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Craven, Wesley Frank and James Lea Cate, Plans and Early Operations, January 1939 to August 1942 Vol. 1 of The Army Air Forces in World War II.(Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1948): pp. 451-462

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Battle of Midway: Army Air Forces


The Coral Sea battle represented the last full-scale attempt of the enemy to extend his perimeter to the south by direct amphibious assault, excluding his effort to recover Guadalcanal in November 1942, but even as his task force retired northward, preparations were under way for additional thrusts. This time the Japanese would drive to the north and east, and their goal would be the establishment of outposts on Midway and in the outer Aleutians. These represented extremely ambitious operations, but even after the rebuff in the attempt to capture Moresby, there was reason to anticipate success, for the Japanese fleet remained in sound condition, very little of its strength having been sapped in the Coral Sea. To be sure, it would be impossible to use Carrier Division Five, for the Shokaku had to go to Kure for repairs and the Zuikaku required rehabilitation of her air personnel before she could sortie again.71 But ample carrier pilots and planes were available for all the others, and Admiral Yamamoto was prepared to throw almost his entire force at Midway.

His reasons are not altogether clear. one aim seems to have been the extension of the eastern outpost from Wake to Midway simultaneously with the establishment of a northern picket in the Aleutians. Midway would serve as a useful base for air co-operation with the fleet, since like Marcus and Wake, it could support search planes; and Yamamoto believed that possession of bases at such a distance was essential to the over-al success of the Navy's plans72 for an attempt to take Midway might provoke the desired major surface engagement with the U.S. fleet. Then to these considerations must be added the effect of the Doolittle raid on Tokyo. Although some thought seems to have been given early in the war to the seizure of Midway, the B-25 attack upon Tokyo confirmed the need for eastward expansion in order to deprive U.S. forces of every possible base which might serve as a springboard against Japan.73 Before Yamamoto could undertake his venture, however, he first had to overcome the resistance of the imperial general staff to the plan. After some discussion, the views of the admirals prevailed and the enormous collection of surface power was set in motion. Beyond Midway lay Hawaii; perhaps it, too, could be brought under attack at a later date if all went well. At any rate, it was believed that successful occupation of Midway would increase the probability of drawing out American heavy units.74

Back at Pearl Harbor, Adm. Chester Nimitz, commander in chief of the Pacific Ocean Area, could not know of the debates in the upper levels of the Japanese command. However, by 15 May naval decoders and intelligence officers were aware that a blow was coming. They knew that an attempt would be made to occupy Midway and points in the Aleutians, although nothing was known as to enemy intentions against Hawaii, a point upon which the Japanese themselves were uncertain. The exact date of the offensive was not known, but it was believed that the fleet would begin to move out from Japan and Saipan around 20 May.75 For Admiral Nimitz, there was a very slender margin of time remaining in which to mobilize all possible defenses. There was no assurance that the three carriers in the South Pacific could be returned to Hawaii in time to protect Midway, and it was necessary to meet the threat to Alaska by dispatching northward all available spare combat ships, a force which included five cruisers and four destroyers.76 AAF participation in the approaching battle would be the responsibility of the Seventh Air Force, whose units were receiving reinforcements from the West Coast, but whose strength Maj. Gen. Robert C. Richardson, after extended conferences with Nimitz and Emmons, still regarded as inadequate to assure the security of the Alaska-Hawaii-Samoa-Australia line.77

The Japanese had dealt the Hawaiian Air Force a devastating blow on 7 December, destroying its planes, its equipment, and over 200 of its personnel, losses demanding the most rapid possible replacement. But despite all the reinforcements which had come out to the islands in December following the Japanese attack, the Seventh Air Force, as it was designated on 5 February, was not yet an offensive air force--it would not acquire this status until November 1943. For the present, it would remain a holding force which by January could report the presence of 43 heavy bombers, 24 light and medium bombers, and 203 pursuit planes. These would have to suffice. in the ensuing four months, no more planes were to be sent to Hawaii; in fact, twelve of the heavies were withdrawn during February and dispatched to the Southwest Pacific.78 Under Maj. Gen. Clarence L. Tinker, who assumed command on 29 March 1942, the Seventh would assist in the defense of the Hawaiian group, and as rapidly as possible it would train combat crews. As an additional major function, it would modify and maintain aircraft for the combat units of the South and Southwest Pacific.

