Photography by Ian L. Sitren

05:34 Japanese Ships Detected

I am also the Social Media Manager for the Palm Springs Air Museum. And it is with great pride that I have the opportunity to share not only my own photographs and video created for the Air Museum, but also stories like this from very important times in history…

05:34 Japanese ships detected by a United States Navy Catalina PBY from Midway Island June 4, 1942, 76 years ago. And so began the most decisive naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II. You will soon be able to join with us in our ongoing restoration to flying of our own PBY Catalina. But for now…

The Battle Of Midway described by our Palm Springs Air Museum friend, Emmy Award Winner, Brooks Wachtel, co-creator of the iconic History Channel series “DogFights”…

The Battle of Midway began. It was the first major victory for America over Japan during World War II. The battle ended on June 6 and blunted Japanese expansion in the Pacific. The Japanese navy never recovered from the loss of 4 fleet carriers and their highly trained aviators. Walter Lord called it, “the incredible victory.”

For the Japanese, losing the carriers and their irreplaceable pilots and aircrews was symbolic of the insurmountable problem that would doom them to defeat. The Japanese economy was less than 4% of the world’s industrial output while the United States was near 30%. It was estimated that the United States had 10 times the war making potential of Japan.

A war of attrition would be fatal to Japan.

Their only hope was a quick victory. Admiral Yamamoto, who had been to America, told his superiors that the Japanese Navy could run riot for six months and then he could promise nothing. Midway was six months to the day after Pearl Harbor.

Before Pearl Harbor the chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Stark – with great prophesy – warned the Japanese Ambassador, “If you attack us we will break your empire before we are through with you. While you may have initial success due to timing and surprise, the time will come when you too will have losses but there will be this great difference. You not only will be unable to make up your losses but you will grow weaker as time goes on; while on the other hand we not only will make up our losses but will grow stronger as time goes on. It’s inevitable that we shall crush you before we are through with you.”

It was a blueprint of what happened in the course of the war.

One response

  1. The last paragraph was a prophetic.

    June 6, 2018 at 5:10 pm

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