Actions and Activities after 4 June 1942
Overview and Special Image Selection



Following the 4 June attack on Midway's facilities and the day's great battles between opposing aircraft carrier forces, the Japanese briefly considered continuing their campaign. However, as the full extent of their disaster became clear, they began a general retreat. After a brief withdrawal to avoid the risk of a night action, the two remaining U.S. carriers pursued the enemy forces, unsuccessfully attacking a destroyer on the 5th.

On 6 June, U.S. planes found and attacked two Japanese cruisers, sinking the Mikuma. Meanwhile, USS Yorktown had remained afloat. A salvage party returned to try to save her, but this effort was thwarted on the afternoon of the 6th, when a Japanese submarine found and torpedoed the carrier and the accompanying destroyer Hammann. The battered, gallant Yorktown sank the following morning.

As Battle of Midway combat activities gradually wound down, PBY patrol seaplanes and ships busied themselves rescuing downed aviators, the last of whom was recovered on 21 June. A U.S. submarine found two Mikuma survivors, and 35 of Hiryu's crewmen were picked up on 19 June. Earlier, men from Yorktown and Hammann had been taken to Pearl Harbor, where reinforcements were being forwarded to Midway and the nearby carriers. USS Saratoga arrived from the west coast on 6 June with a full load of aircraft. She quickly returned to sea, en route to join Enterprise and Hornet. Later in the month, fresh Marines were landed at Midway, which remained an important U.S. base for the rest of World War II, and beyond.

This page presents a special selection of views of Battle of Midway actions on 5-7 June 1942, and related activities during June and later. These have been chosen from the more comprehensive coverage contained in the following pages:

Links to views of Battle of Midway, Overview and Special Image Selection.


Click photograph for a larger image.

Photo #: 80-G-17054

Battle of Midway, June 1942


SBD "Dauntless" dive bombers from USS Hornet (CV-8) approaching the burning Japanese heavy cruiser Mikuma to make the third set of attacks on her, during the early afternoon of 6 June 1942.
Mikuma had been hit earlier by strikes from Hornet and USS Enterprise (CV-6), leaving her dead in the water and fatally damaged.
Photo was enlarged from a 16mm color motion picture film.
Note bombs hung beneath these planes.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives.

Online Image: 152KB; 740 x 610

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 
Photo #: 80-G-414422

Battle of Midway, June 1942


Japanese heavy cruiser Mikuma, photographed from a USS Enterprise (CV-6) SBD aircraft during the afternoon of 6 June 1942, after she had been bombed by planes from Enterprise and USS Hornet (CV-8).
Note her shattered midships structure, torpedo dangling from the after port side tubes and wreckage atop her number four eight-inch gun turret.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives.

Online Image: 96KB; 740 x 590

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 
Photo #: 80-G-32320

Battle of Midway, June 1942


USS Hammann (DD-412) sinking with stern high, after being torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-168 in the afternoon of 6 June 1942.
Photographed from the starboard forecastle deck of USS Yorktown (CV-5) by Photographer 2nd Class William G. Roy. Angular structure in right foreground is the front of Yorktown's forward starboard 5-inch gun gallery.
Note knotted lines hanging down from the carrier's flight deck, remaining from her initial abandonment on 4 June.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, U.S. National Archives.

Online Image: 59KB; 740 x 620

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 
Photo #: 80-G-312030

Battle of Midway, June 1942


USS Yorktown survivors are checked in on board USS Fulton (AS-11), after being transferred from USS Portland (CA-35) for transportation to Pearl Harbor, 6 June 1942.
Note life jackets, which appear to be oil-stained.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, U.S. National Archives.

Online Image: 92KB; 740 x 615

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 
Photo #: 80-G-79984-28 (#2)

Battle of Midway, June 1942


Japanese prisoners of war under guard on Midway, following their rescue from an open lifeboat by USS Ballard (AVD-10) on 19 June 1942. They were survivors of the sunken aircraft carrier Hiryu.
After being held for a few days on Midway, they were sent on to Pearl Harbor on 23 June aboard USS Sirius (AK-15), arriving there on 1 July.
Note Marine guard in the center background, armed with a M1903 "Springfield" rifle.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives.

Online Image: 75KB; 740 x 495

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 
Photo #: 80-G-17678

Battle of Midway, June 1942


Ensign George H. Gay at Pearl Harbor Naval Hospital, with a nurse and a copy of the "Honolulu Star-Bulletin" newspaper featuring accounts of the battle. He was the only survivor of the 4 June 1942 Torpedo Squadron Eight (VT-8) TBD torpedo plane attack on the Japanese carrier force.
Gay's book "Sole Survivor" indicates that the date of this photograph is probably 7 June 1942, following an operation to repair his injured left hand and a meeting with Admiral Chester W. Nimitz.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, U.S. National Archives.

Online Image: 86KB; 580 x 765

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives

 





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