PEARL HARBOR HI - Military leaders from across the Pacific marked the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway with a commemoration ceremony on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam outside of Station June 2.
The ceremony took place outside a World War II cryptographic intelligence building, Station HYPO, and honored those World War II code-breakers whose work at Pearl Harbor was instrumental to the defeat of Imperial Japanese forces at Midway Atoll in 1942.
Adm. Scott Swift, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, delivered remarks at the event regarding the history of the Pacific Fleet, the innovation of the code-breaking team at Station HYPO, and the impact the use of aircraft carriers had on the battle.
“That colossal shift was born of necessity after December 7th,” said Swift. “The success of that shift, reflected in the central role aircraft carriers still have today, was cemented by the culture of innovation fostered by Admiral Nimitz.”
Battle of Midway veterans Sgt. Ed Fox and Col. John F. Miniclier were in attendance at the ceremony. Miniclier credited the intelligence gathered at Station HYPO with saving his life.
“We knew about May 30th how many Japanese ships were coming,” said Miniclier. “All of us, privates first class and corporals and all the young officers that I knew, we were ready to just do the job and stay there until we were winners.”
Adm. Swift shared a similar sentiment in his speech, explaining how everything came together at Midway to turn the tide of the battle.
“The adjustments made after Pearl Harbor, the experience of Coral Sea, the innovations in employing a carrier force, and the predictive intel that let Nimitz maximize the impact of his limited resources,” said Swift. “And it was at Midway that Nimitz’ confidence in his Pacific Fleet sailors, including the civilian sailors from the Pearl Harbor shipyard, was rewarded.”
Although the battle occurred 75 years ago, the battle’s significance still holds true today.
“Today, we honor those who broke more than codes, but broke through barriers here at HYPO to enable victory,” said Swift. “We remember the brave Sailors, Marines, and Airmen that fought so valiantly seventy-five years ago, ever grateful for their service and sacrifice. Thank you.”