Roundtable Forum
Our 21st Year
June 2018

In this issue.

Roundtable Opening Remarks
Battle of Midway Movie
Turning Point
Would Nimitz Win Midway Today?
Bottomley/Johnson Info
VB-3 USS Yorktown
1942 Year of the Carrier
Announcements and Questions
IThe Battle of Midway Roundtable Opening Remarks

The June month was very busy with lots of submissions.  Due to time constrains a few will have to wait till next month.  In particular a lot of VMF-221 Reports from Steve Kovacs will have to wait.  There are 24 of them and I did not get the time to link and catalog all of them on the website yet.

This month was also very interesting as I was contacted by the props department for the new movie on the Battle of Midway.  Production starts in September and Woody Harrelson is going to play the part of Nimitz.  For those that remember him in 'Cheers' as well as many other movies I think he'll do a great job.  Mandy Moore is also tagged to play a part but I'm not sure who she will portray.

If anyone has any comments or information on any of the answers I provided please do so.

There is a lot to get to this issue.  Hope everyone had a great 4th of July.

Battle of Midway Movie

From John Bond
June 11, 2018

It has been learned that the Midway battle movie will do some filming in Hawaii starting in August-September.

One of the key action elements will feature the heroic but fatal Torpedo Squadron 8 (VT-8) attack run. VT-8 was based at Ewa Field in early 1942 as the Navy had largely taken over the Ewa airfield for navy carrier aircraft because Barbers Point was still very far from ready at that point in 1942.

This movie is expected to be very successful and will bring major new national and international attention to Ewa Field as a key part of this now considered greatest naval battle in US history.

Woody Harrelson to star as Admiral Nimitz in Hawaii filmed 'Midway'

Woody Harrelson will star as Admiral Chester Nimitz in Roland Emmerich’s Second World War feature Midway, which Stuart Ford’s Agc Studios introduced to international buyers in Cannes.

And he’s been gunning to make a World War II film for a while. First announced a year ago, Emmerich’s war drama Midway is finally shaping up with some potential stars who will eventually make up an ensemble cast. Woody Harrelson and Mandy Moore are said to be in negotiations to lead the epic, according to Deadline.

So far, everything about Midway ticks all the boxes of your standard American war blockbuster. I can already see it — the explosive action sequences and harrowing emotional content that make up the majority of these movies are already a given. Midway sounds like it could riff off the classic underdog tale in a very patriotic way, too, wherein American forces beat a formidable enemy against all odds. In short, Midway is definitely the sort of film that Emmerich excels at making. Just look at Independence Day and White House Down — these movies are big, noisy, and fun if not nuanced.

Editors Note:  This is certainly a very interesting development but in addition I have learned the producers apparenlty want to get the details right.  I received several inquiries for specific information that hopefully indicates the level of detail they are willing to devote to the movie so it is as accurate as possible.  Conversations below.

From Erick Martinez
June 13, 2018

My name is Erick Martinez   and I work as an assistant props department supervisor on an upcoming Hollywood movie project about the Battle of Midway .  

Our project is currently looking to hire technical advisors specialized in the aircraft carriers deck operations and in the airplanes who served during the battle of Midway. I was wondering if through your network of US Navy veterans, we perhaps could find the persons and the information we need for our project. For example, we need answers for this type of questions:

1. Under what circumstances were pilots wearing different colour lenses for googles? It seems that there was green, clear and amber colours available. When do they use which?

2. What was the deal with the oxygen mask in the SBDs?... Were the pilots wearing them all the time or just when they were above 10 000 feet? What about when they were diving to drop a bomb? Did they remove their oxygen mask before the dive or did they just keep it if they were diving from above 10 000 feet?

3. How pilots mostly communicated? Did they more often used the microphone inside their oxygen mask, did they more likely used a throat microphone or did they have a microphone attached to the cockpit?

If among the retired US Navy personnel in your network, there are people who could help us out, please put us in contact and of course, we’ll be rewarding them accordingly for their time. Also, if you want more details about this project, please feel free to contact me and I would happily explain you in more details what this movie is all about.

Thank you for your consideration!


Erick Martinez

Editors Note:  Mr. Martinez, I'd be glad to help you in any way I can. We do have a few veterans of the battle that was in the battle that day. I will contact them and ask some of these questions. Also our other members probably have research that will provide answers as well. See what I can do. But to answer some questions:

1.  I am not sure of the specifics on the selection of colored lenses. Much had to do with where you were flying and the aircraft and mission. Atlantic might have had different colors that the Pacific. I will have to ask.

