coastwise Line Steamship Company purchased her from the government in 1936 and home-ported her in Portland, Oregon. The SS Coast Trader had been under charter to the U.S. Army since the beginning of World War II (1941-1945).

Since the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Japanese submarines had been sighted off the coasts of British Columbia and Oregon and at least 15 American merchant vessels had been attacked in the eastern Pacific and along the West Coast.

On Sunday, June 7, 1942, the SS Coast Trader was en route from Port Angeles to San Francisco carrying 1,250 tons of newsprint. After leaving the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the ship, steering a non-evasive course, turned south. Lookouts were posted fore and aft to watch for enemy submarines but they didn’t spot the I-26, which had been shadowing them at periscope depth since Neah Bay.

At about 2:10 p.m. there was a violent explosion inside the ship, which blew off hatch covers, sent 2000-pound rolls of newsprint 50 feet into the air, and toppled the main mast and radio antenna. The torpedo hit the ship on the starboard side in the stern, beneath the No. 4 hatch. The engines immediately stopped and holds filled with steam. The radio operator was unsuccessful in his attempt to repair the radio antenna but continued sending SOS distress messages.

Captain Lyle G. Havens knew the Coast Trader had suffered catastrophic damage and gave the order to abandon ship. Ammonia fumes leaking from the ship’s refrigeration system overcame some of the crew as they attempted to lower the lifeboats. The starboard lifeboat was badly damaged during launching and was unusable. The crew successfully launched the port-side lifeboat and two large cork rafts. Some of the men had been injured in the explosion and needed help getting off the ship. Fortunately, the sea was calm and the crew evacuated the ship without difficulty. First Officer E. W. Nystrom and other crewmen in the lifeboat reported sighting the conning tower of a submarine 200 yards from were the ship was sinking, but it did not surface. At 2:50 p.m. the SS Coast Trader sunk slowly, stern first, in 93 fathoms of water, as the crew watched. Then it started to rain.

Captain Havens had the lifeboat and rafts made fast to each other with lines. He then had all the injured men transferred to the lifeboat. As evening approached, Captain Havens decided their distress call must not have been received so he ordered the lifeboat crew to start rowing toward the coast with the rafts in tow. The weather continued to deteriorate and towards midnight, 60-knot winds and heavy seas caused the rafts and lifeboat to become separated. The lifeboat, unable to reach the rafts, continued to head toward the shore in search of help. The storm abated toward morning, and Captain Havens had a sail rigged on the lifeboat to hasten their journey.

At about 4:00 p.m. on Monday, June 8, 1942, the lifeboat crew spotted a fishing vessel on the horizon and rowed toward it. They were eventually rescued by the Virginia I, a halibut schooner out of San Francisco, and taken to the Naval Section Base at Neah Bay. Captain Havens and First Officer Nystrom were then able to supply the Naval authorities with the approximate position of the two rafts.

The U. S. Coast Guard immediately dispatched several aircraft to search for the Coast Trader’s survivors. Just before dawn on Tuesday, June 9, 1942, crewmen saw Coast Guard Aircraft V-206 circling overhead and fired an orange signal flare into the air. The pilot spotted the signal and directed the Canadian corvette HMCS Edmunston (K-106) to the rescue site. By that time, the survivors, cold and wet, had been on the rafts for 40 hours.

Out of the Coast Trader’s crew of 56, which included nine officers, 28 men and 19 U.S. Army armed guards (deck gunners), there was one fatality, Steven Chance, a 56-year-old cook, who died in the lifeboat from exposure. The crewmen suffering from injuries and exposure were hospitalized at Port Angeles.

West Coast residents had been swept by a post-Pearl Harbor hysteria and feared that an invasion by the Japanese was imminent. On February 28, 1942, the Japanese submarine I-17 bombarded an oil pumping station near Santa Barbara, California. On June 3, 1942, carrier-based Japanese aircraft attacked Dutch Harbor, Alaska, followed by the invasion of the islands of Attu and Kiska in the Aleutian Islands on June 7, 1942. The I-26, patrolling north along the coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, shelled the lighthouse and radio-direction-finding (RDF) installation at Estevan Point near Tofino on June 20, 1942. The following day, the I-25 shelled the U.S. Army base at Fort Stevens at the mouth of the Columbia River, just five miles west of Astoria, Oregon, and on September 9, 1942, fire-bombed the Siskiyou National Forest near Brookings, Oregon, using their “Glen” aircraft.

These had been the first attacks on North American soil since the War of 1812 and the government, trying desperately to pacify the public, was tightly controlling the media. Reports of enemy submarine actions along the West Coast were generally suppressed and “cause of explosion unknown” was often given as the reason some of the ships sank.

So it was no surprise that, despite evidence to the contrary, a U. S. Navy Board of Inquiry found that the SS Coast Trader “was sunk by an internal explosion and not by torpedo or mine.” The Navy’s public-information officer in Seattle was told to downplay the incident in the press. According to the Coast Trader’s officers, “The thought that a submarine could be that close to the coast was more than they could imagine” (The Seattle Times). The official explanation of an “internal explosion” sinking the Coast Trader remains in the Navy’s official record.

When the I-26 returned to Yokosuka, Japan on July 7, 1942, Commander Minoru Yokota reported torpedoing a merchant vessel on the date and at the location where the Coast Trader sank and also reported shelling Estavan Point. The I-26 was sunk on October 25, 1944, by the destroyer escort USS Richard M. Rowell (DE-403) during the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

USS Coast Trader, ca. 1942

Courtesy The Seattle Times

Japanese submarine I-26, ca. 1942

Courtesy The Seattle Times, July 11, 1965

Coast Trader crew: First Officer E. W. Nystrom (left), Captain Lyle G. Havens (center), Army gunner Buford M. McElroy (seated, right), June 1942

Courtesy Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 10, 1942

Coast Trader crew, June 1942

Courtesy The Seattle Times, June 10, 1942

Estevan Point Light Station, near Tofino, British Columbia, Canada

Allies Win Battle of Midway

US #2697g – The US lost the Yorktown and one destroyer while the Japanese lost four aircraft carriers and a heavy cruiser.

On June 7, 1942, the Allies won the Battle of Midway in the Pacific, turning the tide of the war.

Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the Japanese began mapping out a plan to take down America’s carrier forces. Realizing Pearl Harbor was now too well defended, they set their sights northwest on Midway Island, at the end of the Hawaiian Island chain.

US #1869 – Nimitz was Commander in Chief of Pacific Ocean Areas during the battle.

Although they had naval superiority over the US and were essentially able to attack as they pleased, the Doolittle Raids on Tokyo and several other major cities had damaged the Japanese psychologically months earlier.

The Japanese plan was to disperse their ships around the area, hidden from American view. They hoped to lure US aircraft carriers into a deadly ambush near the Midway atoll and eliminate the US presence in the Pacific Ocean. With that accomplished, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto planned to invade the Atoll’s small islands and establish a Japanese air base there. However, Yamamoto’s plans were thwarted when the Imperial Navy’s JN-25 code was cracked and plans for the raid were discovered in mid-May.

In addition to knowing where and when the attack was planned, American Admiral Chester Nimitz knew the battle order. Another part of the Japanese plan that weighed against them was the fact that the ships were too far dispersed and were never able to aid the ships that were engaged in battle.

Item #20008 – Raymond Spruance led Task Force 16 at Midway.

Expecting the Japanese to send four or five carriers into battle, Admiral Nimitz ordered every available US flight deck to make its way to Midway. By June 3, 1942, he had three carriers and a total of 124 aircraft ready and waiting for battle. The American forces sent out their first planes at 12:30 p.m. on June 3. Though they dropped bombs on the Japanese ships, they failed to inflict any damage.

The following morning, June 4, 1942, the Americans again sent out planes, this time striking a Japanese oil tanker. The Japanese then retaliated, attacking the island itself.

US #2697g – Colorano Silk Cachet First Day Cover.

American torpedo bombers then drew Japanese fighters away from their ships, allowing dive-bombers from the Enterprise and Yorktown to take out three Japanese vessels. The destruction of the fourth Japanese ship later that afternoon forced their retreat. Though they managed to sink the Yorktown before dispersing. The last air attacks of the battle took place on June 6, when Douglas SBD Dauntless dive-bombers from the Hornet and Enterprise bombed and sunk the Japanese heavy cruiser Mikuma. American forces attempted to salvage the Yorktown into June 7, but when it was deemed impossible, efforts ended and so did the battle.

Item #M12347 includes stamps honoring the Battle of Midway.

Despite a three-to-one disadvantage in ships and aircraft, the US was able to inflict huge damages against the Japanese Navy, and force its retreat. Three days of intense fighting and lightning raids led to the sinking of four Japanese fleet carriers. Victory allowed the US to control Midway for the rest of the war. One historian called it “the most stunning and decisive blow in the history of naval warfare.”

June 7, 1942 The Alcan Highway

The project received a new sense of urgency on June 7, when a Japanese force of 1,140 took control of Attu Island, murdering Charles Jones, a ham radio operator and weather reporter from Ohio, and taking his wife Etta prisoner, along with 45 Aleuts.

Discussions concerning a road to Alaska began as early as 1865, when Western Union contemplated plans to install a telegraph wire from the United States to Siberia. The concept picked up steam with the proliferation of automobiles in the 1920s, but the idea was a hard sell for Canadian authorities. Such a road would necessarily pass through their territory, and the Canadian government believed the project would have little impact, benefiting no more than a few thousand people in the Yukon.

In the days following the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Guam and Wake Island fell to Imperial Japanese forces , making it clear that parts of the Pacific coast were vulnerable.

Priorities were changing for both the United States, and Canada.

The Alaska Territory was particularly exposed. Situated only 750 miles from the nearest Japanese base, the Aleutian Island chain had but 12 medium bombers, 20 pursuit planes, and fewer than 22,000 troops in the entire territory, an area four times the size of Texas.

Colonel Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr., son of the Confederate commander who famously received Ulysses S. Grant’s “Unconditional Surrender” ultimatum at Fort Donelson (“I propose to move immediately, upon your works”), was in charge of the Alaska Defense Command. Buckner made his made point, succinctly. “If the Japanese come here, I can’t defend Alaska. I don’t have the resources.”

The Army approved construction of the Alaska Highway in February 1942, the project receiving the blessings of Congress and President Roosevelt within the week. Canada agreed to allow the project, provided that the United States pay the full cost, and the roadway and other facilities be turned over to Canadian authorities at the end of the war.

Construction began in March as trains moved hundreds of pieces of construction equipment to Dawson Creek, the last stop on the Northern Alberta Railway. At the other end, 10,670 American troops arrived in Alaska that spring, to begin what their officers called “the biggest and hardest job since the Panama Canal.”

Dawson Creek, 1942

In-between lay over 1,500 miles of unmapped, hostile, wilderness.

The project received a new sense of urgency on June 7, when a Japanese force of 1,140 took control of Attu Island, murdering Charles Jones, a ham radio operator and weather reporter from Ohio, and taking his wife Etta prisoner, along with 45 Aleuts. Adding to the urgency was the fact that the Alaskan winter permits no more than an eight-month construction window. That period was already well underway.

Construction began at both ends and the middle at once, with nothing but the most rudimentary engineering sketches. A route through the Rocky Mountains had yet to be identified.

Radios of the age didn’t work across the Rockies, and the mail was erratic. The only passenger service available was run by the Yukon Southern airline, a run which locals called the “Yukon Seldom”. For construction battalions at Dawson Creek, Delta Junction and Whitehorse, it was faster to talk to each other through military officials in Washington, DC.

Moving men to assigned locations was one thing. Transporting 11,000 pieces of heavy equipment, to say nothing of supplies needed by man and machine, was quite another.

Tent pegs were useless in the permafrost, while the body heat of sleeping soldiers meant waking up in mud. Partially thawed lakes meant that supply planes could use neither pontoon nor ski, as Black flies swarmed the troops by day. Hungry bears raided camps at night, looking for food.

Engines had to run around the clock, as it was impossible to restart them in the cold. Engineers waded up to their chests building pontoons across freezing lakes, battling mosquitoes in the mud and the moss laden arctic bog. Ground which had been frozen for thousands of years was scraped bare and exposed to sunlight, creating a deadly layer of muddy quicksand in which bulldozers sank in what seemed like stable roadbed.

