By Baldmichael Theresoluteprotector’sson
5th June, 2022
This took place 80 years ago six months after the attack on Pearl Harbour. It was a major naval engagement between the U.S. Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN).
It was principally a battle involving aircraft carriers and their compliment of planes; fighters, and dive and torpedo bombers as we well as the invaluable scouting planes.
The 5th June was the most significant, as the Japanese had lost four of its 10 main fleet carriers, although 3 of these were sunk on the 4th. The fourth, the Hiryū, was substantially destroyed but didn’t sink until the 5th.
In was a serious strategic defeat for the IJN from which they would not recover. It was the turning point in the war from the naval perspective but in reality was also the turning point for World War Two in general.
Wikipedia says it was
“one of the most consequential naval engagements in world history, ranking alongside Salamis, Trafalgar, and Tsushima Strait, as both tactically decisive and strategically influential”.
I will approach the post in a similar manner to other war posts I have done, using a play on words. As I have said before, I intend no disrespect to the combatants but as there is more than enough information out on the internet I don’t consider we need another serious approach. Not today in any event.
And any way, we talk about theatres of war so, as all the world’s a stage as Shakespeare wrote, why not some humour to lighten the terror.
I use the Wikipedia link as a template. I do my own version after a block of text. I suggest you can ignore the italics original to avoid it being too long a read, but it is probably useful to have it here so you refer to what the hell I might be taking about.
Don’t forget hell means ‘light’, not a place of darkness and torment. You might consider my twisting of the sound of words as torment though!! If you don’t get the references, just ask me; I shall be happy to clarify.
By Createaccount – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27195164
After expanding the war in the Pacific to include Western outposts, the Japanese Empire had attained its initial strategic goals quickly, taking British Hong Kong, the Philippines, British Malaya, Singapore, and the Dutch East Indies (modern Indonesia). The latter, with its vital oil resources, was particularly important to Japan. Because of this, preliminary planning for the second phase of operations commenced as early as January 1942.
Now as I have indicated before the Ja’s Pan Knees had expanded their umpire and achieved lots of goals, although they weren’t playing football.
They had taken Hong Pong, the Phillip Pines, Bright-ish Ma Layer, The Singer poor, and the Dutch East Windy’s. The last mentioned had lots of oil to help the Ja’s Pan Knees grease back their hair, and which their haircraft carriers depended on to help give their crews crew cuts.
I gather the U.S. Navy referred to them as the Crew Cuts Clan, or CCC for short. Because their hair was short, obviously.
Because of strategic disagreements between the Imperial Army (IJA) and Imperial Navy (IJN), and infighting between the Navy’s GHQ and Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto’s Combined Fleet, a follow-up strategy was not formed until April 1942. Admiral Yamamoto finally won the bureaucratic struggle with a thinly veiled threat to resign, after which his plan for the Central Pacific was adopted.
There were strategic disagreements between the Ja’s Pan Knees army and navy, and some infighting due to fighting in the inns, or Ryokans, in Ja’s Pan. Probably drinking too much sake, for goodness sake!
The admirable Is-or-row-coo Hammer-my-toe had a fight with a bureau or biro, I’m not sure which. He threatened to re-sign, re-sign what is not clear. Perhaps this suggests it was a fight with a biro. He created a stink about the ink. Anyway it seems he won.
Yamamoto’s primary strategic goal was the elimination of America’s carrier forces, which he regarded as the principal threat to the overall Pacific campaign. This concern was acutely heightened by the Doolittle Raid on 18 April 1942, in which 16 United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) B-25 Mitchell bombers launched from USS Hornet bombed targets in Tokyo and several other Japanese cities. The raid, while militarily insignificant, was a shock to the Japanese and showed the existence of a gap in the defenses around the Japanese home islands as well as the vulnerability of Japanese territory to American bombers.
Hammer-my-toe’s primary goal was to eliminate the A-merry-cars haircraft carriers. This had become an area of particular concern following the Do Little Raid which did more than first met the eye.
This, and other successful hit-and-run raids by American carriers in the South Pacific, showed that they were still a threat, although seemingly reluctant to be drawn into an all-out battle. Yamamoto reasoned that another air attack on the main U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor would induce all of the American fleet to sail out to fight, including the carriers. However, considering the increased strength of American land-based airpower on the Hawaiian Islands since the 7 December attack the previous year, he judged that it was now too risky to attack Pearl Harbor directly.
I gather the A-merry-can’s haircraft carriers had been undertaking hit-and-run raids, where they would take business away from the Ja’s Pan Knees for a day and then shove off.
As opposed to today where the likes of Amazon muscle in and take it all without so much as a by-your-leave, i.e. you buy from us and the rest of you can leave.
Hammer-my-toe thought another hair attack on Pearl’s Arbour (see Tora, Tora, Tora) would be a good idea, but as the land based air power had increased there he thought better of it.
Instead, Yamamoto selected Midway, a tiny atoll at the extreme northwest end of the Hawaiian Island chain, approximately 1,300 miles (1,100 nautical miles; 2,100 kilometres) from Oahu. This meant that Midway was outside the effective range of almost all of the American aircraft stationed on the main Hawaiian islands. Midway was not especially important in the larger scheme of Japan’s intentions, but the Japanese felt the Americans would consider Midway a vital outpost of Pearl Harbor and would therefore be compelled to defend it vigorously. The U.S. did consider Midway vital: after the battle, the establishment of a U.S. submarine base on Midway allowed submarines operating from Pearl Harbor to refuel and re-provision, extending their radius of operations by 1,200 miles (1,900 km). In addition to serving as a seaplane base, Midway’s airstrips also served as a forward staging point for bomber attacks on Wake Island.
Instead Hammer-my-toe selected Midway, which is a toll point where tolls are taken for crossing the Specific Ocean. And which is roughly equidistant between North A-merry-car and A- seer, hence the name.
The Ja’s Pan Knees thought that although the toll was not that critical in the grand scheme of things for them, the A-merry-cans would consider it important to Pearl’s Arbour. A sort of outlying paradise for Pearl when she fancied a break.
And where you could isolate without worrying about the ‘flu or Covid 19.
See what I mean?
1.1.1 Yamamoto’s plan
Typical of Japanese naval planning during World War II, Yamamoto’s battle plan for taking Midway (named Operation MI) was exceedingly complex. It required the careful and timely coordination of multiple battle groups over hundreds of miles of open sea. His design was also predicated on optimistic intelligence suggesting that USS Enterprise and USS Hornet, forming Task Force 16, were the only carriers available to the U.S. Pacific Fleet. During the Battle of the Coral Sea one month earlier, USS Lexington had been sunk and USS Yorktown suffered so much damage that the Japanese believed she too had been lost. However, following hasty repairs at Pearl Harbor, Yorktown sortied and ultimately played a critical role in the discovery and eventual destruction of the Japanese fleet carriers at Midway. Finally, much of Yamamoto’s planning, coinciding with the general feeling among the Japanese leadership at the time, was based on a gross misjudgment of American morale, which was believed to be debilitated from the string of Japanese victories in the preceding months.
Hammer-my- toe’s battle plan was exceedingly complex. As Murphy’s law states “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”, it is not a good idea to make life too complicated as your ‘cunning plan’ may be scuppered by events.
As regards Hammer-my- toe it assumed that U.S.S. Enter-prize and U.S.S. Hornet (the latter was a type of W.A.S.P. or White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) were the only haircraft carriers available to the U.S. Specific Fleet.
During the battle of the Coral C, sort of like the bun fight at the O.K. Coral, a month earlier, the U.S.S. Loxingten was sunk and the U.S.S. Your-K-town was so damaged it was thought that she had been lost too.
But in reality, her hair was such a mess after the fight that she didn’t want to come out until she had it properly done by Pearl in her Arbour. Any ladies will understand.
Pearl was so efficient that she was able to book in an appointment and sort most of the important bits out and make her presentable within 72 hours.
Unlike today with the GP’s in the UK were you will struggle to see a doctor in person, let alone have your health problems resolved.
Hammer-my- toe’s planning assumed that A-merry-can’s morale was very poor. This ignored the truth in the name. Merry suggests they are generally upbeat and won’t be beaten, and can because they have a can-do spirit. Obvious really, it’s in the name, A-merry-can do spirit.
The Ja’s Pan Knees had been winning in the preceding months, so perhaps understandable up to a point that they might misjudge the situation. But in reality they had only scratched the surface of the A-merry-can’s capabilities.
Yamamoto felt deception would be required to lure the U.S. fleet into a fatally compromised situation. To this end, he dispersed his forces so that their full extent (particularly his battleships) would be concealed from the Americans prior to battle. Critically, Yamamoto’s supporting battleships and cruisers trailed Vice Admiral Chūichi Nagumo’s carrier force by several hundred miles. They were intended to come up and destroy whatever elements of the U.S. fleet might come to Midway’s defense once Nagumo’s carriers had weakened them sufficiently for a daylight gun battle. This tactic was doctrine in most major navies of the time.
Hammer-my- toe felt that deceiving the A-merry-cans into a fatally compromised situation, such as getting them into a bedroom with hidden cameras would be good.
So he dispersed his forces to help distract and conceal quite how big a force he was assembling. A large force would be much easier to spot and be viewed as a significant threat.
So he decided to have his bottleships and bruisers trail behind the admirable Shoe-itchy Nag-omo’s carrier force by several hundred miles, which seems a very long way off to keep your bouncers which might protect the haircraft carriers.
But then this was the standard tactic at the time as haircraft carriers were very good at messing up the enemy’s hair. As ships are all considered female by men, ladies will understand that having your hair messed up can put you out of sorts and no good for anything.
But not all ladies think this way, which is just as well.
Anyway, once the haircraft carriers had done their bit, the bottleships and bruisers could move in to finish the job.
What Yamamoto did not know was that the U.S. had broken parts of the main Japanese naval code (dubbed JN-25 by the Americans), divulging many details of his plan to the enemy. His emphasis on dispersal also meant none of his formations were in a position to support the others. For instance, despite the fact that Nagumo’s carriers were expected to carry out strikes against Midway and bear the brunt of American counterattacks, the only warships in his fleet larger than the screening force of twelve destroyers were two Kongō-class fast battleships, two heavy cruisers, and one light cruiser. By contrast, Yamamoto and Kondo had between them two light carriers, five battleships, four heavy cruisers, and two light cruisers, none of which saw action at Midway. The light carriers of the trailing forces and Yamamoto’s three battleships were unable to keep pace with the carriers of the Kidō Butai[nb 1] and so could not have sailed in company with them. The Kido Butai would sail into range at best speed so as to increase the chance of surprise, and would not have ships spread out across the ocean guiding the enemy toward it. If the other parts of the invasion force needed more defense, the Kido Butai would make best speed to defend them. Hence the slower ships could not be with the Kido Butai. The distance between Yamamoto and Kondo’s forces and Nagumo’s carriers had grave implications during the battle. The invaluable reconnaissance capability of the scout planes carried by the cruisers and carriers, as well as the additional antiaircraft capability of the cruisers and the other two battleships of the Kongō-class in the trailing forces, was unavailable to Nagumo.
What Hammer-my- toe did not know was that the A-merry-cans had broken part of the Ja’s Pan Knees code, a.k.a. ‘A code in de doze’ which is what you sound like when you are all bunged up. ‘A cold in the nose’ as we would understand it.
A.k.a. Covid 19 or the ‘flu in some quarters although really these are a more severe variant of a cold.
Dispersing his forces meant that they could not be called upon to help each other quickly, and by the time might arrive it would be too late.
