|( 0133 )||U.S.S. ENTERPRISE (CV6)|
June 8, 1942
|From:||The Commanding Officer.|
|To:||The Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet|
Commander Task Force Sixteen.
(Rear Admiral R.A. Spruance, U.S. Navy).
|Subject:||Battle of Midway Island, June 4 - 6, 1942 -- Report of.|
|Reference:||(a) Articles 712 and 874, U.S. Navy Regulations, 1920.|
(A) Track Chart.
(B) Photographs of enemy CA, damaged in the action of June 6, 1942.
(C) Executive Officer's Report.
1. On the afternoon and evening of June 3, 1942, the general situation prior to the battle was as follows (times throughout are Zone plus 10): Task Force Seventeen and Task Force Sixteen had previously rendezvoused in the general vicinity of "Point Luck", approximately 350 miles northeast of Midway Island and were operating in that area closing Midway during darkness and opening during the day, remaining east of the longitude of Midway. Both Task Forces had completed fueling to capacity and the oilers despatched to their rendezvous. The Senior Officer Present Afloat and Officer in Tactical Command was in Yorktown. The two task forces were separated but were within visual contact. They were operating independently but generally conforming in their movements. At 2150 course was changed to 210° T. toward a 0630, June 4, rendezvous (31° 30' N; 176° 30' W) designated by Commander Task Force 17. At 1812 a radio message from Flight 312 to Radio Midway was intercepted "2 enemy destroyers 2 cargo vessels course 020 speed 13".
2. At 2000, June 3, 1942, Enterprise, Flagship of Commander Task Force 16 was in position 33° 16' N, 175° 46' W, course 100° T, speed 15 knots and zigzagging according to Plan Number 7. Wind south 9, clouds cumulus 7, visibility 30, sea smooth.
3. The following significant messages were received during the night of June 3 - 4:
At 0447 -- from Flight 44 t Radio Midway "large
enemy forces bearing 261° T, distance 500 course 080 speed
13 x ten ships".
At 0734 -- from Flight 58 to Radio Midway "enemy carriers".
At 0753 -- from Flight 58 to Radio Midway "many planes heading Midway bearing 320 distance 150".
At 0803 -- from Flight 92 to Radio Midway "2 carriers and battleships bearing 320° distance 180 course 135 speed 25".
At 0807 -- from Commander Task Force 17 to Commander Task Force 16 "proceed southwesterly and attack enemy carriers when definitely located".
II. THE ACTION.
Commenced launching attack group of 33 VSB, 14 VT, 10 VF.
15 VSB armed with one 1000 lb. bomb each.
12 VSB armed with one 500 lb. bomb and two 100 lb. bombs each.
6 VSB armed with one 500 lb. bomb each.
14 VTB armed with torpedoes.
|1015||Type 97 enemy twin-float seaplane sighted bearing 180° T., distance 72,000 yards. Combat Patrol failed to find this plane although radar and lookouts confirmed its position.|
|1129-1132||Launched 8 VF for second Combat Patrol|
|1145-1152||Landed first Combat Patrol 8 VF.|
|1202||Commander Enterprise Air Group sighted Japanese Force composed of 4 CV, 2 BB, 4 CA, 6 DD.|
|1220||VT commenced attack; probably one hit on CV.|
|1222||VSB commenced dive bombing attack; two (2) CV badly damaged with many direct bomb hits, left in flames. Position of enemy force, Lat. 30° 05' N, Long. 178° 50' W.|
|1244-1247||Launched 8 VF for third Combat Patrol.|
|1255||Commenced landing VF escort.|
|1316-1329||Landed second Combat Patrol 8 VF.|
|1337-1340||Launched 8 VF, fourth Combat Patrol.|
|1405||20 enemy planes reported bearing 310° coming in. (Attack on Yorktown followed).|
|1410||Completed landing attack group.|
|1433-1435||Launched 8 VF, fifth Combat Patrol.|
|1437-1438||Landed 5-B-3 and 5-B-16 (Yorktown planes). Yorktown pilot reported Yorktown in bad shape. Heavy smoke seen from Yorktown.|
|1442-1448||Landed 5-B-7, 5-B-8, 5-B-9, 5-B-10, 5-B-12, 5-B-14, 5-B-15 (Yorktown planes).|
|1451-1459||Landed 5-F-2, 5-F-3, 5-F-8, 5-F-21, 5-B-4, 5-B-5, 5-B-6, 5-B-11, 5-B-13, 5-B-17 (Yorktown planes).|
|1504-1505||Landed 5-F-10, 5-F-15 (Yorktown planes).|
|1539-1541||Launched 6 VF, sixth Combat Patrol.|
|1547-1559||Landed third and fourth Combat Patrol, 16 VF.|
|1610||VF shot down seaplane tracker 50 miles south of our force.|
|1645||Received message from Yorktown scout, "1 CV, 2 BB, 3 CA, 4 DD, 31° 15' N, 179° 05' W, course 000, speed 15."|
Commenced launching second attack group composed of 24 VSB.