2. Oxygen was used above 20,000 feet but below was somewhat optional. Below 10,000 they didn't need to. In the battle Dick Best, who was the leader of Bombing Six, had to drop down to 10,000 feet because one of his pilots had his oxygen malfunction. This caused considerable confusion later during the attack on the Japanese carriers as Wade McClusky was not aware that Bombing Six was at a lower altitude and trailing Scouting Six. As for whether they used it during the dive it was unlikely as they started most dives from no higher than about 14,000 feet. On our web site is a pretty good account of what it was like to dive in an SBD from Clay Fisher, long time member of the RoundTable and a wealth of information on anything to do with dive bombing. Here is something he said about the outbound flight to attack the Japanese carriers. This is in reference to Stan Rings letter answering a question another member had on the subject. This particular point was about Stan Ring having his formation climb to 20,000 feet when most scouting lines were at 1-15,000 feet. May provide you with some details and to answer the question on when they wore the masks.

I think the reported altitude of 20,000 feet needs some explaining. I remember our squadron being briefed that we were going to climb to 20,000 feet. None of the SBD pilot ever had to fly at that altitude before. Why climb to 20,000 feet? All our practice dive bombing was usually started at eight to ten thousand feet. The enemy fighters would have no trouble attacking the SBDs at any altitude. Also, a lot more fuel was going to be used in the long climb. One other major problem—it was very cold at 20,000 feet and the glass lens of our bombsight telescopes were going to fog on the return to the warmer air at bombing release altitudes. (Later version SBDs would be configured with “virtual image” bomb and gun sights.) Somewhere on our outbound course we must have descended to below 20,000 feet because I don’t remember shivering from the cold or continuing to wear my oxygen mask.

3. The SBD had a radio box in the cockpit that had two jacks. One lead to the headset and another to a hand mic. Since the altitudes that the pilots operated at in the Pacific or over open ocean was mostly at lower altitudes a mic built into the oxygen mask was not practical as pilots would not wear it most of the time. Here is a link to the SBD's radio equipment description.

Radio Box

However this is from the operation manual for an SBD-6. Most of the SBD's flown during the Battle of Midway were -2's or -3's so the radio was probably a little different but I doubt any had throat mics.

I'll sent your questions out to several members that I think might have some answers and forward them to you as they come in. If you have any other questions we'd be glad to answer them as best we can or get you in touch with people that do have answers. We are all very happy someone has decided to do another movie on The Battle of Midway and look forward to a really good story. From your questions I see you want to get it right. We will help you in any way possible.

From Barrett Tillman
June 14, 2018

Glad to reply, to the extent possible. Far as I know, use of green/amber lenses was an individual decision. MAYBE some squadrons had guidelines but have never heard of it. My dad's AN goggles had clear and green lenses (mostly he used green when we flew together) but I sorta remember amber in the box. Amber seems to give better definition but of course the green (polarized) is better in reducing glare. I do not recall reading/hearing of SBDs or even SB2Cs at 20k ft. Just no need for it, as noted in the exchange.

Best to you

From Erick Martinez
June 18, 2018

Thank you very much for this precious information! Our intention is to make this movie looks as much real and accurate as possible and this input will help us achieve this goal. Please let me know how we can setup a way to compensate you and the members of your Midway group helping us out. I’m introducing you here to Lise Pharand, my department supervisor. Lise has many more questions and I was wondering if as you did with me, could find answers for her.

Erick Martinez

Editors Note:  We are very humbled to be asked to help and are willing to get you answers to anything you need. We still have a number of veterans of the battle on hand so they might be able to get you some answers. We also have one veteran, while not at Midway himself, did make friends with most every important figure in the battle so would be glad to help with any personal accounts they might have shared with him. We also have an extensive library of conversations with the veterans over the years going back to 1997 and we might be able to find answers there too. At any rate give us the questions. We'll do our best to get Lise the answers as quickly as possible. As for compensation. I think most would help just to make sure the movie as is accurate as possible.

From Lise Pharand
June 18,2018

I have 3 questions for you.

1- how exactly did Richard Best scrap his lungs? Did the MSA Type C kit malfunction?

2- aerial shots of SBDs in the sky at Midway show most of the SBDs have the Mk3 Model 2 gunsight protruding from their “windshield”, while a few don’t have anything protruding. Is that because they had no gunsight (unlikely)? or is that because they had a Mk 8? I read: “ from early 1942 onwards, the Mk 8 was gradually fitted to every fighter and attack plane in the Navy inventory”. What kind of gunsight did Richard Best, Dickinson and McCluskey have on their SBDs at Midway?