The problem was that Nag-omo had only two bottle bruisers, a cross between a bottleship and a bruiser (but not a cross-dresser), two heavy bruisers and one light bruiser.
Whereas Hammer-my- toe and admirable No-butt-ache Kan-do had two light haircraft carriers, five bottleships, four heavy bruisers, and two light bruisers between them which would take no part in the fight.
Despite being light, the haircraft carriers were too slow to keep up with Nag-omo’s force and Hammer-my- toe’s three bottleships were also too slow anyway being big and heavy.
The Fast carrier force or Kid-o Butt-aye, or the ‘cool kid’ as it was known, was fast enough to sail to the help of the other parts more quickly. But as the main thrust was via this force, lacking the additional support would have grave consequences during the fight.
Grave as in watery grave of course. Watery gravy is not nice as I am sure you know.
The lack of the other groups scouts who could scour the ocean for signs of the enemy and reduced anti-haircraft cap-abilities (i.e. unable to provide additional caps to protect the heads of Nag-omo’s force from bird dropping etc.) would be fatal.
1.1.2 Aleutian invasion
In order to obtain support from the Imperial Japanese Army for the Midway operation, the Imperial Japanese Navy agreed to support their invasion of the United States through the Aleutian Islands of Attu and Kiska, part of the organized incorporated Alaska Territory. The IJA occupied these islands to place the Japanese home islands out of range of U.S. land-based bombers in Alaska. Similarly, most Americans feared that the occupied islands would be used as bases for Japanese bombers to attack strategic targets and population centers along the West Coast of the United States. The Japanese operations in the Aleutians (Operation AL) removed yet more ships that could otherwise have augmented the force striking Midway. Whereas many earlier historical accounts considered the Aleutians operation as a feint to draw American forces away, according to the original Japanese battle plan, AL was intended to be launched simultaneously with the attack on Midway. A one-day delay in the sailing of Nagumo’s task force resulted in Operation AL beginning a day before the Midway attack.
Probably little known, is the A-loo-shun invasion. These were some frankly rather shitty islands off Alaska where the weather is foul and life is shitty on them.
Unless you are used to that sort of life and like the isolation and usually cold weather. And the rain, as the main settlement is ‘Unalaska, with about 250 rainy days per year, is said to be one of the rainiest places within the U.S.’
This was a faint by the ladies in the group who, while fainting hoped to draw A-merry-can forces away. But in reality the A-merry-can’s didn’t respond as hoped; not as gallant as the Ja’s Pan Knees hoped perhaps.
A similar thing happens today in the Ukraine as people are distracted by this war which is a feint, while the real battles are going on nearer to home and will prove significant.
1.2.1 American reinforcements
To do battle with an enemy expected to muster four or five carriers, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Commander in Chief, Pacific Ocean Areas, needed every available flight deck. He already had Vice Admiral William Halsey’s two-carrier (Enterprise and Hornet) task force at hand, though Halsey was stricken with severe dermatitis and had to be replaced by Rear Admiral Raymond A. Spruance, Halsey’s escort commander. Nimitz also hurriedly recalled Rear Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher’s task force, including the carrier Yorktown, from the South West Pacific Area.
Now the man in charge of the A-merry-cans was an admirable No-mitts who had a chest with a W on it I gather. He was called No-mitts as he had a hands- off approach to operational matters. Either that or he didn’t wear gloves.
He had an admirable vice called Will-I-am Hall-see, who was also a bull I understand. Probably a bull in a China shop as he made a bit of a mess in the South China Sea. That is a vice of course.
Hall-see had doormat-tight-is, a rather curious affliction where his door mat was too tight fitting and was very irritating.
So he had to be replace by a rear admirable Ray-mon Da Spew-ants, who looked good from the rear rather than the front it appears. But looking at the photos of him online, I can’t see why. Never mind.
Despite estimates that Yorktown, damaged in the Battle of the Coral Sea, would require several months of repairs at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, her elevators were intact and her flight deck largely so. The Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard worked around the clock, and in 72 hours she was restored to a battle-ready state, judged good enough for two or three weeks of operations, as Nimitz required. Her flight deck was patched, and whole sections of internal frames were cut out and replaced. Repairs continued even as she sortied, with work crews from the repair ship USS Vestal, herself damaged in the attack on Pearl Harbor six months earlier, still aboard.
U.S.S. Your-K-town had quite a few buildings demolished in the Coral C fight, and would several months of rebuilding work, but the elevators in the buildings lost were, amazingly, still standing. And for a haircraft carrier, her fly tzedek was largely intact.
Now No-Mitts needed her for the fight ahead, and so Pearl in her arbour worked around the clock (which was in the way) and managed to sort out Your-K-town’s hair capabilities and make her presentable, if not good as new.
Pearl being an obliging woman, even was sorting her out as she sortied from Pearl’s Arbor, ably supported by a Vestal virgin I think.
Yorktown’s partially depleted air group was rebuilt using whatever planes and pilots could be found. Scouting Five (VS-5) was replaced with Bombing Three (VB-3) from USS Saratoga. Torpedo Five (VT-5) was also replaced by Torpedo Three (VT-3). Fighting Three (VF-3) was reconstituted to replace VF-42 with sixteen pilots from VF-42 and eleven pilots from VF-3, with Lieutenant Commander John S. “Jimmy” Thach in command. Some of the aircrew were inexperienced, which may have contributed to an accident in which Thach’s executive officer Lieutenant Commander Donald Lovelace was killed. Despite efforts to get Saratoga (which had been undergoing repairs on the American West Coast) ready, the need to resupply and assemble sufficient escorts meant she was unable to reach Midway until after the battle.
Your-K-town’s hair was made good using planes and pies, lots of them – she was quite hungry after the fight at the Coral C. Using planes seems a bit drastic on one’s hair, but I suppose if you haven’t got suitable clippers, a plane is the next best thing.
Five scouts were replaced by 3 bummers. Seeing as scouts ‘do their best’ and bummers are, well, just bummers this doesn’t’ make sense. The bummers came from a Sarah Toga, I suppose she wanted to get rid of them and was glad of an excuse.
5 tor-pedos were replace by 3 tor-pedos. As ‘pedos’ is farts in Spanish, I imagine this is a good thing. After all, the methane produced is flammable, and that could be dangerous in a fight.
On the other hand it could be a ‘secret weapon’ to be released on the enemy when he least expects it,
Like Joe Biden, the old fart, who was installed like a toilet as POTUS in 2021. No one in their right minds expected that. Except probably Donald Trump.
Those in their left minds, mainly women it seems, thought it perfectly reasonable. Such as Nancy Pelosi and Kamala Harris for example. Where they left their minds is anybody’s guess. In the toilet whilst doing their toilet no doubt.
The ‘Fighting three’ was remade to replace VF-42 with 16 and 11 lots of pies, or 27 pies in total which is a lot of pies. But then Your-K-Town was a big girl, so how else could she maintain her figure?
Please note 42 for those that want to make up a question to this ultimate answer. See this for more information.
This is the VT-42 insignia. It looks quite mad. If anybody can explain what is on its feet I would be grateful. They sort of look like planes to me.
It had been hoped that Sarah Toga would be ready to make it to the fight at Midway, but her toga was in such a mess there just wasn’t time.
And anyway, she needed lots of men to escort her, and they couldn’t be found in time.
On Midway, by 4 June the U.S. Navy had stationed four squadrons of PBYs—31 aircraft in total—for long-range reconnaissance duties, and six brand-new Grumman TBF Avengers from Hornet’s VT-8. The Marine Corps stationed 19 Douglas SBD Dauntless, seven F4F-3 Wildcats, 17 Vought SB2U Vindicators, and 21 Brewster F2A Buffalos. The USAAF contributed a squadron of 17 B-17 Flying Fortresses and four Martin B-26 Marauders equipped with torpedoes: in total 126 aircraft. Although the F2As and SB2Us were already obsolete, they were the only aircraft available to the Marine Corps at the time.
On Midway the U.S. Navy had 4 squat-Rons (like Mac-Rons, only far more useful) for lone ranger activities. There were also 6 brand-new Grim-men Avengers from the Hornet.
Please note she, the Hornet, was excellent at the stinging remark. She was also known by hair nickname ‘The Hairnet), which would come in handy for keeping her hair in one place during the fight.
There were also 19 Dugless Dawn tea lassies, or DD for short. Some lassies have DD’s (ahem). There were 7 wild cats, 17 Thought Windicators for indicating whether one was thinking of turning left or right and 21 Brew-star Buff-hellos for greeting people with a nice brew, tea or coffee.
There were also 17 Flying Four-tresses for plaiting the hair into tresses or pig-tails, and 4 Martin Ma-Orders for ordering whatever you wanted ordered.
1.2.2 Japanese shortcomings
During the Battle of the Coral Sea one month earlier, the Japanese light carrier Shōhō had been sunk, while the fleet carrier Shōkaku had been severely damaged by three bomb hits and was in drydock for months of repair. Although the fleet carrier Zuikaku escaped the battle undamaged, she had lost almost half her air group, and was in port in Kure awaiting replacement planes and pilots. That there were none immediately available is attributable to the failure of the IJN crew training program, which already showed signs of being unable to replace losses. Instructors from the Yokosuka Air Corps were employed in an effort to make up the shortfall.
The Ja’s Pan Knees had a number of shortcomings. This was because they were relatively short in stature compared to the A-merry-cans. They also had short combings because their hair was short.
They also had short coamings on their ships as if they had tall coamings, they would have had more difficulty getting in and out of their ships.
Now, in the fight at the Coral C, the light haircraft carrier So-ho had been sunk, and the flea-T haircraft carrier Shock A. Coo severely damaged by 3 bums.
The flea-T haircraft carrier Zoe Cacku was undamaged, but lost almost half of her hair which was pulled out in the fight. She was having some port as a cure I believe whilst someone made her a wig to replace the lost hair.
Historians Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully believe that by combining the surviving aircraft and pilots from Shōkaku and Zuikaku, it is likely that Zuikaku could have been equipped with almost a full composite air group. They also note, however, that doing so would have violated Japanese carrier doctrine, which stressed that carriers and their air groups must train as a single unit. (In contrast, American air squadrons were considered interchangeable between carriers.) In any case, the Japanese apparently made no serious attempt to get Zuikaku ready for the forthcoming battle.
There are those who think that combining the haircraft from Shock A. Coo and Zoe Cacku would have been sufficient to make one wig for Zoe Cacku.
However, they have also noted that this would have violated the Ja’s Pan Knees carrier Doc Trine’s principles, that each carrier must train as one unit, unlike the A-merry-cans. Good in theory but not so good in wartime.
Rather like doctors nowadays not being ‘allowed’ to use Ivermectin to treat patients for Covid 19/the ‘flu, despite the fact it clearly works for many people.
Anyway, it seems they weren’t too bothered; perhaps they thought they were strong enough already and the A-merry-cans were a feeble, demoralised, bunch. Got that wrong didn’t they. Never underestimate your enemy’s capabilities of recuperation.
Thus, Carrier Division 5, consisting of the two most advanced aircraft carriers of the Kido Butai, was not available, which meant that Vice-Admiral Nagumo had only two-thirds of the fleet carriers at his disposal: Kaga and Akagi forming Carrier Division 1 and Hiryū and Sōryū making up Carrier Division 2. This was partly due to fatigue; Japanese carriers had been constantly on operations since 7 December 1941, including raids on Darwin and Colombo. Nonetheless, the First Carrier Strike Force sailed with 248 available aircraft on the four carriers (60 on Akagi, 74 on Kaga (B5N2 squadron oversized), 57 on Hiryū and 57 on Sōryū).
