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World War II - Battle of Midway (3–7 June 1942)

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  • Captain Elbert S. McCuskey (1915 - 1997)
    Elbert Scott McCuskey (1915-1997) was a World War II US Navy fighter ace. He participated in the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Battle of Midway, for which he was awarded two Navy Crosses, one for e...
  • Claud Cornelius Cooper (1905 - 1942)
  • John Spinning Phillips (1895 - 1975)
    Commanding Officer of the USS Neosho, AO 23 before and during Pearl Harbor attack and followed by the Battle of Midway in which the ship was lost. He retired as a Real Admiral. Naval Academy graduate....
  • Lt. JG Walter Wesley Coolbaugh (1918 - 1942)
    Lt. JG Walter Wesley Coolbaugh was Killed in Action at sea near the Solomon Islands when his plane crashed. He has memorials in his hometown of Ransom, Pennsylvania and also in the Courts of the Missin...
  • Major General Clarence Leonard Tinker (1887 - 1942)
    Clarence L. Tinker From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaMajor General Clarence Leonard Tinker (1887–1942) was an airman who lost his life during World War II while on a combat mission during the Japane...

The Battle of Midway was a crucial and decisive naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II. Between 3 and 7 June 1942, only six months after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor and one month after the Battle of the Coral Sea, the United States Navy under Admirals Chester Nimitz, Frank Jack Fletcher, and Raymond A. Spruance decisively defeated an attacking fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy under Admirals Isoroku Yamamoto, Chuichi Nagumo, and Nobutake Kondo near Midway Atoll, inflicting devastating damage on the Japanese fleet that proved irreparable. Military historian John Keegan called it "the most stunning and decisive blow in the history of naval warfare." It was Japan's first naval defeat since the Battle of Shimonoseki Straits in 1863.

The Japanese operation, like the earlier attack on Pearl Harbor, sought to eliminate the United States as a strategic power in the Pacific, thereby giving Japan a free hand in establishing its Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. The Japanese hoped that another demoralizing defeat would force the U.S. to capitulate in the Pacific War and thus ensure Japanese dominance in the Pacific. The Japanese plan was to lure the United States' aircraft carriers into a trap. The Japanese also intended to occupy Midway as part of an overall plan to extend their defensive perimeter in response to the Doolittle air raid on Tokyo. This operation was also considered preparatory for further attacks against Fiji, Samoa, and Hawaii itself.

The plan was handicapped by faulty Japanese assumptions of the American reaction and poor initial dispositions. Most significantly, American codebreakers were able to determine the date and location of the attack, enabling the forewarned U.S. Navy to prepare its own ambush. All four Japanese heavy aircraft carriers—Akagi, Kaga, Soryu and Hiryu, part of the six-carrier force that had attacked Pearl Harbor six months earlier—and a heavy cruiser were sunk at a cost of the carrier Yorktown and a destroyer. After Midway and the exhausting attrition of the Solomon Islands campaign, Japan's capacity to replace its losses in materiel (particularly aircraft carriers) and men (especially well-trained pilots) rapidly became insufficient to cope with mounting casualties, while the United States' massive industrial capabilities made American losses far easier to replace. The Battle of Midway is considered by some to be a turning point in the Pacific Theater.

This site offers great detail from members of the military and interested historians about the air battles of the US Navy off Midway:

This reference is to an article about the Rear-Seat Gunners of the Battle of Midway aircraft:

Rear-Seat Gunners at Midway Three Navy ‘back-seaters’ recollect their experiences aloft during early World War II—including taking off against a Japanese carrier force on 4 June 1942 without having received gunnery or flight training. By Ian W. Toll May 2013 Naval History Magazine Volume 27, Number 3

Source of information about the Marines at Midway is here:

Sources of most of the no cost Geni information on the United States sailors and airmen involved in this pivotal battle include:     

Additional materials are available with a donation from

Additional materials about Navy personnel may be found here:

Researchers and family members show be aware that Missing personnel were described as Missing for one year, then marked Deceased. In the case of the Battle of Midway occurring in June 1942 many missing personal were marked Deceased or Killed in Action one year later in June 1943.