That October, Refines Sims Jr. of Philadelphia, with the all-black 97th Engineers, was driving a bulldozer 20 miles east of the Alaska-Yukon line when the trees in front of him toppled to the ground. Sims slammed his machine into reverse as a second bulldozer came into view, driven by Kennedy, Texas Private Alfred Jalufka. North had met south, and the two men jumped off their machines, grinning. Their triumphant handshake was photographed by a fellow soldier and published in newspapers across the country, becoming an unintended first step toward desegregating the US military.

A gathering at Soldier’s Summit on November 21, 1942 celebrated “completion” of the route, though the “highway” remained impassable for most vehicles, until 1943.

NPR ran an interview about this story back in the eighties, in which an Inupiaq elder was recounting his memories. He had grown up in a world as it existed for hundreds of years, without so much as an idea of internal combustion. He spoke of the day that he first heard the sound of an engine, and went out to see a giant bulldozer making its way over the permafrost. The bulldozer was being driven by a black operator, probably one of the 97th Engineers Battalion soldiers. The old man’s comment, as best I can remember it, was a classic. “It turned out”, he said, “that the first white person I ever saw, was a black man”.

June 7th

1982 : Graceland is opened to the public for the first time, almost five years after the death of Elvis Presley.

1954 USA Ford Edsel

1954 : Ford Motor Company formed a styling team to take on the project of designing an entirely new car that would later be named the Edsel.

1977 England Silver Jubilee

1977 : The Queen of England "Queen Elizabeth II" celebrates 25 years as the monarch and more than one million people line the streets of London to watch the Royal Family on their way to St. Paul's at the start of the Queen's Silver Jubilee celebrations.

1923 USA Tucker Bill

1923 : The Wisconsin Assembly is the first state to oppose absolute Prohibition when the Tucker Bill to repeal the state dry enforcement law is passed. Wisconsin had some of the largest breweries in the US in the Twenties and still is a major center for beer today.

1929 Vatican City Lateran Treaty

1929 : Vatican City becomes a sovereign independent State. Vatican City is approx 110 acres with a population of around 800 and is ruled by the Bishop of Rome — the Pope. Vatican City also includes most of the area of St. Peter's Square. The Euro is the official currency of Vatican City with coins issued by the Philatelic and Numismatic Office of the Vatican City State featuring the effigy on the current pope on all coins.

Born This Day In History 7th June

Celebrating Birthday Today

Born: Prince Rogers Nelson, June 7th, 1958, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Died: April 21st, 2016, Chanhassen, Minnesota

Known For : Prince was a talented multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, dancer, director, producer, and actor. He was well-known for his eclectic style of music, incorporating elements of all types of genres including funk, R&B, rock, pop, new wave, jazz, hip hop, soul, and classical. He was also known for his flamboyant looks and mysterious androgynous personality. His music was often considered experimental and he wrote several hit songs for himself and other artists. Some of his most well known songs include "Purple Rain," "When Doves Cry," "Kiss," "Little Red Corvette," "1999," and "Let's Go Crazy."

1939 USA King George

1939 : King George VI becomes the first British monarch to visit the United States when he and his wife, Elizabeth, visited New York City and Washington, D.C.

1942 WWII Battle of Midway

1942 : After a three day sea battle the United States destroy large numbers of Japanese Navy ships with the damage to only one US ship The USS Yorktown. The Commander-in Chief of the US Pacific Fleet, Admiral Chester Nimitz, said two enemy aircraft carriers ten Japanese warships were also sunk or damaged.

1955 USA The $64,000 Question

1955 : "The $64,000 Question" the popular US television game show that reached the number one rating spot in 1955 / 1956 begins. The contestant would choose a category to answer questions then be asked questions in the chosen category. Each question answered correctly would double the amount of money earned starting at $1, and going up to $64,000 after 17 correct answers.

1965 Griswold v. Connecticut

1965 : Following the anti-birth control law passed in Connecticut, the case of Griswold v. Connecticut goes to the Supreme Court who struck down the anti-birth control law deeming it not constitutional.

1966 USA Ronald Reagan

1966 : The former actor Ronald Reagan enters politics when he is elected governor of California.

1972 USA McGovern

1972 : McGovern, who had swept the Democratic Party spring primaries, was one of the earliest and most vocal opponents of American policy in Vietnam and he made the ending of the Vietnam war one of the central issues of the campaign.

1977 Netherlands Hostages held on Train In Assen

1977 : This is now the 16th day hostages have been held on a train in Assen by terrorists demanding the release of prisoners and a flight out of the country, they are also holding 4 teachers hostage in a local school.

1981 Iraq Israel Bomb Baghdad Nuclear Reactor

1981 : Israeli aircraft bomb and destroy a French-built nuclear plant near Iraq's capital, Baghdad.

1992 Brazil UN Conference on Environment and Pollution

1992 : The United States is causing a storm at the UN Conference on Environment and Pollution as standing alone among the westernized world by refusing to sign the document to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The current Bush administration believes global warming is not a problem that can be proved.

1998 USA James Byrd Jr

1998 : James Byrd Jr, a 49-year-old African-American man accepts a ride from three drunk men Shawn Allen Berry, Lawrence Russel Brewer, and John William King. Instead of taking him home, the three men beat up him behind a convenience store, tie him to their pickup truck with a chain and drag and kill him by dragging him for three miles.

Born This Day In History 7th June

Celebrating Birthdays Today

Born: Baroness Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza, June 7th, 1958, Lausanne, Switzerland

Known For : The wife of Karl Thomas-Lothringen, who would have been emperor of Austria. They married in 1993 and have three children (Eleonor, Ferdinand and Gloria). She schooled in Switzerland and attended art college in London for a while. She was well known for her parties and dress sense, and has lived in the United States as well as Europe. She returned to Switzerland to look after her father's collection of artwork and collects contemporary art when he died, and founded the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary in Vienna in 2002.

1998 Pakistan Bomb Attack

1998 : A terrorist bomb planted on a packed commuter train in Khairpur, Pakistan has left at least 23 dead and dozens more injured.

2002 USA Department of Homeland Security

2002 : US President George W. Bush announces the new Department of Homeland Security to protect America from terrorist attacks. A single, permanent department with an overriding and urgent mission, securing the homeland of America and protecting the American people.

2005 United States GM Announces Job Cuts

2005 : General Motors announced plans to cut twenty-five thousand jobs in the United States. The job cuts were aimed at saving billions of dollars in an attempt to stabilize the company's financial matters. General Motors had previously announced plans to cut twelve thousand other jobs in its European plants.

2007 Students Riot in China

2007 : Hundreds of Chinese students staged riots in the Henan province clashing with police. The riots occurred by a number of university students after reports that a female student had been beaten by city inspectors for reportedly setting up a street stall without a license.

2007 USA Stem Cell Research

2007 : The US House of Representatives votes to ease restrictions on federal funds for stem-cell research. President George W Bush has vowed use his Veto for a second time because he believes stem cell legislation crosses a moral line. Scientists believe stem cell research will one day allow them to repair tissue affected by disease or injury and that the research could provide breakthroughs in the treatment of debilitating diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

1950s Prices including inflation prices for homes, wages, etc.

Baby Boomers raise families following 20 years of unrest (Great Depression and World War II) the peak of the Baby Boomer Years

Includes Music, Fashion, Prices, News for each Year, Popular Culture, Technology and More.

2009 Peru Army Makes Curfews for Amazon

2009 : The Peruvian army set up curfews and checkpoints in the Amazon region after there were clashes between indigenous protesters and police. The protesters were upset at plans to drill for oil in the jungle region and had taken police officers hostage. At least thirty people had died as a result of the clashes, both officers and protesters.

2011 US Congressman Sends Inappropriate Photos

2011 : Anthony Weiner, an US Congressman for the state of New York, admitted to sending inappropriate photos and communications with women online. Weiner admitted this after he had accidentally posted a close-up picture of his clothed genitals to Twitter, when he meant to send it as a private message to a woman. Weiner apologized and indicated regret and shame for his actions in a televised news conference. Weiner eventually stepped down from his post later in the month.

2012 Japanese Dock Washes Up on Oregon Coast

2012 : A large dock that was a part of a Japanese port washed up on the coast of Oregon in the United States after traveling through the Pacific Ocean. The dock was from the port of Misawa and was torn away from the port during the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan. The dock tested negative for radiation, however scientists say that it carried invasive marine organisms.

2012 Denmark Approves Same-Sex Marriage

2012 : Denmark's parliament overwhelmingly approved a law allowing same-sex marriage, the law also covered same-sex weddings in the Church of Denmark. The country was the first in the world to recognize same-sex civil partnerships in 1989 but had not made any mention of same-sex marriage.

2013 North Korea Reopens Hotline

2013 : North Korea has announced it will reopen the Red Cross hotline between itself and South Korea, a key symbol of communication. The line had been shut down earlier in March of 2013.

We spent many hours researching cost of living information for each year and I created this page after being asked a number of times about why I did not include current prices alongside our cost of living information for each year and thought this was the easiest way to make the information available. includes Average Cost Of New Home, Average Wages, New Car cost, Gallon Of Gas and a 1lb Hamburger Meat, 1920 to 2021

December 7, 1942: Launching a Battleship

On the first anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, USS New Jersey was officially launched and her career spanning the next 50 years begun.

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Today : Chinese Bombers fire on US Aircraft Carrier in South China Sea

Today: Chinese Bombers fire on US Aircraft Carrier in South China Sea

Could an US supercarrier defeat the whole Japanese WWII navy?

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This video talks about a fantastical what if premise. Say a modern day US supercarrier battle group gets taken in time to spring of 1942, before the Battle of Midway. Could it protect Hawaii? Or various other Pacific islands? Could it take the battle back to the Japanese? And wreak havoc with their navy? Learn about the limits of the modern day technology, taken out of its usual context, and just how much does technology trump numbers.

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Terrifying: How the Battleship USS NEW JERSEY Fought the Vietnam-W4r

The USS NEW JERSEY caused a lot of damage, firing more shells than during its service in WW2. Yet, even the addition of battleships failed to win Washington the w4r.

As the w4r in Vietnam reached its crescendo, the U.S. Navy prepared to recommission one of the most powerful ships ever to serve in the fleet. USS New Jersey, an Iowa-class battleship, was reactivated to provide naval gunfire support for American and allied forces fighting in South Vietnam. The battlewagon fired nearly twenty thousand shells during its tour of duty, bombarding enemy forces the way only a battleship can.

The USS New Jersey was the second Iowa-class battleship ever built, and the third from last U.S. Navy battleship ever built. New Jersey was part of the Navy’s prewar rearmament program, as the United States began to build up its forces in response to w4r in both Europe and the Pacific. Construction began at the Philadelphia Naval Yard on September 16, 1940, and the ship was launched exactly one year after Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1942. She was finally commissioned into the U.S. Navy on May 23, 1943.

New Jersey was built to the same specifications as her three sister ships: Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin. (Two additional ships, Illinois and Kentucky, were ordered but never completed.) Each battleship was 860 feet long, weighed 57,350 tons fully loaded with ammunition and fuel, and were powered by four General Electric steam turbines, giving them a top speed of 33 knots. The battleships were armed with nine sixteen-inch guns, twenty five-inch dual purpose guns, eighty 40-millimeter anti-aircraft guns, and forty nine 20-millimeter anti-aircraft guns.

The Ohio-class battleships were originally designed to duke it out with other battleships, including such Axis ships as the German Bismarck and the Japanese super-battleships Yamato and Musashi. The changing nature of warfare, however, relegated the battleships to providing naval gunfire support for Army and Marine landings across the Pacific and anti-air warfare escort for aircraft carriers. All four briefly saw action in the Korean W4r, with Iowa, New Jersey, and Wisconsin all reactivated to provide heavy gunfire support from the sea. The Korean-W4r ended in 1953 and New Jersey was again decommissioned in 1957.
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This episode is taking a look at Typhoon Cobra, a storm that hit 7th fleet in December 1944.

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16in Barrels: Construction and Maintenance

In this episode we're answer a few viewer questions about the 16in gun barrels:
How are they constructed?
How do you change the liner on the barrel?