3- on their first run on June 4, what size bomb was on Best’s squadron of SBDs and McCluskey’s air group SBDs? they didn’t know exactly where IJN carriers were. They were running out of gas. It was only McCluskey’s stubborness that kept them going. Or did Best’s Bombing 6 carry 1000 lb bombs, and McCluskey’s scouting air group carry 500 lbs? How did that work? I read that when they were in scout mode, they would have 500 lb bombs, and in attack mode they had 1000 lb bombs: you could cover longer distance with lighter bombs. I need that information to order replica bombs and install the proper-size bombs on the SBD bellies. Did they have two 100 lb bombs? or did that happen after Midway? They must have had 1000 lb bombs to sink the Hiryu?

Thank you so much for your precious information, Lise

Editors Note: Glad to help you and make your acquaintance. I can answer one question for you now and will get you a more specific answer for the others.

Here is a clip from the after action report for VS-6 that should answer your question on the morning attack.

On Thursday, June 4, 1942, Scouting Squadron Six participated in an attack on a Japanese force consisting of four aircraft carriers, several battleships or heavy cruisers, and many destroyers, about 150 miles Northwest of Midway Island. The attack group was led by the Enterprise Air Group Commander and consisted of thirty-two SBD's, fifteen from VB-6, loaded with one 1,000 lb. bomb each, sixteen from VS-6, loaded with one 500. lb bomb and two 100. lb bombs each, and the EAGC plane loaded with one 500 lb. bomb and two 100 lb. bombs.

Now the afternoon attack on the Hiryu was a little more complicated. Most of the Enterprise SBD's were lost returning from the morning attack. Only 7 VS-6 and 4 VB-3's were actually launched but 1 VS-6 and 1 VB-6 returned with engine trouble. The rest of the attack was made up from 14 VB-3 squadron aircraft when the SBD's could not land on Yorktown because she was under attack when they returned so landed on Enterprise. The records are not complete for what bombs any of the aircraft were carrying. Likely a mix of 1000 and 500. You would not be wrong in assuming that standard practice was followed in that VB-6 and VB-3 was armed with 1000 lb while VS-6 was armed with 500 lb. bombs. However no records exist to say for certain what plane was loaded with what bomb. I attribute at least 2 of the bombs that struck Hiryu were 1000 lb., one was a 500 lb. and one could have been either. Here is a link to my page outlining the bomb damage on the 4 Japanese carriers if it helps.

I've contacted an expert on the SBD so that should help with Question #2.

Briefly on #1, Dick Best messed up his lungs by testing an oxygen bottle on the morning of June 4th before the morning attack to make sure it was not leaking caustic soda.  The first breath he inhaled some of the caustic fumes, coughed it out, and never thought about it the rest of the day.  This was fairly common practice so not a lot of thought was given to it.  Remember Best's bombing squadron 6 had to drop down to lower altitude during the morning search for the Japanese carriers because another pilot had oxygen trouble so some of the tanks must have been faulty.  At any rate the next day he started to cough up blood and the flight surgeon found that the gas fumes had activated latent tuberculosis. He spent the next two years in Navy hospitals recovering and unfortunately one of the best ever dive bomber pilots never flew another mission because of a faulty oxygen tank.

From Barrett Tillman
June 18, 2018

I never thought to ask any BOMers what kind of sight they had. But if the "telescope" (actually 1.5 X as I recall) doesn't protrude, the bird must've had a reflector sight. Bomb loadout usually depended on launch sequence. Since VS frequently went first, stands to reason they had 500 pounders due to a shorter deck run. Squadron action reports should show ordnance. B

Editors Note:  As indicated Barrett Tillman who wrote several books on the Navy aircraft and squadrons during WWII noted, it was not something he discussed with them.  Working on getting any kind of clue on the specific sights for the three. I would guess they'd have the an aircraft with the latest sight if there was a choice. However planes were never assigned a specific pilot. Rather the handlers arranged the aircraft for launch and the pilots and crew went to the specific spot on the deck where they knew their plane would be. I'd guess the best planes went to the leaders so it would make sense they had the newer scopes.

I forgot to tell you that there was a specific reason the Scouting Squadrons had 500 lb bombs while the bombing squadrons had 1000 lb. bombs even during an attack. The scouting squadrons had less deck space to launch from since they were in front so could not be loaded with 1000 lb. bombs or they'd never get airborne in time.

