Captain Christopher Fletcher, Commanding Officer, Naval Support Activity Lakehurst, addressed over 100 attendees that included active duty Navy, Marine, Air Force and Army personnel, veterans and civilian DoD employees, as well as community dignitaries at the Lakehurst Flight Deck on Tuesday, June 3rd to mark the 72nd anniversary of the Battle of Midway.
Considered the combat turning point in the Pacific theater during World War II, the Battle of Midway took place June 4-7 1942. A vastly outnumbered U.S. Navy soundly defeated the Japanese Navy, resulting in the sinking of four carriers, one heavy cruiser and 291 aircraft. The losses greatly diminished Japan’s ability to project it’s naval and air power and enabled America to remain on the initiative for the remainder of the war.
In his remarks, Fletcher recognized the contributions of both the Marine Corps and Army Air Corps in support of the Navy during this decisive battle. He also reflected on the leadership provided by Admirals Nimitz, Fletcher and Spruance in the planning and maneuvering of the outnumbered American forces to surprise and overpower the Japanese fleet, resulting in Japan’s first naval defeat since 1863.
Following the victory at Midway, U.S. forces were on a more equal footing with Japan and eventually able to dictate the time and place of future battles throughout the remainder of the war according to Fletcher. Midway was truly the turning point of the war in the Pacific that would continue on for three more costly and bloody years before the eventual surrender of Japan in September 1945.
At the conclusion of the commemoration ceremony, Taps was played and a wreath was dedicated to the memory of all those who served and those who died during this historic naval battle.
Author: NAWCAD Lakehurst Public Affairs