Thus the carrier Division 5 which contained the two most skilled haircraft carriers of the Kid-o Butt-aye were not available which meant the admirable Nag—mo had only two-thirds of the flea-T carriers at his disposal.
These were A car guy and Gaga in carrier Division 1, and Saw you and How are you in Division 2.
I gather this was due to a fat ague, a type of illness that afflicts the obese. Like Covid 19/the ‘flu.
It is said that the haircraft carriers had constant operations, at least I think that’s what they meant, since 7th December 1941. This included hair raids of Charles Darwin and Columbo, a.k.a Peter Falk (R.I.P.).
The main Japanese carrier-borne strike aircraft were the D3A1 “Val” dive bomber and the B5N2 “Kate”, which was used either as a torpedo bomber or as a level bomber. The main carrier fighter was the fast and highly maneuverable A6M “Zero”. For a variety of reasons, production of the “Val” had been drastically reduced, while that of the “Kate” had been stopped completely and, as a consequence, there were none available to replace losses. In addition, many of the aircraft being used during the June 1942 operations had been operational since late November 1941 and, although they were well-maintained, many were almost worn out and had become increasingly unreliable. These factors meant all carriers of the Kido Butai had fewer aircraft than their normal complement, with few spare aircraft or parts stored in the carriers’ hangars.
As with the fight at Pearl’s Arbour, the haircraft available were called Val and Kate as dive bummers (who would dive into disreputable dives or night clubs), and tor-pedos or a level bummer respectively.
With all the operations on them they were getting worn out, and rather unreliable, so one sympathises.
In addition, Nagumo’s carrier force suffered from several defensive deficiencies which gave it, in Mark Peattie’s words, a “‘glass jaw’: it could throw a punch but couldn’t take one.” Japanese carrier anti-aircraft guns and associated fire control systems had several design and configuration deficiencies which limited their effectiveness. The IJN’s fleet combat air patrol (CAP) consisted of too few fighter aircraft and was hampered by an inadequate early warning system, including a lack of radar. Poor radio communications with the fighter aircraft inhibited effective command and control of the CAP. The carriers’ escorting warships were deployed as visual scouts in a ring at long range, not as close anti-aircraft escorts, as they lacked training, doctrine, and sufficient anti-aircraft guns.
Also Nag-omo’s carriers could throw a punch but not take one, due to their glass draws or pantaloons. Such things are obviously unsuitable in a fight as I’m sure any ladies reading this post will understand.
Their carriers anti-haircraft buns, tied in a bun on their heads, were not sufficient protection from being bopped on the head.
Added to this was the fact that their caps were limited. They just didn’t have enough caps to go round.
And they didn’t have Ray Darr, who was excellent at spotting trouble looming ahead. Their communications was poor limited to hand signals which were easily misinterpreted.
The carriers’ escorts, the males, were in a ring a long way off which seems odd for escorts as you would have thought they would be close at hand to help the ladies in a haircraft fight.
Japanese strategic scouting arrangements prior to the battle were also in disarray. A picket line of Japanese submarines was late getting into position (partly because of Yamamoto’s haste), which let the American carriers reach their assembly point northeast of Midway (known as “Point Luck”) without being detected. A second attempt at reconnaissance, using four-engine H8K “Emily” flying boats to scout Pearl Harbor prior to the battle and detect whether the American carriers were present, part of Operation K, was thwarted when Japanese submarines assigned to refuel the search aircraft discovered that the intended refueling point—a hitherto deserted bay off French Frigate Shoals—was now occupied by American warships because the Japanese had carried out an identical mission in March. Thus, Japan was deprived of any knowledge concerning the movements of the American carriers immediately before the battle.
The Ja’s Pan Knees scouts were in Diss, Aray, as opposed to Diss in Norfolk, England. This was still not the place they were meant to be. The sub-Maureens were late because Hammer-my- toe was hasty, and so the A-merry-cans reached a point where they weren’t detected.
Four N. Djinns all called Emily were supposed to scout Pearl’s Arbour to see if the A-merry-cans carriers were present (part of Operation Qué?, meaning ‘what?’ in Spanish). However, they were unable to refuel because the refuelling point was now occupied by A-merry-can were-ships.
This was because the Ja’s Pan Knees had carried out an identical mission in March. This was of course very fuelish (sic). It is no good assuming you can do the same thing twice, as your enemy may not be that dumb.
Unless perhaps you are democrat, for example, voting for Joe Biden whose long career has being littered with gaffs and lies.
In which case getting them to play Russian roulette with their body by keeping on injecting vaccines will work, even though earlier vaccines have clearly made them ill.
Japanese radio intercepts did notice an increase in both American submarine activity and message traffic. This information was in Yamamoto’s hands prior to the battle. Japanese plans were not changed; Yamamoto, at sea in Yamato, assumed Nagumo had received the same signal from Tokyo, and did not communicate with him by radio, so as not to reveal his position. These messages were, contrary to earlier historical accounts, also received by Nagumo before the battle began. For reasons which remain unclear, Nagumo did not alter his plans or take additional precautions.
The Ja’s Pan Knees did note an increase in radio traffic, where the traffic on the Roads was moving alone with its radios on full blast which should have been a warning sign the A-merry-cans were on the move.
But the Ja’s Pan Knees did not review their plans in the light of this. Always sensible to at least make contingencies.
And don’t forget pride comes before a fall. Just like Pride marches come in the summer before the Fall, or autumn in the UK. They will fall too, these Pride marches.
1.2.3 U.S. code-breaking
Admiral Nimitz had one critical advantage: U.S. cryptanalysts had partially broken the Japanese Navy’s JN-25b code. Since early 1942, the U.S. had been decoding messages stating that there would soon be an operation at objective “AF”. It was initially not known where “AF” was, but Commander Joseph Rochefort and his team at Station HYPO were able to confirm that it was Midway: Captain Wilfred Holmes devised a ruse of telling the base at Midway (by secure undersea cable) to broadcast an uncoded radio message stating that Midway’s water purification system had broken down. Within 24 hours, the code breakers picked up a Japanese message that “AF was short on water”. No Japanese radio operators who intercepted the message seemed concerned that the Americans were broadcasting uncoded that a major naval installation close to the Japanese threat ring was having a water shortage, which could have tipped off Japanese intelligence officers that it was a deliberate attempt at deception.
The admirable No-mitts had a critical advantage; the nail sisters in the crypt had partly broken the Ja’s Pan Knees code. This was the ‘code in the doze’ referred to earlier.
There was a chap called Joe Rochefort who was the big cheese at the HYPO station where they dealt with cases of hypochondria. Such as with people who think they are going to die from Covid 19 and have a vaccine or anti-viral pill which might do the trick.
A Will Fred Homes, a property developer, pretended that Midway was suffering a water shortage and sent a message to that effect without a ‘code’. As you will know, a ‘code’ makes one speak rather peculiarly and can make it difficult for people to understand you.
Apparently the Ja’s Pan Knees Ray D. O’Pereighter was not concerned that the A-merry-cans were telling a fib by not having a ‘code’ or even a sniffle as everyone was having them back then.
HYPO was also able to determine the date of the attack as either 4 or 5 June, and to provide Nimitz with a complete IJN order of battle.
HYPO was able to get under the skin of the Ja’s Pan Knees and determine that they would be making a date for the 5th or 6th with June whoever she was.
Japan had a new codebook, but its introduction had been delayed, enabling HYPO to read messages for several crucial days; the new code, which took several days to be cracked, came into use on 24 May, but the important breaks had already been made.
Ja’s Pan had devised or new ‘codebook’ or variant as we might call them nowadays. Like monkey pox for example. Although this has been around for a while anyway and is a load of boll-pox or something like that.
As a result, the Americans entered the battle with a good picture of where, when, and in what strength the Japanese would appear. Nimitz knew that the Japanese had negated their numerical advantage by dividing their ships into four separate task groups, so widely separated that they were essentially unable to support each other. This dispersal resulted in few fast ships being available to escort the Carrier Striking Force, thus reducing the number of anti-aircraft guns protecting the carriers. Nimitz calculated that the aircraft on his three carriers, plus those on Midway Island, gave the U.S. rough parity with Yamamoto’s four carriers, mainly because American carrier air groups were larger than Japanese ones. The Japanese, by contrast, remained largely unaware of their opponent’s true strength and dispositions even after the battle began.
As a result, the A-merry-cans had a good picture of where, when and what the Ja’s Pan Knees would do. Rather like anticipating the next move of big pharma/governments to try and fool people today. We know what you are doing dipsticks.
Anyway, knowing that the Ja’s Pan Knees had spilt their forces into four groups which could not, in essence, support each other meant that No-mitts worked out his haircraft would roughly match the Ja’s Pan Knees haircraft.
Which goes to show that what you know is very useful in a war, not just who you know, let alone knowing the WHO.
Although knowing the WHO is a corrupted organisation is very helpful.
1.3.1 Order of battle
You can look up the full detail via Wikipedia and I won’t bother to go into the detail of the surface ships but in essence these included:
Haircraft carriers – these were called flat tops, a type of hair do.
Ja’s Pan people had various bottleships, bruisers and des Troyers
The main haircraft carriers
A car guy
How are you
The haircraft were
‘Vals’ – Itchy dive bummers – these were always itching to get at the enemy
‘Kates’ – Knackered Jims torpedo bummers – Editor’s note: these were obsolete by 1941!!!
Zero fighters – zero or nought fighters, although bizarrely there were quite a lot of them.
‘Judy’ dive bummers
‘Jake’ floats who floated around looking for trouble
‘Dave’ float who floated around looking for trouble
A-merry-cans had various bruisers and des Troyers
The main haircraft carriers
Hornet or hairnet
A-merry-cans haircraft included:
Grim-men wild cat fighters
Dugless Dawn-tea-lasses dive bummers
Dugless De vast taters tor-pedo bummers. They were very large potatoes or ‘taters’.
As well as some of the above they had:
Thought Windicators dive bummers
The cats for scouting. They could cope with the water which is very unusual for cats.
Martin Ma order medium bummer
Bowing Flying Four tresses – these were bendy haircraft with four tresses or plaits.
1.3.2 Initial air attacks
At about 09:00 on 3 June, Ensign Jack Reid, piloting a PBY from U.S. Navy patrol squadron VP-44, spotted the Japanese Occupation Force 500 nautical miles (580 miles; 930 kilometers) to the west-southwest of Midway. He mistakenly reported this group as the Main Force.
At about 9:00 on the 3rd June (2 Junes had come along before her), and N-sign as opposed to a V-sign was made by Jack Reed who was in charge of a PB, why I don’t know.
He spotted the Ja’s Pan Knees Occupation Team 500 nought-tickle miles to the south-west of Midway. He thought this was the main team but it wasn’t.
Nine B-17s took off from Midway at 12:30 for the first air attack. Three hours later, they found Tanaka’s transport group 570 nautical miles (660 miles; 1,060 kilometers) to the west.
Nine Flying Four-tresses took off to make the first hair attack to give the Ja’s Pan Knees crews a crew cut.
Harassed by heavy anti-aircraft fire, they dropped their bombs. Although their crews reported hitting four ships, none of the bombs actually hit anything and no significant damage was inflicted. Early the following morning, the Japanese oil tanker Akebono Maru sustained the first hit when a torpedo from an attacking PBY struck her around 01:00. This was the only successful air-launched torpedo attack by the U.S. during the entire battle.
