The List 5011 TGB
I hope that you all had a great weekend. This is a Bubba Breakfast Friday here in San Diego.
Today in Naval History
1785 The order is given to sell the last ship remaining in the Continental Navy, the frigate Alliance. No other Navy ships are authorized until 1794.
1898 During the Spanish-American War, the 8-man volunteer crew from USS Merrimac are taken as prisoners of war by the Spanish following a courageous attempt to sink the collier to obstruct navigation. For their extraordinary heroism during this operation, the men are awarded the Medal of Honor.
1942 The Japanese start a two-day attack at Dutch Harbor, Aleutian Islands, Alaska, in an attempt to distract America from the Midway Island invasion. During the two-day invasion, 43 Americans die.
1949 Midshipman Wesley A. Brown becomes the first African-American to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy.
1966 Gemini 9 is launched. Gemini 9 is piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Eugene A. Cernan. The mission includes 45 orbits over 3 days. Recovery is by USS Wasp (CVS 18).
Thanks to CHINFO
• Speaking at the Shangri-La Dialogue, Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan stressed the U.S. commitment to the Indo Pacific while highlighting the Pentagon's Indo-Pacific Strategy Report reports USNI News. "China can and should have a cooperative relationship with the rest of the region, too. But behavior that erodes other nations' sovereignty and sows distrust of China's intentions must end," he said. "Until it does, we stand against a myopic, narrow and parochial vision of the future, and we stand for the free and open order that has benefited us all."
• The Associated Press reports that while speaking at Shangri-La, China's defense minister, Gen. Wei Fenghe, warned that China's military will "resolutely take action" to defend Beijing's claims over Taiwan and disputed South China Sea waters.
• The Wall Street Journal reports that Russia has withdrawn defense advisers from Venezuela as Moscow weighs President Nicolás Maduro's resilience against U.S. pressure.
This day in History June 3
1098 Christian Crusaders of the First Crusade seize Antioch, Turkey.
1539 Hernando De Soto claims Florida for Spain.
1861 Union troops defeat Confederate forces at Philippi, in western Virginia
1864 Some 7,000 Union troops are killed within 30 minutes during the Battle of Cold Harbor in Virginia.
1888 The classic baseball poem "Casey at the Bat," written by Ernest L. Thayer, is published in the San Francisco Examiner.
1918 The Finnish Parliament ratifies a treaty with Germany.
1923 In Italy, dictator Benito Mussolini grants women the right to vote.
1928 Manchurian warlord Zhang Zuolin dies as a result of a bomb blast set off by the Japanese.
1938 The German Third Reich votes to confiscate so-called "degenerate art."
1940 The German Luftwaffe hits Paris with 1,100 bombs.
1942 Japanese carrier-based planes strafe Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands as a diversion of the attack on Midway Island.
1952 A rebellion by North Korean prisoners in the Koje prison camp in South Korea is put down by American troops.
1965 Astronaut Edward White becomes the first American to walk in space when he exits the Gemini 4 space capsule.
1969 74 American sailors die when the destroyer USS Frank E. Evans was cut in two by an Australian aircraft carrier in the South China Sea.
1974 Charles Colson, an aide to President Richard Nixon, pleads guilty to obstruction of justice.
1989 The Chinese government begins its crackdown on pro-democracy activists in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. Hundreds are killed and thousands are arrested.
"This Day in Aviation History" brought to you by the Daedalians Airpower Blog Update. To subscribe to this weekly email, go to https://daedalians.org/airpower-blog/.
June 2, 1957
At 6:23 a.m. CDT, Air Force Capt. Joseph W. Kittinger Jr., lifted off from Richard E. Fleming Field in South Saint Paul, Minnesota, in the gondola of a helium balloon designed and built by Winzen Research Inc. At 8:04 a.m., he reached a pressure altitude of 95,000 feet. This was only 400 feet short of the balloon's theoretical pressure ceiling. Using U.S. Weather Bureau data, the linear altitude of the balloon was calculated to have been 97,000 feet. This was the first of many high-altitude research balloon flights that Kittinger would make.
To learn more about this event and the company that conducted launch, click HERE. Kittinger, a retired colonel, is a Daedalian Life Member.
June 3, 1965
Gemini 4/Titan II GLV lifted off from Launch Complex 19 at Cape Kennedy AFS, Florida. On board were Air Force Maj. James Alton McDivitt, command pilot, and Maj. Edward Higgins White II, pilot. The mission was planned to include an orbital rendezvous with the Titan II booster and an Extravehicular Activity. On this mission, Higgins became the first American to walk in space.
Gemini 4 returned to Earth on June 7, splashing down in the North Atlantic Ocean at 17:12:11 UTC. The mission duration was 4 days, 1 hour, 56 minutes, 12 seconds. The Gemini 4 spacecraft is on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
Retired Brig. Gen. McDivitt is a Daedalian Life Member. Lt. Col. White, along with Lt. Col. Virgil "Gus" Grissom and Navy Lt. Cmdr. Roger Chaffee, were killed as they were testing the cabin of their spacecraft for the Apollo 1 launch on Jan. 27, 1967. White and Grissom were both Daedalian Life Members.