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Turret 1 (R/C/L)
#291 - Battery Lewis, Hartshorne Woods Park, Highlands, NJ
#293 - Philadelphia Navy Yard
#292 - Battleship New Jersey

Turret 2 (R/C/L)
#276 - Yuma Army Test Range, AZ, used in HARP tests and holds the world record for firing a projectile 110 miles into space
#278 - On display at the parade field at NSWC (Naval Surface Warfare Center) Dahlgren
#277 - In storage at NSWC Dahlgren

Turret 3 (R/C/L)
#366 - Mahan Collection Foundation, Basking Ridge, NJ
#290 - Norfolk Naval Shipyard, on display in their trophy park
#289 - In storage at NSWC Dahlgren

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USS New Jersey. Inside of Main Turret Gun | World of Warships

New Jersey battleship is one of the most highly decorated ships in the US Navy. After World War I, between USA and Japan began a real competition in who could build the most powerful fleet. And by the end of 1930s, the USA designed a battleship that went to become the best in her type. Get aboard the USS New Jersey!

Keep an eye out on the official World of Warships website. Your first port of call for new ship releases!

Iran Military Intercepts Alien UFO

When the Iranian military noticed a strange blip on their radars, they sent fighter jets out to investigate the strange signal, but what they discovered was the most shocking thing ever! In today's amazing true story we are bringing you the crazy encounter Iranian pilots had with actual UFO's. Why would UFO's be circling Iran? This story is completely insane, and we are sure aliens are plotting something, but what exactly is their plan, we may never know.

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Today : US Warns China with missile against aggressive moves in South China Sea

Today: US Warns China with missile against aggressive moves in South China Sea

Pearl Harbor: What happened?

It was at 7.55 am local time on December 7, 1941 that Japanese planes launched a surprise and devastating attack on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

The bombing of the American Pacific Fleet catapulted the United States into World War Two.

The following day President Roosevelt: told Congress that December 7, 1941 was a date which will live in infamy.

He said: The United States of America was suddenly and deliberat…

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USS San Francisco returns to U. S. after heroic battle - December 1942

USS San Francisco, a 9950-ton New Orleans class heavy cruiser, was built at Mare Island, California. She was commissioned in February 1934 and made a shakedown cruise from Hawaii to Canada to Panama before joining the U.S. Fleet in early 1935. For the next four years, she operated in the eastern Pacific and in early 1939 went to the Caribbean to participate in Fleet Problem XX. After the completion of that exercise, she led Cruiser Division Seven on a long voyage around South America, returning to the U.S. east coast via the Panama Canal. With the outbreak of the European war in September 1939, San Francisco made Neutrality Patrols in the Western Atlantic and Caribbean.

Returning to the Pacific in early 1940, San Francisco began operations out of Pearl Harbor, where she was undergoing overhaul on 7 December 1941, when Japan attacked the Pacific Fleet there. Though their ship was largely dismantled, the cruiser's crew actively participated in anti-aircraft gunfire against enemy aircraft. San Francisco was back at sea in mid-month, when she joined in the abortive expedition to relieve the American outpost on Wake Island. During the first months of 1942, she took part in the reinforcement of Allied positions in the southern Pacific, an attempted carrier raid on Rabaul and a successful raid on Japanese forces off northern New Guinea. In the August 1942 invasion of Guadalcanal and Tulagi, San Francisco operated with the U.S. aircraft carriers that supported the landings. She remained active in the Guadalcanal Campaign for three months, serving as task force flagship in the Battle of Cape Esperance on 11-12 October and in the first parts of the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal on 12-13 November 1942. During the latter action she was severely damaged by a crashing Japanese plane and by gunfire.

Following extensive repairs San Francisco escorted a convoy to the south Pacific, then went to the Aleutians, where she took part in the recovery of Attu and Kiska in mid-1943. In October, she participated in a raid on Japanese-held Wake Island and during the next two months was part of the forces that captured the Gilbert Islands and raided the Marshalls. She stayed busy in 1944, participating in the January-February Marshall Islands invasion, raids on Japanese central and south Pacific bases in February-April, and the vast Marianas campaign in June and July. Late in the year and early in 1945, following a west coast overhaul, she escorted the carrier task forces that raided throughout the western Pacific as U.S. amphibious operations seized the northern Philippines and Iwo Jima. From late March 1945 into June she participated in the Ryukyus campaign.

After the fighting ended in mid-August, San Francisco operated off China and Korea. She arrived back in the U.S. in December 1945 and was decommissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in February 1946. Following more than a decade in the Reserve Fleet, USS San Francisco was sold for scrapping in September 1959.

This video is part from The United Newsreel (1942 - 1946).

The Terrifying Physics of WWII Dive Bombing

The act of dive bombing during World War II was a death defying trial of skill and nerve. You aimed your plane down, four miles above the ocean, and plummeted at speeds of up to 275 miles per hour.

From the Show: Battle of Midway

Launching of the USS Wisconsin at Philadelphia Navy Yard, December 7, 194. HD Stock Footage

CriticalPast is an archive of historic footage. The vintage footage in this video has been uploaded for research purposes, and is presented in unedited form. Some viewers may find some scenes or audio in this archival material to be unsettling or distressing. CriticalPast makes this media available for researchers and documentarians, and does not endorse or condone any behavior or message, implied or explicit, that is seen or heard in this video.
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Launching of the USS Wisconsin (BB-64) at Philadelphia Navy Yard, December 7, 1943., Christened by Mrs. Walter S. Goodland

The horn of the USS Wisconsin (BB-64) sounds loudly, as Mrs. Walter S. Goodland, wife of the Governor of Wisconsin, successfully breaks a bottle of Champaign over the ship's bow and it starts down the ways. She is assisted by Rear Admiral M.F. Draemel, Commandant of the Navy Yard. The ship's horn continues to sound throughout the launching. Navy yard personnel and spectators all cheer. Location: Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Date: December 7, 1943.

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Battleship USS Iowa launched - 27 August 1942

USS Iowa, lead ship of a class of 45,000-ton battleships, was built at the New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York. Commissioned in February 1943, she spent her initial service in the Atlantic and carried President Franklin D. Roosevelt to and from Casablanca, Morocco, in November 1943. Early in January 1944, Iowa steamed to the Pacific, where she took part in the Marshalls Campaign later in that month and in February. From then until the end of 1944, she was actively involved in raids against Japanese facilities and campaigns to capture the Marianas, the Palaus and Leyte, including participation in the Battles of the Philippine Sea and Leyte Gulf.

After overhaul in early 1945, Iowa returned to the western Pacific for the Okinawa campaign and the final operations against Japan. She was present in Tokyo Bay during the formal surrender of Japan on 2 September 1945. She returned to the United States later in that month and operated with the Pacific Fleet until she was decommissioned in March 1949.

The Korean War brought Iowa back into active service. She was recommissioned in August 1951 and made a combat deployment to Korean waters in April-October 1952, during which time she served as Seventh Fleet flagship. Upon return to the U.S., she was transferred to the Atlantic Fleet. Over the next several years, Iowa made several European cruises and was present for the International Naval Review in Hampton Roads, Virginia, in June 1957. She was decommissioned in February 1958.

After two and a half decades in mothballs, Iowa was modernized under the 1980s defense buildup and recommissioned in April 1984. She went to European waters in 1985, 1986 and 1987-88, with the latter cruise continuing into the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea. A fire in her second sixteen-inch gun turret killed 47 crewmen on 19 April 1989, but Iowa was still able to deploy to Europe and the Mediterranean Sea in mid-year. Turret two remained unrepaired when she decommissioned for the last time in October 1990. USS Iowa is presently part of the Reserve Fleet.

This video is part from The United Newsreel (1942 - 1946).

preparing to launch the battleship, USS Wisconsin on December 7, 1943, Ph. HD Stock Footage

CriticalPast is an archive of historic footage. The vintage footage in this video has been uploaded for research purposes, and is presented in unedited form. Some viewers may find some scenes or audio in this archival material to be unsettling or distressing. CriticalPast makes this media available for researchers and documentarians, and does not endorse or condone any behavior or message, implied or explicit, that is seen or heard in this video.
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preparing to launch the battleship, USS Wisconsin (BB-64) on December 7, 1943, Philadelphia Naval Yard, Pennsylvania

Mrs. Walter S. Goodland, wife of the Governor of Wisconsin, holds a bottle of champagne, preparing to christen the battleship, USS Wisconsin (BB-64). Rear Admiral, M.F.Draemel, Commandant of the Navy Yard advises her how to swing the bottle and then steps away so Governor Goodland can stand next to Mrs. Goodland for photographs Location: Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Date: December 7, 1943.

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Fully digitized and searchable, the CriticalPast collection is one of the largest archival footage collections in the world. All clips are licensed royalty-free, worldwide, in perpetuity. CriticalPast offers immediate downloads of full-resolution HD and SD masters and full-resolution time-coded screeners, 24 hours a day, to serve the needs of broadcast news, TV, film, and publishing professionals worldwide. Still photo images extracted from the vintage footage are also available for immediate download. CriticalPast is your source for imagery of worldwide events, people, and B-roll spanning the 20th century.

New US Battleship Launched

(6 Oct 1941) America's latest battleship the 35,000 ton USS Massachusetts is launched.

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Launching Of Aircraft Carrier Bunker Hill and Battleship New Jersey

(14 Jan 1943) The Americans mark the 7th December by launching twenty-five ships. Amongst them the aircraft carrier Bunker Hill and the 45,000 ton battleship New Jersey.

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Another Us Battleship Launched

Item title reads - Another U.S. battleship launched.

M/S pan down the Indiana and across it. M/S of Secretary to the Navy Colonel Frank Knox making a speech about the new ship. Various shots as the supports are bashed away. A woman smashes the bottle of champagne against the ship and it glides down the slipway. M/S of the side as it sails past. M/S of the ship in the water.
FILM ID:1135.28



British Pathé also represents the Reuters historical collection, which includes more than 136,000 items from the news agencies Gaumont Graphic (1910-1932), Empire News Bulletin (1926-1930), British Paramount (1931-1957), and Gaumont British (1934-1959), as well as Visnews content from 1957 to the end of 1984. All footage can be viewed on the British Pathé website.

Tug Jupiter visits the Battleship New Jersey after 75 years

The Battleship New Jersey was launched on December 7, 1942 - the one year anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. When the New Jersey was launched, the first tug to catch a line from the Battleship was Tug Jupiter.

Tug Jupiter was built in 1902, so she had already seen more than four decades of service when she participated in the launch of New Jersey.

On December 7, 2017, the now 115-year-old Tug Jupiter revisited the New Jersey to help celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Battleship's launch.

The USS New Jersey (BB-62) was launched on December 7, 1942. This is a slideshow collection of photos taken at the Battleship New Jersey Museum & Memorial in Camden, New Jersey, across from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Battleship USS Wisconsin Recommissioning

Ceremony to return BB-64 to active duty, 22 October 1988, Pascagoula MS.

Recorded using JVC GR-C1 camcorder.

Launching of USS Wisconsin . Philadelphia Navy Yard, December 7, 1943. Gov. HD Stock Footage

CriticalPast is an archive of historic footage. The vintage footage in this video has been uploaded for research purposes, and is presented in unedited form. Some viewers may find some scenes or audio in this archival material to be unsettling or distressing. CriticalPast makes this media available for researchers and documentarians, and does not endorse or condone any behavior or message, implied or explicit, that is seen or heard in this video.
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Historic Stock Footage Archival and Vintage Video Clips in HD.

Launching of USS Wisconsin (BB-64). Philadelphia Navy Yard, December 7, 1943. Governor and Mrs. Goodland of Wisconsin.

Rear Admiral, M.F. Draemel, Commandant of the Philadelphia Navy Yard, introduces Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Ralph, A. Bard, who speaks to large group of Navy Yard personnel and visitors and spectators. The occasion is the launching of the second USS Wisconsin (BB-64) on December 7, 1943. Governor of Wisconsin, Walter S. Goodland and his wife are present. Mrs. Goodland is the official sponsor. Location: Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Date: December 7, 1943.

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Fully digitized and searchable, the CriticalPast collection is one of the largest archival footage collections in the world. All clips are licensed royalty-free, worldwide, in perpetuity. CriticalPast offers immediate downloads of full-resolution HD and SD masters and full-resolution time-coded screeners, 24 hours a day, to serve the needs of broadcast news, TV, film, and publishing professionals worldwide. Still photo images extracted from the vintage footage are also available for immediate download. CriticalPast is your source for imagery of worldwide events, people, and B-roll spanning the 20th century.