Caption: The North Pacific

After Pearl Harbor, one of the first problems to be met was that of servicing and supplying the tactical air units in the Hawaiian area.79 While the service units labored to restore some order to the battered force, Lt. Gen. Delos C. Emmons, commanding the Hawaiian Department, appealed to AAF Headquarters for additional planes, and these were sent out as rapidly as possible; fortunately, Emmons was granted a five-month period of grace after the initial Japanese attack. No aerial combat with enemy aircraft occurred during these months, but both fighter and bomber commanders were able to offer several assessments of their equipment and operational techniques. Brig. Gen. H.C. Davidson, commanding the VII Interceptor Command, expressed dissatisfaction with both the P-40 and P-39D as interceptors; neither could operate at high altitudes, and the former had an unsatisfactory rate of climb.80 Bombardment commanders learned that the continuous alerts and long-range sea searches conducted from the island bases placed a heavy strain upon flight personnel, making duplicate crews a necessity; and they regretted the lack of opportunity for training their bombardiers and gunners.81 Admiral Nimitz had placed the VII Bomber Command under control of Patrol Wing Two (Patwing 2), and until 1 April all aircraft were assigned either to search or to a striking force, thus leaving only a bare minimum time free for training. however, on 1 April approximately 25 per cent of the aircraft were made available for limited training.82 But neither General Emmons nor Richardson was satisfied with the strength under Army control, which by 1 May was to include 32 heavy bombers on hand with 17 more en route, 9 light bombers, and a total of 182 fighter aircraft, although only 87 of the latter were regarded as of modern types.83

On 18 May, the entire Seventh Air Force was placed on special alert in anticipation of the enemy threat, for an air raid on Hawaii or an attack upon Midway was expected any time after 24 May.84 In response to the urgent appeals from the theater, the War Department notified General Emmons that two additional heavy bombardment squadrons of eight B-17E's each, including air combat crews, would be organized from the 301st and 303d heavy groups in the Second Air Force. The estimated date of departure from the West Coast was 30- May, with completion of movement scheduled for 2 June. Actually, the sixteen crews were drawn from the 303d Group; and after the emergency had passed, these crews returned to the Second Air Force, leaving their B-17's in Hawaii.85

In the ten-day period following the establishment of the alert, the old B-18's flew their search missions, carrying on the work of the newer B-17's which now were held on the ground, loaded with 500- and 600-lb. demolition bombs, in anticipation of their employment as a striking force. on the 18th, General Emmons had on hand for his 5th and 11th Bombardment groups a total of only 34 B-17's, 7 of which were older "C" and "D" models and were regarded as being insufficiently armed for combat. however, through the period of the alert, the VII Bomber Command received a steady influx of B-17's, with the result that by the last day of May it had in commission 44 out of 56 available B-17's, 14 of 16 B-18's, 4 of 6 B-26's, and 5 of 7 A-20's. For local defense, VII Fighter Command had in commission 101 P-40's out of 134 in the area, 17 P-39's of 22, and 22 obsolete P-36's of 28.86 Actually, fresh planes were coming out more rapidly than existing squadrons could absorb them; no less than 60 B-17's arrived in the period from 18 May to 10 June. These bombers, arriving from the mainland in the morning, were taken immediately to the shops of the Hawaiian Air Depot, where their extra fuel tanks used on the flight out from the West Coast were removed, auxiliary tanks were installed in the radio compartment, and equipment and armament were checked. Within 24 hours these new planes were turned over to the tactical units, but time was running out; there would be no opportunity to train all the crews in the operation of their new weapons. For example, the heavy increase made it necessary to convert the 72d Bombardment Squadron from a B-18 unit to a B-17 squadron, a process which began on 4 May, but the 72d was not fully equipped until approximately two days prior to commitment to actual combat. obviously it could not be trained adequately.87