June 4, 1974
U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Sally D. Woolfolk graduated from the Rotary Wing Flight School at the Army Aviation School, Fort Rucker, Alabama. She was the first woman to be designated a U.S. Army Aviator. Woolfolk joined the Army in January 1973. She attended an 11-week course officer's candidate course at Fort McClellan, Alabama, and was commissioned a second lieutenant. She was then assigned to a military intelligence course at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.
At the suggestion of another student in the course, Lieutenant Woolfolk applied for helicopter flight training. She was the only woman in her class at Fort Rucker. On June 8, 1974, the Saturday following her graduation, Woolfolk married Capt. Dan Murphy, also an Army aviator, at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. Their son, Sean Ryan Murphy, would also become an Army officer. Col. Sally Murphy retired from the Army on July 1, 1999, after 27 years of service.
June 5, 1917
The First Aeronautic Detachment, Lt. Kenneth Whiting commanding, arrived on board the collier Jupiter (Fuel Ship No. 3) at Pauillac, France. This marked the deployment of the initial U.S. military command to that country during WWI. The detachment comprised 7 officers and 122 enlisted men and included an element on board the collier Neptune (Fuel Ship No. 8) that arrived at St. Nazaire 3 days later. The French had requested the early deployment of the men to bolster allied morale.
Whiting was Daedalian Founder Member #13986. Naval Air Station Whiting Field near Milton in Santa Rosa County, Florida, is named for Whiting. His widow, Edna Andresen Whiting, was among 1,500 people who attended its commissioning on July 16, 1943. A plaque there reads: "Whiting Field, named in honor of Capt. Kenneth Whiting, U.S. Navy, Pioneer in Submarines and Aviation, Naval Aviator No. 16, Father of the Aircraft Carrier in our Navy, Died on Active Duty on April 24, 1943."
June 6, 1944
Today marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the largest seaborne invasion in history. More than 156,000 American, British and Canadian forces landed on five beaches along a 50-mile stretch of the heavily fortified coast of France's Normandy region. The Battle of Normandy was code-named Operation Overlord, and it resulted in the Allied liberation of Western Europe from Nazi Germany's control.
June 7, 1920
A De Havilland DH-4B piloted by 2nd Lt. Delmar H. Denton, engineering officer of the 1st Day Bombardment Group, took off from Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas, at approximately 4 p.m. Also on board was 2nd Lt. John H. ("Dynamite") Wilson of the group's 96th Aero Squadron. Lieutenant Wilson, Daedalian Founder Member #2143, was wearing 2 parachutes.
For the next hour, the two men circled while climbing higher into the sky. When the airplane's altimeter indicated 20,000 feet, Lieutenant Wilson stood on his seat, then jumped out of what seemed to be a perfectly good airplane. Wilson pulled the "rip cord" of his primary parachute, and after what he thought was a very long time, the chute opened, subjecting our intrepid airman to a significant shock.
From that point, Wilson reported that it felt as if he was motionless in the sky. He had no sense of motion. He then fell through an area of severe turbulence. He was thrown in every direction, and, at one point, he and the parachute rolled up and over through a full "loop." Wilson was quite nauseous as a result. Wilson began steering his parachute toward an open area. At approximately 300 feet above the ground, he opened his second parachute in an effort to reduce his rate of descent further before landing. He is reported to have "landed gracefully in a turnip patch."
The duration of Wilson's descent was about 17 minutes, and he was blown approximately 18 miles away from Kelly Field. Denton followed Wilson's parachute in the DH-4B, then landed to pick him up. The pair took off and returned to Kelly Field. The sealed barographs carried on board the airplane indicated that the actual altitude at which Dynamite Wilson had jumped was 19,861 feet, more than a mile higher than the previous highest parachute jump.
June 8, 1959
North American Aviation's Chief Engineering Test Pilot, A. Scott Crossfield, made the first flight of the X-15A hypersonic research rocketplane at Edwards AFB, California. 56-6670 was the first of three X-15s built for the U.S. Air Force and NASA. It was airdropped from a Boeing NB-52A Stratofortress, 52-003, at 37,550 feet over Rosamond Dry Lake at 08:38:40 a.m, Pacific Daylight Time. This was an unpowered glide flight to check the flying characteristics and aircraft systems, so there were no propellants or oxidizers aboard, other than hydrogen peroxide which powered the pumps and generators. The aircraft reached 0.79 Mach (522 miles per hour) during the 4 minute, 56.6 second flight.
Thanks to Richard
For all of you that have ridden the rails for real
Martin-Baker - Ejection Seat History
Subject: Fw: Martin-Baker - Ejection Seat History
I like the test rig. Looks like a fun ride!
Thanks to Mud
The Long Range Anti Ship Missile LRSM
More to follow on the Battle of Midway over the next few days
Thanks to Admiral Cox and the team at NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND
From: Director of Naval History
To: Senior Navy Leadership
Subj: H-gram 006 Battle of Midway
Battle of Midway – 75th Anniversary
"…the enemy lacks the will to fight…" – Japanese Midway Operations Order, Commander's Estimate of the Situation.