The Queen launches the battleship HMS Duke of York


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The Queen launches new Royal Navy battleship the HMS Duke of York during WWII

SLATE INFORMATION: Another Mighty Warship for Britain

CHURCHILL Winston With King and Queen at launching of new battleship H.M.S.Duke of York.

H.M.S. DUKE OF YORK. Queen with King and Mr. Churchill launches new battleship.

ELIZABETH Queen of England With King and Mr. Churchill launches new battleship H.M.S. Duke of York.

GEORGE VI KING OF ENGLAND. With Queen and Mr. Churchill at launching of H.M.S. Duke of York.

NAVAL (British). Queen accompanied by King and Mr. Churchill launches new battleship H.M.S. Duke of York.

Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother Royalty Navy - Ceremonial

Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, Sir Winston Churchill, prime minister, launching, christening, spectators, crowds, King George VI, ship, World War Two, Second World War, war, World War II
Background: The Queen launches new Royal Navy battleship the HMS Duke of York during WWII

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Archive: Reuters
Archive managed by: British Pathé

Midway - Bombing the Japanese Fleet: McClusky (Luke Evans) leads a bombing raid on the Japanese fleet.

Watch the best Midway scenes & clips:

On Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese forces launch a devastating attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. naval base in Hawaii. Six months later, the Battle of Midway commences on June 4, 1942, as the Japanese navy once again plans a strike against American ships in the Pacific. For the next three days, the U.S. Navy and a squad of brave fighter pilots engage the enemy in one of the most important and decisive battles of World War II.

TM & © Lionsgate Films (2019)
Cast: Etsushi Toyokawa, Jun Kunimura, Luke Evans
Director: Roland Emmerich
Producer: Roland Emmerich
Screenwriter: Wes Tooke

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The MOVIECLIPS channel is the largest collection of licensed movie clips on the web. Here you will find unforgettable moments, scenes, and lines from all your favorite films. Made by movie fans, for movie fans.

One Empty Seat On-board the Battleship New Jersery April 4, 2015 Revised

A POW-MIA National Chair of Honor dedication ceremony took place at 10 AM on Saturday, April 4th on the Battleship to kick off the annual Vietnam War Living History Day event.
The Battleship New Jersey (BB-62) was launched 7 December 1942 by the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.

The Battleship New Jersey earned the Navy Unit Commendation for Vietnam service. She has received nine battle stars for World War II four for the Korean conflict and two for Vietnam, and three Campaign Stars for service off Beirut, Lebanon and service in the Persian Gulf, prior to Operation Desert Storm. With a total of Nineteen Battle and Campaign Stars, New Jersey is America's most decorated battleship and surviving warship.

One Empty Seat On-board the Battleship New Jersery April 4, 2015

A POW-MIA National Chair of Honor dedication ceremony took place at 10 AM on Saturday, April 4th on the Battleship to kick off the annual Vietnam War Living History Day event.

The Battleship New Jersey (BB-62) was launched 7 December 1942 by the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.

The Battleship New Jersey earned the Navy Unit Commendation for Vietnam service. She has received nine battle stars for World War II four for the Korean conflict and two for Vietnam, and three Campaign Stars for service off Beirut, Lebanon and service in the Persian Gulf, prior to Operation Desert Storm. With a total of Nineteen Battle and Campaign Stars, New Jersey is America's most decorated battleship and surviving warship.

1940s WWII America Launches New Warships

Reel #: 1678 TC In: 014854 TC Out: 015107

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Objects: warship, battleship launch, aircraft carrier, escort carrier, christening, assault boats, submarine, destroyers, destroyer escorts, cruisers, USS Essex, CV-9, USS Intrepid CV-11, USS Lexington, CV-16,USS Yorktown CV-10, USS Bunker Hill, CV-17, USS Belleau Wood, CVL-24, USS South Dakota, BB-57, USS Alabama, BB-60, USS Massachusetts, BB-59,

Subjects: WWII, World War II, World War Two,

Oliver: Launching A Plane at Sea During WWII

Original Battleship NORTH CAROLINA crew member and aviator Almon Oliver describes launching a Kingfisher plane from the ship during World War II

Celebrating 250 Years at NNSY: The USS Alabama Launch, Feb. 16, 1942

Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) is celebrating 250 years of service by remembering the 75th anniversary of the launch of the fourth and final USS South Dakota-class battleship, USS Alabama (BB 60), Feb. 16, 1942.

Video edited by Dave Pastoriza, NNSY Videographer from Code 1170 Shipyard Audio Visual Production Office

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History Blog-

On the 1 year anniversary of this channel starting to produce 5 new videos every week, we're celebrating by taking a look back at some of our favorite videos and diving into how we managed to film them.

#10 Would What Sunk Bismarck Have Sunk New Jersey?:
#9 Firing a Civil War Cannon:
#8 Catacombs:
#7 How Long Does a Museum Ship Last?
#6 Inside Battleship Massachusetts' Boiler:
#5 Drydocking Slater:
#4 Disposing of an OBA Cannister:
#3 Things the Navy Doesn't Like About the Iowas:
#2 Project Katie:
#1 Climbing Through a 16in Gun Barrel:

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Channel Dash Scharnhorst and Gneisenau Run the British Blockade - Animated

Operation Cerberus - the Battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau attempt to make a surprise dash up the English Channel to return to Germany.

Images kindly provided by Britain At War Magazine:

All uncredited images are public domain

Special thanks to my Patreons: John Smaha, Casual Observer, Escipio Sumski, Zac W, Chris Roybal, imfromthe808, Riley Matthews, Simon Herrmann, Robby Gottesman, Gil Ho

US aircraft carriers Bellawood and Bunker Hill and battleship USS New Jersey are . HD Stock Footage

CriticalPast is an archive of historic footage. The vintage footage in this video has been uploaded for research purposes, and is presented in unedited form. Some viewers may find some scenes or audio in this archival material to be unsettling or distressing. CriticalPast makes this media available for researchers and documentarians, and does not endorse or condone any behavior or message, implied or explicit, that is seen or heard in this video.
Link to order this clip:

Historic Stock Footage Archival and Vintage Video Clips in HD.

US aircraft carriers Bellawood and Bunker Hill and battleship USS New Jersey are launched in the United States.

Launch of two aircraft carriers and a battleship in the United States during World War II. People gathered at the launch of aircraft carriers. People at a shipyard. Aircraft carrier Bellawood is lowered into water. At another shipyard, aircraft carrier Bunker Hill is launched and is lowered into water. USS battleship New Jersey at a shipyard. Men take pictures. People crowd during the launch. The battleship is lowered into water. USS New Jersey underway at sea. Two boats underway in the background. Location: United States. Date: 1942.

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57,000+ broadcast-quality historic clips for immediate download.
Fully digitized and searchable, the CriticalPast collection is one of the largest archival footage collections in the world. All clips are licensed royalty-free, worldwide, in perpetuity. CriticalPast offers immediate downloads of full-resolution HD and SD masters and full-resolution time-coded screeners, 24 hours a day, to serve the needs of broadcast news, TV, film, and publishing professionals worldwide. Still photo images extracted from the vintage footage are also available for immediate download. CriticalPast is your source for imagery of worldwide events, people, and B-roll spanning the 20th century.

Lenin Battleship Creating Crossfire | World of Warships Legends PlayStation Xbox

Gameplay review and commander guide for the Soviet Russian Battleship Lenin in World of Warships Legends (WoWs Legends) available on PlayStation and Xbox.

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Approaches to Pearl Harbor and USN Tactical Doctrine

Thomas Hone and Trent Hone at Pearl Harbor: A Historical Symposium Commemorating the 75th Anniversary December 7, 2016
The George Washington University Mount Vernon Campus

Cantfil, August: WWII Aerographer

August Cantfil was an Aerographer in the US Navy during World War II and was part of Task Force 7 during Typhoon Cobra.

He was interviewed in 2007.

The History of the Enterprise

Ships Named Enterprise: For More Than 240 Years, They’ve Boldly Served America’s Navy.
During the Dec. 1, 2012 inactivation ceremony of CVN-65, the eighth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name Enterprise, then-Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced the legacy of “Big E” would continue, officially naming the third Gerald R. Ford-class carrier, CVN-80, USS Enterprise. As the Navy formally decommissioned its immediate predecessor Feb. 3, 2017, it’s appropriate to look back at each of the mighty ships that have born the name whose greatness was earned by the integrity, accountability, initiative and toughness of the Sailors who have served in them.
As we say fair winds to CVN-65, and welcome in the new era of CVN-80, the ninth ship to carry the name Enterprise, let’s take a look back at the making of the legacy. Check out my Awesome new Sci Fi Store!! Interested in helping this Channel grow? go here:

Keats, LaVerne: US Army AirCorps

LaVerne Keats served in the US Army Air Corps from 1942 until 1946 serving in both Europe and the Pacific.

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The Battle for the Coral Sea by John B. Lundstrom

Author John B. Lundstrom discusses the Battle of the Coral Sea, a major naval battle in the Pacific Theatre during World War II.
This talk was recorded at The National WWII Museum International Conference on WWII: From Pearl Harbor to Guadalcanal, December 7-9, 2011.
Save the date for the next International Conference on WWII: December 6-8, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Peter MacDonald, Navajo Code Talker

Peter MacDonald, youngest of the nine remaining Navajo Code Talkers used by the Marines in WWII, delivered an hour and a half program on their role in the war. At the age of 90, MacDonald tours regularly to raise funds to build a National Navajo Code Talker Museum and Veteran Center to honor heroes of WWII in Window Rock, New Mexico.

WW2 in Australia | Bombing Of Darwin

Introduction: [0:00]
Background: [0:33]
Order of Battle - Allied: [02:52]
Order of Battle - Japan: [05:09]
Darwin Air Raids - The Convoy: [07:46]
Darwin Air Raids - The Launch: [11:27]
Darwin Air Raids - The Attack (First Wave): [16:20]
Darwin Air Raids - The Attack (Second Wave): [25:08]
Darwin Air Raids - The Attack (Third Wave): [27:37]
Conclusion: [30:19]

The Bombing of Darwin was a battle in the Pacific war during World War II. It occurred on Darwin, Northern of Australia, on 19 February 1942. Allied aircraft replacements could reach Southeast Asia only by ship or by an air bridge in which Darwin was a vital link. The Japanese therefore acted to deny the Allies the use of Darwin by launching a massive carrier raid against the port on 19 February 1942. Some 190 aircraft from four of Nagumo's carriers and another 54 land-based bombers based in the Netherlands East Indies participated in the Raid.

In this video, you will find an animated map of the details of invasion operation by the Japanese empire and The Allied defence. The Bombing of Darwin is often less mentioned in the history book and one of the forgotten battles in Pacific Theather.

Jeremy Cox - Rising Sun, Falling Skies: The Disastrous Java Sea Campaign of World War II

Bobby R. Alford - Darwin 1942 : The Japanese attack on Australia

Tom Lewis - Carrier Attack Darwin 1942 : The Complete Guide to Australia's Own Pearl Harbor

Tom Womack - The Allied Defense of the Malay Barrier, 1941-1942

Peter Grose - An Awkward Truth : The bombing of Darwin, February 1942

The Operations of the Navy in the Dutch East Indies and the Bay of Bengal - Compiled by The War History Office of the National Defense College of Japan

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75th Anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal Online Learning Series Pt. 1

Join Richard Frank, author of Guadalcanal: The Definitive Account of the Landmark Battle, to explore the strategies by the Japanese occupiers and American invaders during the Battle of Guadalcanal. On August 7, the Marines first landed on the island 75 years ago and secured the beachhead and airfield at Lunga Point, renamed Henderson Field by the occupying American forces. After initial capture, Henderson Field would soon become the key point where the Japanese launched multiple all-out attacks to reclaim their airstrip and control of the island. Analyze the Battle of Edson’s Ridge, marked with tenacious fighting by the US Marines to draw the fierce Japanese fighters off balance, causing devastating Japanese losses.

Originally broadcast on August 7th, 2017 at 12:00pm central time

The History of the USS Hornet

USS Hornet (CV/CVA/CVS-12) is an Essex-class aircraft carrier built for the United States Navy during World War II. She was originally named USS Kearsarge, but was renamed in honor of the prior USS Hornet (CV-8), which was lost in October 1942, becoming the eighth ship to bear the name in the Navy. Completed in 1943, the ship participated in the Pacific War. Hornet then took part in Operation Magic Carpet, returning troops to the U.S. She served in the Vietnam War and also played a part in the Apollo program, recovering the Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 astronauts as they returned from the Moon.