The Ja’s Pan Knees did not take kindly to this, so put up a fight. The Four-tresses dropped their bums and although they thought they hit four ships, they didn’t, and didn’t even get close enough to damp down the crew’s hair.
However, the following morning the Ja’s Pan Knees Olly Tanker, Ache-bono Ma-are-you got hit by a tor-pedo, a type of long sandwich like a submarine. This was noticeable as the only hair lunched torpedo thrown at the Ja’s Pan Knees during the entire battle which seems pretty pathetic.
At 04:30 on 4 June, Nagumo launched his initial attack on Midway itself, consisting of 36 Aichi D3A dive bombers and 36 Nakajima B5N torpedo bombers, escorted by 36 Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighters. At the same time, he launched his seven search aircraft (2 “Kates” from Akagi and Kaga, 4 “Jakes” from Tone and Chikuma, and 1 short range “Dave” from battleship Haruna; an eighth aircraft from the heavy cruiser Tone launched 30 minutes late). Japanese reconnaissance arrangements were flimsy, with too few aircraft to adequately cover the assigned search areas, laboring under poor weather conditions to the northeast and east of the task force. As Nagumo’s bombers and fighters were taking off, 11 PBYs were leaving Midway to run their search patterns. At 05:34, a PBY reported sighting two Japanese carriers and another spotted the inbound airstrike 10 minutes later.
On the 4th June who passed by, Nag-omo lunched his initial attack on Midway with 36 itchy dive bummers, 36 knackered Jims torpedo bummers and 36 Zero fighters. I have said before that 36 zeros are still zero, so it is all rather odd.
Anyway, he also had lunch with 2 Kates, 4 Jakes and a Dave who would go scouting. Someone else also had lunch but it was a late lunch and we don’t seem to know what he/she was called.
The scouting arrangements were flimsy to cover such a large area of ‘sy’ or sea especially when the weather was poor. I assume it was pooring with rain, but it doesn’t say.
By contrast, 11 PB’s, why I still don’t know, left Midway with their search patterns with which they could create a nice garment as they looked around. One sighted two Ja’s Pan Knees and another spotted the strike 10 minutes later.
Midway’s radar picked up the enemy at a distance of several miles, and interceptors were scrambled. Unescorted bombers headed off to attack the Japanese carriers, their fighter escorts remaining behind to defend Midway. At 06:20, Japanese carrier aircraft bombed and heavily damaged the U.S. base. Midway-based Marine fighters led by Major Floyd B. Parks, which included six F4Fs and 20 F2As, intercepted the Japanese and suffered heavy losses, though they managed to destroy four B5Ns, as well as a single A6M. Within the first few minutes, two F4Fs and 13 F2As were destroyed, while most of the surviving U.S. planes were damaged, with only two remaining airworthy. American anti-aircraft fire was intense and accurate, destroying three additional Japanese aircraft and damaging many more.
Midway’s Ray Darr picked up the enemy at a distance of several miles, which just shows how long his arms were. Interceptors were scrambled (these were presumably eggs for breakfast), whilst unescorted bummers went off to have ‘words’ with the Ja’s Pan Knees carriers.
The Ja’s Pan Knees haircraft heavily damaged the US base, i.e. kicked their bottoms very hard as a base is a bottom of course. The Midway based fighters fought the Ja’s Pan Knees but suffered heavy losses, but did not leave the Ja’s Pan Knees unscathed.
And the anti-haircraft fire was in tents which kept the tents warm. It also burnt the Ja’s Pan Knees who entered the tents, three being burnt to a crisp and many others being damaged.
Of the 108 Japanese aircraft involved in this attack, 11 were destroyed (including three that ditched), 14 were heavily damaged, and 29 were damaged to some degree. The initial Japanese attack did not succeed in neutralizing Midway: American bombers could still use the airbase to refuel and attack the Japanese invasion force, and most of Midway’s land-based defenses similarly remained intact. Japanese pilots reported to Nagumo that a second aerial attack on Midway’s defenses would be necessary if troops were to go ashore by 7 June.
The Ja’s Pan Knees had half of the attacking force damaged to some degree, and did not put Midway into neutral. The Ja’s Pan Knees pilots reported that a second hairy el attack would be required if troops were to go ashore for sure. On the foreshore of course.
Having taken off prior to the Japanese attack, American bombers based on Midway made several attacks on the Japanese carrier force. These included six Grumman Avengers, detached to Midway from Hornet’s VT-8 (Midway was the combat debut of both VT-8 and the TBF); Marine Scout-Bombing Squadron 241 (VMSB-241), consisting of 11 SB2U-3s and 16 SBDs, plus four USAAF B-26s of the 18th Reconnaissance and 69th Bomb Squadrons armed with torpedoes, and 15 B-17s of the 31st, 72nd, and 431st Bomb Squadrons. The Japanese repelled these attacks and the attacking force, losing only three Zero fighters while destroying five TBFs, two SB2Us, eight SBDs, and two B-26s. Among the dead was Major Lofton R. Henderson of VMSB-241, killed while leading his inexperienced Dauntless squadron into action. The main airfield at Guadalcanal was named after him in August 1942.
The A-merry-can bummers made several attacks on the Ja’s Pan Knees carriers, but these were repelled as they were not wanted. The Ja’s Pan Knees lost three Zero’s, but this is still zero. Very confusing.
The A-merry-cans lost 17 bummers which is a lot of bummers. And as one might say, a bit of a bummer for the A-merry-cans.
One B-26, piloted by Lieutenant James Muri, after dropping his torpedo and searching for a safer escape route, flew directly down the length of Akagi while being chased by interceptors and anti-aircraft fire, which had to hold their fire to avoid hitting their own flagship. As it flew down the length of the ship, the B-26 strafed Akagi, killing two men. Another B-26, which had been seriously damaged by anti-aircraft fire, didn’t pull out of its run, and instead headed directly for Akagi’s bridge. The aircraft, either attempting a suicide ramming, or out of control due to battle damage or a wounded or killed pilot, narrowly missed crashing into the carrier’s bridge, which could have killed Nagumo and his command staff, before it cartwheeled into the sea. This experience may well have contributed to Nagumo’s determination to launch another attack on Midway, in direct violation of Yamamoto’s order to keep the reserve strike force armed for anti-ship operations.
A Martin ma-order under the control of a Maori called James dropped his torpedo and strafed the A Car Guy on the way out.
Another Martin ma-order who was running at the A Car Guy headed for the island where those in charge were playing bridge. He did a cartwheel into the sea which was impressive.
Nag-omo was so impressed it is thought that this encouraged him to have another lunch on Midway, although this violated Hammer-my-toe’s order to keep something in reserve. That is, not to have lunch too often as this is greedy.
While the air strikes from Midway were going on, the American submarine Nautilus (Lt. Commander William Brockman) found herself near the Japanese fleet, attracting attention from the escorts. Around 08:20, she made an unsuccessful torpedo attack on a battleship and then had to dive to evade the escorts. At 09:10, she launched a torpedo at a cruiser and again had to dive to evade the escorts, with destroyer Arashi spending considerable time chasing Nautilus.
In the meantime a naughty lass, an A-merry-can submarine, a type of long sandwich as mentioned before, found herself near the Ja’s Pan Knees feet which attracted the escorts attention who were still hungry.
She tried throwing a torpedo at a bottleship but that didn’t work and had to go into a dive to avoid the escorts. It is dimly lit in a dive so this was helpful.
She tried again at a bruiser, with one persistent Des Troyer spending much time chasing her. He obviously was very hungry.
1.3.3 Nagumo’s dilemma
In accordance with Yamamoto’s orders for Operation MI, Admiral Nagumo had kept half of his aircraft in reserve. These comprised two squadrons each of dive bombers and torpedo bombers. The dive bombers were as yet unarmed (this was doctrinal: dive bombers were to be armed on the flight deck). The torpedo bombers were armed with torpedoes should any American warships be located.
Nag-omo had a problem; he didn’t know whether to dial Emma or not for advice. Indeed, he didn’t know whether to dial Emma for murder either.
Hammer-my- toe had given orders to keep half of the haircraft in reserve. The dive bummers were as yet unarmed, as their arms had been removed for safe keeping (I assume they were artificial arms).
Apparently this has to do with Doc Trinal who said they must do this, as otherwise they were at risk of catching Covid, or the ‘flu as it was known then.
And not dissimilar to today when ladies, who have a diagnosis of breast cancer, are told they will need to have their breasts removed to prevent cancer.
As opposed to detoxifying themselves of the toxins that probably caused the problem in the first place. Or a misdiagnosis which is common.
But then far too many are just a load of tits nowadays. The doctors that is.
At 07:15, Nagumo ordered his reserve planes to be re-armed with contact-fused general-purpose bombs for use against land targets. This was a result of the attacks from Midway, as well as of the morning flight leader’s recommendation of a second strike. Re-arming had been underway for about 30 minutes when, at 07:40, the delayed scout plane from Tone signaled that it had sighted a sizable American naval force to the east, but neglected to specify its composition. Later evidence suggests Nagumo did not receive the sighting report until 08:00.
Nag-omo ordered his reserve planes to have confused bums fitted as arms which doesn’t seem very handy to me. Apparently these would be good against L.A. And-argets although it sounds rather confusing to me.
In the middle of rearming with bums there was a signal from Tony, one of the heavy brusiers. He said that there was a large A-merry-can navel force to the east with exposed belly buttons but neglected to say if they were male or female or what size, hair colour etc.
Not dissimilar to today where there are people who can’t define a women let alone a man. Such as Judge Jackson in the U.S.A. who I believe is a woman, although you can’t be 100% sure nowadays.
As she says she is not a biologist, perhaps she is not a woman either.
Possibly she is just confused as so many women can be. But then she is a Democrat, so we understand things are hard for them in the Brain Department.
Nagumo quickly reversed his order to re-arm the bombers with general-purpose bombs and demanded that the scout plane ascertain the composition of the American force. Another 20–40 minutes elapsed before Tone’s scout finally radioed the presence of a single carrier in the American force. This was one of the carriers from Task Force 16. The other carrier was not sighted.
Nag-omo reversed his order and said put G.P, or jeep, bums on instead. Tony was asked to clarify the position and after some delay he said he could see only one carrier.
Nagumo was now in a quandary. Rear Admiral Tamon Yamaguchi, leading Carrier Division 2 (Hiryū and Sōryū), recommended that Nagumo strike immediately with the forces at hand: 16 Aichi D3A1 dive bombers on Sōryū and 18 on Hiryū, and half the ready cover patrol aircraft. Nagumo’s opportunity to hit the American ships was now limited by the imminent return of his Midway strike force. The returning strike force needed to land promptly or it would have to ditch into the sea. Because of the constant flight deck activity associated with combat air patrol operations during the preceding hour, the Japanese never had an opportunity to position (“spot”) their reserve planes on the flight deck for launch.
Nag-omo was now in a Quan Derry, rather like a Tie Quan do, the martial art. Only he was not sure what to do, do up his tie or not as it were. He had doubts which were nagging him, hence his name.
The admirable rear, Tar-man Yah-ma-guchi, who wore expensive shoes from Italy and in charge of carrier Division 2, advised going on strike immediately, although going on strike doesn’t seem very helpful.
Especially as the force already on strike on Midway were returning soon for lunch I gather. And if the decks weren’t cleared, they would have to turn to drink, or ditch in the drink or sea as they say, and they wouldn’t be fit for anything for the rest of the day.