The Battle of Midway (4-6 June 1942) was one of the most critical battles of WWII, and one of the most one-sided battles in all of history, although achieved at a very high cost for the U.S. aircraft and aircrew responsible for the victory. It was not, however, a "miracle." At the decisive point of contact, it was four Japanese aircraft carriers (248 aircraft) and 20 escorts against three U.S. aircraft carriers (233 aircraft) and 25 escorts and an island airfield (127 aircraft – 360 total U.S. aircraft.) The Japanese had some significant qualitative advantages, principally the ability to rapidly launch a massive integrated multi-carrier strike package, fighter maneuverability, and better torpedoes. However, the U.S. had some advantages as well, such as the element of surprise, radar, damage control, and the ability of U.S. aircraft to absorb damage. Although the total number of Japanese forces committed to the Midway Operation (essentially, almost every operational ship in the Imperial Japanese Navy) far exceeded that of the U.S., none but the four carriers were in a position to effect the outcome of the battle at the critical point and time. In terms of numbers and capabilities of the decisive weapon system of the battle, dive-bombers, the two sides were at rough parity.
Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, based his plan on inadequate intelligence and an inaccurate understanding of American intent, specifically the incorrect assumption that the "demoralized" Americans would have to be drawn out to fight. Therefore Yamamoto's force distribution was not optimized for mutual support, but rather for operational deception, to conceal the true extent of the forces employed so as to not prematurely spook the Americans into refusing to give battle. To a degree, his plan worked, in that Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet, Admiral Chester Nimitz did not know that Yamamoto's main body of battleships was trailing several hundred miles behind the Japanese carriers (with Yamamoto embarked on the new super-battleship Yamato,) intent on ambushing U.S. forces that took the bait of the Midway invasion force. However, by doing so, the main body and other formations in the highly complex Japanese plan had no opportunity to engage U.S. forces in battle. Yamamoto was further hampered by a poorly planned and executed surveillance and reconnaissance effort. He had no idea the American carriers were already northeast of Midway waiting in ambush, and refused to consider the possibility that his plan might be compromised. (In pre-battle war games, the Japanese commander playing the U.S. "OPFOR" did exactly what Nimitz did, with results that were remarkably close to what actually happened, but his actions were ruled "impossible" by the game umpire, and the Japanese game losses were resurrected.)
Admiral Nimitz, on the other hand, had a very accurate understanding of Japanese intent, based on intelligence, of which code-breaking was only a part, albeit significant. Based on breaking the Japanese Navy general operating code (JN-25B) and the work of Commander Joseph Rochefort's team in Station Hypo, Nimitz knew that Midway was the objective of Japanese Operation "MI," knew the approximate timing and approximate forces employed (four or five carriers,) and knew that the concurrent Aleutian operation ("AL") was not the Japanese main effort. Armed with this useful, but still somewhat vague code-breaking intelligence, Nimitz nevertheless insisted that his Intelligence Officer, Commander Edwin Layton, produce a more precise estimate of where the Japanese carriers would be located when first detected. Using all means of intelligence at his disposal, including his intimate understanding of Japanese thought-process from his years of language training in Japan, Layton came up with an estimated bearing, range and time from Midway Island (325 degrees, 175 nm, at 0600 4 Jun 42) that Admiral Nimitz later said was "five degrees, five miles, and five minutes off." The actual location was a little father off than Nimitz said, but not by much. Actually, the Japanese carriers arrived a day later than planned, but Layton's estimate had accounted for weather and the Japanese plan had not. (see attachment H-006-1 "ISR at Midway") Nimitz' decision, although audacious, was far from a desperate gamble that some accounts have portrayed, but rather was completely in accord with the principle of "calculated risk" which guided Nimitz and other operational commanders during the battle.
Nimitz also later said that the battle was "essentially a victory of intelligence." Up to a point, Nimitz' statement is true. Forearmed with Layton's estimate, Rear Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher's two carrier task forces (TF-17 centered on USS Yorktown (CV-5) with RADM Fletcher embarked, and TF-16 centered on USS Enterprise (CV-6) and USS Hornet (CV-8) led by RADM Raymond Spruance, replacing VADM William Halsey, bed-ridden with shingles) were in the perfect position (designated "Point Luck") to ambush the Japanese carriers on the morning of 4 June 1942 while the Japanese air strike on Midway Island was recovering. Once RADM Spruance made the decision to launch full strike packages from both Enterprise and Hornet as early (and at as long range) as he did, the die was cast. Given the Japanese weakness in shipboard anti-aircraft defense and the inexperience of Japanese fighters, however numerous, in dealing with a protracted multi-axis attack, there were enough U.S. aircraft in the air (117) to deal a mortal blow to all of the Japanese carriers, so long as the American strikes actually found the Japanese carriers. Once the Enterprise and Hornet launched their strikes, all the Japanese could do at that point would have been to even up the score had they been able to get a counterstrike airborne (which they weren't) before the U.S. strikes arrived over their targets.