Hornet was decommissioned in 1970. She was eventually designated as both a National Historic Landmark and a California Historical Landmark, and she opened to the public as the USS Hornet Museum in Alameda, California in 1998.

Frank Emond, Pearl Harbor Survivor

Born in Rhode Island, Frank Emond joined the U.S. Navy in 1938 in search of new opportunities. In December 1941, Frank was a french horn player in the U.S. Navy band aboard the battleship USS Pennsylvania. He was there on December 7, 1941, witnessing the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. As the band played morning colors, Frank saw the first bomb drop and explode at a hangar on Ford Island. During and in the aftermath of the attack, he served as a stretcher bearer, carrying casualties to safety to allow for crews to fight the fires. Frank would stay in the Navy for 30 years, and he can still see the images from that morning, which have remained with him.

Learn more about the American Veterans Center:

Escape Velocity - A Quick History of Space Exploration

From the first rocket launch in 1926 to Gagarin, Armstrong, Hubble, Curiosity and beyond, take a fast ride through the 90 years of human space exploration.

Music: Human Legacy, by Ivan Torrent

Poster Credits: NASA/JE Wallace/Bill Ingalls/SpaceX/David Peterson

More information about these events:

On 8 December 1941 Japan invaded Hong Kong. This is the story of how British, Canadian, Indian and Chinese forces made a valiant last-stand fight for 18 days against overwhelming enemy forces.

This is an AUDIO PROGRAMME. For videos, visit Mark Felton Productions:

Disclaimer: All opinions and comments expressed in the 'Comments' section do not reflect the opinions of War Stories with Mark Felton. All opinions and comments should contribute to the dialogue. War Stories with Mark Felton does not condone written attacks, insults, racism, sexism, extremism, violence or otherwise questionable comments or material in the 'Comments' section, and reserves the right to delete any comment violating this rule or to block any poster from the channel.

Credits: YouTube Creative Commons WikiCommons Google Commons Mark Felton Productions War Stories with Mark Felton
Music: Pursuit licenced to iMovie by Apple, Inc.

USS Bowfin Submarine/Museum Video Tour Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

USS Bowfin (SS/AGSS-287), a Balao-class submarine, was a boat of the United States Navy named for the bowfin fish. Since 1981, she has been open to public tours at the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, next to the USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center.

The submarine is owned and operated by the Pacific Fleet Submarine Memorial Association, and is now part of the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park in Pearl Harbor, on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Visitors can tour the submarine with an audio narration of life in the vessel during World War II.

The park's museum features exhibits and artifacts about submarines and the history of the United States Submarine Service, including detailed models, weapon systems, photographs, paintings, battleflags, recruiting posters, and a memorial honoring the 52 American submarines and the more than 3,500 submariners lost during World War II.

The museum's other exhibits include a Kaiten torpedo and a 40-mm quad gun, along with Poseidon C-3 and Regulus I missiles. The park is located within walking distance of the visitor center for the USS Arizona Memorial, and the Battleship Missouri Memorial.

Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, New Hampshire (actually located in Kittery, Maine)

7 December 1942, hence her nickname, The Pearl Harbor Avenger

Mrs. Jane Gawne, wife of CAPT James Orville Gawne, USN

Originally 70 men (7 officers & 63 enlisted), later increased to 80 men (8 officers & 72 enlisted)

1,810 tons (diving trim) 2,415 tons (submerged)

311 feet 9 13/16 inches

27 feet 3 inches

15 feet 3 inches (diving trim)

12 feet 5 inches @ bow (diving trim)
3 feet 11 inches @ stern (diving trim)

16 feet 3/8 inch

6 bow and 4 stern (MK 39)

24 total (14 in reload racks) -- MK 14-3A, MK 18, MK 23, and MK 27
Originally, one 4 inch 50-caliber (MK 12) and two 20 mms (MK 5). Finally,
one 5 inch 25-caliber (MK 40), one 40 mm (MK 3) and one 20 mm (MK 10).

Four General Motors Model 16-278A diesel 16 cylinder V-type, 2-cycle,
8 3/4 bore x 10 1/2 stroke 1,600 BHP developed @ 750 RPM
(stbd. RH rotation, port LH rotation).

Four General Electric 1,100 kw 2,650 amps/415 volts (propulsion rating)
3,600 amps/296 volts (battery charging rating).

Four General Electric 1,375 HP two-wire, direct-current, compensated compound/shunt,
series and commutating field windings.

Combining and reduction type/reverse by reversing input.
2 -- 1,375 HP @ 1,300 RPM inputs
1 -- 2,740 HP @ 280 RPM output

Two 126-cell Exide type

20.25 knots surface speed 8.75 knots submerged speed

Two four-bladed, 8 foot diameter

One balanced streamlined type. Train limits 38 degrees to port and starboard.

54,000 gallons normal 116,000 gallons maximum

The Battle of Midway, 1942

Veterans of the epic battle that changed the course of World War II in the Pacific share their stories.

Participants include battle of Midway veterans Captain John Crawford (USS Yorktown), John Hancock (USS Yorktown), Jack Holder (Flight Engineer at Midway), and Bill Norberg (USS Enterprise). Also featuring George Walsh, historian of the Battle of Midway and dive bomber pilot during Word War II.

Learn more about the American Veterans Center:

Battleship | Wikipedia audio article

This is an audio version of the Wikipedia Article:

00:03:32 1 History of battleships
00:03:42 1.1 Ships of the line
00:06:01 1.2 Ironclads
00:06:31 1.2.1 Explosive shells
00:07:54 1.2.2 Iron armor and construction
00:09:55 1.3 Pre-dreadnought battleship
00:14:32 1.4 Dreadnought era
00:15:58 1.4.1 Origin
00:21:00 1.4.2 Arms race
00:22:08 1.5 World War I
00:29:01 1.6 Inter-war period
00:31:53 1.6.1 Rise of air power
00:34:23 1.6.2 Rearmament
00:39:47 1.7 World War II
00:44:42 1.8 Cold War
00:51:00 1.9 End of the battleship era
00:54:04 2 Strategy and doctrine
00:54:14 2.1 Doctrine
00:56:52 2.2 Tactics
00:59:24 2.3 Strategic and diplomatic impact
01:00:25 2.4 Value for money
01:02:05 3 See also

Listening is a more natural way of learning, when compared to reading. Written language only began at around 3200 BC, but spoken language has existed long ago.

Learning by listening is a great way to:
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Now learn the vast amount of general knowledge available on Wikipedia through audio (audio article). You could even learn subconsciously by playing the audio while you are sleeping! If you are planning to listen a lot, you could try using a bone conduction headphone, or a standard speaker instead of an earphone.

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I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.
- Socrates

A battleship is a large armored warship with a main battery consisting of large caliber guns. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries the battleship was the most powerful type of warship, and a fleet of battleships was considered vital for any nation that desired to maintain command of the sea.
The term battleship came into formal use in the late 1880s to describe a type of ironclad warship, now referred to by historians as pre-dreadnought battleships. In 1906, the commissioning of HMS Dreadnought into the United Kingdom's Royal Navy heralded a revolution in battleship design. Subsequent battleship designs, influenced by HMS Dreadnought, were referred to as dreadnoughts, though the term eventually became obsolete as they became the only type of battleship in common use.
Battleships were a symbol of naval dominance and national might, and for decades the battleship was a major factor in both diplomacy and military strategy. A global arms race in battleship construction began in Europe in the 1890s and culminated at the decisive Battle of Tsushima in 1905, the outcome of which significantly influenced the design of HMS Dreadnought. The launch of Dreadnought in 1906 commenced a new naval arms race. Three major fleet actions between steel battleships took place: the long range gunnery duel at the Battle of the Yellow Sea in 1904, the decisive Battle of Tsushima in 1905, both, during the Russo-Japanese War, and the inconclusive Battle of Jutland (1916) during the First World War. Jutland was the largest naval battle and the only full-scale clash of dreadnoughts of the war, it was the last major battle in naval history fought primarily by battleships.The Naval Treaties of the 1920s and 1930s limited the number of battleships, though technical innovation in battleship design continued. Both the Allied and Axis powers built battleships during World War II, though the increasing importance of the aircraft carrier meant that the battleship played a less important role than had been expected.
The value of the battleship has been questioned, even during their heyday. There were few of the decisive fleet battles that battleship proponents expected, and used to justify the vast resources spent on building battlefleets. Even in spite of their huge firepower and protection, battleships were increasingly vulnerable to much smaller and relatively inexpensive weapons: initially the torpedo and the naval mine, and later aircraft and the guided missile. The growing range of naval engagements led to the aircraft carrier replacing the battleship as the leading capital ship during World War II, with the last battleship to be launched being HMS Vanguard in 1944. Four battleships were retained by the United States Navy until the end of the Cold War for fire support purposes and were last used in combat during the Gulf War in 1991. The last battleships were stricken from the U.S. Naval Vessel Register in the 2000s.

Minecraft Bath Tub Builds: WW2 IJN Yamato | Yamato-Class Battleship Tutorial

HELLO LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! Welcome back to another Minecraft tutorial. Today we will be building the IJN Yamto Yamato-Class battleship. Enjoy the tutorial!

►Introduction: (0:00)
►Layer 1: (4:46)
►Layer 2: (9:36)
►Layer 3: (13:03)
►Layer 4: (16:36)
►Layer 5: (19:03)
►Layer 6: (24:13)
►Layer 7: (39:09)
►Layer 8: (46:47)
►Layer 9: (51:27)
►Layer 10: (56:05)
►Layer 11: (59:28)
►Layer 12: (1:01:22)
►Layer 13-17: (1:03:39)
►Outro: (1:12:45)

If you have any questions regarding the tutorial feel free to leave them in the comments below. I respond and read nearly all my comments.

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History June 20 1942: Canada under attack!

In June 1942 the Second World War was now well-advanced for Canada which was in full war mode since entering the war in September 1939.

The U.S. meanwhile had very quickly geared up after it’s declaration of war against Japan on December 7, 1941 following the surprise attack on Pearl Harbour. By early June 1942 the U.S was heavily involved in the Pacific and had just fought a huge battle at Midway inflicting heavy losses on a large Japanese fleet.

In the early years of the war, the ageing Stranraer aircraft were used by Canada for anti-submarine patrols along the Pacific coast. (DND P:L9596)

The Japanese navy had at the same time sent a smaller fleet toward Alaska where they captured the Aleutian Islands of Kiska and Attu in an effort to protect their northern flank. Kiska had only a small weather station and the invading force killed two people at the station and captured the seven others. The island of Attu had 45 Aleut inhabitants along with a weatherman who was killed by the Japanese while his teacher wife taken prisoner with the Aleuts.

In response to the occupation of the islands on June 6, American and Canadian forces launched repeated bombardments of the Japanese garrisons. Attu was overrun in May 1943, and the Japanese evacuated Kiska in late July.

The i-26 which attacked a Canadian lighthouse on June 20 1942, but missed. (Imperial Japanese Navy-via

In the interim, although the Imperial Japanese Navy had suffered a severe blow at Midway, concern was very high about the potential for Japanese invasion or attacks along the mainland Pacific Coast of both the U.S and Canada.

Six Japanese subs had been sent in May on reconnaissance missions to the Aleutians and Alaska which they had believed to be heavily defended. Two of the subs then went south to station off Washington State to harass any ships that might be headed to reinforce Kiska and Attu. On june 7, sub I-26 sank the SS Coast Trader, a small freighter.

Later, on June 19-20, the I-25 heavily damaged the new Canadian freighter SS Fort Camosun with a torpedo and deck gun shelling. The ship survived, partly because a cargo of plywood helped keep it afloat. All crew were also rescued.

Meanwhile in the early night of June 20 between 9:30 and 10:00 p.m., the I-26 surfaced about 3 km off the coast of the Estevan Point lighthouse on Vancouver Island

Red balloon indicates Estevan Point on Vancouver Island. (Google maps)

Then using its 5.5 in deck gun, the crew fired between 25 and 30 shells at the structure. The lighthouse keeper quickly shut off the light and radioed to authorities that he was under attack.

The Japanese seemed not to be very good gunners as the shells all missed the target and no real damage occurred to the structure or the nearby hamlet of Hesquiat.

