Roundtable Forum
Our 21st Year
February 2019

In this issue.

Roundtable Opening Remarks
Timeline for BOM
Yorktown Damage
Roy P. Gee
USS Hornet CV-8 Found
Veterans of Midway
Dauntless - Another Midway Movie

Questions and Announcements
The Battle of Midway Roundtable Opening Remarks

Welcome to the February issue of the Battle of Midway RoundTable.  This month we have some interesting topics.  First off the USS Hornet has been found on the bottom of the South Pacific where 77 years ago she fought her last battle.  Several members sent links but there are quite a few more if you search for them.  We also had a number of questions this month.  I do not have info on all the questions so if anyone has info send it my way and I'll forward it to the parties.

And another Midway movie.  Dauntless.  I had heard about this movie last year but nothing since.  Still don't know much about it other than the listing on the IMDb page.  Movie poster is included from the page on the movie.  I do remember that someone sent me as summary of what the movie was about and thought it was interesting perspective.  Apparently a true story about two crewmen who ditched their Dauntless after the attack on the carriers in the morning and then waited for rescue.  I don't recognize the names for the two as Pags and Banks being associated with the names of those rescued after the battle.  The two that spent the longest waiting rescue were from VT-6 so would be a TBD not an SBD.  Course it might not be about them.

And I just got word today that Ron Martell passed away on February 25th.  In case those who don't know about him his last book Showdown in the Pacific was published in 2015.  He did finish a final draft for a second book although it needs some work yet.  Don't know anything about the second book but I remember him mentioning it.  Ron has been a member of the RoundTable since 2008.  His wife's father was on the Yorktown before the war up until Midway.  Probably why he became interested in the history of the Battle of Midway.  Before he passed he asked his son and wife to finish the book for him.  I did offer any help I can be.  Sorry to see that he passed.

The first submission on the timeline got me thinking I really need to do one on the RoundTable pages.   I think I'll start a page for one and we'll see what it looks like next month.  Plus there are so many interesting facts and events that happened it would provide a quick history for anyone that is not that familiar with the battle.

Till then enjoy the newsletter.

Need help with the event timeline for BOM

From John Strandberg
February 4, 2019

I am trying to construct a continuous timeline of events for the day of the battle and I am running across time discrepancies for key events. For example, on History of (HoW) there is a good map and timeline. However, on that map, Yorktown's launch time is indicated as 0838, yet in the AAR on the BOMRT website, the time is given as 1030-1050; so 2 hours later. Also, the HoW site gives a launch time of Hornet and Enterprise of 0806-0838, yet the reference to these launches in the Yorktown AAR puts them at "an hour and fifteen minutes earlier" than Yorktown's launch, which would put the Hornet and Enterprise launches beginning at about 0915.

This two-hour time difference seems to follow through the entire timeline, with the HoW timeline indicating the Yorktown's attack beginning at 1020 and the Yorktown AAR indicating that it began at 1225.

The reason this is important to clear up is that the HoW timeline holds up when comparing the times for the US land-based attacks on the Japanese carriers vs the arrival times for VT-8 and VT-6.

Any help you could give in untangling this timeline issue would be appreciated. Perhaps you may know of an accurate timeline that has already been done that I have yet to find.

Best regards,
John Strandberg

Editors Note:   Basically the times the US carriers used was based on ship times while Midway used the time zone it was in.  This confusion comes mostly because the time zone for Hawaii includes all of the Hawaiian Islands except Midway. US ships tend to use US Navy time. By most accounts taking into account a standard time conversion the US carriers started launching at about 7 while Yorktown racing to catch up after recovering the scout squadron launched about an hour and a half later but close to the Japanese fleet. All accounts state the time of the two Enterprise dive bomber squadrons and the Yorktown strike at about 10:20. But that was two hours later according to Yorktown's clock. So thus the 2 hour time difference.
From John Strandberg
February 6, 2019

Thanks for your reply. I have attached my timeline as a MS Word document. If you have time, I would appreciate any comments, additions or corrections.

Best regards,

Time: 3 June 1942



PBY 6-V-55 flown by Ensign Charles Eaton reported the sighting of two cargo vessels.

{Actually report sighting part of Minesweeper Group}


PBY 8-V-55, flown by Ensign 'Jack' Reid, reported seeing a group of ships on the horizon and signaled they had sighted the Main Body.


The Japanese cruiser Jintsu, flashes a message to the flagship that the invasion force has been spotted by an American aircraft some 600 miles from Midway.  Both Nimitz and Fletcher know about the sightings, but both retain faith in the intelligence given by Lieut. Rochefort that the main Japanese strike force was Nagumo's carriers and they had yet to be seen.