Nevertheless, although intelligence could set the stage for victory, the battle still actually had to be fought and won by the skill, courage, and blood of those who flew the planes, manned the anti-aircraft batteries, and peered through the periscopes. The Japanese fought with great tactical prowess, and extreme tenacity and bravery, as evidenced by Japanese pilots who somehow held their flaming planes in the air long enough to drop their bombs and torpedoes. Despite the initial U.S. advantage of surprise, the battle could have easily gone the other way, such as when Hornet's air group, except for the torpedo bombers, completely missed the Japanese; or had the Japanese carrier Akagi survived the one bomb that actually hit her, the Japanese counterstrike from Akagi could well have taken out all three U.S. carriers, based on how much damage was later inflicted on Yorktown by Hiryu's relatively small uncoordinated last-ditch strikes (three direct bomb hits and two torpedo hits). Far from being indecisive as portrayed in many historical accounts, the Japanese carrier task force ("Kido Butai" – mobile strike force) commander, VADM Chuichi Nagumo moved aggressively, and in accordance with Japanese doctrine, to counter threats; and it was his extreme offensive mentality that typified Japanese naval officers that arguably cost him the battle. However, with a little luck he might have finished off the American carriers despite his losses. If there is any enduring lesson of Midway it is that never again should the U.S. and Japan face each other on opposite sides of a field of battle.
In the end, the battle was won by the initiative, toughness, and incredible valor of the U.S. pilots who pressed home their attacks against great odds; in the face of staggering losses, not one U.S. bomber is known to have turned away before either delivering ordnance or being shot down. Several Yorktown dive-bombers even attacked after they had accidentally jettisoned their bombs. The ferocity of the Marine anti-aircraft fire on Midway Island and the valiant fight by the Marine's hopelessly outclassed fighters, shocked the Japanese by hitting almost half the early morning 108-plane Japanese strike on the island, downing 11 aircraft and seriously damaging 14. This set in motion Nagumo's fateful decision to re-arm his 107-plane reserve strike package for a re-attack on Midway, before he knew U.S. carriers were present, in violation of Yamamoto's orders to keep his reserve armed for anti-ship strikes.
Four waves of U.S. torpedo bombers (six new TBF Avengers and four USAAF B-26 Marauders from Midway, and 41 older TBD Devastators in three squadrons from the carriers) suffered grievous losses, likened to the Charge of the Light Brigade, each wave encountering between 15 and 30 Zero fighters, but not one torpedo bomber turned away. One TBF and two B-26's crash-landed on Midway afterwards, and only six of the TBD's made it back to the carriers, only three of which were flyable. Of the 99 men in the 42 torpedo planes that were lost, only three survived the battle. The skipper of Torpedo Squadron Eight (VT-8,) off the Hornet, LCDR John Waldron, had told his squadron during the pre-launch brief that "if only one plane is left, I want that man to go in and get a hit." That's exactly what his squadron tried to do, following Waldron's direction to the last man. As 14 of the 15 TBD's of VT-8 went down one after the other in flames, the last plane, piloted by ENS George "Tex" Gay stayed on course and dropped his torpedo at the carrier Soryu, before being shot down. Soryu avoided the torpedo, and Gay was the sole survivor of the attack. The other two torpedo squadrons (VT-6 and VT-3) displayed equal valor with the same result; no hits and great loss.
The slaughter of the torpedo-bombers was not part of the American plan, but was the result of the U.S. inability to effectively coordinate a multi-carrier strike, or even a single air group strike. Nevertheless, the sacrifice of the torpedo-bombers was not in vain; their attacks, and those of Midway-based USMC SBD Dauntless dive-bombers (8 of 16 lost) and SB2U Vindicator dive-bombers (4 of 11 lost) and USAAF B-17 Flying Fortresses, strung out over two and a half hours (all with numerous near misses but no hits), forced the Japanese carriers to constantly launch and recover fighter aircraft in between wild defensive maneuvering. The result was that the Japanese carriers were unable to spot their decks for a counter-strike launch; the Japanese were still over 45 minutes from being ready to launch their dive-bombers and torpedo-planes (not five minutes as in early accounts) when the decisive attack by U.S. Navy dive-bombers commenced; two squadrons from Enterprise and one squadron from Yorktown (launched over an hour later) that arrived simultaneously over the Japanese carriers by complete coincidence. (see H-006-2 "The Sacrifice.")
The U.S. dive-bomber strike crippled the Japanese carriers Akagi, Kaga and Soryu. Hiryu survived to get off two small strikes that left the Yorktown in sinking condition. Late in the afternoon, dive-bombers from Enterprise and Yorktown (flying off Enterprise) crippled the Hiryu. (See H-006-3 "The Victory - Barely.") None of the Japanese carriers were actually sunk by U.S. bombs; although flaming wrecks, all four had to be dispatched by Japanese torpedoes to ensure the still-floating ships did not fall into U.S. hands. Two days later, the Japanese heavy cruiser Mikuma, accompanying her more heavily damaged sister Mogami, both damaged in a collision while avoiding the submarine USS Tambor (SS-198,) was sunk by carrier dive-bombers (mostly due to secondary explosions from her own oxygen-fueled torpedoes.)