Air patrols were scrambled but as two separate units in Victoria sought to respond, the first plane crashed on takeoff (no deaths) blocking the runway for an hour preventing an anti-sub attack.

Bolingbroke bombers near Victoria in 1942. Canadian versions of the Bristol Blenheim, these were to counter submarines on the Pacific (Library and Archives Canada PA-140638)

This constituted the only attack against Canadian soil in the war.

But for all of the hubbub rumours persist that it was a ploy by the government to motivate the public to accept mandatory military service. The story goes that the federal government got a US warship and sub to shell the area to encourage the passage of a conscription bill through parliament. If one were to believe this speculation, it might also explain all the ‘missed’ shots.

A CBC documentary was produced on this subject with eyewitnesses clearly stating shelling came from a large surface vessel. Adding to the confusion is that, the Japanese B-class sub deck gun was 5.5in (140mm) while the typical similar American naval guns were 5-in and 6-in. There’s not much difference to the untrained, but the recovered shell was found on the beach in 1973 was identified by military ordinance personnel from CFB Comox as being the 5.5-in (140mm) type used by the Japanese.

As for the the followup. The next night I-25 shelled Fort Stevens in the U.S at the mouth of the Columbia River, also with little damage.

Nor was that the end of the menace as I-25 tried to start a forest fire in Oregon in September using incendiary bombs but the small fires were extinguished relatively quickly.

The I-25 sank two more ships in October.

The I-25 was sunk by a U.S ship in September 1943 off the New Hebrides Islands. The I-26 was presumed sunk by American ships in October 1944 off Leyte.

German saboteur landings in June 1942

Shortly after he declared war on the United States on Dec 11, 1941 Adolf Hitler wanted to show Americans that they were not safe inside their borders even so far from the battlefields of Europe. He ordered a sabotage operation against targets inside America and Abwehr, the defence intelligence unit, got the job.

This was something the Abwehr people had already done in other countries of Europe and were well suited for. They operated a sabotage school near Brandenburg to train operatives.

The man given the task was the 37-year old Walter Kappe. He knew the United States well, having lived there for 12 years. He was a long-time member of the Nazi party as well (pretty much required for any real career in the intelligence services). The operation was known as Operation Pastorius, named after a German settler in America.

Kappe found 12 men needed for the job through the files of the Ausland Institute. That institute had organized the return of thousands of Germans from America. 4 men dropped from the group right away but the other 8 were split into 2 groups.

The first group was manned by John Dasch, 39 who was to lead the team. His 3 members were Ernest Peter Burger, Heinrich Heinck and Richard Quirin. The 2 last named men were both machinists who had been working for Volkswagen.

The second team was led by Edward Kerling, 32. His 3 men were Hermann Neubauer, Werner Thiel and Herbert Hapt, the youngest man in the 8 man group at 22.

The assembled group of men arrived in the Abwehr school in early April 1942 where they went into training. On May 23 they got their assignments. Dasch and his team were to destroy the hydroelectric plants at Niagara Falls, the Aluminum Company of America factories in Illinois, Tennessee and New York. A cryolite plant in Philadelphia and the locks on the Ohio River between Louisville and Pittsburgh were also to be bombed.

Kerling's team should blow up the Pennsylvania Railroad station in Newark, the famous horseshoe bend section on the railroad near Altoona plus other vital railroad parts. They were also to attack the lock and canal installations at St. Louis and Cincinnati and the water supply system for New York City.

Both teams were to plant bombs in Jewish-owned stores and in locker rooms at major passenger railroad stations to spread fear and panic.

Kerling's team boarded the U-584 (Kptlt. Joachim Deecke) which left its Brest, France base on May 25, 1942 under the command of Kptlt. Joachim Deecke. The destination was a beach near Jacksonville, Florida. Dasch and his team left Brest, France aboard U-202 (Kptlt. Hans-Heinz Lindner) the next day with the destination of south shore of Long Island, near East Hampton.

Both teams were to bury their munitions crates on the beach where they could be obtained later and then head inland and set up false identities. They planned to get together in Cincinnati on July 4.

Each group was supplied with $50,000 to pay for living expenses, travel and the expected bribes. The men themselves were then given $9,000 (5,000 of which was kept by the team leader). This was all real US money and not SS forgeries as in some other cases in the war. Both teams were given a handkerchief that carried the names of contacts and mail drops in America written in invisible ink.

Each team was supplied with 4 waterproof crates, roughly twice as big as a shoe box each. Three of them were filled wit explosives while the fourth contained the fuses, wires and acid.

As planned by Abwehr these were only the first 2 teams of many being sent to America, when fully operational Kappe would join his men and lead their activities.

Dasch's teams was the first to land in America when U-202, after 15 days at sea, submerged during day and racing on the surface at night, made landfall at 11 PM on June 12. Dasch and his men were dressed as German marines to avoid being shot if caught during landing. Two armed sailors from the boat brought the men to shore in a dinghy.

While the group was burying their equipment and uniforms Dasch went over the next small sand dune to scout out the area. Suddenly he noticed a young Coast Guardsman walking directly to their area. To keep the man from seeing the half-buried boxes on the beach Dasch walked towards him and claimed they were stranded sailors. When he refused the offer to rest in the nearest Coast Guard station, only half a mile away, the young Coast Guardsman became suspicious.

Dasch knew their cover was blown and he asked the young man about his family status and then offered him a bribe, then increased the amount after the man had rejected the first offer.

However the young Coast Guardsman did not stay quiet as planned but told his supervisors immediately, turned in the money, and brought some of his mates back to the beach where they spotted the U-202 departing from the beach in the fog. By early morning the Coast Guard had all the boxes dug up from the beach, being in possession of everything the Germans had brought except their clothes and money, and the FBI had been notified.

The FBI imposed a news blackout and launched the largest manhunt in its history, they had nothing to work with though and the team slipped through their nets into New York City.

After buying clothes and splitting into two pairs, Dasch and Burger began to talk about the operation and the situation back in Germany they realized their plans were the same to betray the operation to the Americans.

The reason for this decision is not quite clear, Dasch probably believed their cover had already been blown by the Coast Guardsman and it would be best to play along to avoid execution. Both men insisted on being anti-Nazis after their capture. Dasch at least could have been telling the truth when he stated that he had planned to scuttle the mission from the very moment he was recruited. Burger probably figured out that once Dasch had voiced his intentions that it would be best for him to play along or to kill Dasch. Burger was not a killer and he agreed to Dasch's plan.

On June 15 Dasch and Burger made up their plans for their surrender. Dasch would go to Washington D.C. and turn himself in while Burger would keep Heinck and Quirin at bay.

One thing that worried Dasch was that while in the Abwehr school Kappe had claimed that the FBI had been penetrated by the Gestapo. He called the FBI in New York City and left a message that he would have information for Hoover in 2 days. He then left for Washington.

That same day the second team, led by Edward Kerling landed uneventfully on Ponte Verda Beach 25 miles south-east of Jacksonville, Florida. They buried their equipment and then boarded their trains, Kerling and Thiel to Cincinnati and Haupt and Neubauer for Chicago.

George Dasch turned himself in after arriving in Washington and, after being sent from office to office, he finally found a man, Agent Ladd, who bought the story, albeit after Dasch had dropped $84,000 on his desk. He was not treated as the hero he probably believed he would be but was put through a 13-hour interrogation and debriefing. He revealed where the other members were staying and they were promptly picked up.

The capture of the second team was a bit more difficult since Dasch only knew that the teams were to meet in Cincinnati on July 4. He did have the handkerchief listing the German contacts in America that he gave to the FBI.

One by one the men were picked up, Hermann Neubauer being the last one from the second team to be arrested.

When all the 7 men had been arrested the FBI officially arrested Dasch. To his disappointment they treated him just a guilty as the others. He wished to be kept in the same quarters as the others so they would not know he turned them in.

Roosevelt ordered that a military tribunal would trial the case, the first time such a tribunal had been set up since the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

The trial last most of July and the prosecution asked for the death penalty, the standard punishment for espionage during wartime. Due to the co-operation of Dasch and Burger it was difficult to sentence them to death. Burger was give life of hard labour while Dasch was sentenced to 30 years in prison. The other 6 members of the teams were electrocuted at the Distinct Jail in Washington D.C. on 8 August, 1942.

The FBI, fearing more such landings, took appropriate precautions and put out an alert for Walter Kappe and other known men from the Abwehr sabotage school.

Dasch and Burger were deported to Germany in 1948 after almost 6 years in prison. Dasch was vilified in Germany as Burger blamed him for the death of their 6 partners. Dasch published a book in his defence in 1959 and then disappeared from public life.

Five Minutes that Changed History: The Battle of Midway 1022-1027 hours June 4th 1942

Instruments of Death SBD Dauntless Dive Bombers at Midway

Six months after Pearl Harbor the United States Navy met the Imperial Japanese Navy in battle on the seas and in the airspace around Midway Island. It was a battle between a fleet that had known nothing but victory in the months after Pearl Harbor, sweeping across the Pacific and the Indian Oceans and decimating Allied Naval forces that stood in their way, the HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse off of Singapore, a force of Royal Navy cruisers and the Aircraft Carrier HMS Hermes in the Indian Ocean, the bulk of the US Asiatic Fleet in the waters around the Philippines and the Dutch East Indies culminating in the Battle of the Java Sea where the bulk of the American, British, Dutch and Australian naval forces engaged were annihilated. In only one place had a Japanese Naval task force been prevented from its goal and that was at the Battle of the Coral Sea where Task Force 11 and Task Force 17 centered on the Carriers USS Lexington and USS Yorktown prevented a Japanese invasion force from taking Port Moresby sinking the light carrier Shoho, damaging the modern carrier Shokaku and decimating the air groups of the Japanese task force.

In May US Navy code breakers discovered the next move of the Imperial Navy an attack on Midway Island and the Aleutian islands. Since the occupation of Midway by Japanese forces would give them an operational base less than 1000 miles from Pearl Harbor Admiral Chester Nimitz committed the bulk of his naval power, the carriers USS Enterprise CV-6, USS Yorktown CV-5 and USS Hornet CV-8 and their 8 escorting cruisers and 15 destroyers, a total of 26 ships with 233 aircraft embarked to defend Midway along with a force of 5 cruisers and 4 destroyers to cover the Aleutians. Midway had a mixed Marine, Navy and Army air group of 115 aircraft which included many obsolete aircraft, 32 PBY Catalina Flying Boats, of which the 83 fighters, dive bombers, torpedo planes and Army Air Force bombers piloted by a host of inexperienced pilots.

The Japanese Flagship Akagi

The Japanese sent a force of 7 battleships, 7 carriers including the elite First Carrier Striking Group composed of the Pearl Harbor attackers Akagi, Kaga, Soryu and Hiryu and their highly trained and combat experienced air groups composed of 273 aircraft along with 14 cruisers and 39 destroyers assigned to take Midway and destroy the US Navy when it came out to fight as well as a force of 4 battleships, 12 destroyers assigned screen to the Aleutian invasion force which was accompanied by 2 carriers 6 cruisers and 10 destroyers. The other carriers embarked a further 114 aircraft. A factor which aided the Americans was the distance between the Japanese Task forces which were scattered over thousands of square miles of the Northern Pacific Ocean from which they could not rapidly come to the assistance of any other group.

With the foreknowledge provided by the code breakers the US forces hurried to an intercept position northeast of Midway eluding the Japanese submarine scout line which the Japanese Commander Admiral Yamamoto presumed would find them when they sailed to respond to the Japanese attack on Midway. Task Force 16 with the Enterprise and Hornet sailed first under the command of Rear Admiral Raymond A Spruance and Task Force 17 under Rear Admiral Frank “Jack” Fletcher with the Yorktown which had been miraculously brought into fighting condition after suffering heavy damage at Coral Sea. Fletcher assumed overall command by virtue of seniority and Admiral Nimitz instructed his commanders to apply the principle of calculated risk when engaging the Japanese as the loss of the US carriers would place the entire Pacific at the mercy of the Japanese Navy.

