Memories From That Tiny Atoll 73 Years Later
The Battle of Midway
Only six months had passed, yet it felt like an eternity. This, after all, had been Teddy Roosevelt's America: unstoppable.
As Sailors busied themselves in preparation for liberty, the Hawaiian tranquility suddenly exploded in the inferno of a sneak attack.
We were at war.
In a matter of hours it was over. Nine ships sunk, 21 severely damaged. The United States Pacific Fleet was near ruins. Almost 2,500 American lives were lost that day - 1,177 from the USS Arizona (BB 39) alone.
The following months would see the imperial Japanese juggernaut's expansive domination of the Pacific: Wake Island, Dutch East Indies, the Solomon Islands, Corregidor, the Philippines ...
If Australia, and possible Pearl Harbor were to be spared from future attacks, the fight would have to be brought to the enemy.
If ever there was an underdog for just such a fight, the U.S. Pacific Fleet was it.