Over three thousand Japanese sailors were killed in the battle, most while valiantly trying to save their ships, including over 700 aircraft technicians/maintainers (a very limited skill in Japan.) All 248 carrier aircraft were lost, most going down with their ship, along with several cruiser/battleship-launched float-planes. However, most Japanese pilots were rescued; only 36 were lost on the carriers and 74 in the air, mostly from Hiryu. Most of Japan's Pearl Harbor-veteran pilots would survive Midway only to perish in the meat-grinder battle of attrition in the skies around Guadalcanal later in the year, where over 2,000 Japanese aircraft would be lost. It was not the loss of pilots at Midway that crippled Japan's ability to wage offensive naval operations, but rather the loss of the most important Japanese strategic asset, the irreplaceable aircraft carriers. Only one new Japanese fleet carrier would make it into a major fleet action during the war, only to be sunk by a U.S. submarine in her first battle.
ADM Nimitz, who had commanded several submarines early in his career, was disappointed in the performance of his submarines at Midway. Of 19 U.S. submarines in Task Force 7, only three made contact with the Japanese (although seven were guarding the approaches to Hawaii). The USS Grouper (SS-214) was repeatedly strafed, bombed and depth-charged, and was unable to close on the Japanese carriers. For whatever reason, USS Tambor (SS-198) did not engage the heavily damaged cruisers Mikuma and Mogami (and her skipper was immediately relieved of command after the battle.) The USS Grayling (SS-209 and host to ADM Nimitz' PACFLT change of command ceremony) was mistaken for a Japanese cruiser and bombed by USAAF B-17's (fortunately no bombs hit, which was also the case with over 320 bombs dropped by the B-17's on actual Japanese ships.)
The USS Nautilus (SS-168), LCDR William Brockman commanding, tried to attack the Japanese carrier force and was strafed by an aircraft, tried again and was bombed by an aircraft, tried again, and was depth-charged by the light cruise Nagara while setting up an attack on the battleship Kirishima. As soon as the depth-charging ceased, Brockman boldly came back to periscope depth and fired on the Kirishima with two torpedoes; one hung in the tube and the other missed, and Nautilus was then heavily depth-charged. Later in the day Brockman tried yet again and succeeded in firing a spread of four torpedoes, all of which malfunctioned, at the dead-in-the-water and burning Kaga, only to barely survive another brutal depth charge attack (42 depth-charges, two of which clanged off her hull but did not explode.) The one torpedo that hit the Kaga failed to explode and the buoyant after-body served as a flotation device for swimming Japanese sailors. Brockman was awarded a Navy Cross. Of note however, it was the Japanese destroyer Arashi, trying to catch up to the Japanese carriers after being left behind to depth-charge the Nautilus, that led Lieutenant Commander Clarence Wade McClusky and two Enterprise dive-bomber squadrons to the Japanese carriers and their doom. Later in the war, however, armed with torpedoes that actually worked, more aggressive skippers like Brockman, and a steady stream of "Ultra" intelligence (derived from broken Japanese codes) U.S. submarines would go on to inflict significantly more losses to the Japanese than any other U.S. weapons system, at great cost (52 submarines) as well.
At the end of 4 June, the gravely damaged and heavily listing USS Yorktown was still barely afloat. Through the heroic damage control efforts of her crew, incorporating numerous hard lessons learned at the Battle of the Coral Sea, the carrier was still afloat on the morning of 6 Jun, under tow to Pearl Harbor. (Of note, the Yorktown's air group, demonstrating the value of combat experience, was the only carrier air group to successfully execute a coordinated near-simultaneous torpedo-bomber, dive-bomber, and fighter strike on the Japanese carriers.) However, in broad daylight, the skipper of the Japanese submarine I-168 (which had previously provided accurate, and ignored, intelligence on Midway Island's state of readiness, and had even shelled the island) picked his way through five escorting U.S. destroyers and torpedoed the Yorktown at point-blank range, sinking the destroyer USS Hammann (DD-412) that was alongside Yorktown, which went down in under four minutes, many of her swimming crew killed by the detonations of her own un-safed depth-charges (81 of 251 crew lost.) Even with the two additional torpedo hits, Yorktown remained afloat until finally succumbing on the morning of 7 Jun. I-168 survived, with heavy damage including leaking chlorine gas, an extensive U.S. depth charge attack (61 depth charges) by the U.S. destroyers.