I'm trying to hunt down the records from Enterprise for the afternoon launch on the Hiryu. Again may be in the national archives. So far only this is known for sure from Enterprise's after action report.

1645 Received message from Yorktown scout, "1 CV, 2 BB, 3 CA, 4 DD, 31° 15' N, 179° 05' W, course 000, speed 15."
1730 Commenced launching second attack group composed of 24 VSB.
11 VSB armed with one 1000 lb. bomb each.
13 VSB armed with one 500 lb. bomb each.

From Lise Pharand
June 18,2018

Oh my God, this is so amazing! I love all this information. I especially liked the part about the position of Scouting Squadron explaining the bomb load: such a no-brainer! Absolutely brilliant. It would make so much sense that the ace flyers get the latest reflector sight.
You are a Godsend,

Editors Note:  Hunting down the VB-3 after action report.

Eleven Mk. 13, 1,000 lb bombs and 3 Mk. 12, 500 lb bombs were dropped by this squadron at an average altitude of 2,500 ft. Fuses were Mk. 21, nose, and Mk. 23, tail, detonating 1/100 sec. after impact.

This contradicts the Enterprise after action report that says that only 11 1000 lb. bombs total were loaded for the afternoon attack on all planes and we know that Best had a 1000 lb. for sure. So this is why the afternoon attack is so hard to pin down specifics. You have three different squadrons making up the attack, one from another carrier. Dusty Kliess (VB-6) said that he only carried 500 lb bombs during the battle so we'd have to believe that VS-6 definitely had 500 lb bombs. Likely all 5 SBD's of VB-6 got 1000 lb because well the handlers wanted the Enterprise SBD's armed with the better bomb. That leaves VB-3 who was the orphan squadron. Likely the handlers just loaded some near the front of the deck with 500 lb bombs and the rest closer to the rear of the ship with 1000 lb bombs because any more with 1000 lb bombs would not make it off the deck. Makes perfect sense that 13 VB-3 had 1000 lb bombs, and 5 VB-6 had 1000 lb bombs as each squadron normally had 18 planes. So the 18 planes to the rear of the deck had 1000 lb bombs, 13 VB-3 and 5 VB-6, because that would be where Bombing Six normally would have been positioned, while 6 VS-6 and 3 VB-3 had 500 lb bombs. Maybe a small detail but maybe helps.

From Lise Pharand
June 18,2018

Perfect information. I can now place my order with the bomb replica guys. Thank you so, so much! It’s this kind of interaction that makes my job absolutely exciting.

Turning Point Midway or Guadalcanal

From Don Boyer
June 4, 2018

I always enjoy the enlivened debate re Midway or Guadalcanal as the turning point of the Pacific war when the Midway anniversary comes up and, as Thom pointed out, debate rages on both sides of the question still. From my own point of view, after some 60 years of reading up on the subject et al, I always look at the two battles as complimentary, with equal weight contributed to the overall victory in the war, just from two different standpoints, one naval, one military.

Midway, which broke the IJNs only truly effective weapons system (all six of the carriers of the kido butai working together -- the most powerful naval force in the world at the time) came first, and set the stage for the Guadalcanal battle to take place when it did and not much later in the war, or even elsewhere (or not at all) had the Japanese established a powerful well-defended base there in late 1942. Midway made the risk of attacking Guadalcanal much more attractive to the senior naval command -- i.e., Admiral King, who took an enormous and career-threatening gamble on the operation over the objections of about everybody else in the world. He saw the doorway opened by the ruination of the kido butai where others did not. Midway removed four of the six first line carriers from contention in any future warfare in the Pacific. The kido butai was only good when intact -- splitting it up was an invitation to disaster, as Coral Sea showed. The two remaining first line carriers were insufficient for the job of defending Guadalcanal, despite being highly-capable warships. The smaller Japanese carriers that contributed to the battles there were in no way comparable to first line CVs and could not make up the difference for the loss of four first-line carriers.

The IJN's command at Truk and IGHQ dithered over the American invasion of Guadalcanal and their piecemeal commitment of forces over time doomed them to failure, and Shokaku and Zuikaku could not make up for that terrible strategic failure on the part of the IJN. That planning failure need not have happened, and for a very brief moment in time, the Japanese could have destroyed the landings at Guadalcanal regardless of the loss of those four carriers. But they failed to do so because they failed to realize they were looking at the "decisive battle" they'd planned on for so many decades. It didn't look like their concept of the decisive battle, so it must not be the decisive battle. Therefore Midway was the victorious catalyst for Guadalcanal and the American victory there. Midway turned the US from defense at sea to an offense on sea and land that would never end until August of 1945.