Time: 4 June 1942



PBY Catalina flying boats (VP-11) launch from Midway


Japanese Carriers launch bombers and fighters against Midway Island (108 planes)


US carriers launch 10 SBDs to scout northern approach to Midway Island


PBY of Flight 58, flown by Lt Howard Ady spots a Japanese recon plane at 0520. At 0534, the words 'Carrier bearing 320, distance 180' were received. A further flash at 0545 was received from another PBY flying adjacent to Flight 58 that reported a large number of Japanese aircraft flying towards Midway.


B-17s from Midway diverted from attacking invasion fleet to Japanese carriers


Land-based aircraft launched from Midway to attack Japanese carriers


Fighter planes from Midway intercept incoming Japanese attack aircraft

0630 - 0645

First Japanese airstrike against Midway begins.  US A-A fire more intense than Japanese expected and 18 planes are lost.


Hornet aircraft (VT-8 and VB-8) and Enterprise aircraft (VT-6, VS-6 and VB-6) begin launching with fighter escort (VB-8 and its escorts, which accidently also included VT-8’s fighter escort, will return without finding the enemy)

0702 – 0710

US Army B-26 bombers from Midway Island attack Japanese carriers (Evasive maneuvering by Japanese carriers results in no hits and 2 B-26s are lost)


Japanese airstrike commander radios that a second strike will be needed against Midway Island. 


Nagumo orders planes not yet armed with torpedoes be armed with bombs. This would indicate he wanted some planes ready to attack if the US fleet is found

0720 – 0730  

Navy TBF Avenger torpedo bombers from Midway Island attack Japanese carriers (Evasive maneuvering by Japanese carriers results in no hits)


Japanese scout plane spots spot US carrier force (for unknown reasons this message is not delivered to Nagumo until 0800, after arming for ground targets has begun)

0755 – 0805

USMC SBD Dauntless dive bombers from Midway attack Japanese carriers (Evasive maneuvering by Japanese carriers results in no hits)


Hornet (VT-8 and VB-8) and Enterprise (VT-6,VS-6 and VB-6) launch completed

0820 – 0830

USMC Vindicator dive bombers and US Army B-17s from Midway attack Japanese carriers (Evasive maneuvering by Japanese carriers results in no hits)

0836 – 0906

Japanese Midway strike aircraft return to carriers.  Rather than launch his strike group first without fighter escort (which would be against Japanese carrier doctrine), Nagumo orders the recovery of returning planes.


Yorktown launches (VT-3 and VB-3) with fighter escorts against Japanese carriers


Yorktown launches 6 F4F Wildcat fighters


Japanese carriers turn north to close the gap with US carriers before launching attack

0920 – 0930

VT-8 aircraft begin their torpedo attacks on Sōryū {Akagi} (Evasive maneuvering by the Japanese carriers results in no hits and all 15 will be shot down)

0938 – 0955

VT-6 aircraft begin their torpedo attacks on Kaga (Evasive maneuvering by the Japanese carriers results in no hits and 10 of 14 will be shot down)

1012 – 1020

VT-3 aircraft begin torpedo attack with fighter escorts against Sōryū {Hiryu} (Evasive maneuvering by Japanese carriers results in no hits and 11 of 13 are shot down)

1022 – 1030

VB-6 and VS-6 begin bombing Kaga (5 hits) and Akagi (1 hit, 2 near miss)

1020 – 1025

VB-3 aircraft begin bombing with fighter escorts Sōryū (three hits)


Hiryū launches first attack using 18 dive bombers escorted by 18 fighters

1205 – 1220

Yorktown attacked by bombers from Hiryū (16 {13} of 18 are shot down but thee bombs hit. Damage is severe but contained and flight deck patched within an hour.)


Hornet and Enterprise begin recovering their surviving aircraft


Hiryū launches second attack using torpedo bombers {Omit this (6 are shot down, but two torpedoes hit)}

1420 – 1430

Yorktown attacked by torpedo bombers from Hiryū (all {5 of 10} are shot down but two score hits but following this second attack Hiryū only had 6 fighters, 5 bombers, and 4 torpedo planes left.)


Yorktown is abandoned (she will sink at 0458 on 7 June after she and the destroyer Hammann are torpedoed by the Japanese Sub I-168)


Enterprise launches second attack (25 aircraft from a composite VB and VS from Enterprise and Yorktown survivors)


Sōryū sinks

1705 – 1715

Enterprise VB group attacks Hiryū (4 hits)


US Army B-17s attack Hiryū (no bombs hit, and no planes are lost)


Enterprise VB group returns


Kaga sinks

Time: 5 June 1942



Akagi scuttled and sinks


Hiryū scuttled and sinks

Editors Note:  I regret that I did not have time to research fully every time you had listed but I went through a number of books and personal notes to see if they were correct.  I believe most are on or close.  But a word of caution here.  Times are dependent on a number of factors, like when reports are received vs actual time, after action reports which sometimes are not exact due to the fact they are written many hours or even days after the events.   But I have some corrections noted in { } in your form.  Some times are off by a few mintues but again hard telling exact times reported.  I'm sure some members can help with this time line.  There are quite a few more significant events that could be put on the list.  A good project to have on the RoundTable webpages.