At Midway. Marine ground forces worked night and day to prepare the defenses of the islands, and Marine Aircraft Group 22 (MAG-22) based on Midway was brought up to strength to include 28 fighters and 34 dive bombers.88 The primary aim of Midway's air commander, Capt. Cyril T. Simard, USN, under whom all AAF planes operated, was to discover the enemy fleet as early as possible and to strike it before it could draw within carrier range of the island. Accordingly, on 30 May, in order to place the heavy bombers as far forward as possible, six B-17's of the 26th Bombardment Squadron (H) were flown up to Midway, followed on the next day by six more from the 431st Squadron, two from the 31st, and one from the 72d.89 In addition to these forces, two casually attached squadrons en route to the South Pacific, the 18th Reconnaissance and the 69th Bombardment squadrons, each contributed two torpedo-carrying B-26's which were flown up to Midway, along with six of the Navy's new TBF's.90 With all these reinforcements, Midway was badly overcrowded. By 3 June, Captain Simard had available on the tiny islet a force of 30 PBY's, 4 B-26's, 17 B-17's, and 6 TBF's, all in addition to the planes of MAG-22. Behind Midway and off to the northeast the carriers Yorktown, Enterprise, and Hornet had rendezvoused on 2 June after racing up from the South Pacific following the Coral Sea action. This was something the enemy did not know and would not know until the dive bombers struck him.

All these forces, every plane, would be needed, for the bulk of the Japanese imperial navy was converging upon Midway; if ever it could break through to the island, it could overwhelm the defenses. From the northwest, under Admiral Nagumo, came a task force of four of the enemy's most effective carriers, supported by two battleships. From Saipan to the southwest, under Vice Admiral Kondo and screened by a powerful surface force including two more battleships, came the transports, carrying approximately 2,500 army troops and special naval landing forces to occupy the two islands comprising Midway; and out to the west of the island aboard the tremendous Yamato was Admiral Yamamoto himself, leading the main body of the fleet with most of the remaining heavy units of the imperial navy.91

The burden of long-range search rested upon the PBY-5A's and the B-17's; twelve of the latter covered long arcs extending 800 miles out from Midway on 31 May and 1 June, but they sighted nothing and they could not cover the area lying beyond 300 to 400 miles northwest of their base, for here visibility was poor.92 Their efforts held the flight crews aloft for thirty hours in the two days prior to combat, nor could the crews rest in the intervals between flights, for it was necessary for them to service their own planes, in co-operation with the Marine ground forces on the island.93 Finally, at 0904 on the morning of 3 June, the searchers made the first contact when a patrol plane picked up two enemy cargo vessels 470 miles west of Midway. The stage was set.

Caption: Japanese Carrier Under Attack by B-17's, 4 June 1942

What followed was perhaps the most important single engagement of the Pacific naval war. Excepting the role of the submarines, it was exclusively an air-surface action involving the planes of both services, and in which most of the damage to the enemy was inflicted by the dive bombers of the carriers. Superficially, it was the first test of the B-17's as defensive weapons against attacking surface forces, and the first occasion on which the heavy bombers based on Hawaii were pushed out to forward island bases to strike at the enemy in defense of the mid-pacific. Here, it seemed, was an opportunity at last to test out one of the cherished beliefs of many of the heavy bombers exponents: that he B-17's could stop the carriers.94

Preliminaries to the Battle of Midway opened on the afternoon of 3 June, when at 1623, nine B-17E's led by Lt. Col. Walter C. Sweeney, Jr., of the 431st Bombardment Squadron surprised the transport force with its supporting craft some 570 miles west of Midway, dropping 36 x 600-lb. demolition bombs from 8,000 feet. The claims were substantial, including five direct hits and several near misses; they were representative of the scores credited after the subsequent missions of the engagement, for Maj. Gen. Willis H. Hale, who became commander of the Seventh Air Force on 20 June, firmly believed that a fair percentage of the bombs had struck home. Assessment was difficult and in part was based upon the statements of the handful of enemy survivors picked up after the action; not until the war ended and the teams of interrogators invaded Japan was it possible to interview a number of the survivors of this initial action. And even their testimony had suffered from the destruction of records, from the lapse of three and one-half years between the action and interrogation, and from the fact that the Japanese officers reporting were not always aware of the source of the bombs which were dropped upon them. But their evidence indicates the necessity of a radical scaling down of the original claims as sent in by the Seventh Air Force. At any rate, in some cases these enemy officers stood on the decks of the targets and were in a fair way to determine when and by whom they were bombed, better perhaps than pilots who bombed from 20,000 feet and saw tall geysers spout up around their rapidly maneuvering targets, for it has been demonstrated repeatedly that damage to carriers is particularly difficult to assess from the air. With this in mind, it would seem that the first attack produced a probable hit upon one transport, causing a small fire which was extinguished without delaying the ship, but that the combat craft escaped damage in the attack.95