As for Guadalcanal, it broke the Imperial Army once and for all from the hubris of their Bushido-infused, samurai sword-swinging string of victories and gave them the starkest dose of reality imaginable, starting with the come-uppance handed to the Ichiki Detachment, a blow to the Imperial Army's ego from which they never recovered and from which stemmed their fatal error of strategy at Guadalcanal. They committed themselves to "recapturing Henderson Field," which was based on the bruised army ego, not sound military tactics. Sound military tactics would have pointed them to the fact that Henderson Field did not have to be captured for the Army to emerge victorious -- it just had to be rendered completely inoperable, a much different (and much easier) military objective.

Midway broke the spear of the Imperial Navy, Guadalcanal broke the samurai sword of the Imperial Army, and together they absolutely doomed Japan to defeat. I therefore tend to give the edge of "decisive turning point" to the Battle of Midway, because it was the first vital step and because without it, Guadalcanal would not have been Guadalcanal, with all that implies.

Don Boyer

Would Nimitz Win Midway Today?

From Barrett Tillman
June 5, 2018

In the June Proceedings, in case you've not seen it yet.  Available online.

Compares N's three CVs with the rare merging of 3 CVNs last year, comparing hulls, ages, building time, etc.

As oft noted, it is vastly uncertain that we could sustain loss of 1 flight deck today. If that happens, the risk-benefit assessment obviously would depend on the WAS Factor (What's At Stake?)

However, comma:

The article makes almost 0.00 mention of the primary resource: TAILHOOK AIRPLANES

n 42 we had enough. today we do not.
In 42 we had thousands of new types inbound. Today we do not.

And what we're getting today is criminally unsuited. F-35C was 2.5 years just to fix the damn tailhook. Uncle Sam's Misguided Children bought their last hornets in Y2K. We may be seeing the de facto end of USMC tac air. But you knew that.

Barrett sends

Editors Note:   The online version of Proceedings Magazine is for members of the Naval Institute so I can't provide a link to the article because it is limited to the members only section.

LT Harold Sydney Bottomley / David Frederick Johnson, AMM2c

From Ken Arnold
June 10, 2018

I'm hoping you can help me. Where can I find any information on these two airmen? LT Harold Sydney Bottomley / David Frederick Johnson, AMM2c flying SBD- B-10 VB-3 Uss Yorktown. I found a photo of him on the Enterprise during the Doolittle Raid with Maxwell Leslie and member of VS-6 but no photo of the gunners.

They get brief mention in books though they are credited with hitting the Soryu and participating in the Hiryu attack. I have Shattered Sword and Midway Dauntless Victory, but little is on the internet other than Lt Bottomleys Navy Cross and DFC citations. Did he or his family write any memoirs? I can find nothing on David Frederick Johnson, AMM2c other than he was awarded a DFC for actions near Guadalcanal but the actual citation was not shown.

Many but not all of the Midway KIA officers had DE's named after them and were given Navy Crosses, so there is a little about them on line. I suppose as the pilot drops the bombs this has to be expected but I'd like to see something on the gunners. The radio gunners get little mention. I suppose their families were all sent Purple Hearts.

The old Franklin Mint made a 1/48 diecast copy of Lt Bottomleys aircraft B-10. Why they chose this one over others I do not know. Perhaps due too the print made by Jack Fellows has gained some attention. I found VB-3 of that period used a leaping Panther as its squadron badge, but I see no evidence of this on any aircraft. At one time VB-3 used the High Hat marking when flying pre war Vindicators. I read somewhere some carrier captains tried to forbid any decorations on aircraft but I think that perhaps the frantic efforts of the times and planes and units moving all about led to there being no markings.

Bottomley information on the internet includes a 1964 lawsuit against VA for charging him property tax. He won the case, He also helped develop methods to launch and recover twin engine aircraft with a PBJ on the Uss Shangri-la in trials during November 1944. The war had moved close enough to Japan so no one cared any longer, but it did help with later catapult launching of tricycle geared aircraft.

I have enjoyed looking at your site.

Ken Arnold

VB-3 USS Yorktown

From G A Orrah
June 14, 2018

Would it be possible to have a list of the pilots and radio/gunners from Yorktown that attacked the Soryu on the June 4th 1942.