11 VSB armed with one 1000 lb. bomb each.
13 VSB armed with one 500 lb. bomb each.
|1742-1752||Landed fifth and sixth Combat Patrols 10 VF. 6-F-12 Mach. Warden missing and reported to have landed in water out of gas. Also landed 3 VF and 3 VSB from Yorktown. Landed 6-S-16 from Attack Group.|
|1835||Combat Patrol (6-F-1 shot down 4-engine enemy seaplane).|
|1842-1846||Launched 12 VF for ninth Combat Patrol.|
|1850-1852||Landed 5 VF of seventh Combat Patrol. Also landed 1 VF and 4 VSB from Yorktown.|
|1905||Attacked Japanese Force composed of 1 CV, 2 BB, 3 CA, 4 DD, position Lat. 31° - 40' N, Long. 179° - 10' W. Left 1 CV and 1 BB severely damaged and mass of flames.|
|1928-1930||Landed 2 VF of eight Combat Patrol and 1 VF from Yorktown.|
|1958-2005||Launched 20 VF for tenth Combat Patrol.|
|2008-2034||Landed 20 VSB of Attack Group. (3 did not return). Landed 9 VF of ninth Combat Patrol. Landed 2 VF of tenth Combat Patrol.|
|2034||Completed landing attack group.|
|2046-2056||Landed 17 VF of tenth Combat Patrol.|
|2120||Landed 1 VF of tenth Combat Patrol. Last plane landed.|
During the night June 4 - 5 distance from Midway of approximately 150 miles was maintained by steaming east and north and then retracing the track.
June 5, 1942.
Wind SE 9, clouds cumulus 9, visibility 20, sea smooth.
|1025-1029||Launched 12 VF for first Combat Patrol. 6 Yorktown VF to land aboard Hornet upon completion of patrol.|
|1300-1302||Launched 6 VF for second Combat Patrol.|
|1315-1318||Landed 6 VF of first Combat Patrol.|
|1616-1619||Landed second Combat Patrol 6 VF.|
Commenced launching attack group composed of 32 VSB (VB-3, VB-6,
VS-5, VS-6). Objective 1 burning CV, 2 BB, 3 CA, 4 DD. Position
of objective given as at 1000, Lat. 32° - 00' N, Long.
179° - 32' W, course 310, speed 12 knots. (Approximate distance
estimated to be 230 miles.)
32 VSB with one 500 lb. bomb each.
|2030||Objective not found. Attacked 1 CL position Lat. 33° - 00' N, Long. 177° - 00' E. Damage undetermined.|
|2058-2100||Landed third Combat Patrol|
|2203||Completed landing group; 30 VSB plus 5 VSB from Hornet.|
During the night June 5 - 6, the course was 280° T, the speed 16 knots and zigzag Plan Number 6 was followed during moonlight.
June 6, 1942.
Wind SW 16, clouds cumulus 2, visibility 50, sea smooth.
Launched search group of 18 VSB to search relative sector 180°
- 360° (t) distance 200 miles. 18 VSB with one 500 lb. bomb
each. Four of these landed on Hornet. Fourteen returned
Launched first Combat Patrol 6 VF.