The first blow had been struck without slowing the enemy; but out into the night four PBY's moved toward the transports, found them by radar at 0130 on the 4th, put one torpedo into the tanker Akebono Maru, and strafed the column of transports, causing some casualties.96

The 4th of June was the day of the real battle, PBY's were off early on their searches for the main enemy force, which had note yet been located; B-17's were in the air; B-26', TBF's, and MAG-22 planes were warmed and ready. At 0545 the news was in: a patrol plane had sighted many planes heading for Midway at a point 150 miles to the north and west; radars confirmed the report. Seven minutes later, PBY's sighted the enemy's carrier force. Midway was ready. The four B-26's led by Capt. James F. Collins, Jr., and the six TBF's were off to attack the carriers, Marine dive bombers and fighters were sent aloft, and the flight of 14 B-17's already in the air and on its way toward the transports was diverted north against the carriers. At 0705 the B-26's attacked through heavy fighter defense and flak with no fighter support of their own, only to lose two of the B-26's and five of the Navy's new Grumman torpedo planes. Lt. James P. Uri and Captain Collins brought their badly shot-up planes home to Midway after their gallant attack, but they had scored no hits, nor had the TBF's; on this point enemy survivors are unanimous.97 All the Japanese carriers were hammered by the B-17's and by dive and torpedo bombers from the three U.S. carriers, and one by one the ships caught fire and sank. The Soryu had been hit heavily by dive bombers, then was torpedoed by the submarine Nautilus at 1359, sinking at 1610.98 The Kaga, too, went down a few minutes later, while the Hiryu, escaping the earlier attacks, was caught by dive bombers from the Enterprise and the Hornet late in the afternoon. The ship sank early on the 5th, together with the Akaga, but not before it was found by six B-17's en route from Oahu to Midway. The bombers attacked from 3,600 feet at 1610, then strafed the carrier's decks, and claimed hits upon a destroyer.99

By the evening of the 4th, the issue had been decided; the enemy's carriers were disabled and sinking, and Yamamoto realized full well that with his air strength gone, he had no alternative but to retire. Even his anticlimactical attempt on the night of the 4th to bombard Midway with the cruiser force was abortive. The Mogami and Mikuma collided and had to be withdrawn, and fresh disaster overtook this unfortunate pair on the 6th, when dive bombers from the Enterprise and Hornet caught them, sinking the Mikuma and damaging the Mogami very heavily.100

The battle had ended with Midway's installations badly wrecked by enemy bombers but still in American hands and with runways intact. The problem was to assess the damage to the enemy and to examine the weapons which had inflicted it. During the three days, 3 to 5 June, the Seventh Air Force had carried out sixteen B-17 attacks involving a total of fifty-five sorties and one torpedo attack by four B-26's. The heavy bombers had expended 314 x 500- and 600-lb. bombs which had been dropped, excluding the torpedoes, at altitudes ranging from 3,600 feet up to 25,000 feet. Immediately after the action, General Emmons reported that his planes had scored a total of twenty-two direct bomb hits on carriers, battleships, cruisers, and destroyers, that one destroyer had been sunk, and that three torpedoes had struck home on two carriers. In addition, a total of eight Zero fighters had gone down before the guns of the B-17's, two more to the B-26's, and all this had cost two B-26's with their crews, plus two B-17's, of which one crew was rescued, less one man.101

Results of the action revived the discussion over the merits of high-level bombardment attacks upon maneuvering surface vessels, reinforcing the strong measure of skepticism persisting among Navy men, who regarded horizontal bombing as relatively ineffective against this type of target. But there could be no proof until the war had ended, and even then the evidence was not entirely conclusive. Because of the extraordinary amount of discussion and debate arising out of the battle, it is pertinent to examine the conditions and handicaps under which AAF planes had operated. never were more than fourteen B-17's over a group of targets at any one time, and even these failed to attack the same vessel simultaneously, thus further decreasing the existing slight probability of hits. Furthermore, most of the attacks were carried out by small flights of four planes or less per target, a number far too small to meet the requirements set by standard AAF doctrine.* Thus, the number of aircraft available fell far below the minimum demanded in order to achieve a profitable pattern for attaining hits upon even one carrier maneuvering at high speed, causing air commanders to feel that severe criticism of the B-17 performance was not altogether justified, for Midway was not a test of the bomber. They noted that the AAF had played no part in planning the defense of Midway, nor had it retained operational control of the few planes actually sent up to the island outpost; they noted, too, that critiques of the battle had indicated a tendency to rush the attacks upon the carriers at long ranges without adequate planning for co-ordination, with the results that the torpedo squadrons had suffered disastrous losses. Even General Hale had no advance knowledge of the composition of the enemy surface forces his bombers would face.102