Kind Regards
G A Orrah

Editors Note:   Yes here you go. This is a list of the pilots and the rear seat gunners that participated in the morning attack on the Soryu. Pilots above by division. Gunners in the list below match up with the pilots in order.

Bombing Squadron Three (VB-3)
1st Division:
B-1 LCDR Maxwell Franklin Leslie (CO)
B-2 LT(jg) Paul Algodte Holmberg (AdO)
B-3 ENS Paul Wahl Schlegel
B-4 ENS Robert Keith Campbell (GO)
B-5 ENS Aldon W. Hansen
B-6 ENS Robert Haines Benson

2nd Division:
B-7 LT(jg) Gordon Alvin Sherwood (EO)
B-8 ENS Roy Maurice Isaman
B-9 ENS Phillip Walker Cobb
B-10 LT Harold Sydney Bottomley (FO)
B-11 ENS Charles S. Lane
B-12 * ENS John Clarence Butler

3rd Division:
B-13 LT DeWitt Wood Shumway (XO)
B-14 ENS Robert Martin Elder
B-15 + ENS Bunyon Randolph Cooner
B-16 * LT(jg) Osborne Beeman Wiseman (PO)
B-17 ENS Milford Austin Merrill

Rear Gunners
1st Division:
William Earl Gallagher, ARM1c
George Albert LaPlant, AMM2c
Jack Alvan Shropshire, ARM3c
Horace Henry Craig, AMM1c
Joseph Vernon Godfrey, ARM3c
Frederick Paul Bergeron, ARM3c

2nd Division:
Harmon Donald Bennett, ARM2c
Sidney Kay Weaver, ARM3c
Clarence E. Zimmershead, ARM2c
David Frederick Johnson, AMM2c
Jack Charles Henning, ARM2c *
David Donald Berg, ARM3c

3rd Division:
Ray Edgar Coons, ARM1c
Leslie Alan Till, RM3c +
Clifton R. Bassett, AOM2c *
Grant Ulysses Dawn, ARM3c +
Dallas Joseph Bergeron, ARM3c

* missing in action
+ wounded in action

From Ron Russell (Forwarded)
June 28, 2018

Mr. Russell, Perhaps you remember me, I'm the author of the website . As far as I understand you are no longer an editor of BOMRT, but at the same time, I periodically meet your reviews of books devoted to the Pacific War on

As a researcher of the Battle of Midway, you undoubtedly know such an important study as "The Battle of Midway Including the Aleutian Phase, June 3 to June 14, 1942: Strategical and Tactical Analysis" written by Capt. Richard W. Bates from the Naval War College in 1948. And you also know that this research was never printed as a book and existed only as photostats of the original typescript.

Last year, I prepared and published this study as a separate book for the first time. The text formatting was kept as close to the style of the original typescript as possible, including the original pagination for correct quo­ta­tion. All the charts have been redrawn. Glossary of special terms and abbreviations, as well as bibliographic records, have been added, and so on.

I would be very grateful if you would take the time to write a short review of this book on the Amazon ( ).

Many thanks.
Nick Kolyadko

Editors Note:  Mr. Russell passed this on to me to see if I'd review the book.  I will as soon as I get time.  In the meantime anyhone that wants to do the same please do.  Also Mr. Kolyadko has always had an excellent site with information on the Battle of Midway.  I invite anyone to take a look.

Late note.  I found out today when testing the links that the pages have been suspended so do not work.  I have contacted Mr. Kolyadko for more information and hopefully they'll be back up soon.

From Nick Kolyadko
June 6, 2018

I would be very grateful for adding a link to my website.

By the way, you've got pages with links to Midway after action reports, order of battle, and maps.

I've made more detailed OoB:

And my list of online action reports, war diries etc. is more complete too:  

So you can add these links to the relevant pages too. Also I've redrawn all charts from Bates' research and "Nagumo Report", for example:  

So, if you need, I can provide the links to all of them for your Maps page.

Nick Kolyadko

1942 - The Year of the Aircraft Carrier; Midway Trilogy

From Ed Beakley,
June 11, 2018

Again thanks for your help.

Below is the announcement for my site for the Midway work as part of a look at that first war year of carrier operations. Particularly in #2 I lean almost entirely on Shattered Sword. Beyond the fact that it's very good, to me the things in Chapters 22-24 could really stand alone. I wonder how many folks know some of the things that have changed and just know only "the common wisdom?"