In addition to failing to protect the Yorktown from submarine attack, no Japanese aircraft were confirmed downed by anti-aircraft fire from any escorts, due primarily to the inadequacy of their AAA fit. (Japanese shipboard anti-aircraft fire was equally as ineffective.) The AAA certainly did damage aircraft and disrupt bombers' aim. Enterprise and Hornet were never located or attacked by Japanese bombers, so their escorts were never tested. Nevertheless, the Japanese surface navy failed to get the memo that the tide of war turned at Midway, and the U.S. surface navy would get its chance to prove its mettle and extreme valor in the following months, persevering in several of the most savage and hard-fought ship-to-ship battles in naval history in "Ironbottom Sound" around Guadalcanal, at a cumulative cost of many more Sailors than Pearl Harbor.
The Battle of Midway was not won by "Citizen-Sailors." It was won mostly by volunteer, professional naval officers and Sailors (the draft had only been in effect for a little over a year.) The more senior officers and enlisted Sailors had endured many years of inadequate resources, misguided treaty limitations, low pay, slow promotions, and in the intense isolationist and anti-war backlash from the carnage of WWI, a profound lack of appreciation and respect for U.S. military personnel in the interwar years by much of the U.S. population. Yet it was these volunteers, and a few draftees, in many cases armed with obsolete inadequate weapons and hampered by fiscal constraints that severely curtailed realistic training, who held the line and paid with their lives to buy the time necessary for the United States to mobilize its massive resources in people and equipment that ultimately won the war. Compared to the Japanese, the American cost in blood was much less, but still profound ; 307 Americans were killed in the battle. The bulk of the losses fell upon the aviators, Marines, Army Air Forces, but mostly Navy. Of the carrier aircraft that engaged the Japanese fleet on 4 June 1942, 40% were shot down, ditched due to battle damage or fuel exhaustion, or were no longer air-worthy despite recovering on a carrier. Well over 150 U.S. aviators, most of them Navy, made the ultimate sacrifice in winning one of the greatest battles of all time. Although only one Medal of Honor (posthumous) was awarded in the battle (Captain Richard Fleming, USMC,) approximately 170 Navy Crosses were awarded to Navy personnel, mostly aviators, many posthumously.
Some historians argue that Midway was not "decisive" because (with 20/20 hindsight) the ultimate victory over Japan was never in doubt, Midway or no Midway, but was merely the inevitable application of overwhelming U.S. industrial power. Although "what if" scenarios are generally frowned upon by professional historians, had the battle resulted in a military defeat for the U.S., President Roosevelt would have had an extremely difficult time maintaining his very politically unpopular "defeat Germany first" strategy. Imagine a very different world in which the Nazi Germans had had time to develop an atomic bomb, or the Soviets had had time to overrun all of western Europe. British Prime Minister Churchill's statement regarding the Royal Air Force in the Battle of Britain, that "never had so much been owed by so many to so few" applied just as well to the few naval aviators who turned the tide at the Battle of Midway.
After the battle, the New York Times banner headline read, "US Army Fliers Blast Two Jap Fleets at Midway."
The headline in the Japan Times in Tokyo read, "(Japanese) Navy Wins Epochal Victory."
(Over the years I have read probably almost every book on Midway ever written, including the classics, "Incredible Victory" by Walter Lord, and "Miracle at Midway" by Gordon Prange, and of course, RADM Samuel Eliot Morison. However, declassification of most intelligence records in the 1970's and newer access to Japanese sources have significantly changed many of the conclusions of those earlier works. A relatively recent work, "Shattered Sword" by Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully is an extraordinary piece of research, telling the battle mostly from the Japanese side using many Japanese sources, and is probably the most comprehensive and accurate book on Midway I have read. For this reason most of the numbers for casualties, etc. that I use are from this book, although other sources may vary.)
Sudan—Security Forces Kill 8 In Move To Clear Protesters In Khartoum New York Times | 06/03/2019 At least eight people have been killed after Sudanese security forces opened fire on protesters outside the military headquarters in Khartoum, reports the New York Times. Soldiers were deployed across the city on Monday in the strongest move yet to disperse the demonstrators who have been calling for a civilian government following the ouster of President Omar Bashir in April. At least eight people were confirmed dead and more than 100 injured, said a spokeswoman for the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors. The military was stopping ambulances from reaching medical stations in the main protest area, preventing a full accounting of casualties, she said. The Sudanese Professionals Association, which has been leading the protests, said that security forces opened fire with live ammunition outside of a hospital in Khartoum and were pursuing protesters inside the building. A spokesman for the transitional military council said that the armed forces were confining its operations to a specific area near the demonstration site. Soldiers were also moving to open blocked roads around the capital, he said. A Western diplomat disputed the claim, telling the Times that the military appeared to have been widely deployed around the capital. Protesters claimed the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces was leading the effort.
Canada—Embassy Operations In Venezuela Suspended Reuters | 06/03/2019 The Canadian government has announced that it has halted operations at its embassy in Venezuela, reports Reuters. "Unfortunately, at the end of this month, Canadian diplomats in Venezuela will no longer be in a position to obtain diplomatic accreditation under the [Nicolas] Maduro regime, and their visas will expire," Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland announced on Sunday. The government was "also evaluating the status of Venezuelan diplomats appointed by the Maduro regime to Canada," she said. The move will force Canadians in Venezuela to travel to Colombia to obtain consular assistance, noted BBC News. Canada is one of a dozen countries in the Lima Group regional bloc that recognizes opposition leader Juan Guaido as the legitimate leader of Venezuela and is demanding that President Nicolas Maduro step down.
