On this day in history, June 7, 1942, the Battle of Midway — regarded as one of the most decisive U.S. victories in its war against Japan — came to an end.
The Battle of Midway was an Allied naval victory and a major turning point in World War II.
The battle was fought between Japanese and American carrier forces near the Midway Atoll, a territory of the United States in the central Pacific, from June 4-7, 1942.
On June 4, 1942, the Battle of Midway began.
In this June 4, 1942, file photo provided by the U.S. Navy, the USS Astoria (CA-34) steams by USS Yorktown (CV-5), shortly after the carrier had been hit by three Japanese bombs in the Battle of Midway. (William G. Roy/U.S. Navy via AP, File)
In the 1930s, Midway became a stopover for Pan American Airways’ “flying clippers” — seaplanes crossing the ocean on their five-day transpacific passage, the same source indicates.
Midway was an incredibly strategic location, multiple sources say.
“The Imperial Japanese Navy planned to use it to secure their sphere of influence in the Pacific theater of the war,” according to National Geographic.
Pearl Harbor is about 1,300 miles east of Midway, says the same source.
The American success at Midway was a major victory over the Imperial Japanese Navy as all four Japanese carriers — Akagi, Hiryu, Kaga and Soryu — had participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor, says the National WWII Museum.
The Battle of Midway is often referred to as the turning point of the war in the Pacific.
The Imperial Japanese Navy would not be capable of overcoming the loss of four carriers and over 100 trained pilots — and with the loss at Midway, the Japanese offensive in the Pacific was overturned and the United States began offensive action in the Pacific, says the National WWII Museum.
The Battle of Midway is widely considered the most decisive U.S. victory of that period.