Online Library of Selected Images:
-- EVENTS -- World War II in the Pacific -- Battle of Midway

Actions and Activities after 4 June 1942 -
Sinking of Japanese Cruiser Mikuma, 6 June 1942



After the loss of his carrier striking force on 4 June 1942, Admiral Yamamoto briefly continued the attempt to take Midway by ordering gunfire bombardments of the atoll. Early on 5 June, the Japanese submarine I-168 fired a few shells that did no damage. She was to be followed by four heavy cruisers under Rear Admiral Takeo Kurita, but these were recalled just after midnight on 5 June. About 90 miles west of Midway, the U.S. submarine Tambor (SS-198) was sighted nearby, and the Japanese ships abruptly changed course. Cruisers Mogami and Mikuma collided, badly damaging Mogami and causing a steady oil leak in her sister. Leaving two destroyers as escorts for the slow-moving damaged ships, the rest of the force rapidly steamed west.

During daylight on 5 June Mogami and Mikuma were attacked by planes from Midway, causing additional damage. On 6 June, planes from USS Enterprise and USS Hornet made three attacks, further damaging Mogami, hitting both destroyers and completely wrecking Mikuma. Abandoning the latter to her fate, the other ships painfully limped away.

Later in the day, an Enterprise plane flew by the shattered Mikuma, and took the War's first close-up photographs of a sinking Japanese warship. Mikuma sank about dusk on 6 June, leaving hundreds of her crewmen to die in the water. Three days later, the U.S. submarine Trout found and rescued two survivors and took them to Pearl Harbor.

This page presents views related to the 6 June attacks on the Japanese cruisers Mogami and Mikuma.

Additional coverage of later Battle of Midway events:

  • Actions and Activities after 4 June 1942
  • .

    Views of other aspects of the Battle of Midway:

  • Battle of Midway, Overview and Special Image Selection.

    Two artworks by Griffith Baily Coale, depicting the attacks on and sinking of Mikuma, see the Navy Art Gallery page The Battle of Midway (Page 2).


    Click photograph for a larger image.

    Photo #: 80-G-701897

    Battle of Midway, June 1942


    Diorama by Norman Bel Geddes, depicting the attack by SBD dive bombers from USS Hornet (CV-8) and USS Enterprise (CV-6) on the Japanese cruisers Mogami and Mikuma and two destroyers, on 6 June 1942.
    Mikuma, the ship shown trailing oil at the right, was sunk as a result of these attacks.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

    Online Image: 93KB; 600 x 765 pixels

    Reproductions may also be available through the National Archives.

     
    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, now in the collections of the National Archives.

    Online Image: 152KB; 740 x 610 pixels

    Reproductions may also be available through the National Archives.

     
    Photo #: 80-G-17055

    Battle of Midway, June 1942


    The Japanese heavy cruiser Mikuma afire and dead in the water on 6 June 1942, as seen from a SBD dive bomber, probably from USS Hornet (CV-8) during the day's third attack by planes from Hornet and USS Enterprise (CV-6). A destroyer (either Asashio or Arashio) is nearby, attempting to remove Mikuma's crew.
    Photo was taken from the gunner's seat, looking aft, with the barrel of a .30 caliber machine gun in the right foreground and the plane's vertical tail at the extreme right.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

    Online Image: 106KB; 740 x 605 pixels

    Reproductions may also 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, now in the collections of the National Archives.

    Online Image: 96KB; 740 x 590 pixels

    Reproductions may also be available through the National Archives.

     
    Photo #: 80-G-457861

    Battle of Midway, June 1942


    The burning Japanese heavy cruiser Mikuma, photographed from a U.S. Navy aircraft during the afternoon of 6 June 1942, after she had been bombed by planes from USS Enterprise (CV-6) and USS Hornet (CV-8).
    Note her third eight-inch gun turret, with roof blown off and barrels at different elevations, Japanese Sun insignia painted atop the forward turret and wrecked midships superstructure.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

    Online Image: 147KB; 740 x 620 pixels

    Reproductions may also be available through the National Archives.

     
    Photo #: NH 82405

    Battle of Midway, June 1942


    Japanese heavy cruiser Mikuma dead in the water and burning, following attacks by planes from USS Enterprise (CV-6) and USS Hornet (CV-8), 6 June 1942.

    Copied from a print in Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison's files.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 162KB; 740 x 575 pixels

     
    Photo #: 80-G-32217

    USS Trout (SS-202)


    Returns to Pearl Harbor on 14 June 1942, after the Battle of Midway.
    She is carrying two Japanese prisoners of war, Chief Radioman Hatsuichi Yoshida and Fireman 3rd Class Kenichi Ishikawa, survivors of the sunken cruiser Mikuma who had been rescued on 9 June.
    Among those waiting on the pier are Rear Admiral Robert H. English and Admiral Chester W. Nimitz.
    The district ferry Nihoa (YFB-19) is in the left background, just to the right of Trout's jack.
    Two .30 caliber Lewis machineguns are mounted on Trout's sail, flanking the periscope shears.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives.

    Online Image: 70KB; 740 x 635 pixels

    Reproductions may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

     




  • About Us | Privacy Policy | Webmaster | FOIA request | Navy.mil | This is a US Navy website