 Indeed, I saw a few blogs and FaceBook links that were basic Walter Lord. I have I believe and hope that I have made it very clear that my point is to highlight Parshall and Tully's work. I've used a lot so hope there is no problem. If you or anyone thinks I'm doing otherwise please let me know.

Thanks again

OBTW, do you have any feel for how many individual books are out there? Amazon listed over 600, but lots of non related for some reason and lots of duplication. Does 300 sound likely?

Blown Slick Series #13 Part 5 (

1942 – The Year of the Aircraft Carrier; Part 5 – Midway Trilogy (1 of 3): Paradox and Redemption: 4 to 7 June 1942 The Battle of Midway 

Before the battle was joined there was  no way the Japanese could have lost it…once it began, there was no way they could have won it

The Barrier and the Javelin H.P. Wilmott


Blown Slick Series #13 Part 6 (

1942 – The Year of the Aircraft Carrier; Part 6 – Midway Trilogy (2 of 3): Into the Shredder

The Battle of Coral Sea had provided the first hints that the Japanese high-water mark had been reached, but it was the Battle of Midway that put up the sign for all to see. Midway also marked the gateway to the attritional war that would be fought in the Solomons, a campaign that would irreparably ruin the Japanese Navy by destroying its elite naval aviation cadres and wrecking its surface forces beyond redemption. Midway didn’t produce these consequences by itself, but it created the circumstances whereby the Japanese Navy would be fed into the shredder.

Shattered Sword Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully


Blown Slick Series #13 Part 7

1942 – The Year of the Aircraft Carrier; Part 7 – Midway Trilogy (3 of 3): Reflection (In work)

An aircraft carrier is a noble thing. It lacks almost everything that seems to denote nobility, yet deep nobility is there. A carrier has no poise. It has   no  grace. It is top-heavy and lop-sided. It has the lines of a cow. It doesn't cut through the water like a cruiser, knifing romantically along... It just plows... Yet a carrier is a ferocious thing, and out of its heritage of action has grown nobility. I believe that every Navy in the world has it as its No. 1 priority the destruction of enemy carriers. That's a precarious honor, but it's a proud one.

Ernie Pyle, 1945

Announcements and Questions

Newsreel revealing we'd broken their code

From Barrett Tillman
June 3, 2018

The Yamamoto item certainly appears postwar because the color gun camera film is from March 45 or so--Hornet Hellcats v the Baka-carrying Bettys. Rex did it.

Barrett sends

From Ralph Brading
June 4, 2018

The mention of 'the Chicago newspaper in the article 'The newsreel revealing we'd broken their code' sent me to my copy of the 1933 satire 'England Their England' by A.G. Macdonell. Sure enough Chapter One page Three relates two theories as to how the British High Command got wind of the German Western Front protective structures known as 'pill-boxes'. The first was that the knowledge had reached the British Intelligence Service, admittedly the finest in the world, via agents in Berne, Amsterdam and Rio de Janeiro, the second that some people believed it was the special illustrated supplement in the Chicago Tribune, giving pictures of twenty seven types of pill-box, that put them on the track. Faction or ancient false news? The full page can be located on Google and the book itself, to anyone interested in the subject, still an amusing read as a satire of ways of British life badly wounded by WW I and almost totally put down by WW II and its aftermath.

Regards Ralph Brading up here in Australia

2018 June 2 Midway Commemoration

From John Bond
June 3, 2018

2018 June 2 Midway Commemoration - Invitation to view, download

It is now well documented that most of the US Navy and US Marine airplanes that flew in the historic and pivotal 1942 Battle of Midway came from Ewa Field which became an emergency naval air station for aircraft carrier groups after the Dec 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. A new National Register nomination by GAI of the 1942 aircraft revetments will reveal important new and previously undocumented aircraft carrier support and revetment sites that exist today when it became officially designated as Naval Air Station Barbers Point in April, 1942. Intensive archival research has been able to link specific aircraft and pilots to Ewa Field and the Battle of Midway. Many of these pilots flying in outdated and severely limited airplanes were shot down and killed in basically suicidal air missions against superior Imperial Japanese naval and air forces. However their incredible valor and heroism will never be forgotten as long as the story of 1942 Ewa Field lives on.