one f the most serious handicaps was the lack of adequate servicing facilities or personnel on Midway, where the combat crews not only flew long, exhausting, daily missions, but to a large extent were forced to do their own servicing and maintenance. Destruction of the powerhouse on Eastern Island by enemy bombing on 4 June further complicated this situation, completely disrupting the only available refueling system, thereby making it necessary for the tired crews to spend long hours servicing their planes from cans and drums, although in this task they were aided by marine ground troops on the island.103A further factor was the rapid exhaustion of the crews of the combat planes in long 1,800-miles reconnaissance missions prior to combat; General Hale had protested in vain against the practice of sending out his B-17's against unknown targets, but he was overruled despite the fact that prior to the search mission of 1 June, his crews had not enjoyed seven hours' sleep in two days.104

A complete assessment of their achievements is not possible, but certainly the above factors contributed to the sharp downward revision of claims necessitated by Japanese reports. It is probable that one hit was obtained in the initial attack of 3 June upon the transports; for this there is some positive evidence. Reports reached the Yamato that a vessel was hurt, but thereafter the damage seems to have been inflicted almost exclusively by dive bombers. Certainly the enemy feared them most. During the engagement on the 4th, the battleship Haruna received some slight damage to her stern plates from a near miss and it is possible that this damage might have come from heavy bombers, but the survivors of that ship are positive that dive bombers hurt them.105 On the afternoon of the same day, crews of the six bombers which attacked at 3,500 feet were positive that they scored a hit on a destroyer; enemy records indicate that one such vessel was damaged, but they fail to reveal the source of the bomb. Beyond this point it is not possible to go, and the claims must remain hidden in the fog of war. Vessels already afire when brought under attack by the B-17's did not easily lend themselves to accurate determination of direct bomb hits from observers 15,000 to 20,000 feet in the air. However, even thought he heavies had not scored many direct hits, Japanese officers asserted that the B-17's had caused the enemy craft to break up their formations as they maneuvered radically to avoid the falling bombs, thereby decreasing their power of mutual support and leaving them more vulnerable to dive-bomber attack.106 It is possible that a higher score might have been achieved had B-17 pilots and bombardiers approached the action in a less exhausted state and had they been permitted to train adequately in the months prior to Midway rather than devote most of their time to search, but the subsequent events of the Pacific war would indicate otherwise. Japanese ships at sea would not be sunk or hit with any degree of success until the attacking planes were brought down to minimum levels.

The impact of Midway upon the concept of Pacific air war held by the Navy and the AAF was considerable, setting off a train of debate which continued long after the sea battle had ended. in the light of the Japanese evidence and because of the very limited number of B-17's involved, there can be little question that AAF contribution was insufficient to check the enemy's advance. Torpedo planes of both services had suffered costly losses, and the dive bomber had won the day. But the AAF B-17 had proved itself superior to the PBY in fulfilling the vital requirement of continuous tracking. Both types could search the sea; yet once the contact was made, it was the B-17 rather than the PBY which could stand up to strong enemy air opposition and cling to the contact. Hence Admiral King placed a bid for sufficient number of B-17's and B-24's for naval use in long-range search and tracking.107Furthermore, he restated his inability to accept the concept of a mobile air force for the mid-Pacific area. Most points were too weakly held and lacked service facilities; distances over water between landing fields were too great to permit rapid movement of fighter reinforcements where needed, and the logic was inexorable--"more and more" planes must be stationed on the advanced bases, including AAF fighters for Marine use, because at this stage of the war Admiral King had accepted the belief that his carrier planes would be inferior to the AAF land-based planes.108 Fulfillment of the admiral's demands with regard to increasing the static defense of the Pacific obviously would have altered the existing schedule of commitments, for AAF doctrine maintained that aircraft never would be produced in quantity sufficient to permit such a static defense. Thus the debate continued. AAF planners clung firmly to their belief that proper observance of economy of force would never permit the scattering of substantial air forces over the Pacific isles to serve a fixed defenses; furthermore, they pointed to the fact that more planes in Oahu would not have helped Midway, which already was saturated and could not absorb all the planes then available.109As for drawing upon their inadequate store of heavy bombers to supply the Navy, they asserted instead than since search and tracking were admittedly functions best performed by the land-based planes, these should pass to the control of the AAF.110 However, because any increment to the Pacific would cut directly into commitments for the European theater, it would be impossible to increase the flow of heavy bombers to the Pacific. If the vulnerable PBY's were shot down while executing their search mission, this was a loss which could not be avoided, and in any case it would result in a lower attrition rate than that arising from normal bomber and fighter operations over reasonably defended areas.111 One of Midway's legacies was an enduring debate.