On June 3 rd a PBY Catalina discovered the Japanese invasion force and US long range bombers launched attacks against it causing no damage. The morning of the 4 th the Americans adjusted their search patterns in and the Japanese came into range of Midway and commenced their first strike against the island. In response land based aircraft from Midway attacked the Japanese carrier force taking heavy casualties and failing to damage the Japanese task force. The American Carrier task forces launched their strike groups at the Japanese fleet leaving enough aircraft behind of the Combat Air Patrol and Anti-submarine patrol. As the Americans winged toward the Japanese fleet the Japanese were in confused. A scouting report by an aircraft that had been delayed at launch discovered US ships but did not identify a carrier until later into the patrol. This was the Yorktown and TF 17. The Japanese attempted to recover their strike aircraft and prepare for a second strike on the island and then on discovery of the carrier embarked on the task of unloading ground attack ordnance in favor of aerial torpedoes and armor piercing bombs. The hard working Japanese aircrew did not have time to stow the ordnance removed from the aircraft but by 1020 they had the Japanese strike group ready to launch against the US carriers.

AM6-2 Zeros Mauled the US Torpedo Bombers

As the Japanese crews worked the Japanese carriers were engaged in fending off attacks by the US torpedo bomber squadrons, VT-6 from Enterprise, VT-8 from Hornet and VT-3 from Yorktown. The Japanese Combat Air Patrol ripped into the slow, cumbersome and under armed TBD Devastators as they came in low to launch their torpedoes. Torpedo Eight from Hornet under the command of LCDR John C Waldron pressed the attack hard but all 15 of the Devastators were shot down. Only Ensign George Gay’s aircraft was able to launch its torpedo before being shot down and Gay would be the sole survivor of the squadron.

Hopelessly obsolete 40 of 44 TBD Devastators were lost in action

Torpedo 6 under the command of LCDR Eugene Lindsey suffered heavy casualties losing 10 of 14 aircraft with Lindsey being one of the casualties. The last group of Devastators to attack was Torpedo 3 under the command of LCDR Lem Massey from the Yorktown. These aircraft were also decimated and Massey killed but they had drawn the Japanese Combat Air Patrol down to the deck leaving the task force exposed to the Dive Bombers of the Enterprise and Yorktown.

TBD Devastator attacking Akagi

There had been confusion among the Americans as to the exact location of the Japanese Carriers, the Bombing 8 and Scouting 8 of Hornet did not find the carriers and had to return for lack of fuel with a number of bombers and their fighter escort having to ditch inn the ocean and wait for rescue. The Enterprise group under LCDR Wade McClusky was perilously low on fuel when the wake of a Japanese destroyer was spotted. McClusky followed it to the Japanese Task Force. The Yorktown’s group under LCDR Max Leslie arrived about the same time. The found the skies empty of Japanese aircraft. Aboard the Japanese ships there was a sense of exhilaration as each succeeding group of attackers was brought down and with their own aircraft ready to launch and deal a fatal blow to the American carrier wondered how big their victory would be.

At 1020 the first Zero of the Japanese attack group began rolling down the flight deck of the flagship Akagi, aboard Kaga aircraft were warming up as they were on the Soryu. The unsuspecting Japanese were finally alerted when lookouts screamed “helldivers.” Wade McClusky’s aircraft lined up over the Akagi and Kaga pushing into their dives at 1022. There was a bit of confusion when the bulk of Scouting 6 joined the attack of Bombing 6 on the Kaga. The unprepared carrier was struck by four 1000 pound bombs which exploded on her flight deck and hangar deck igniting the fully fueled and armed aircraft of her strike group and the ordnance littered about the hangar deck. Massive fires and explosions wracked the ship and in minutes the proud ship was reduced to an infernal hell with fires burning uncontrollably. She was abandoned and would sink at 1925 taking 800 of her crew with her. LT Dick Best of Scouting 6 peeled off from the attack on Kaga and shifted to the Japanese flagship Akagi. On board Akagi were two of Japans legendary pilots CDR Mitsuo Fuchida leader of and CDR Minoru Genda the architect of the Pearl Harbor attack and subsequent string of Japanese victories. Both officers were on the sick list and had come up from sick bay to watch as the fleet was attacked. Seeing Kaga burst into flames they stood mesmerized until Akagi’s lookouts screamed out the warning “helldivers” at 1026. Best’s aircraft hit with deadly precision landing tow of their bombs on Akagi’s flight deck creating havoc among the loaded aircraft and starting fires and igniting secondary explosions which turned the ship into a witch’s cauldron. By 1046 Admiral Nagumo and his staff were forced to transfer the flag to the cruiser Nagara as Akagi’s crew tried to bring the flames under control. They would do so into the night until nothing more could be done and abandoned ship at 2000. Admiral Yamamoto ordered her scuttled and at 0500 on June 5 th the pride of the Japanese carrier force was scuttled.

Scouting 6 gets the Akagi

VB-3 under LCDR Max Leslie from the Yorktown stuck the Soryu with 17 aircraft, only 13 of which had bombs due to an electronic arming device malfunction on 4 of the aircraft including the squadron leader Leslie. Despite this they dove on the Soryu at 1025 hitting that ship with 3 and maybe as many as 5 bombs. Soryu like her companions burst into flames as the ready aircraft and ordnance exploded about her deck. She was ordered abandoned at 1055 and would sink at 1915 taking 718 of her crew with her.

The remaining Japanese flattop the Hiryu attained the same fate later in the day after engaging in an epic duel with the Yorktown which her aircraft heavily damaged.

It was quite miraculous what happened at Midway in those five pivotal minutes. Authors have entitled books about Midway Incredible Victory and Miracle at Midway and the titles reflect the essence of the battle. A distinctly smaller force defeated a vastly superior fleet in terms of experience, training and equipment and when it appeared that the Japanese Fleet would advance to victory in a span of less than 5 minutes turn what looked like certain defeat into one of the most incredible and even miraculous victories in the history of Naval warfare. In those 5 minutes history was changed in a breathtaking way. While the war would drag on and the Japanese still inflict painful losses and defeats on the US Navy in the waters around Guadalcanal the tide had turned and the Japanese lost the initiative in the Pacific never to regain it. The Japanese government hid the defeat from the Japanese people instead proclaiming a great victory while the American government could not fully publicize the information that led to the ability of the US Navy to be at the right place at the right time and defeat the Imperial Navy.

When one looks at implications of the victory it did a number of things. First it changed the course of the war in the Pacific probably shortening it by a great deal. Secondly it established the aircraft carrier and the fast carrier task force as the dominant force in naval warfare which some would argue it still remains. Finally those five minutes ushered in an era of US Navy dominance of the high seas which at least as of yet has not ended as the successors to the Enterprise, Hornet and Yorktown ply the oceans of the world and the descendants of those valiant carrier air groups ensure air superiority over battlefields around the world.

Flying into a Beehive: Fighting Three at Midway

Before leaving Pearl Harbor, I was given very brief indications that we expected an attack and there was obviously a big battle coming up in the middle of the Pacific. That’s about all I was told before I landed aboard the Yorktown (CV-5) on May 30. That night, the air group met in the wardroom where Commander Murr Arnold, the air officer, gave us a complete briefing on everything they knew about the opposing Japanese forces and their probable intentions. So we had a day or so to think before we arrived in position. After this briefing, it was obvious a very serious and crucial engagement was coming up. If we could win this one, we might be able to stop the Japanese advance.

Lieutenant Commander Maxwell Leslie, commanding officer of the Yorktown’s dive-bomber squadron who was going to lead VB-3 and part of VS-5, and Lieutenant Commander Lance “Lem” Massey, commanding officer of Torpedo Squadron (VT) –3, suggested that we have a conference. I’d talked a bit to Lem before that and told him I thought the fighter escort should go with him instead of with the dive bombers. He said, “I think you ought to get up with the dive bombers because that’s where the Zeros are going to be. That’s where they were in the Coral Sea battle.” We knew we weren’t going to have enough fighters to send with each.

I had a plan to take eight planes because I wanted two divisions—that was the basic tactical breakdown we developed—and I couldn’t believe that anybody would try to break this up. If you’re going to send any number of airplanes, it’s got to be divisible by four, otherwise you’ve left two planes without wingmen.

Max Leslie said he thought that I should go with the torpedo planes. I said, “How about letting me decide?” because they were playing Alphonse and Gaston, trying to give the fighters to the other squadron. 1 I decided that, since in the Coral Sea battle the torpedo planes had gotten in pretty much unopposed and done the work in sinking these ships, the Japanese would be more concerned about them. They were going to be very concerned about a torpedo attack, and they’re going to try to knock it out. So we all agreed that I would go with VT-3.

The torpedo planes were old fire traps that were so slow—those old TBDs would go about 80 knots, with the nose down maybe 110—awkward and had no self-sealing tanks. They needed protection more than anyone else, so that governed our decision.

I don’t know how many people slept very well the night of the 3rd of June.

I was very concerned about whether the torpedo planes could get in or not, and I knew that if the Japanese were together in one formation and had a fighter combat air patrol from all the carriers, we would very likely be outnumbered. We were also quite concerned that the Zero could outperform us in every way. We felt we had one advantage in that we could shoot better and had better guns. But if you don’t get a chance to shoot, better guns matter little. I was thinking about all this and which pilots I would take with me. I didn’t sleep much that night, but we were all pretty optimistic because we felt that we were going to get tactical surprise. We didn’t think the Japanese knew that we were anywhere near there, and this was a great morale builder, when you think you’re going to have one of the basic principles of warfare—surprise—on your side.

I was a little appalled that we were in two separate task forces, with the Yorktown the only carrier in one of them. Captain Elliott Buckmaster, commanding the Yorktown, or Rear Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher, tactical commander of all the carriers and commander of Task Force 17, I guess, made the decision the next morning before we launched that we would have only six fighters go. I didn’t have time to work my way up to talk to either one about it, but I did go to Murr Arnold. I said I was appalled that the Yorkton was separated from the Enterprise (CV-6) and Hornet
(CV-8), but wasn’t too worried because I thought they would stick close together, enough for mutual defensive support. He said, “And, another thing, you’d better bring your planes back because I think we’re in for one hell of a fight.”

I held a last-minute briefing and emphasized that I wanted the formation to stick together, that nobody was going to be a lone wolf, because lone wolves don’t live very long under the circumstances we were going into, and that was the best way to survive and protect the torpedo planes.

I had to quickly revise the formation that we were going to fly over the torpedo planes because six isn’t divisible by four. I had Ensign Robert A. M. “Ram” Dibb as my wingman with Lieutenant (junior grade) Brainard Macomber, of VF-42, as my other section leader, and his wingman was Ensign Edgar Bassett, also of VF-42. That left two, Machinist Tom Cheek and Ensign Daniel Sheedy. 2 So I decided that we would put them just astern of the 12 torpedo planes, down at a slightly lower altitude than I would fly, 1,000 or 1,500 feet above the torpedo plane formation, which would be a formation in the shape of a triangle, a sort of a V of Vs. That’s the way they would fly up to the target until they had to split and spread out to make the torpedo attack.

We had to do S turns, to slow down so we wouldn’t run away from the TBDs because they were so slow, and we didn’t want to be stalling along with no ability to maneuver in case something hit us before we anticipated it. We were flying our standard combat formation that I’d developed, with a section leader and only one wingman, in a combat division of four planes, two two-plane sections. I was leading. Ram Dibb was right in under my wing, and Macomber had Bassett on his wing.

I’d made that standard before the war. I recommended, after I’d developed this weave business, that all the squadrons accept this as a standard fighting formation. I got a message back from commander, Aircraft, Battle Force, that since the two-plane section was such a radical change he wouldn’t force all the squadrons to do it, but that I had authority to do it in my squadron. Actually, by this time the idea was catching on anyway. VF-2 was doing it, and so were some of the others. They’d thrown away the third plane and were flying two-plane sections, but they had not adopted the weaving tactics.

The Hornet was rather new in the Pacific, and I hadn’t seen her pilots, but I tried to circulate this around. Lieutenant Commander James Flatley, executive officer of the Yorktown’s VF-42 at the Battle of the Coral Sea, and I had discussed it—sometimes late into the night—and he helped me for a while. He said: “I think the four-plane division is good, but I think we shouldn’t all try the same thing. Why don’t I try six planes in a formation, and you try four, and we’ll see which one makes out the best.” Later he sent two messages, a personal one to me saying the four-plane division is the only thing that will work, and “I am calling it the Thach Weave, for your information.” Six planes don’t work. The two extra ones get lost. He sent an official message describing this and saying that they were convinced that it was the only way for our fighters to fight, especially against superior enemy fighters.