Syria—14 Killed In Car Bombing In Town Held By Turkish-Backed Rebels Deutsche Welle | 06/03/2019 At least 14 people have been killed and dozens injured in a suicide car bombing in a town in northwestern Syria held by Turkish-backed rebels, reports Deutsche Welle. On Sunday night, the bomb went off near a mosque in Azaz as people were leaving evening prayers, reported the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Azaz is part of the enclave in northwest Syria still held by rebels fighting the Assad regime. The region has been the target of a government offensive since late April. It was not immediately clear who was behind the bombing.
Japan—No Progress In Latest Talks Over Russian-Held Islands Japan Times | 06/03/2019 The foreign ministers of Japan and Russia failed to make headway in a longstanding dispute over islands seized by Moscow at the end of World War II, reports the Japan Times. Following talks on Friday in Tokyo, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said only that the parties "made clear the outline of issues we should overcome." Kono said the sides had engage in "very frank discussions" and that he had "clearly explained" Tokyo's views. Moscow's perspective is substantially different on certain points, he said. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said there were still many issues to resolve. Lavrov also revealed that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka on June 29. The dispute over the islands, known as the Northern Territories in Japan and the Southern Kurils in Russia, has been a major hindrance to bilateral ties.
Pakistan—Army Chief Approves Death Sentences In Spying Case Dawn | 06/03/2019 Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa has endorsed the death sentence for a retired army officer and a civilian for alleged espionage, reports the Dawn(Pakistan). Two senior retired army officers and a civilian employed at an unspecified "sensitive organization" have been charged with espionage and the leaking of sensitive information to foreign agencies, according to an army statement on May 30. The officers were tried under the Pakistan Army Act and Official Secret Act by separate field general courts martial, the army said. Retired Lt. Gen. Javed Iqbal was sentenced to 14 years of in prison, while retired Brig. Raja Rizwan and Wasim Akaram each received a death sentence. Senior army officials said that these were separate cases without providing further details. The convicted will be able to appeal their sentences, noted BBC News
Canada—Coast Guard Commissions 1st New Icebreaker In 25 Years Canadian Coast Guard | 06/03/2019 The Canadian coast guard has brought into service its first new icebreaker in 25 years, reports the service. The CCGS Captain Molly Kool was inducted in a ceremony on May 30 at the Atlantic Region Headquarters in St. John's, Newfoundland, said a coast guard release. The Molly Kool is the first of three new icebreakers being acquired from Chantier Davie in Quebec under a 2018 contract. The medium icebreaker can sail at speeds of up to 3 knots in ice that is up to 3 feet (1 m) thick. The ship honors Molly Kool, who in 1939 became the first woman in North America to be certified as master of a cargo steamship in the home trade, one of the highest levels of certification available at the time. The second and third icebreakers are scheduled to be handed over in late 2019 and mid-2020, respectively.
Syria—10 Fighters Die In Israeli Air Attack Los Angeles Times | 06/03/2019 As many as 10 fighters loyal to the Assad regime in Syria have been killed in an Israeli airstrike in response to a rocket attack, reports the Los Angeles Times. The Israeli army confirmed on Sunday that it had attacked several military targets in Syria after two rockets were fired toward the Golan Heights. One landed near a popular winter resort. The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency said that three Syrian troops were killed and seven injured in the attack. The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that 10 died in the strikes, including seven Iranian or Hezbollah fighters. The Israeli military emphasized that it "holds the Syrian regime accountable for every action taken against Israel and will firmly operate against any activity from within Syrian territory against Israel." Intelligence agencies in Israel recently warned that Iran and Hezbollah could seek to provoke incidents in the Golan Heights to escalate fighting in the region.
Algeria—Constitutional Council Cancels Presidential Elections British Broadcasting Corp. | 06/03/2019 The constitutional council in Algeria says it is not possible to hold planned presidential elections next month, reports BBC News. In a statement on state television, the council said that there were not enough candidates to hold the vote as scheduled on July 4. Only two candidates had registered. Their applications were rejected, reported Al Jazeera (Qatar). Protesters demanded that the election be canceled out of concern that holding the vote would only prolong the current administration, which is seen as being too close to long-time President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who resigned in April. The council said that it was up to interim President Abdelkader Bensalah to name a new date for the elections. He was initially appointed for a period running through July 9. Demonstrations continue, demanding Bensalah's resignation and an end to the rule of the elite that have held power in Algeria since it won independence in 1962.