* It is of interest to note that immediately prior to the Battle of Midway, Maj. Gen. Robert C. Richardson reported from Hawaii that a force of no less than 90 to 100 heavy bombers would be necessary to assure the probability of 7 per cent hits on an enemy force of five carriers. He based this figure on earlier bombing experience which indicated that even from the relatively low altitudes of 12,000 to 14,000 feet, at least eighteen to twenty planes would be required to insure 7 per cent hits on a single maneuvering surface craft, (Report from Maj. Gen. Robert C. Richardson to Chief of Staff, 1 June 1942.)


71. USSBS Intr. 53, Capt. M. Yamaoka; 444, Capt. Meino, 26 Nov. 1945.

72. USSBS Intr. 524, Vice Adm. S. Fukudome; 503, Vice Adm. S. Fukudome, pp. 38-39; USSBS, Campaigns of the Pacific War, p. 58.

73. USSBS Intr. 192, Capt. T. Ohmae, 30 Oct. 1945; 65, Capt. Y. Watanabe, 15 Oct. 1945; 252, Capt. Y. Toyama, 1 Nov. 1945.

74. USSBS Intr. 524, Vice Adm. S. Fukudome.

75. CM-IN-4577 (17 May 1942), Emmons to C/S, #96, 16 May 1942; Fourth Air Force historical Study IV-2, processing Functions and Relations with Alaska, p. 88.

76. ONI Combat Narratives, The Battle of Midway, pp. 2-3.

77. CM-IN-8825 (31 May 1942), Richardson to C/S, #423, 31 May 1942.

78. WPD Weekly Status Maps, AG 061 (4 Sept. 1945). At the end of April those figures were given as 31 heavy bombers, 9 light bombers, 178 pursuit planes, and 34 miscellaneous, (Incl. [JCS 48], Annex to Report by JUSSC, 29 April 1942.) The OPD Status Map of 30 April 1942 listed 32 heavies, 15 mediums, 9 light bombers, 182 pursuit, and 27 miscellaneous.

79. Growth of Heavy and Medium Bombardment Units in the Seventh Air Force, 7 Dec. 1941-31 Aug. 1944, p. 11.

80. Ltr., Brig. Gen. H.C. Davidson to CG Seventh AF, 24 Mar. 1942, cited in Operations of Seventh Air Force, 7 Dec. 1941-13 Nov. 1943, p. 13.

81. Ltr., Col. James A. Mollison, C/S/ Seventh AF to CG AAF, 8 Apr. 1942, cited ibid., p. 13.

82. Ltr. Gen. Davidson, CG Seventh AF to CG AAF, 13 June 1942, cited ibid., pp. 13-14; CM-IN-3881 (14 May 1943), Emmons to CG AAF, #53, 14 May 1942.

83. JPS 21/7, 18 Apr. 1942.

84. CM-IN-5813 (21 May 1942), Fielder to A/CS, G-2, #191, 21 May 1942.

85. History, Second Air Force, 7 Dec. 1941-31 Dec. 1942, I, 160; CM-OUT-6011 (28 May 1942), Marshall to CG Haw. Dept., #3975, 28 May 1942; CM-OUT-3526 (15 June 1942), Marshall to CG Haw. Dept., #4307, 15 June 1942. By 20 May General Marshall informed Emmons that two heavy and one medium bombardment squadrons en route to South pacific bases would be held in Hawaii. (CM-OUT-4119, Marshall to Emmons, 20 May 1942.)