Pictures of Yorktown Damage

From Thomas Rychlik
February 11, 2019

The torpedo hits are pictured as if they hit on the starboard side. The narrative said Tomonaga’s group attacked from the starboard side and the five under Hashimoto attacked from the port. How did torpedoes launched at the port side hit the starboard side.

The Battle/Yorktown Damage > Battle Damage to Yorktown during the Battle of Midway>Hiryu's Torpedo squadron's attack.The top view correctly shows port torpedo damage but the side view is of the ship with a starboard aspect instead of a port aspect. Recommend you flip the ship so that it has a port aspect. The starboard side look presents an inaccurate view even though the notes below the hull do say port side. Its not a big deal but could be a little clearer.

BTW I have been a member for over a decade and look forward to my monthly newsletter. I am a Naval Academy grad and several years ago I was able to use the Alumni Website to contact Lem Massey's son who was a retired aviator living in San Diego. I told him about the website. He was Class of 1958 along with Gene Lindsey's son. He told me that Capt Eugene Lindsey USN (Ret) had just passed away.

I am a Navy football season ticket holder. The first set of seats I was assigned in Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in 2005 was one of two dedicated to Cdr Waldron. I actually went around the stadium and took pictures of all the seats dedicated to Alum BOM heroes including Massey, Lindsey, Parks, and McClusky.

Thomas Rychlik
Major USMC (Ret)
Editors Note:  I'll look at it and see what I can do. I could probably turn both images around but that has some issues as it's a starboard view of the ship to begin with. Probably need to do a port view to get all the details right on that side.

Nice that you could get pictures of the seats.

Roy P. Gee

From Martin Bunch
February 13, 2019

I’m a lifelong friend with Roy’s Grandson Mark Nunes, he and I are trying to get any of Roys historical belongings to share that might be relevant like log book pages etc.. He was on the Hornet flying SBD’s during Midway. He has been on this site before. I’m in communication with his Daughter Ann Nunes to try to assist. Roy used to come in to my gas station and talk about his WWII and Midway stories. I remember his car and a bumper sticker saying “pilots do it at steep angles” always thought it was funny for an old guy; it was the late 80’s. His Daughter (Marks Mother) told me he was the CO of the Essex in the 60’s and on. Anyway, I’m trying to obtain any items from the family to share. Wish me luck!

Martin Bunch
San Diego
Editors Note:  Roy Gee is a member of the Battle of Midway RoundTable.  You can find his story here 
Remembering Midway

USS Hornet CV-8 Found

Editors Note:  I had many people send me links and interesting articles on the discovery of the Hornet.  The following is a list of links and contributors.  Certainly appreciate all the links.  Many more pictures have been published.  Some are really amazing.

From Zsolt Szalanczi

Interesting news after your editorial deadline

Paul Allen Expedition

From Terry L. Higham

Thanks for all upkeep you do for the roundtable’s story. You’ve likely seen this story, but just in case here’s a link to the story of finding USS Hornet.

From Thomas Rychlik

Saw this on CBS news last evening.

Veterans of Midway

From Steven E. Sidebotham
March 1, 2019

I am writing to determine if any veterans of the Battle of Midway would be willing to sit with us for an interview about their lives and experiences during World War II. Please let me explain our project to you.

My wife and I (a professor at the University of Delaware specializing in ancient Greek and Roman history and classical archaeology, but with a huge interest in World War II) conduct oral interviews of World War II veterans. We use the interviews in the undergraduate and graduate seminars on WWII that I teach here at the University of Delaware. The students find these interviews riveting and, in addition to showing them in class, the students base their research seminar papers on one or more of the interviews. The interviews are great learning tools and keep alive for this and future generations the sacrifices the veterans made during the war.

We started this project on June 6, 2004 and thus far have interviewed 323 veterans. Most have been American from all branches of the service and from all theaters of operation, both men and women. We have also interviewed 13 Germans (including SS, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Afrika Korps and others), six Soviets, eight Poles, six Canadians, five Britons, a Czech, a Japanese, a Belgian resistance fighter, a Yugoslav partisan, an Italian priest, an Italian civilian and a Maltese civilian.

For our interviews, we would come to the vets’ homes (or wherever they indicate) and conduct the interviews with a digital video camera. We also bring a scanner to document any memorabilia (photographs, letters, medals, etc.) that they might care to show us. We make copies of the interviews (unedited) and send them to the vets. Should we ever decide to use the interviews for any purpose other than in my classes, we would, of course, seek their signatures or that of their next of kin on release forms. Eventually all interviews will be archived, likely in The National World War II Museum in New Orleans or the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, TX though we have not made a final decision about this.

