By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Geoffrey P. Barham
SASEBO, Japan -- U.S. Navy Sailors and Master Labor Contractors paid tribute to both U.S. and Imperial Japanese Navy Sailors lost during the annual Battle of Midway Commemoration Ceremony onboard Commander, U.S. Fleet Activities Sasebo June 5, 2017.
The commemoration ceremony was the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway which took place between June 4 and June 7, 1942.
“Each year, our Navy remembers this battle, for it was pivotal in the outcome of World War 2 and demonstrated the importance of a carrier battle group at sea,” said Commander, U.S. Fleet Activities Capt. Matthew Ovios.
The Battle of Midway, fought at the Midway Atoll, is considered the decisive battle and turning point of the war in the Pacific. It forced the Imperial Japanese Navy to a defensive position after capturing territory throughout the Pacific.
“In four days of fighting, seven ships and approximately 2,800 Sailors were lost,” said Gunner’s Mate 1st Class Ashley Jebens, the commentator for the ceremony. “Today, 75 years later, we pause to remember the Sailors who gave the ultimate sacrifice.”
The U.S. Navy lost USS Yorktown and USS Hammann. The Imperial Japanese Navy lost IJN Soryu, IJN Kaga, IJN Akagi, IJN Hiryu and IJN Mikuma.
“While we will remember the ships and aircraft, we cannot forget that each of these ships was manned by hundreds of Sailors,” said Ovios.
Three Sailors went to the podium to each recite the significance of the Battle of Midway. They would recount losses of both navies and the events that unfolded each day.
The ceremony ended with a moment of silence, a playing of Taps by Information Systems Technician 1st Class Zachary Crowell and a benediction by Chaplain Johnson.
For more information about the Battle of Midway, visit http://www.history.navy.mil/browse-by-topic/commemorations-toolkits/battle-of-midway.html.
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For more news from Commander, U.S. Fleet Activities Sasebo, visit https://www.cnic.navy.mil/SASEBO/.