KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --
The Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit Keesler held a commemoration ceremony for the Battle of Midway’s 75th anniversary at Allee Hall here June 7.
The Battle of Midway took place six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor and is seen as the Navy’s most significant naval victory and a turning point in World War II. Sailors, Airmen, Marines and retired military veterans, along with CNATTU and 81st Training Wing leadership were all in attendance.
Aerographer's Mate Petty Officer First Class Tanner Anderson, CNATTU Keesler aerographer's mate "C" school instructor, said that while the Battle of Midway is a historic moment for the Navy, it is important to recognize that Marine Corps and Army Air Force units were also stationed at Midway during the battle.
“The men who fought in that battle led the way for future men and women of the United States Navy,” Anderson said. “They demonstrated our core values of honor, courage and commitment, to ensure the safety of our citizens, fellow military brothers and sisters and most importantly, our country.”
The intelligence interplay between the Japanese and U.S. Forces was critical to the outcome of the battle and began many weeks before the clash of arms. The battle only lasted three days, June 4 through 7, and resulted in the loss of four Japanese fleet carriers; Akagi, Kaga, Soryu and Hiryu, 322 aircraft and more than 5,000 sailors; while the U.S. losses included 147 aircraft and more than 300 sailors.
“We learned so many things at Midway and they are so important to what we do today, from information dominance warfare to how our carrier strike groups operate,” said Aviation Electrician Technician Petty Officer 2nd Class Alexandra Beck, CNATTU Keesler student. “We want to take those lessons and carry them forward in addition to recognizing the sacrifice of more than 300 Americans during that battle.”
Today, Midway is known as the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and is manned by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Nevertheless, Midway remains an important part of Navy’s heritage.