And because the Ja’s Pan Knees were maintaining their caps due to the shortage of caps referred to earlier, the reserve planes hadn’t had had their lunch yet. What a to-do.
The few aircraft on the Japanese flight decks at the time of the attack were either defensive fighters or, in the case of Sōryū, fighters being spotted to augment the combat air patrol. Spotting his flight decks and launching aircraft would have required at least 30 minutes. Furthermore, by spotting and launching immediately, Nagumo would be committing some of his reserves to battle without proper anti-ship armament, and likely without fighter escort; indeed, he had just witnessed how easily the unescorted American bombers had been shot down.
Now the decks were being spotted, probably by seagulls making the usual mess, and this makes lunching difficult, if not hazardous. One does not want something extra unpleasant in one’s lunch if one can help it.
Japanese carrier doctrine preferred the launching of fully constituted strikes rather than piecemeal attacks. Without confirmation of whether the American force included carriers (not received until 08:20), Nagumo’s reaction was doctrinaire. In addition, the arrival of another land-based American air strike at 07:53 gave weight to the need to attack the island again. In the end, Nagumo decided to wait for his first strike force to land, and then launch the reserve, which would by then be properly armed with torpedoes.
The Ja’s Pan Knees carrier Doc Trine preferred lunching full strikes rather than having meals in bits and pieces.
Nag-omo not having confirmation of whether the A-merry-cans had haircraft carriers had to consult Doc Trine air, i.e he had to stick his finger in the air to see which way the wind was blowing. And therefore whether or not lunch on deck was feasible.
As the A-merry-cans had arrived from land and gone on strike again, Nag-ome thought it best to attack the island. Please note this was Midway, not the island which each haircraft carrier has I gather. This explains why.
In the end Nag-omo decided it would be best to have his first force go on strike on land (although as the carriers were all at sea this seems confusing), and then for his reserve to have lunch.
Had Nagumo elected to launch the available aircraft around 07:45 and risked the ditching of Tomonaga’s strike force, they would have formed a powerful and well-balanced strike package that had the potential to sink two American carriers. Furthermore, fueled and armed aircraft inside the ships presented a significant additional hazard in terms of damage to the carriers in an event of attack, and keeping them on the decks was much more dangerous than getting them airborne. Whatever the case, at that point there was no way to stop the American strike against him, since Fletcher’s carriers had launched their planes beginning at 07:00 (with Enterprise and Hornet having completed launching by 07:55, but Yorktown not until 09:08), so the aircraft that would deliver the crushing blow were already on their way. Even if Nagumo had not strictly followed carrier doctrine, he could not have prevented the launch of the American attack.
Had Nag-omo chosen to have lunch first for those who were keen to eat and risked the two-man Aga going in the ditch, they would have formed a powerful and well-balanced packaged strike. Rather like vitamins C and D working well together against Covid 19 or the ‘flu.
Of course getting the Aga out of the ditch would have been problematic as Aga’s are very heavy and might take more than two men.
Leaving the fooled armed haircraft bods inside the ship presented a significant hazard as they tended to fuel (sic) around, and even on deck they could muck around, so really much better to get them hairborne.
Nevertheless, there was no way the strike that was scheduled against the Ja’s Pan Knees could be stopped, as the Union leaders of the A-merry-cans knew very well.
They had planned properly and had lunch early at 07.00. Very early I know, but some people will skip breakfast and have lunch instead.
The haircraft that would deliver the Cushing blow (like Peter Cushing the vampire slayer) were on their way regardless, so even if Nag-omo had not followed Doc Trine’s advice, he could not have prevented the A-merry-cans having lunch by dropping in unexpectedly and pinching all their food.
1.3.4 Attacks on the Japanese fleet
The Americans had already launched their carrier aircraft against the Japanese. Fletcher, in overall command aboard Yorktown, and benefiting from PBY sighting reports from the early morning, ordered Spruance to launch against the Japanese as soon as was practical, while initially holding Yorktown in reserve in case any other Japanese carriers were found.
As we know the A-merry-cans had already had lunch. The fletcher on board with Your-K-Town and benefitting from Si Ting’s reports, had hors d’oeuvres with Spew- ants for lunch. An odd combination.
Anyway, he said they should have lunch with the Ja’s Pan Knees as soon as possible. This seems rather greedy.
Spruance judged that, though the range was extreme, a strike could succeed and gave the order to launch the attack. He then left Halsey’s Chief of Staff, Captain Miles Browning, to work out the details and oversee the launch. The carriers had to launch into the wind, so the light southeasterly breeze would require them to steam away from the Japanese at high speed. Browning, therefore, suggested a launch time of 07:00, giving the carriers an hour to close on the Japanese at 25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph). This would place them at about 155 nautical miles (287 km; 178 mi) from the Japanese fleet, assuming it did not change course. The first plane took off from Spruance’s carriers Enterprise and Hornet a few minutes after 07:00. Fletcher, upon completing his own scouting flights, followed suit at 08:00 from Yorktown.
Spew-ants thought this extreme, but nevertheless agreed. He left Hall-see’s chef of stuff to sort out the menu for what was to be a picnic, although considering the reception the Ja’s Pan Knees would give them when they arrived unannounced it would be no picnic, I assure you.
The chef of stuff was a Mr Browning, a type of gravy seasoning which is why he joined the catering arm of the US Navy, or Gravy Navy as it is colloquially known.
The carriers had lunch in the wind it appears. Or it may be eating it too quickly gave them wind, I’m not sure. Anyway, it involved steaming away to presumably cook the vegetables as this helped preserve the flavours and vitamins etc.
Fletcher, along with Yorktown’s commanding officer, Captain Elliott Buckmaster, and their staffs, had acquired the first-hand experience needed in organizing and launching a full strike against an enemy force in the Coral Sea, but there was no time to pass these lessons on to Enterprise and Hornet which were tasked with launching the first strike. Spruance ordered the striking aircraft to proceed to target immediately, rather than waste time waiting for the strike force to assemble, since neutralizing enemy carriers was the key to the survival of his own task force.
The Fletcher with Ellie ‘Hot’ Buckmaster and their stuff had acquired first-hand experience at organising lunch at the Coral C, but had no thyme to pass on the lesions which would have helped heal them.
Spew-ants thought that it was better to send the haircraft going on strike to get some tar immediately. This would be useful to apply to the Ja’s Pan Knees hair and help neuter them, turning the she’s (as ships are considered female) to it’s. So from ship she’s to ship it’s.
Or more simply shi’she’s to shi’it’s which can be more readily disposed of as worthless, i.e a complete load of shi’its
While the Japanese were able to launch 108 aircraft in just seven minutes, it took Enterprise and Hornet over an hour to launch 117. Spruance judged that the need to throw something at the enemy as soon as possible was greater than the need to coordinate the attack by aircraft of different types and speeds (fighters, bombers, and torpedo bombers). Accordingly, American squadrons were launched piecemeal and proceeded to the target in several different groups. It was accepted that the lack of coordination would diminish the impact of the American attacks and increase their casualties, but Spruance calculated that this was worthwhile, since keeping the Japanese under aerial attack impaired their ability to launch a counterstrike (Japanese tactics preferred fully constituted attacks), and he gambled that he would find Nagumo with his flight decks at their most vulnerable.
While the Ja’s Pan Knees could have 108 for lunch in just 7 minutes, the Enter-prise and Hairnet took over an hour. This was probably sensible as it helped them digest their meal and not suffer indigestion.
Spwe-ants judgedthat the need to throw something at the enemy asap was greater than the need to co-ordinate the haircraft accordingly to size, height, weight etc.
If he could have thrown something else no doubt he would, but the enemy was a long way off and they would need the pots and pans for cooking the next meal.
Of course today people may still be banging pots and pans to try and ward off evil spirits such the Covid 19 monster, or Jermy Corbin as he sounds catching.
Anyway, it did mean that the lack of co-ordination would diminish the impact of the strikes and increase their casual ties which they wore around their heads as opposed to their necks. Like this.
Or a better way to do it like the Ja’s Pan Knees do. See
Spew-ants had worked out that this was worthwhile as this kept the Ja’s Pan Knees occupied with their hair. This impaired their ability to have another lunch which they preferred to do in one sitting than to have piece meals or snacks.
If they were caught unawares when having their lunch together when the A-merry-cans dropped in uninvited all hell would break loose in the confusion.
American carrier aircraft had difficulty locating the target, despite the positions they had been given. The strike from Hornet, led by Commander Stanhope C. Ring, followed an incorrect heading of 265 degrees rather than the 240 degrees indicated by the contact report. As a result, Air Group Eight’s dive bombers missed the Japanese carriers. Torpedo Squadron 8 (VT-8, from Hornet), led by Lieutenant Commander John C. Waldron, broke formation from Ring and followed the correct heading. The 10 F4Fs from Hornet ran out of fuel and had to ditch.
The A-merry-can haircraft had difficulty finding the target. The strike being organised by a Ring (one of the Ring leaders) went off course having too many degrees, rather like those awarded honorary degrees by universities which are meaningless.
As a consequence the hair groups eight dive bummers missed the Ja’s Pan Knees carriers. However, I gather there were 19 dive bummers, not eight, so more confusion here.
In any event, the torpedo squat Ron led by a John C. Walled Ron, broke from the ring and went in the right direction. Some wild cats ran low on energy and fell into a ditch.
Waldron’s squadron sighted the enemy carriers and began attacking at 09:20, followed at 09:40 by VF-6 from Enterprise, whose Wildcat fighter escorts lost contact, ran low on fuel, and had to turn back. Without fighter escort, all 15 TBD Devastators of VT-8 were shot down without being able to inflict any damage. Ensign George H. Gay, Jr. was the only survivor of the 30 aircrew of VT-8. He completed his torpedo attack on the aircraft carrier Sōryū before he was shot down, but Sōryū evaded his torpedo. Meanwhile, VT-6, led by LCDR Eugene E. Lindsey lost nine of its 14 Devastators (one ditched later), and 10 of 12 Devastators from Yorktown’s VT-3 (who attacked at 10:10) were shot down with no hits to show for their effort, thanks in part to the abysmal performance of their unimproved Mark 13 torpedoes. Midway was the last time the TBD Devastator was used in combat.
Walled Ron’s squat Ron sighted the enemy carriers, followed by the haircraft group from Enter-prize, but the wildcats ran low on energy and had to turn back.
All 15 De vast taters were shot down without causing damage in return. The N-sign, a George Gay, was the only sir viva, i.e. the only man to live through the experience. He was of course very happy or gay about this, the true meaning of the word despite what others want it to mean nowadays.
The vast majority of De vast taters were shot down with no hits to show for their effort, which was in part due to the abyss mal performance of the Mark 13 torpedoes. The abyss mal was the bad abyss or pit from which the mark of the worst torpedo came as opposed to the mark of the best (sic).
The De vast taters were devastated about all this, so much so they were never seen again.
The Japanese combat air patrol, flying Mitsubishi A6M2 Zeros, made short work of the unescorted, slow, under-armed TBDs. A few TBDs managed to get within a few ship-lengths range of their targets before dropping their torpedoes—close enough to be able to strafe the enemy ships and force the Japanese carriers to make sharp evasive maneuvers—but all of their torpedoes either missed or failed to explode. The performance of American torpedoes in the early months of the war was extremely poor, as shot after shot missed by running directly under the target (deeper than intended), prematurely exploded, or hit targets (sometimes with an audible clang) and failed to explode at all. Remarkably, senior Navy and Bureau of Ordnance officers never questioned why half a dozen torpedoes, released so close to the Japanese carriers, produced no results.
