Navy Region Singapore (NRS) First Class Petty Officer Association hosted a presentation to recognize the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway, June 6th at Café Lah. The event was open to all members of the NRS community to honor those who served in the battle and lost their lives in service of their country.
To start the presentation, Capt. Jeffrey Hutchinson, Commanding Officer of Navy Region Singapore, spoke of the significance of the battle and its continued legacy in the United States Navy.
“I’ve been on aircraft carriers for most of my career, so the thought of this major battle really stops and makes me think,” said Hutchinson. “To think what the Sailors on these ships went through for days on end, it’s truly remarkable.” Legalman 1st Class Rebecca Duclayan, attached to Commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific, conducted the presentation, educating attendees about the nature of the political world at the time of the battle as well as some of the after affects the battle had on the war and the world.
“It’s an honor to be able to talk about the Battle of Midway on the anniversary to fellow community members,” said Duclayan. “It’s an important part of our Navy’s history and by revisiting it each year, we honor the fallen and reaffirm it as a part of who we are and how far we’ve come.”
The battle is considered the turning point of the war in the Pacific. It began June 4, 1942, with the Imperial Japanese Navy's foiled attempt to ambush the U.S. Navy just off the coast of Midway. Adm. Chester Nimitz led the U.S. fleet to victory six months after the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor, inflicting overwhelming damage to the Japanese fleet. As dawn rolled in on June 4, two U.S. attack fleets caught the Japanese forces completely off guard with air support from both Midway and carrier-based planes. When the bombers got to the Japanese, they were completely vulnerable, as their carriers were caught refueling and rearming their planes. By the end of the battle, Japan had lost four carriers, one cruiser, 292 aircraft and an estimated 2,500 casualties. While smaller in numbers, the U.S. forces still suffered the loss of approximately 300 service members as well as the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (CV 10) and the destroyer USS Hammann (DD 412).
The U.S. victory became an important turning point in the war as it allowed the United States and its allies to move into an offensive position. Japan's mass casualties placed their fleet at approximate parity with the U.S. fleet. The battle is referred to the turning point in the Pacific theater of World War II. Pictures of the bombed ships and launching aircraft were presented at the event to show the devastating results of the battle. Yeoman Second Class Adrian Diaz, attached to Military Sealift Command Far East, described the presentation as educational and inspiring. “I learn something new every time I research the Battle of Midway,” said Diaz. “I feel incredibly proud to be part of the legacy of this major event. It’s amazing that even after 75 years this event can still create such patriotism in people.” For more information on the Battle of Midway, visit the official U.S. Navy website at https://www.navy.com/battle-of-midway