|0759||Landed 6-B-17 -- Deferred forced landing.|
|0845||8-B-2 (operating from Enterprise) contacted enemy, 1 CV, 5 DD, position Lat. 29° - 33' N, Long. 174° - 50' E, course 270°.|
|0930||(about) -- Contact report on enemy -- 2 CA, 2 DD, Lat. 28° - 55' N, Long. 175° - 10' E, course 215°, speed 15.|
|0952-0954||Launched 6 VF second Combat Patrol.|
|0959-1009||Landed first Combat Patrol 6 VF.|
|1015-1039||Landed 14 VSB from morning search.|
|1231||Launched 8 VF third Combat Patrol.|
Commenced launching attack group composed of 31 VSB, 3 VT, 12
VF, position of objective given as of 1350, Lat. 29° - 33'
N, Long. 175° - 35' E, course 270° speed 15 knots, armed
31 VSB with one 1000 lb. bomb each.
3 VTB with torpedoes.
|1315-1316||Landed second Combat Patrol, 6 VF.|
|1350||Commenced attack, dive bombing and VF strafing. VT did not attack. Damage: left 1 CA (Mogami) severely damaged and aflame, 1 CL damaged, 1 DD damaged with minor explosions. (Note: There was no CV in this group.)|
Landed third Combat Patrol, 6 VF. (Hornet took over Combat
Patrol). Landed 10 VF of Attack Group. Landed 28 VSB of Attack
Group, Two Hornet planes and 6-B-1 landed on Hornet.
Landed 3 VTB of Attack Group with torpedoes, attack not completed.
|1753||Launched 2 VSB for photographic flight of above damaged ships. Photographs are Enclosure (B).|
|1829-1835||Launched 12 VF for fourth Combat Patrol.|
|1844||Landed 6-F-7. Could not retract wheels.|
|1950||Landed 6-F-26. Deferred forced landing.|
|2100||Landed fourth Combat Patrol.|
|2107||Recovered photographic group.|
III. PERSONNEL AND MATERIAL.
1. The attack delivered upon enemy carriers by the torpedo squadrons of our forces is believed to be without parallel for determined and courageous action in the face of overwhelming odds. These crews were observed to commence their attack against heavy anti-aircraft fire from the enemy carriers and supporting vessels while opposed by enemy Zero fighters in large numbers. The enemy fighter opposition was so strong and effective that ten torpedo planes out of fourteen of Torpedo Squadron SIX did not return. It is recommended that the Navy Cross be awarded to each pilot and gunner of Torpedo Squadron SIX who participated in this bold and heroic attack. A separate letter containing details of all aircraft attacks and specific recommendations for awards will be submitted.
2. Personnel losses in the Air Group were heavy, particularly Torpedo 6. A summary to date which is subject to final check is as follows:
|6T1||LtCdr. E.E. Lindsey, USN.||GRENAT, C.T., 279 45 11, ACRM, USN.|
|6T2||Ens. S.L. Rombach, A-V(N), USNR.||GLENN, W.F., 360 18 53, ARM2c, USN.|
|6T6||Lt.(jg) J.T. Eversole, USN.||LANE, J.U., RM2c, 299 90 90, USN.|
|6T9||Ens. R.M. Holder, A-V(N), USNR.||DURAWA, G.J., 300 32 99, ARM3c, USN.|
|6T10||Lt. A.V. Ely, USN.||LINDGREN, A.R., 223 42 69, RM3c, USN.|
|6T12||Ens. F.C. Hodges, A-V(N), USNR.||BATES, J.H., 368 48 44, RM2c, USN.|
|6T13||Lt. P.J. Riley, USN.||MUSHINSKI, E.J., 268 28 74, ARM2c, USN.|
|6T14||Ens. J.W. Brock, USN.||BLUNDELL, J.M., 410 41 61, ARM3c, USN.|
|6T7||Lt.(jg) L. Thomas, USN.||LITTLEFIELD, H.F., 238 59 08, ARM2c, USN.|
|6T8||Mach. A.W. Winchell, USN.||COSSITT, D.M., 413 55 55, RM3c, USNR.|
|6B5||Lt.(jg) W.E. Roberts, A-V(N), USNR.||STEINMAN, W.B., 376 01 68, AMM1c, USN.|