The Ja’s Pan Knees caps with their Zeros made short work of clipping the bummers haircraft. The performance of the torpedoes was due to due to missing entirely going too deep or premature explosions or even on target but not exploding at all but making a loud clang.
Some men have this problem in other areas I understand. Lots of effort, a loud bang, signifying nothing. Rather like Macbeth as Shakespeare wrote.
‘And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Or more simply put, ‘That was a bloody waste of time and effort wasn’t it?’
I gather that senior Navy and Bureau of Ordnance officers never questioned why half a dozen torpedoes, released so close to the Japanese carriers, produced no results.
This is bureaucracy for you. Get them to fly the aircraft and get them to test the thing in real life. They would either learn the lesson or be dead; either way it would be a win-win situation.
Similar issues occur today in the NHS where the managers don’t know what they are doing and poor doctors and nurses have to carry the can. Not that there aren’t issues with doctors but that’s another matter.
Despite their failure to score any hits, the American torpedo attacks achieved three important results. First, they kept the Japanese carriers off balance and unable to prepare and launch their own counterstrike. Second, the poor control of the Japanese combat air patrol (CAP) meant they were out of position for subsequent attacks. Third, many of the Zeros ran low on ammunition and fuel. The appearance of a third torpedo plane attack from the southeast by VT-3 from Yorktown, led by LCDR Lance Edward Massey at 10:00 very quickly drew the majority of the Japanese CAP to the southeast quadrant of the fleet. Better discipline and the employment of a greater number of Zeroes for the CAP might have enabled Nagumo to prevent (or at least mitigate) the damage caused by the coming American attacks.
Despite all this, the attacks achieved three important results.
1. They kept the Ja’s Pan Knees carriers off balance (wobbly knee syndrome) and unable to have lunch before their own strikes.
2. The poor control of the caps meant it was caps off during subsequent attacks when they need caps to protect their hair-dos.
3. Many of the Zeros ran low on energy and ammunition. But they were Zeros, so what do you expect. As with the human body, you will be vulnerable to disease if you run low on energy and immunity. Your immune system always needs topping up with suitable vitamins and minerals.
The appearance of a third torpedo attack by an Ed Mass-sea with a lance drew most of the caps off to the south east of the fleet.
It is said that better discipline and a greater number of Zeros might have enabled Nag-omo to prevent or mitigate the damage from further attacks to come. But I struggle to this this. As I said before, more zeros are still zero when you add it all up.
By chance, at the same time VT-3 was sighted by the Japanese, three squadrons of SBDs from Enterprise and Yorktown were approaching from the southwest and northeast. The Yorktown squadron (VB-3) had flown just behind VT-3, but elected to attack from a different course. The two squadrons from Enterprise (VB-6 and VS-6) were running low on fuel because of the time spent looking for the enemy. Air Group Commander C. Wade McClusky, Jr. decided to continue the search, and by good fortune spotted the wake of the Japanese destroyer Arashi, steaming at full speed to rejoin Nagumo’s carriers after having unsuccessfully depth-charged U.S. submarine Nautilus, which had unsuccessfully attacked the battleship Kirishima. Some bombers were lost from fuel exhaustion before the attack commenced.
By chance it is said (but the Lord God knows better) three squat Rons were approaching from different angels. Your-K-Town’s group were elected to approach from a different angel to the Enter-prize who had followed the Des Troyer Arashi steaming at full speed back to the main fleet, leaving his wake behind him as an obvious marker as to where he was going.
Of course if he hadn’t been in such a rash (sic) to rush after the naughty lass, this might not have happened and history could have been different. But then rash is his name so…
McClusky’s decision to continue the search and his judgment, in the opinion of Admiral Chester Nimitz, “decided the fate of our carrier task force and our forces at Midway …” All three American dive-bomber squadrons (VB-6, VS-6, and VB-3) arrived almost simultaneously at the perfect time, locations and altitudes to attack. Most of the Japanese CAP was directing its attention to the torpedo planes of VT-3 and was out of position; meanwhile, armed Japanese strike aircraft filled the hangar decks, fuel hoses snaked across the decks as refueling operations were hastily being completed, and the repeated change of ordnance meant that bombs and torpedoes were stacked around the hangars, rather than stowed safely in the magazines, making the Japanese carriers extraordinarily vulnerable.
It was a wide Mac Lucky who decided to continue the search despite being low on energy, so in one sense we could say that luck had something to do with it. But then as people say, you make your own luck by being persistent.
No-mitts considered that Mac Lucky’s decision decided the fate of the USA’s carriers and Midway. One man’s decision on which the fate of the battle turned. So often this is true.
All three squat Rons of dive bombers arrived at almost simultaneously at the same perfect time. The armed Ja’s Pan Knees haircraft filled the hanger decks and fool hoses snaked across the decks as refooling was being completed. Fooling about is no joke.
The repeated change of orders for dinners meant that the bombes for dessert and the torpedoes for main course were stacked around rather than being safely stored with the magazines. They should have been in the larder, but there you go, each to his own. Anyway, this left the carriers extremely vulnerable to having their food messed up.
Beginning at 10:22, the two squadrons of Enterprise’s air group split up with the intention of sending one squadron each to attack Kaga and Akagi. A miscommunication caused both of the squadrons to dive at Kaga. Recognizing the error, Lieutenant Richard Halsey Best and his two wingmen were able to pull out of their dives and, after judging that Kaga was doomed, headed north to attack Akagi. Coming under an onslaught of bombs from almost two full squadrons, Kaga sustained three to five direct hits, which caused heavy damage and started multiple fires. One of the bombs landed on or right in front of the bridge, killing Captain Jisaku Okada and most of the ship’s senior officers. Lieutenant Clarence E. Dickinson, part of McClusky’s group, recalled:
The two squat Rons of Enter-prize spilt up intending for one each to attack the Gaga and the A car guy. However, a Miss Communication made them both go for Gaga. So often the case when men get distracted by a pretty face or legs.
Nvertheless, a Best man and his two winged men, i.e. angels, were able to pull out of the dives and headed north to attack A car guy. In the meantime the Gaga sustained three to five direct hits which caused heavy damage and started lots of fires.
One landed of the office were the senior men were playing bridge, which included Ji Sack you Ok Ada.
We were coming down in all directions on the port side of the carrier … I recognized her as the Kaga; and she was enormous … The target was utterly satisfying … I saw a bomb hit just behind where I was aiming … I saw the deck rippling and curling back in all directions exposing a great section of the hangar below … I saw [my] 500-pound [230 kg] bomb hit right abreast of the [carrier’s] island. The two 100-pound [45 kg] bombs struck in the forward area of the parked planes …
One of the dive bummers, a left ten ant was coming down of the port side, i.e. the left. Which is sensible when you are a left ten ant. He found the target satisfying and he saw the deck (probably the pack of cards that was being used for the game of bridge) rippling and curling back in all directions which ruined the pack completely.
Several minutes later, Best and his two wingmen dove on Akagi. Mitsuo Fuchida, the Japanese aviator who had led the attack on Pearl Harbor, was on Akagi when it was hit, and described the attack:
Several minutes later, the Best (no close relation of George the footballer I assume) and two winged men, dove down like doves but not in peace, and splatted the decks of A car guy, making more than a mess of his paintwork I can tell you.
A look-out screamed: “Hell-Divers!” I looked up to see three black enemy planes plummeting towards our ship. Some of our machineguns managed to fire a few frantic bursts at them, but it was too late. The plump silhouettes of the American Dauntless dive-bombers quickly grew larger, and then a number of black objects suddenly floated eerily from their wings.
A Ja’s Pan Knees man screamed “Look out” and “Oh hell, divers” or something like that. He saw 3 black divers eating plums as they dropped in uninvited on the ship. Some Manchurian Buns burped at them but this did not distract the divers.
The divers were rather plump from the plums as they plum-etted in and this extra weight helped the element of surprise. Then a few black objects floated down. These were possibly their ears or their wings, it is unclear. Or merely the stones from the plums they ate.
Although Akagi sustained only one direct hit (almost certainly dropped by Lieutenant Best), it proved to be a fatal blow: the bomb struck the edge of the mid-ship deck elevator and penetrated to the upper hangar deck, where it exploded among the armed and fueled aircraft in the vicinity. Nagumo’s chief of staff, Ryūnosuke Kusaka, recorded “a terrific fire … bodies all over the place … Planes stood tail up, belching livid flames and jet-black smoke, making it impossible to bring the fires under control.” Another bomb exploded underwater very close astern; the resulting geyser bent the flight deck upward “in grotesque configurations” and caused crucial rudder damage.
A car guy took only one hit dropped by the best diver called Best. Obviously. This found its mark. Hence forth it would be known in US Navy circles as Mark of the Best. I believe this is mentioned in the book of Revelation.
The hit was fatal as it caused internal damage to all the foolish haircraft. A geezer in the water made some gross configurations, presumably some rude signs, as way as causing some ruddy damage.
Simultaneously, Yorktown’s VB-3, commanded by Max Leslie, went for Sōryū, scoring at least three hits and causing extensive damage. Gasoline ignited, creating an “inferno”, while stacked bombs and ammunition detonated. VT-3 targeted Hiryū, which was hemmed in by Sōryū, Kaga, and Akagi, but achieved no hits.
At the same time, Your-K-Town’s 3 B’s, commanded by a Mac S. Le Sly, went for Saw-you and scored at least three hits and causing ten sieves damage, i.e. an awful lot of holes.
Gazza O’Line was furious and “ignited” creating a Towering Inferno which made a good film.
Within six minutes, Sōryū and Kaga were ablaze from stem to stern, as fires spread through the ships. Akagi, having been struck by only one bomb, took longer to burn, but the resulting fires quickly expanded and soon proved impossible to extinguish; she too was eventually consumed by flames and had to be abandoned. As Nagumo began to grasp the enormity of what had happened, he appears to have gone into a state of shock. Witnesses saw Nagumo standing near the ship’s compass looking out at the flames on his flagship and two other carriers in a trance-like daze. Despite being asked to abandon the ship, Nagumo did not move and was reluctant to leave the Akagi, just muttering, “It’s not time yet.” Nagumo’s chief of staff, Rear Admiral Ryūnosuke Kusaka, was able to persuade him to leave the critically damaged Akagi. Nagumo, with a barely perceptible nod, with tears in his eyes, agreed to go. At 10:46, Admiral Nagumo transferred his flag to the light cruiser Nagara. All three carriers remained temporarily afloat, as none had suffered damage below the waterline, other than the rudder damage to Akagi caused by the near miss close astern. Despite initial hopes that Akagi could be saved or at least towed back to Japan, all three carriers were eventually abandoned and scuttled. While Kaga was burning, Nautilus showed up again and launched three torpedoes at her, scoring one dud hit.
Within six minutes the Saw-you and the Ga-ga were on fire from head to toe or vice-versa. Hammer-my-toe was certainly getting his toes hammered. Indeed, with all the fires it looked like his force was toe-st (sic).
And it only took six minutes. Six, six, six minutes. Mmm…
A car guy took only one hit from a bum, but as he was careless (but not car-less as he was a car guy, and loved cars) he left petrol cans all over the place. Thus he was consumed with flames.
This is what happens when you use inflammatory language, in the end you get consumed yourself.
Poor old Nag-omo was in a trance. Probably the equivalent of MSM on people nowadays stunned by all the propaganda they see, and all the piles of dead and harmed from the vaccines.