Steven E. Sidebotham
History Department
University of Delaware

Editors Note:  Any veterans that are interested please contact me and I'll make sure they get your information.  Also let me know how best to contact you if not by email.

Dauntless - Another Midway Movie

From Jeff Lund
March 5, 2019

Have you heard of this movie coming out in June? I could not find any more info other than what is shown on the link below.

Editors Note:  I had heard about the movie last year sometime but don't recall exactly where or when.  Since then have not heard much about it.  I'm doing the newsletter in a bit so I'll include a note about it.  Maybe someone else has heard more.  Here is the movie poster from the site.

Announcements and Questions

Question about the Battle of Midway
From Frank Patton
February 1, 2019

Do “amateur” historians like myself have access to any of the oral history recordings of the battle participants, including Admiral Spruance, Dick Best, and any members of the pilots who scored hits on any of the four carriers?

Frank Patton
Founder (1991) and now co-Chair
Union League Club of Chicago Civil War Roundtable

Editors Note:  I believe many are contained in the National Archives in DC and anyone is welcome as far as I know. Think you might have to have an appointment for some access but not all. They are there if you want to hear them. Many have been transcribed so they might be available online but I have not looked so don't know. I know some of the history sites have a lot of declassified documents now freely published online.
From Frank Patton
February 2, 2019

Have you seen the Midway exhibit at Midway airport in Chicago? I played a role as instigator for the statue that was commissioned by the Union League Club of Chicago. Part of the wonderful experience was meeting George Gay.  Did you notice the statue of the pilot with the American flag… it was at the corner closest to the actual airplane loading areas.
Editors Note:  Yes as a matter of fact I happened to be flying through there a few weeks ago and spend over an hour at the exhibit. Took some pictures that I posted on the newsletter of the Dauntless. There was some that thought the SBD was a -2 but it's a -4 painted in 1942 Midway colors.  Sorry don't recall the statue. But are you talking about the display or closer to the actual boarding area? I don't recall one being around the display.

Midway Movie

From Jeff Lund
February 5, 2019

I just had a couple questions regarding the movie. I understand there is an NDA signed, so I hope my questions aren’t too intrusive. With the correspondence with the director and prop department, were there discussion about tactics and other protocol? I can forgive if someone’s shirt is the wrong color, but I am still stinging from Michael Bay’s Pearl Harbor. I hope you understand. I am not a military expert, but I know fluff when I see it. Do you know or can you give an estimate when the first trailer will come out? Thank you for your time and this website.

Best Wishes,
Jeff Lund
Editors Note:  I think the questions are fine. For all the work I put in making sure the script was accurate and the equipment and clothing were as well I hope that is not an issue. However just because I gave them all the tools does not mean they used them. For that I have no idea. But they did spend a lot of time and money on authentic gear for the actors and aircraft. As for the trailer we'll probably see that sometime this summer as the release is scheduled for Veterans day.

Battle of Midway Roundtable query

From Kevin Miller
February 8, 2019

My name is CAPT Kevin Miller and I am an enthusiastic student of this battle. My hope is that you can shed light on the life of Lt. JG Robert Laub of VT-6 after the battle. I know he was interviewed by Barde in 1966 and lived in Northridge, CA. I could not find an obituary. Do you know if he went by Bob, or Bud?

Thank you very much,
Kevin Miller
CAPT USN (ret.)
Editors Note:  I'm sorry but I don't really have any information on his passing if he has.  He did receive the Navy Cross in November 1942 for actions at Midway.  I believe he retired as a fairly high ranking officer but can't find him in my notes right now so don't know exact rank.  I'll see if I can find his service record on some of the military sites, one of which I just recently joined so will update you if I find anything on him.

God Was At Midway by Stanford E. Linzey (1999)

From Scott Kozel
February 26, 2019

As an evangelical Christian, I certainly agree with the overall theme of this book, and I see the book get mentioned occasionally on this website. I got the book and read it, and the author gives many instances of divine help at a personal level and for small groups on the ship. However, I was looking for how he thinks that manifested for the whole battle, and I did not see that; can other readers here explain that if I missed something?
Editors Note:  I don't think you missed anything.  You must forgive me because it's been a long time since I read the book so don't remember exact details.  The book was renamed 'USS Yorktown at Midway' for the second printing and can be found under that title on most searches.  The author was a young seaman on a damage control party on Yorktown.  From what I remember he describes his experiences fighting the fires and other damage to the Yorktown from the two Japanese airstrikes and then the fatal torpedo attack by I-168.  I don't think he wrote the book to analyze any divine intervention for the victory, and that was not his intent.  Rather it is his own very personal account and how he viewed the events surrounding him and nothing more.