|6B6||Ens. D.W. Halsey, A-V(N), USNR.||JENKINS, J.W., 372 17 00, RM3c, USN.|
|6B8||Ens. T.F. Schneider, A-V(N), USNR.||HOLDEN, G.L., 300 09 02, ARM2c, USN.|
|6B9||Ens. E.A. Greene, A-V(N), USNR.||MUNTEAN, S.A., 401 42 22, RM3c, USNR.|
|6B11||Ens. T.W. Ramsay, A-V(N), USNR.||DUNCAN, S.L., 376 06 50, AMM2c, USN.|
|6B13||Lt.(jg) J.J. VanBuren, USN.||NELSON, H.W., 382 02 50, ARM1c, USN.|
|6B14||Ens. N.F. Vandivier, A-V(N), USNR.||KEANEY, L.E.J., 283 21 96, Sea1c, USN.|
|6B15||Ens. G.H. Goldsmith, A-V(N), USNR.||PATTERSON, J.W., 387 23 15, ARM3c, USN.|
|6B18||Ens. B.S. Varian, A-V(N), USNR.||YOUNG, C.R., 356 55 07, ARM3c, USN.|
|6B3||Ens. F.T. Weber, A-V(N), USNR.||HILBERT, E.L., 382 18 65, AOM3c, USN.|
|6S3||Ens. J.Q. Roberts, A-V(N), USNR.||SWINDELL, T.R., 262 28 14, AOM1c, USN.|
|6S15||Ens. J.R. McCarthy, A-V(N), USNR.||HOWELL, E.E., 382 11 71, RM3c, USN.|
|6S12||Ens. C.D. Peiffer, A-V(N), USNR.||JECK, F.C., 224 16 97, Sea1c, USN.|
|6S4||Lt. C.R. Ware, USN.||STAMBAUGH, W.M., 287 22 69, ARM1c, USN.|
|6S5||Ens. F.H. O'Flaherty, A-V(N), USNR.||GAIDO, B.F., 300 20 05, AMM1c, USN.|
|6S6||Ens.F.H. Shelton, A-V(N), USNR||CRAIG, D. W., 412 11 15, RM3c, USNR|
|6S14||Ens. J.C. Lough, A-V(N), USNR.||HANSEN, L.D., 368 49 16, RM3c, USN.|
|6S1||Ens. J.N. Vammen, A-V(N), USNR.||GLARY, M.W., 356 14 29, AMM2c, USN.|
3. Aircraft losses as the result of 3 days action:
|6T1 - TBD-1||0289|
|6T2 - TBD-1||1512|
|6T6 - TBD-1||0366|
|6T7 - TBD-1||0294|
|6T8 - TBD-1||0367|
|6T9 - TBD-1||0378|
|6T10 - TBD-1||0342|
|6T12 - TBD-1||0365|
|6T13 - TBD-1||1505|
|6T14 - TBD-1||0327|
|6B3 - SBD-3||4682|
|6B5 - SBD-3||4581|
|6B6 - SBD-2||2153|
|6B7 - SBD-3||4532|
|6B8 - SBD-2||2105|
|6B9 - SBD-2||2123|
|6B11 - SBD-3||4620|
|6B13 - SBD-2||2180|
|6B14 - SBD-2||2125|
|6B15 - SBD-3||4542|
|6B18 - SBD-2||2145|
|6S1 - SBD-3||03207|
|6S3 - SBD-3||8524|
|6S4 - SBD-3||03206|
|6S5 - SBD-3||03224|
|6S6 - SBD-3||03225|
|6S10 - SBD-3||03208|
|6S12 - SBD-3||4600|
|6S14 - SBD-3||4612|
|6S15 - SBD-3||4615|
|6F12 - F4F-4||5062|
4. Ammunition expended:
5. Steps have been taken to replenish Air Group losses of personnel and material.
6. The ship, although subjected to threat of air attack on several occasions experienced no actual attack and suffered no damage during actions on June 4-5-6.
7. It is extremely difficult to determine the extent of the damage inflicted upon the enemy by Enterprise, as the air groups of all carriers, as well as land based aircraft at Midway, participated in continuous attacks on enemy units throughout the three days action. Based upon reports available to Enterprise, it is estimated the following damage was inflicted upon the enemy:
3 CV's sunk.
1 CV on fire and badly damaged (probably sank night of June 5).
1 CA wrecked and abandoned.
3 CA heavily bombed.
3 DD sunk.
8. The efficiency of the ship for war operations is considered outstanding and all munitions of war are considered satisfactory.
Source: Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet report, Serial 01849 of 28 June 1942, World War II action reports, Modern Military Branch, National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740.
[The document is also on microfiche, F-2042 (7 fiche) which can be ordered, using the duplication order form and the fee schedule, from the Operational Archives Branch, Naval Historical Center at the above address.