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Battle of Midway

Six months after Pearl Harbor, the Battle of Midway occurred. Midway Atoll is a small atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. It is made up of two islands, Eastern and Sand Islands. Most would consider the Battle of Midway a turning point in the war.  The battle occurred in June of 1942 as depicted in this diorama by Norman Bel Geddes and official photo from the US Navy. This battle, due to the damage it did to the Japanese fleet and morale, marked the beginning of the end of World War II. One military historian called it, “the most stunning and decisive blow in the history of naval warfare.” The goal was to take over Midway, an essential step in decreasing US forces and power in the Pacific. The US won the battle of Midway thanks to a team of codebreakers that were able to warn the US Navy of the planned attack and set up the defense against the Japanese.  During this battle the Japanese fleet lost four aircraft carriers and a heavy cruiser.

First Lieutenant George H. Cannon was stationed at Midway and when the Island was bombed. Cannon ensured that all of his men were able to evacuate the building. He was the first person to receive the Medal of Honor.  A memorial still exists in his honor on the Island today.

Midway is a wildlife refuge and part of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument once it was handed over from the US Navy.  Fish and Wildlife Service employees and managers are currently stationed on the Island. There is a group of spinner dolphins that frequent the shallow waters of the lagoon around the Island, in fact, an old dive boat on the Island is named “Spinner-D.” The Oceanic Society still visits the atoll and mentions seeing the dolphins in the warm water lagoon.  Other than this interaction and the interaction with Fish and Wildlife volunteers and employees there is very little human-dolphin interaction at Midway.

Photo Credit: Both photos can be found on Wikimedia Commons. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Battle_of_Midway.jpg

 

  1942  /  Art, History  /  Last Updated August 31, 2012 by Heather Heenehan  /