In an also almost unbelievable Hollywood movie ending the entire Imperial Japanese carrier force was sunk in just a matter of minutes delivering a major Pacific victory to the United States at a time when it was badly needed. We are hopeful that the forthcoming major new Hollywood film "Battle of Midway" will tell some of this important story about Ewa Field and America's brave service members who willingly gave their lives sacrificed for our freedom that we enjoy today. Attached photo shows 1942 Ewa Field prior to the Midway battle and why two major new runway ramp areas were added to support two aircraft carrier groups as the later Barbers Point airfield was still under early construction throughout 1942. Photos: Unedited, free to use in any way you wish. It's an old camera so not always the sharpest.

John Bond Ewa Field historian

Ewa Field has invited you to view and download the following shared folder:

Yorktown, CV-5's previous port of call

From Warren Heller
June 4, 2018

Have you (or any of the roundtable members) knowledge of the Yorktown, CV-5's previous port of call prior to putting in at Norfolk, VA on December 2, 1941? If it helps, I believe it may have been in northern New England (possibly Portsmouth, NH or Portland, ME??). I am looking for this info to be able to accurately complete an anecdote about my late dad's service aboard the ship then, and later through Coral Sea and Midway.

Also, thanks for your great work moderating the Round Table and keeping it humming. I look forward to every month's issue.

Warren Heller

Hammann and Yorktown Torpedoing

From Scott M. Kozel
June 7, 2018

A question for the forum --

I just got a copy of No Right to Win, and it is excellent. On page 152, Fireman First Class Elmer Jones of Hammann said: "If Hammann had been on that picket line, we would have picked up that submarine. Out sonarmen were really good. I have not heard to this day [2001] a satisfactory explanation why it was not detected. We never knew the sub was there until they saw the wake of the torpedoes." … The sub got inside the picket line to fire the torpedoes.

The IJN sub commander said the sonar signals stopped -- [[[ By 1100, I had decided that the enemy equipment was not very sensitive. This gave me confidence as the range shortened; I kept moving in. Suddenly my sound operator reported that the Americans had stopped emitting detection signals I couldn't understand this but, since it was now nearly noon, I tried to make my voice light and told my crew, "It appears the Americans have interrupted their war for lunch. Now is our chance to strike them good and hard, while they are eating!" There were small jokes made about what to give them for dessert. Shortly thereafter I raised the periscope again. ]]]

Here is what Wikipedia says --

[[[ Unknown to Yorktown and the six nearby destroyers, however, Japanese submarine I-168 had discovered the disabled carrier and achieved a favorable firing position. The I-boat eluded detection—possibly due to the large amount of debris and wreckage in the water—until 15:36, when lookouts spotted a salvo of four torpedoes approaching the ship from the starboard beam. ]]]

A few other sources (I forget which) said that a thermocline may have interfered with the sonar.

[[[ In the open ocean, the thermocline is characterized by a negative sound speed gradient, making the thermocline important in submarine warfare because it can reflect active sonar and other acoustic signals. This stems from a discontinuity in the acoustic impedance of water created by the sudden change in density. ]]]

Comments? Analysis?

Thanks, Scott

Question about the Battle of Midway

From Paul Sanchez
June 9, 2018

My father was stationed at Pearl Harbor after the bombing in a PBY crew.   I’ve become super interested in learning all I can about the incredible battle at midway.  Want to learn everything i can about it.  I’m reading Shattered Sword currently. 

What path shall I follow?  What do I need to read?

I am willing to contribute to any fund.

Editors Note: Thank you for checking out the Midway RoundTable. Lots of interesting stories and discussions here over the years in our archives.  

As for reading there are a couple personal recommendations from me but there are a whole lot in our library

My own personal favorite is Incredible Victory by Walter Lord. Published in 1967 it reads like a novel. He either spoke Japanese or his wife was Japanese, I forget which, but he was the first to  interview many Japanese airmen and seamen present at the battle. So you get personal accounts from both sides although most of the book is from the US side. Other books that I recommend, The Battle of Midway by Craig Symonds, and you already are reading Shattered Sword. Rendezvous at Midway by Pat Frank and Joseph D. Harrington is also a personal favorite. Also published in 1967. And of course the RoundTable's own book No Right to Win by Ronald Russell has a wealth of information about the battle from the veterans here that are members of the RoundTable.

I think you started with a great book and it takes you through a lot of information and fills in some blanks that the early authors did not have access to. We don't have any fund as this has never been about funding anything except to provide a place for veterans of the Battle of Midway to discuss various topics. Any other questions just let me know. Also if you are not signed up to receive notifications when we publish the newsletter each month let me know and I'll add you to our members list.