abandon ship. Large life rafts were thrown

over the side and the grim business got

underway. I walked around the island and

across the deck, trying to decide when

I would go, secretly hoping someone would

change their mind about the whole affair.

I passed Captain Buckmaster taking a turn

around the deck and he told me to hurry

and get off the vessel. In several minutes, I passed him again and he said: ‘Son,

I thought I told you get off this ship. Now get

moving!’” Bridgers was soon in the water.

Summing up Spruance’s performance,

naval historian Samuel Eliot Morison later

wrote: "Fletcher did well, but Spruance’s

performance was superb. Calm, collected,

decisive, yet receptive to advice; keeping

in his mind the picture of widely disparate forces, yet boldly seizing every opening. Raymond A. Spruance emerged from

the battle one of the greatest admirals

in American Naval history."

There is a likely-apocryphal story in the

U.S. Navy that the Battle of Midway has

been replayed many times at the U.S. Naval

War College in Newport, Rhode Island, and

that each time the Americans lose. More

than any other battle in World War II, the

Battle of Midway was won as the result

of a very fortunate combination of good

intelligence, planning, and, most of all,

luck. The American fleet was inferior to its

Japanese opponents as regards numbers

and combat experience yet was able to

sink all four of the Imperial Navy’s aircraft

carriers committed to the battle.

Yorktown was able to get underway by the time the second strike arrived,

and she was attacked again, this time fatally. (USN)

After being badly hit in the first Hiryū strike, Yorktown was able to get underway

by the time the second strike arrived and was torpedoed. The ship was now doomed,

and the crew was ordered to abandon ship. (USN)

Crewmen on deck of USS Yorktown after she was hit in the first strike by aircraft from the Japanese carrier Hiryū. (USN)


INFO Eduard

October 2022