Well ok, maybe not piles of dead, but you know what I mean.
An admirable rear Rhino Sue Key Cuss-a.k.a (a.k.a. what, well I swear I don’t know) persuaded Nag-omo to leave.
The three carriers remaining afloat as they had not been hit below the belt, apart from some ruddy damage to the A Car guy, caused by Ann Ear (Miss).
It had been hope they could be toed back but had to have a band on for some reason before being put in the scuttle.
I gather the naughty lass showed up again and had lunch with the Gaga and shared three torpedoes or filled baguettes as we might say in the UK. One of these hit Dud, short for Dudley of course.
1.3.5 Japanese counterattacks
Hiryū, the sole surviving Japanese aircraft carrier, wasted little time in counterattacking. Hiryū’s first attack wave, consisting of 18 D3As and six fighter escorts, followed the retreating American aircraft and attacked the first carrier they encountered, Yorktown, hitting her with three bombs, which blew a hole in the deck, snuffed out all but one of her boilers, and destroyed one anti-aircraft mount. The damage also forced Admiral Fletcher to move his command staff to the heavy cruiser Astoria. Damage control parties were able to temporarily patch the flight deck and restore power to several boilers within an hour, giving her a speed of 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph) and enabling her to resume air operations. Yorktown yanked down her yellow breakdown flag and up went a new hoist—”My speed 5.” Captain Buckmaster had his signalmen hoist a huge new (10 feet wide and 15 feet long) American flag from the foremast. Sailors, including Ensign John d’Arc Lorenz called it an incalculable inspiration: “For the first time I realized what the flag meant: all of us—a million faces—all our effort—a whisper of encouragement.” Thirteen Japanese dive bombers and three escorting fighters were lost in this attack (two escorting fighters turned back early after they were damaged attacking some of Enterprise’s SBDs returning from their attack on the Japanese carriers).
How are you was the only haircraft carrier left on its feet or soles, and so attacked the A-merry-cans counter.
The first wave was 18 Vals, i.e. 6 + 6 + 6 or 6,6,6 and 6 Zero fighters. But not Zero 6 fighters as this is zero. Anyway, that is one fighter to 3 Vals, 1 in 3, or 3 in 1 like the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.
They followed the retreating A-merry-can haircraft and attacked the first carrier they encountered, the Your-K-Town, hitting her with three bums. One of these blew a hole her deck, which must have taken a lot of puff from the bum.
In even snuffed out all but one boiler which really is commendable for one bum and just shows how much wind bums can generate. One assumes beans were what the bums ate for lunch in the absence of any further information.
The admirable Fletcher had to move to the heavy brusier A-storey-ya. The flat top was repaired and Your-K-Town got her energy back quite quickly and was able to make 19 knots. These were braids in her hair of course, and she could then resume hair operations.
The captain Buckmaster had his single men hoist a Hugh Flag from Four masts. Not sure that was very kind, but an N-sign called Jean Dark Lo Rents called in an ‘incalculable inspiration’.
“For the first time I realized what the flag meant: all of us—a million faces—all our effort—a whisper of encouragement.”
I am not sure where he got a million faces from as there weren’t that many personnel around, but perhaps he was using poetic license.
Approximately one hour later, Hiryū’s second attack wave, consisting of ten B5Ns and six escorting A6Ms, arrived over Yorktown; the repair efforts had been so effective that the Japanese pilots assumed that Yorktown must be a different, undamaged carrier. They attacked, crippling Yorktown with two torpedoes; she lost all power and developed a 23-degree list to port. Five torpedo bombers and two fighters were shot down in this attack.
An hour later How are you’s second wave came as they wished to wave goodbye to the Your-K-Town. However, as she had been so effective in her repairs, make-up and so on she looked in pretty good shape so she was mistaken for another lady.
Sadly, they hit her with two torpedoes under the belt which crippled her. She lost all strength as one would and developed a lust for port for some strange reason. This meant she took to drink. Any port in a storm of Ja’s Pan Knees haircraft I suppose.
But she lurched drunkenly over to the left. Doesn’t one get that sinking feeling when people incline to the left?
News of the two strikes, with the mistaken reports that each had sunk an American carrier, greatly improved Japanese morale. The few surviving aircraft were all recovered aboard Hiryū. Despite the heavy losses, the Japanese believed that they could scrape together enough aircraft for one more strike against what they believed to be the only remaining American carrier.
The news of the two strikes greatly improved the Ja’s Pan Knees morals, especially as they thought they had scuppered two carriers, not one.
Despite the heavy losses, they thought they could scrape together enough haircraft for one more strike or scrap, i.e. fight to remove the A-merry-cans last carrier (so they thought). This would make ‘three strikes and you’re out’ against the A-merry-cans, as in baseball.
1.3.6 American counterattack
Late in the afternoon, a Yorktown scout aircraft located Hiryū, prompting Enterprise to launch a final strike of 24 dive bombers (including six SBDs from VS-6, four SBDs from VB-6, and 14 SBDs from Yorktown’s VB-3). Despite Hiryū being defended by a strong cover of more than a dozen Zero fighters, the attack by Enterprise and orphaned Yorktown aircraft launched from Enterprise was successful: four bombs (possibly five) hit Hiryū, leaving her ablaze and unable to operate aircraft. Hornet’s strike, launched late because of a communications error, concentrated on the remaining escort ships, but failed to score any hits. Enterprise dive bomber Dusty Kleiss struck the Hiryū on the bow, crippling it so badly that it effectively rendered the carrier out of commission immediately, with Dusty comparing his damage to the bow to being “folded over like a taco”.
Late in the afternoon, a scout on behalf of Your-K-Town found How-are-you, but didn’t ask how she was. The Enter-prize found out about this and had lunch again whilst going on strike. 24 dive bummers went to say hello instead.
And despite How-are-you having a strong cover of more than a dozen Zeros, the strike by planes from Enter-prize and orphans from Your-K-Town. Their mother was stricken of course and was taking to drink as I have mentioned.
This happens sadly, and very damaging it is to children’s welfare.
Anyway, four or maybe five bums hit the How-are-you, but left her a blazer to keep her warm which is kind.
The Hairnet also went on strike, having had a late lunch because no-one had had told them lunch was ready, concentrated on the escorts, but missed.
An enterprising dive bummer hit How-Are-you on the nose, breaking it so badly that the carrier was rendered useless immediately. If you have ever been punched on the nose like that no doubt you will understand.
After futile attempts at controlling the blaze, most of the crew remaining on Hiryū were evacuated and the remainder of the fleet continued sailing northeast in an attempt to intercept the American carriers. Despite a scuttling attempt by a Japanese destroyer that hit her with a torpedo and then departed quickly, Hiryū stayed afloat for several more hours. She was discovered early the next morning by an aircraft from the escort carrier Hōshō, prompting hopes she could be saved, or at least towed back to Japan. Soon after being spotted, Hiryū sank. Rear Admiral Tamon Yamaguchi, together with the ship’s captain, Tomeo Kaku, chose to go down with the ship, costing Japan perhaps its best carrier officer. One young sailor reportedly tried to go down with the ship with the officers, but was denied.
Despite being given a blazer, the crew couldn’t handle it (I assume it was far too large and smothered the poor lady). A Ja’ Pan Knees Des Troyer tried to put How-are-you in a scuttle, to which she didn’t take kindly.
She was still afloat the next day but Ann Haircraft from an escort, a carrier called Ho-Show, which gave the Ja’ Pan Knees hopes she could be saved or towed back. But it was a no-go as she sank after being spotted.
Probably the seagulls making a mess on her, the bird poo being sufficient weight to be the last straw for the old girl.
The admirable rear Tar-man Yah-ma-guchi together with the ship’s captain, To-me O’Kacku (of part Irish descent) decided to go down with the lady. This was a bit silly, as the Ja’ Pan Knees lost one of its finest carrier captains.
As darkness fell, both sides took stock and made tentative plans for continuing the action. Admiral Fletcher, obliged to abandon the derelict Yorktown and feeling he could not adequately command from a cruiser, ceded operational command to Spruance. Spruance knew the United States had won a great victory, but he was still unsure of what Japanese forces remained and was determined to safeguard both Midway and his carriers. To aid his aviators, who had launched at extreme range, he had continued to close with Nagumo during the day and persisted as night fell.
As darkness fell (which is another reason why the word fell means ‘dark’ among other things), both sides took stock. This was because the tired and hungry men needing feeding of course and soup would need to be made for souper, sorry, supper.
The admirable Fletcher CD’d operational command to Spew-ants, i.e. gave him the CD with all the data on it. Spew-ants knew the U.S Navy had won a grate victory having set fire to the Ja’s Pan Knees carriers, but was still unsure of what Ja’s Pan Knees forces remained and wanted to protect both Midway and his carriers.
Finally, fearing a possible night encounter with Japanese surface forces, and believing Yamamoto still intended to invade, based in part on a misleading contact report from the submarine Tambor, Spruance changed course and withdrew to the east, turning back west towards the enemy at midnight. For his part, Yamamoto initially decided to continue the engagement and sent his remaining surface forces searching eastward for the American carriers. Simultaneously, he detached a cruiser raiding force to bombard the island. The Japanese surface forces failed to make contact with the Americans because Spruance had decided to briefly withdraw eastward, and Yamamoto ordered a general withdrawal to the west. It was fortunate for the U.S. that Spruance did not pursue, for had he come in contact with Yamamoto’s heavy ships, including Yamato, in the dark, considering the Japanese Navy’s superiority in night-attack tactics at the time, there is a very high probability his cruisers would have been overwhelmed and his carriers sunk.
He feared a possible knight encounter with the Ja’s Pan Knees surface forces who were still very strong (their knights had better armour and weapons). He had a Miss Leading report to him with her Tambor, a smaller version of a tambourine which made a lot of noise but that wasn’t very helpful.
Thus he went to the east with Drew, whoever he was, and then at midnight turned west again.
Hammer-my- toe decided to continue the engagement (despite the fact the wedding was clearly off after all the fighting) and continued east to look for the A-merry-can carriers, but with Drew (who clearly kept switching sides) to the west.
It is just as well Spew-ants did not pursue as Hammer-my- toe’s heavies, including Jam-a-toe, a very large red chap rather like a sumo wrestler but even bigger, would have overwhelmed him and his fleet.
It should be noted that the Ja’s Pan Knees were very good nights, and their knights at night were even better.
Spruance failed to regain contact with Yamamoto’s forces on 5 June, despite extensive searches. Towards the end of the day, he launched a search-and-destroy mission to seek out any remnants of Nagumo’s carrier force. This late afternoon strike narrowly missed detecting Yamamoto’s main body and failed to score hits on a straggling Japanese destroyer. The strike planes returned to the carriers after nightfall, prompting Spruance to order Enterprise and Hornet to turn on their lights to aid the landings.
Spew-ants failed to regain contact with Hammer-my-toe on the 5th June. He had lunch again at the end of the day with a Sea Arch and Des Troy Miss Eon.
They missed Hammer-my- toe’s main body despite the presence of the sumo wrestler who was very large and should have been obvious.
The planes that went on strike came back at night and they had to turn the lights on. These were on the landing so they could go to the bathroom for a wash.