India—Military Transport Goes Missing In Northeast Ndtv | 06/03/2019 An Indian air force cargo aircraft has gone missing in the northeastern part of the country, reports NDTV News. The An-32 transport took off from Jorhat in Assam state on Monday at about 12:25 p.m. on its way to a military airfield in Mechuka in the neighboring Arunachal Pradesh state. The aircraft, with eight crewmembers and five passengers onboard, last made contact with ground crew at 1 p.m., sources said. Flights between Jorhat and Mechuka typically take about 50 minutes. A search-and-rescue operation has been launched, said an air force spokesman. Mechuka is among the rudimentary airstrips operated by the air force along the line of actual control with China. The takeoff and landing approaches to the airfield are extremely difficult due to the mountainous terrain, noted experts.
USA—Forces Still Drawing Down In Syria, Officials Say Voice Of America News | 06/03/2019 U.S. officials say there has been a "measurable decrease" in the number of American troops deployed to Syria without providing figures, reports the Voice of America News. Chris Maier, the director of the Defense Dept.'s Defeat IS Task Force, told reporters on Thursday that the number of U.S. troops now in Syria is "quite a bit lower than when the drawdown began." "U.S. force numbers will continue to draw down as conditions continue to, we hope, improve," Maier said. In December 2018, the U.S. had about 2,200 troops in Syria. The numbers have been coming down since the Syrian Democratic Forces declared victory over the Islamic State in March 2018. U.S. officials have nevertheless assured allies that a residual force will remain. Maier said this would be enhanced by troops and capabilities provided by other members of the coalition fighting ISIS.
USA—Northrop Grumman Wins More Triton Drone Work Dept. Of Defense | 06/03/2019 The Naval Air Systems Command has awarded Northrop Grumman Systems, San Diego, Calif., a contract for long lead-time components for three additional MQ-4C Triton uncrewed aircraft for the U.S. Navy and Australia, reports the Dept. of Defense. The $65.2 million deal covers long lead components for the production and delivery of three low-rate initial production Lot 5 Triton aircraft. Two are for the U.S. Navy and one for Australia. Work under the contract is scheduled to be completed in June 2020.
Afghanistan—More Bombings Hit Kabul TOLONews | 06/03/2019 The Afghan capital, Kabul, has been hit by a series of bombings, reports the Tolo News (Afghanistan). On Monday, a magnetic improvised explosive device (IED) targeted a bus carrying employees of the Independent Administration Reform and Civil Service Commission, killing five people and injuring 10, according to the Ministry of Public Health. The attack came a day after a series of blasts struck Kabul's Police District 5, killing at least one. The initial bombing targeted a bus carrying university students, killing a nearby shopkeeper and injuring 17. Two more IEDs went off about 20 minutes later in the same area, injuring seven, including five members of Afghan security forces, reported Al Jazeera (Qatar). The Ministry of Public Health said that two people were killed and 24 injured in the explosions.
United Nations—Washington Halts Effort To Curb N. Korean Missile Tests Reuters | 06/03/2019 The U.S. has halted a bid by the U.N. International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to restrain North Korea's missile testing and revive its air traffic due to concerns that the effort could breach sanctions, reports Reuters. Airlines currently use indirect routes to avoid North Korea due to the threat of unannounced missile tests. ICAO officials met with North Korean representatives last year to discuss Pyongyang's desire to establish a new route that would pass through South Korean airspace. The organization planned to conduct its first aviation safety audit in North Korea in more than a decade later this year. It has now been pushed back to 2020 due to American concerns that the audit could include sharing technology that could be employed to advance North Korean weapon programs, said unnamed sources. The audit and a separate joint military and civilian workshop, which were initially slated for September, were designed to halt North Korea's practice of conducting missile tests without notice, one of the sources said. In February, the ICAO said its planned audit would not contravene U.N. sanctions. On March 12, the U.S. told a Security Council panel that it disagreed, since technical cooperation on aerospace and aeronautical engineering required review on a case-by-case basis. In May, the organization agreed to postpone the workshop.
USA—Air Force Provides More Details On Changes To Officer Promotions Air Force Times | 06/03/2019 The U.S. Air Force has revealed more information about its plan to divide its officer career fields into six promotion categories, reports the Air Force Times. The existing Line of the Air Force category, which currently covers about 87 percent of officers, would be replaced by six new categories in an effort to make promotions fairer and reflect changes to the service. The categories are air operations and special warfare; space operations; nuclear and missile operations; information warfare; combat support; and force modernization. Having more categories that include jobs with common traits will enable the service to optimize its officer development processes, Lt. Gen. Brian Kelly, the head of personnel for the Air Force, told reporters last week. The plan will be reviewed at various levels prior to a decision on moving forward, which could be made by Sept. 1. If it is approved, it could be implemented with promotion boards that convene in early 2020.
Japan—Air Self-Defense Force Gets 1st Advanced Hawkeye Northrop Grumman | 06/03/2019 Northrop Grumman has announced the delivery of the first of four airborne early warning aircraft to Japan. The initial E-2D Advanced Hawkeye was handed over in March following the training of Japanese personnel in December 2018, the company said in a release on May 31. The aircraft will replace aging E-2C Hawkeyes in Japan Air Self-Defense Force service, said Northrop Grumman. The Advanced Hawkeye provides a significant improvement in radar performance and can also support humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and civilian emergency coordination missions.