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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND

Photo # 80-G-32250:  A Japanese torpedo plane crashes while attempting to attack USS Yorktown, 4 June 1942

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

Japanese Attacks on USS Yorktown, 4 June 1942 --
Japanese Torpedo Planes Approach Yorktown

At about 1400 on 4 June, soon after USS Yorktown began to move again following bomb damage repairs, her radar detected a second incoming raid from the Japanese carrier Hiryu. This formation included ten torpedo planes commanded by Lieutenant Joichi Tomonaga, plus six escorting fighters. As they approached, Yorktown steadily increased her speed to about twenty knots and launched additional "Wildcats", some with very little fuel. Despite losses to the defending F4F fighters and heavy anti-aircraft fire, the Japanese planes pushed on to deliver a beautifully coordinated torpedo attack.

This page presents views of the Japanese torpedo planes as they flew through heavy "flak", prior to dropping their torpedoes.

For further coverage of this attack and its results, see:

  • Japanese Torpedo Planes Hit Yorktown;
  • Scenes on Yorktown during and immediately after the Torpedo Plane Attack; and
  • USS Yorktown is abandoned.

    For links to pages on the dive bombing attack earlier in the day, see:

  • Japanese Attacks on USS Yorktown, 4 June 1942 -- Overview and Special Image Selection.

    For links to views of other aspects of the Battle of Midway, see:

  • Battle of Midway, Overview and Special Image Selection.


    If you want higher resolution reproductions than the Online Library's digital images, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

    Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

    Photo #: 80-G-32248

    Battle of Midway, June 1942


    Japanese Nakajima Type 97 shipboard attack aircraft from the carrier Hiryu fly through anti-aircraft shell bursts while approaching USS Yorktown (CV-5) to deliver a torpedo attack, during the mid-afternoon of 4 June 1942.
    Photographed from USS Pensacola (CA-24). At least five Japanese aircraft are visible in this image, three in a "V" directly below the camera aiming cross, one somewhat further left and one low at the extreme left, next to the "H"-shaped A.A. burst.

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

    Online Image: 79KB; 740 x 595 pixels

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

     
    Photo #: 80-G-32249

    Battle of Midway, June 1942


    The Japanese carrier Hiryu's Type 97 shipboard attack aircraft fly through anti-aircraft shell bursts while closing on USS Yorktown (CV-5) to deliver a torpedo attack, during the mid-afternoon of 4 June 1942.
    Photographed from USS Pensacola (CA-24). At least three Japanese aircraft are visible in this image, in a shallow arc from near the left side to below and right of the camera aiming cross.

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

    Online Image: 91KB; 740 x 570 pixels

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

     
    Photo #: 80-G-17051

    Battle of Midway, June 1942


    A Japanese Type 97 shipboard attack aircraft is shot down while attempting to deliver a torpedo attack on USS Yorktown (CV-5), during the mid-afternoon of 4 June 1942.
    See Photo # 80-G-32250 for another view of this crash, taken from a different ship.

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

    Online Image: 97KB; 590 x 765 pixels

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

     
    Photo #: 80-G-32250

    Battle of Midway, June 1942


    A Japanese Type 97 shipboard attack aircraft crashes, while attempting to deliver a torpedo attack on USS Yorktown (CV-5), during the mid-afternoon of 4 June 1942.
    Photographed from USS Pensacola (CA-24). Small object just to left of the camera aiming cross appears to be a Grumman F4F-4 "Wildcat" fighter banking away.
    See Photo # 80-G-17051 for another view of this crash, seen from a different ship.

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

    Online Image: 74KB; 585 x 765 pixels

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

     
    Photo #: 80-G-32247

    Battle of Midway, June 1942


    Two of the Japanese carrier Hiryu's Type 97 shipboard attack aircraft (far right) approach the drop point, during the torpedo attack on USS Yorktown (CV-5) in the mid-afternoon of 4 June 1942.
    The lower plane's Type 91 torpedo is clearly visible below the fuselage. Note heavy anti-aircraft fire, with shell fragments splashing in the water below the bursts.
    Photographed from USS Pensacola (CA-24).

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

    Online Image: 82KB; 740 x 570 pixels

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

     


    For further coverage of this attack and its results, see:

  • Japanese Torpedo Planes Hit Yorktown;
  • Scenes on Yorktown during and immediately after the Torpedo Plane Attack; and
  • USS Yorktown is abandoned.

    For links to pages on the dive bombing attack earlier in the day, see:

  • Japanese Attacks on USS Yorktown, 4 June 1942 -- Overview and Special Image Selection.

    For links to views of other aspects of the Battle of Midway, see:

  • Battle of Midway, Overview and Special Image Selection.


    NOTES:

  • To the best of our knowledge, the pictures referenced here are all in the Public Domain, and can therefore be freely downloaded and used for any purpose.

  • Some images linked from this page may bear obsolete credit lines citing the organization name: "Naval Historical Center". Effective 1 December 2008 the name should be cited as: "Naval History and Heritage Command".


    If you want higher resolution reproductions than the Online Library's digital images, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."


    Return to Naval History and Heritage Command home page.

    Page made 11 April 1999
    Coding updated 25 April 2009