86. Ltr., Gen. Davidson to CG AAF, 13 June 1942, as cited in n. 82; CM-IN-9001 (31 May 1942), Emmons to CSA, #429, 31 May 1942.

87. Ltr., Gen. Davidson to CG AAF, 13 June 1942; memo for G-3 Seventh AF from CG VII Bomber Command, 6 June 1942, cited in Operations of Seventh Air Force, p. 14.

88. ONI, Battle of Midway, p. 5.

89. Memo for G-3 Seventh AF from CG VII Bomber Command, 6 June 1942.

90. Seventh Air Force and the Battle of Midway, 3-6 June, cited in Operations of the Seventh Air Force, p. 15; ONI, Battle of Midway, p. 6.

91. USSBS Intr. 65 (Sup.), Capt. Y. Watanabe, 4 Nov. 19045, p. 6; 530, Rear Adm. Akira Soji, 23 Dec. 1945, p. 2.

92. Ltr., Gen. Davidson to CG AAF, 13 June 1942; ONI, Battle of Midway, p. 7.

93. ONI, Battle of Midway, p. 8; interview with Lt. Col. Ira L. Kimes, USMC, 31 Aug. 1942.

94. See statement of Maj. Gen. George C. Kenney, n Critique of Joint Army-Navy Exercise No. 3, 21 Apr. 1942, Doc. 1551, in Fourth Air Force Hist. Study II-2, Defense Plans and Operations, Vol. V; ltr., CG Fourth AF to CG WDC, 12 Mar. 1942, transfer of the Bomber Command to Naval Control, Doc. 106, ibid.

95. USSBS Intr. 530, Capt. Y. Watanabe, 27 Dec. 1945, pp. 19-20; and Capt. Y. Toyama, 14 Jan. 1946, p. 68. The evidence for this hit is not conclusive.

96. USSBS Intr. 252, Capt. Y. Toyama, p. 4; ONI, Battle of Midway, p. 9.

97. USSBS Intr. 530, Capt. Y. Watanabe, 27 Dec. 1941; ONI, Battle of Midway, pp. 16-17; USSBS, Campaigns of the Pacific War, p. 59.

98. ONI, Battle of Midway, P. 26; USSBS, Campaigns of the Pacific War, p. 63.

99. USSBS Intr. 530, Capt. Y. Watanabe; ONI, Battle of Midway, pp. 44-50.

100. USSBS Intr. 65; Capt. Y. Watanabe; ONI, Battle of Midway, pp. 44-50.

101. CM-IN-4180 (13 June 1942), Emmons to C/S USA, #771, 13 June 1942; msg., Emmons to C/S USA, 12 June 1942, cited in operations of Seventh Air Force, pp. 19-20.

102. CM-IN-4180 (13 June 1942) Emmons to C/S USA, #771, 13 June 1942; interview with Maj. Gen. O.A. Anderson, 18 Mar. 1945; interview with Maj. Gen. Willis H. Hale, 19 Apr. 1946.

103. Interview with Lt. Col. Ira L. Kimes, p. 11; ltr. Gen. Davidson to CG AAF, 13 June 1942.

104. Ltr., Gen. Hale, CG VII Bomber Command to CG Hq. Haw. Dept. thru CG Seventh AF, 3 June 1942, cited in Operations of Seventh Air Force, p. 21; Hale interview.

105. USSBS Intr. 530, Capt. Michiso Tsutsumi, 256 Dec. 1945, pp. 26, 30.

106. USSBS Intr. 530, Vice Adm. R. Kusaka, 30 Dec. 1945, p. 43. A similar result was attributed to the Marine dive bombers, whose pilots achieved very few hits. (USSBS, Campaigns of the Pacific War, p. 60).

107. Cited in memo for CG AAF from Col. J.R. Deane, Report of Battle of Midway, 4 Aug. 1942.

108. Ibid.

109. Adm. King's Report on Battle of Midway, incl. in R&R, AFDMR to AFCAS, 15 Aug. 1942.

110. Ibid.

111. R&R; AFAEP to AFDMR, 14 Aug. 1942.

NOTE: Original documents cited above should be located at the National Archives, College Park, MD.


Published:Thu Mar 26 09:10:30 EDT 2015