At 02:15 on the morning of 5 June, Commander John Murphy’s Tambor, lying 90 nautical miles (170 km; 100 mi) west of Midway, made the second of the submarine force’s two major contributions to the battle’s outcome, although its impact was heavily blunted by Murphy himself. Sighting several ships, neither Murphy nor his executive officer, Edward Spruance (son of Admiral Spruance), could identify them. Uncertain of whether they were friendly or not and unwilling to approach any closer to verify their heading or type, Murphy decided to send a vague report of “four large ships” to Admiral Robert English, Commander, Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet (COMSUBPAC). This report was passed on by English to Nimitz, who then sent it to Spruance. Spruance, a former submarine commander, was “understandably furious” at the vagueness of Murphy’s report, as it provided him with little more than suspicion and no concrete information on which to make his preparations. Unaware of the exact location of Yamamoto’s “Main Body” (a persistent problem since the time PBYs had first sighted the Japanese), Spruance was forced to assume the “four large ships” reported by Tambor represented the main invasion force and so he moved to block it, while staying 100 nautical miles (190 km; 120 mi) northeast of Midway.
At 2:15 am on the 5th June a John Murphy with a Tambor, a sub-marine, i.e. short for a Tambourine, was lying 90 nought-tickle miles west of Midway. What he was lying about I am not sure.
Anyway, it made the second contribution to the battle’s outcome, although its impact was heavily blunted by Murphy himself. Thus we have a version of Murphy’s Law – “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong if a Murphy is involved.”
Sighting several ships, neither Murphy nor his executive officer, Edward Spew-ants (son of the admirable Spew-ants), could identify them, although they could see they were ships, obviously.
They couldn’t tell if the ships were friendly, although if they were traveling together it seems obvious that they must be friendly as enemies can surely hardly ever travel together, can they?
Anyway, as Murphy was unwilling to get any closer, he sent a Vogue report of ‘Four large ships’ to an admirable Bob English who was A-merry-can and not English.
This report was passed on by English in English, well A-merry-can English anyway, to No-Mitts then to Spew-ants.
Spew-ant who had been a sub-marine himself was understandably furious at the Vogueness of the report. This is probably a similar type or report that the Vogons (sic) of Hitchhiker’s Guide fame would have submitted. In triplicate.
The report gave him no concrete, and without concrete you cannot have a sure foundation to build on, can you? Which reminds me of a short story…
With not much to go on (the gents toilets, or ‘heads’ as they are called in naval terms, were blocked) he assumed the ships were the main invasion force and he moved to block them. Not the toilets as these were already blocked, but the Ja’s Pan Knees.
In reality, the ships sighted by Tambor were the detachment of four cruisers and two destroyers Yamamoto had sent to bombard Midway. At 02:55, these ships received Yamamoto’s order to retire and changed course to comply. At about the same time as this change of course, Tambor was sighted and during maneuvers designed to avoid a submarine attack, the heavy cruisers Mogami and Mikuma collided, inflicting serious damage on Mogami’s bow. The less severely damaged Mikuma slowed to 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph) to keep pace. Only at 04:12 did the sky brighten enough for Murphy to be certain the ships were Japanese, by which time staying surfaced was hazardous and he dived to approach for an attack. The attack was unsuccessful and around 06:00 he finally reported two westbound Mogami-class cruisers, before diving again and playing no further role in the battle. Limping along on a straight course at 12 knots—roughly one-third their top speed—Mogami and Mikuma had been almost perfect targets for a submarine attack. As soon as Tambor returned to port, Spruance had Murphy relieved of duty and reassigned to a shore station, citing his confusing contact report, poor torpedo shooting during his attack run, and general lack of aggression, especially as compared to Nautilus, the oldest of the 12 boats at Midway and the only one which had successfully placed a torpedo on target (albeit a dud).
It appears the ships sighted by Tambor were the four bruisers and two Des Troyers sent by Hammer-my-toe to bum-bard Midway. These were then told by Hammer-my-toe to retire, i.e. put new tires on.
The Tambor was spotted (it was dark don’t forget) and in the confusion to avoid the possibility of sub-marine attack, the heavy bruisers Mog-am-I (a type of cat, a mog-gy cat) and Mike-You-Ma collided. This caused serious damage to Mog-am-I’s bow, a pretty red bow round its neck, and made it limp.
Only as Dawn came was it obvious the ships were Japanese. Whilst the Tambor tried an attack from under the water it failed. This seems surprising given how the two bruisers were slowed down.
Over the next two days, several strikes were launched against the stragglers, first from Midway, then from Spruance’s carriers. Mikuma was eventually sunk by Dauntlesses, while Mogami survived further severe damage to return home for repairs. The destroyers Arashio and Asashio were also bombed and strafed during the last of these attacks. Captain Richard E. Fleming, a U.S. Marine Corps aviator, was killed while executing a glide bomb run on Mikuma and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
Over the next two days there were more strikes over lunch. Mike-You-Ma was sunk by Dawn tea Lasses whilst Mog-am-I suffered further heavy damage to its fur.
The Des Troyers A-rash-io and A-sash-io who had a rash and sash respectively were bummed and stray fed.
Meanwhile, salvage efforts on Yorktown were encouraging, and she was taken in tow by fleet tug USS Vireo. In the late afternoon of 6 June, the Japanese submarine I-168, which had managed to slip through the cordon of destroyers (possibly because of the large amount of debris in the water), fired a salvo of torpedoes, two of which struck Yorktown. There were few casualties aboard since most of the crew had already been evacuated, but a third torpedo from this salvo struck the destroyer USS Hammann, which had been providing auxiliary power to Yorktown. Hammann broke in two and sank with the loss of 80 lives, mostly because her own depth charges exploded. With further salvage efforts deemed hopeless, the remaining repair crews were evacuated from Yorktown. Throughout the night of 6 June and into the morning of 7 June, Yorktown remained afloat; but by 05:30 on 7 June, observers noted that her list was rapidly increasing to port. Shortly afterward, the ship turned onto her port side, and lay that way, revealing the torpedo hole in her starboard bilge—the result of the submarine attack. Captain Buckmaster’s American flag was still flying. All ships half-masted their colors in salute; all hands who were topside stood with heads uncovered and came to attention, with tears in their eyes. Two patrolling PBYs appeared overhead and dipped their wings in a final salute. At 07:01, the ship rolled upside-down, and slowly sank, stern first, with her battle flags flying.
The sal veg operations were encouraging as they managed to save much of the veg strewn around by the fight. However on the 6th June a Ja’s Pan knees sub-marine slipped through the Gordon Des Troyers, and fired a Sal Vo at Your K Town. Two of these hit.
A third hit the ham man (possibly a ham actor) who broke apart.
In any event the Your K Town was deemed lost. She remained afloat until the 7th June, but she was taking on the port even more and inclining further to the left.
All the hands on deck got to their feet with their heads uncovered with tiers in their eyes.
Your K Town did one final turn, stood on her bottom and disappeared with her head, her bow, held high, as she gave her last bow as the curtain of water closed over her.
1.4 Japanese and U.S. casualties
4 aircraft carriers
1 heavy cruiser
1 heavy cruiser – heavily damaged
3,057 Japanese died.
1 aircraft carrier
307 Americans died
By Keysanger – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32489263
The U.S. forces were in no fit state to pursue without great risk, and anyway had achieved a great victory. They needed to regroup and repair/rearm.
They were around enough to check that Midway was no longer under threat and that was enough for the time being.
It is interesting to note from Wikipedia that the Japanese still thought the Americans were not aware of Japan’s plans, but the whole thing had been compromised from the start.
It seems the Japanese public were told, lied to, that Japan had achieved a great victory. The wounded from the battle were classified as secret patients and ‘…quarantined from other patients and their own families to keep this major defeat secret’.
Mmm, reminds me of lockdowns and patients in hospitals where families were not allowed in. I gather there are still restrictions in the NHS. My opinion of the NHS is extremely low. What I think of the cretins who are running the hospitals is unrepeatable here.
However, if someone cares to express them in the comments feel free.
Or, like the Lord God, take yourself off to some quiet place and swear by yourself. It says this in the Bible of course, Hebrews 6 v.13.
When God made the promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, “He swore by himself,”!!!
The Japanese did institute changes to training and procedures, but serious damage had been done with the loss of highly skilled pilots and aircraft fitters etc.
Replacement pilots never got to be as experienced because of short term needs. The Japanese had over reached themselves, and were now on the back foot.
2.1 American prisoners
You can read about this. Three U.S. airmen were captured during the battle, they were interrogated and then executed, 2 by drowning, 1 by a fire axe.
What made the Japanese do this?
2.2 Japanese prisoners
You can read about this. 37 men from ships were rescued; presumably they were all interrogated and apparently treated reasonably.
Well, there you have it. A battle mainly in the air and via the air. And won largely by a relatively few well targeted bombs on the part of the US Navies air arm part.
But of course it was a joint effort, every part of the naval corps, the body of men who made up the fleet, as well as some land based forces, and radio operators and intelligence listening in and decoding.
Everybody playing their part, however small or large. The same is true in the current war, this war of words. Every little helps.
This battle was a turning point in the war. It was in essence the high tide of Japanese expansion. And like life, and Covid 19/the ‘flu, everything comes in waves.
The waves would recede for the allies in the Pacific exposing the sand once more. This reminds me of the words to Abraham from the angel of the Lord.
I will surely bless you, and I will multiply your descendants like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will possess the gates of their enemies.
And this was because of the sacrifice Abraham had made. He trusted God.
Those who trust in God in this end time war of words will be blessed too. The tide is turning.
And I said “One man’s decision on which the fate of the battle turned”. In the middle of history, Jesus Christ took the decision to go to Calvary, whatever the cost.
History has never been the same since.
And perhaps I may finally point out that today, the 5th June 2022 is Pentecost, the celebration of the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the disciples in Jerusalem.
As I have said this is the turning point in WW3, we are half way through. I hope you see the significance of all this. Lift up your heads for your redemption draws near.
Or in the words on Bon Jovi
Whoa, we’re half-way there
Whoa, livin’ on a prayer
Take my hand and we’ll make it, I swear
Whoa, livin’ on a prayer
And a video to go with it.
Footnote explanation of terms.
Aichi D3A – Itchy dive bummers
Nakajima B5N – Knackered Jims torpedo bummers – obsolete by 1941!!!
Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighters – zero or nought fighters
Two ‘Judy’ dive bombers
‘Jake’ float planes – for scouting
‘Dave’ float planes – for scouting
Akagi – a car guy
Kaga – Gaga
Sōryū – saw you
Hiryū – How are you
Admiral Yamamoto – Hammer-my- toe
Admiral Chūichi Nagumo – Shoe-itchy Nag-omo
Admiral Nobutake Kondō – No-butt-ache Kan-do
Rear Admiral Tamon Yamaguchi – Tar-man Yah-ma-guchi
Brewster F2A-3 (VMF-221 buffalo – Brew-star Buff-hellos
Chance-Vought SB2U-3 Vindicator dive bombers – Thought Windicators dive bummers
PBY-5 and PBY-5A Catalinas – The cats for scouting
Martin B-26 Marauder medium bomber – Martin Ma order medium bummer
Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses – Bowing Flying Four tresses heavy bummer
Enterprise – Enter-prize
Hornet – a.k.a Hairnet
Yorktown – Your K Town
Admiral Chester W. Nimitz – No-mitts
Admiral Frank J. Fletcher – The fletcher
Admiral Raymond A. Spruance – Spew-ants
P.S. If you wish to read more in the same vein try this, the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Doolittle Raid or Tokyo raid; 18 April 1942
The Battle for Singapore or Fall of Singapore
Please see The Naff Caff on the World Menu for more options if you enjoy mad military stuff.
This link may be of interest.
As might this.
And if you wish to understand the timeline and have yet to see this.