Story By MC1 Eric S. Garst, U.S. Naval Support Activity Bahrain
MANAMA, Bahrain — Marking the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway, Active duty, retired service members and civilians celebrated the victory of the Battle of Midway with a commemoration ceremony at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain, June 5.
“75 Years ago, American Sailors just like you turned what was a defensive operation for the United States of America into a decisive victory,” said commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, Vice Adm. Kevin M. Donegan. “The battle of Midway was a turning point in the Pacific campaign of World War II. The U.S. Navy’s victory at Midway led to a momentous shift in the entire Pacific campaign and our defensive posture became an insurmountable offensive one.”
The Battle of Midway took place June 4-7, 1942. During the battle, U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier strike forces defeated an Imperial Japanese strike force, preventing them from capturing Midway Island.
The U.S. Pacific Fleet sunk four Japanese carriers: Akagi, Kaga, Hiryu and Soryu, which dealt a devastating blow to the Japanese Imperial Fleet.
The Battle of Midway is an important marker in naval heritage because it is considered to have changed the course of the war in the Pacific by putting the previously thought to be unstoppable Japanese forces on the defensive where they remained until their ultimate surrender, Sept. 2, 1945.
“Brave men and women answered the call to defend our nation despite incredible challenge,” said NSA Bahrain Chaplain Lt. Cmdr. Joseph Reardon. “Daring exploits such as the Doolittle Raid and battles in such places as the Coral Sea, paved the way for what would now become known as the most decisive naval victory in our time, the Battle of Midway.”
During the ceremony military and civilian leaders honored the sacrifices of the men and women who fought that extraordinary battle 75 years ago.
“I always say history doesn’t repeat itself, but it certainly rhymes a lot,” said Donegan. “One important lesson we can take away from Admiral Nimitz is his trust in the Sailors and trust in the leaders, which is key to success in combat.”
The ceremony closed with a playing of Taps and a moment of silence.
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