We took off later than the planes from the Enterprise and Hornet. They started a little after 0700 and we didn’t begin launching until around 0840. By 0900 I was in the air. It was a beautiful day. There were little puffy clouds up around 1,000 feet to 1,500 feet that sometimes would get a little thicker and other times they’d open up and be very scattered. It was that way all the way into the enemy formation.

A strange thing happened on the way. We were flying along and, all of a sudden, ahead of us and a bit to the side, two big explosions threw water way up high. There didn’t seem to be anybody around, but I wondered if someone hadn’t inadvertently dropped a couple of bombs. That’s exactly the way it turned out. In arming the bombs—the arming device worked in a way that also released the bomb. Max Leslie and three others in his squadron lost theirs.

So we went in. All of us were, of course, highly excited and admittedly nervous. I think most other people did pretty much what I did—kept going over my check-off list, and as soon as we had gotten in the air I had each section test their guns so they’d be ready, and all the switches on and not on safety, and in we went.

Lem Massey made a small change of course to the right. We took off on a heading of about southwest, and I wondered why he did that. Looking ahead, I could see ships through the breaks in the clouds, and I figured that was it. We had just begun to approach about ten miles from the outer screen of this large force, looked like it was spread over the ocean, and several colored antiaircraft bursts appeared out in our direction, one red and another orange, and then no more. I wondered why they’d be shooting at us because we weren’t even nearly in range. We’d been sighted from the surface screen and they were alerting the combat air patrol. A very short time after, before we got near antiaircraft range, Zero fighters came down on us. I tried to count them. We’d always been trained to count things at a glance, and I figured there were 20.

The first thing that happened was that Bassett’s plane was burning. He pulled out, and I didn’t see him any more. He was shot down right away I didn’t see the Zero that got him. I was surprised that they put so many Zeros on my six fighters. I had expected they would go for the torpedo planes first. They must have known we didn’t have the quick acceleration to catch them the way they were coming in at high speed in rapid succession and zipping on away. But then I saw they had a second large group that was now streaming in right past us and into the poor torpedo planes.

Macomber’s position was too close to me to permit an effective weave, and I was not getting very good shots at the Zeros. I called him on the radio and said: “Open out more. About double your present distance and weave.” No acknowledgment. His radio must have been dead. (He has since stated it was). How ironic this situation had become! I had spent almost a year developing what I was convinced was the only way to survive against the Zero, and now we couldn’t seem to do it. I kept wondering why Macomber was so close instead of being out in a position to weave. Of course, he had never practiced the weave. He was one of the VF-42 pilots during the Coral Sea battle and had tangled with some Zeros then. But he had reported to VF-3 just before we flew out to land aboard the Yorktown enroute to Midway.

I had assumed that my exec, Lieutenant Commander Donald Lovelace, had briefed them or required them to read the Squadron Tactical Doctrine. I suddenly realized Don didn’t have much time to brief anyone before he had his head chopped off. 3 I had tried so hard to wipe that ghastly accident out of my mind that I forgot Don was no longer with us. Then I remembered telling my flight during the last-minute briefing to stick together. Macomber must have thought I meant for him to fly a closed-up formation. What I actually meant was I wanted no lone-wolf tactics.

Too late to correct that misunderstanding now. I couldn’t see Cheek and Sheedy so I called Ram Dibb, my wingman, and said, “Pretend you are a section leader and move out far enough to weave.” He said, “This is Scarlet Two, wilco.” His voice sounded like he was elated to get this “promotion” right in the middle of a battle.

Several Zeros came in on a head-on attack on the torpedo planes and burned Lem Massey’s plane right away. It just exploded in flames. And, beautifully timed, another group came in on the side against the torpedo planes. The air was like a beehive, and I wasn’t sure at that moment that anything would work. It didn’t look like my weave was working, but then it began to work. I got a good shot at two of them and burned them, and one of them had made a pass at my wingman, pulled out to the right, and then came back. We were weaving continuously, and I got a head-on shot at him, and just about the time I saw this guy coming, Ram said, “There’s a Zero on my tail.” The Zero wasn’t directly astern, more like 45 degrees, beginning to follow him around, which gave me the head-on approach.

I probably should have decided to duck under this Zero, but I lost my temper. He just missed me by a few feet with flames coming out of the bottom of his airplane. This is like playing chicken with two automobiles on the highway except we were both shooting as well. That was a little foolhardy. I didn’t try it any more.

They kept coming in and, by this time, we were over the screen, and more torpedo planes were falling, but so were some Zeros. At least we’re keeping a lot of them engaged. We could see the carriers. They were steaming at very high speed and launching airplanes. The torpedo planes had to split in order to make an effective attack. We thought we were doing pretty well until they split. Then, of course, they were extremely vulnerable, all alone with no mutual protection. The Zeros were coming in on us, one after the other, and sometimes simultaneously from above and to the side. We couldn’t stay with the torpedo planes, except for one or two that happened to be under us.

I kept counting the number of airplanes that I knew I’d gotten in flames going down. You couldn’t bother to wait for them to splash, but you could tell if they were flaming real good and you saw something besides smoke. If it was real red flames, you knew he’d had it. I had this little knee pad and would mark down every time I shot one that I knew was gone. This was sort of foolish. Why was I marking my pad when it wasn’t coming back? I was utterly convinced then that we weren’t coming back. There were still so many Zeros, and they’d already gotten one of our fighters, and looking around, I couldn’t see Cheek or Sheedy anymore, so there were just two others that I could see of my own Macomber over on my left and Ram Dibb, and me.

Pure logic would convince anyone that with their superior performance and the number of Zeros they were throwing into the fight, we could not possibly survive. “Well,” I said, talking to myself, “we’re going to take a lot of them with us if they’re going to get us all.” We kept on working this weave, and it seemed to work better and better. How much time this took, I don’t know, but ever since then I haven’t the slightest idea how many Zeros I shot down. I just can’t remember, and I don’t suppose it makes too much difference. It only shows that I was absolutely convinced that nobody could get out of there, that we weren’t coming back, and neither were any of the torpedo planes.

Then it seemed that the attacks began to slack off a little bit. I called and said: “Hell, they don’t like it as well as they used to. Stick together and we’ll get home yet.” The torpedo planes went on in. I saw three or four of them that got in and made an attack. I believe that at least one torpedo hit was made. All the records, and the Japanese, and Sam Morison’s book said that no torpedoes hit. 4 I’m not sure that the people on board a ship that is hit repeatedly really know whether they got hit by a torpedo or a bomb. I was aboard the Saratoga (CV-3) when she was torpedoed and the Yorktown when she was bombed and I couldn’t tell the difference. I think I saw at least one hit, but it occurred either during or very shortly before the dive bombers came in.

Being pretty busy, I couldn’t more than every now and then get a glance. Then I saw this glint in the sun—it looked like a beautiful silver waterfall—these were the dive bombers coming down. I could see them very well, because that’s the direction the Zeros were, too. They were above me but closer, not anywhere near the altitude of the dive bombers.

I’d never seen such superb dive bombing. It looked to me like almost every bomb hit. Of course, there were some very near misses. There weren’t any wild ones. Explosions were occurring in the carriers, and about that time the Zeros slacked off. We brought out two torpedo planes and then went back and picked up another one we saw, stay right with him and over him, hoping that the Zeros wouldn’t have him all to themselves. Of course, the TBDs may have been badly hit and some of them were in the water and we didn’t see them after the torpedo attack. I know more than two attacked. We had come in a little earlier than the dive bombers by a matter of just minutes, and drew most, if not all, of the enemy combat air patrol. They were ready and waiting for us as we came in a full 30 minutes after the VT-8 and VT-6 attacks.

I could only see three carriers. I never did see a fourth one. One of them, probably either the Soryu or the Kaga, was burning with bright pink and sometimes blue flames. I remember looking at the height of the flames noticing that it was about the height that the ship was long—the length of the ship—just solid flame going up and a lot of smoke on top of that. I saw three carriers burning pretty furiously before I left, picked up one torpedo plane, and flew on back toward the Yorktown with it. I was over the Japanese fleet a full 20 minutes.

Was the decision to cover the torpedo planes the right one? Oh, yes. These torpedo pilots were all my very close friends, Lem Massey especially, and he was lost. I felt pretty bad about that, just sort of hopeless. I felt we hadn’t done enough, that if they didn’t get any hits this whole business of torpedo planes going in at all was a mistake. But, of course, you couldn’t fail to send them, and in thinking about it since then I realize that this classic, coordinated attack that we practiced for many years, with the torpedo planes going in low and the dive bombers coming in high, pretty much simultaneously, that’s what we tried to do, although it’s usually better if the dive bombers hit first, then the torpedo planes can get in better among the confusion of bombs bursting.

I realized that here was the reverse of the Coral Sea battle, that these people hadn’t given their lives in vain, they’d done a magnificent job of attracting all the enemy combat air patrol, all the protection that the Japanese carriers had were engaged and were held down. So we did do something, and maybe far more than we thought at the time. We engaged the enemy that might have gotten into the dive bombers and prevented them from getting many hits.

The six Yorktown Wildcats were the only fighters that got any combat over the Japanese fleet—no other fighters. And VF-3 was the only fighter squadron in the Battle of Midway that had any significant aerial combat later in defense of our carriers.

Working the Weave

Perhaps the best-known aerial dogfighting tactic to emerge from World War II was the “Thach Weave.” Developed by Lieutenant John S. “Jimmie” Thach, the maneuver helped Grumman F4F Wildcat pilots survive against much faster, quicker climbing, and tighter turning Mitsubishi A6M Zeros in the early days of the war. First put into practice during the Battle of Midway, the weave was born not of battle, but of an anonymous report. As Thach recalled:

I developed the “weave” before the war, in the summer of 1941 on my kitchen table in Coronado. I’ve read that I studied the combat reports of the Coral Sea battle and figured it out just before the Battle of Midway. This is not true at all. We’d been practicing it for a long time.

In the spring 1941 we received an intelligence report of great significance out of China. It described a new Japanese aircraft, a fighter, that had performance that was far superior to anything we had. It had more than 5,000-feet-per-minute climb, very high speed, and could turn inside of any other aircraft. I felt we should give the report some credence because whoever wrote it talked like a fighter pilot, like he knew what he was talking about.

If you have somebody who’s faster than you are, you have to trap him somehow so that he can’t use his superiority, whatever it is. I believed we had one advantage: We had good guns, and could shoot and hit. We must do something to entice the opponent into giving us that one all-important opportunity. It was the only chance we had. So every night I worked on this problem. I used a box of kitchen matches on the table and let each represent an airplane. I would work on this every night until about midnight.

For years the formation we flew with, three-plane sections, a leader and two wingmen, irked me. If you’re going to fight and do radical turns, this was an unwieldy formation. It was obvious that if we were going to be able to do something sudden to fool an enemy, we ought to throw away one of those planes and just have a two-plane section, which is what I did. At that time, everybody was flying three-plane sections, both in our country and Europe.

Thach envisioned the basic combat unit as a four-plane division consisting of two two-plane sections. The right pair would watch the tails of the left section and vice versa. With the two sections split wide apart, an enemy plane would have to choose one over the other. If the right section saw its fellows about to be attacked, it would break into a 90º turn toward the left section. That section, always watching to the right, would see the break and instinctively know they were under attack and immediately break to the right. The enemy would follow the left section, but be subject to a head-on attack by the right section.

So, the weave looked like it was, maybe, the only thing to do. I was very excited about this discovery and presented it to the squadron. To simulate the Zero’s superiority I told Butch O’Hare, one of the squadron’s top pilots, to take four aircraft and use full power, and I would take four and never advance the throttle more than half way. That gave him at least superior performance. Maybe double, maybe not. I told Butch, “You attack from any direction you want.”

He made all sorts of attacks, quite a few from overhead and coming down, this way and that.

After we landed he said: “Skipper, it really worked. It really works. I couldn’t make any attack without seeing the nose of one of your half-throttle airplanes pointed at me. So at least you’re getting a shot, even though I might also have got a shot, at least it isn’t one sided. Most of the time that sudden turn, although I knew what you were going to do, it always caught me a little bit by surprise. When I was committed and about to squeeze the trigger, here he went and turned and I didn’t think he saw me.”

Of course, he didn’t. That’s the beauty of this, and you didn’t need a radio. So we felt a little better about the situation. Now we had something to work on, to keep us from being demoralized.

Watch the video: DIE DEUTSCHE WOCHENSCHAU, NO. 699, 1944 (January 2022).