Roundtable Forum
Our 22nd Year
May 2019

In this issue.

Roundtable Opening Remarks
Ed Kroeger
Photo of Adm Hopkins
Against the Sun
BOM Video
Herman Wouk dies
The Akutan Island Zero
Men of the Yorktown March
Announcements and Questions
Late Breaking News
The Battle of Midway Roundtable Opening Remarks

Seventy Seven years ago today the course of the Pacific War was changed forever by a few really good men.  Looking back on this day in 1942 Seventy Seven years after the event it is hard to see how it affects our day to day lives now.  But it had a significant impact.  Much more than most of us can appreciate.

A few days ago I was approached by the local paper to do an interview for the Anniversary of the Battle of Midway about the Battle of Midway RoundTable and what we do.  As I answered questions and then followed up with several more emails full of questions later I tried to relate to the writer, who did not know anything of the battle, the significance of what that battle meant to all of America.  The single fact that six months after Pearl Harbor the US Navy reversed the balance of power in the Pacific meant that the war was shortened by months if not a year or so.  Hard to get that 'ancient history', in their mind anyway, to grasp how that affects their life, or anyone's life, now.

I had an uncle that was one of the first marines to land on Iwo Jima. My father was on a Destroyer off Okinawa.  Many men who survived the war might have had to fight in a longer war and maybe some would have never come home.  Hard telling.  Fortunes of war and all.  That means some of us might not be here today.  To a person living today to think about that is probably not going to register at all.  But it is something not appreciated today by many that the Battle of Midway RoundTable is focused on.  Getting people to learn about the men who fought that battle Seventy Seven years ago did for all of us.

This month we have an several interesting submissions.  The Akutan Zero has been covered before but the web page for this has a picture of Koga's Zero just after being hit by ground fire over Dutch Harbor.  Not sure if I remember seeing that picture before.  Probably did but thought it pretty interesting that someone snapped a picture of it.  We have a new picture of Lew Hopkins, some YouTube videos that are pretty good.  I get a number of submissions of YouTube videos each month so posting a couple in a single month when I haven't posted more than one or two previously probably means they are at least worth watching even if there is nothing new.  And there is even some music.


Ed Kroeger

From Bill Vickrey
May 7, 2019

I was interested in seeing the information about Ed. Kroeger as I knew him quite well.

Let me share a touching moment with you. Ed and I were attending a Midway Symposium in Pensacola and he was gracious enough to share a good bit of time with me. Dick Best was on the program and Ed and I were sitting together in the audience. When the program recessed Dick came down to visit with me but did not recognize Ed after all those years so Ed stepped forward, saluted and said “I am happy to see you Skipper.” Dick was overwhelmed as they had not seen each other after the second flight of 4 June 1942 when they landed on ENTERPRISE. Dick was bleeding heavily from his lungs and was put in sick bay immediately and was taken to a hospital as soon as possible. He spent a good deal of time in the Army Hospital in Denver. Yes, this was a touching moment for me

Ed got a Navy Cross at Midway then he got a Silver Star, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, three Air Metals and two Presidential Unit Citations. I do not know how many battle stars he got on his Asiatic/Pacific ribbon. I imagine he was one of the highest decorated dive bomber pilots in the Navy. Following Midway he flew from HANCOCK and the new HORNET. He was CAG in MIDWAY.

Ed had over 5,000 flight hours and had 350 carrier landings.

I am enclosing a copy of his log book for June, 1942.

Ed’s widow was at Midway Airport in Chicago when the SBD was hung from the ceiling at the Airport and I was able to spend a few minutes with her. I took a picture of her but – as usual – I have no idea where it is.

Anyone should feel free to use any of this information.


Kroeger's Log Book PDF

From Barrett Tillman
May 7, 2019

Many many thanks Bill. Logbooks are marvelous resources--interesting to note that EK had over 1,600 hrs by the time of BOM. Don't find anywhere the date he got his wings but must've been c. 37?


Photo of Adm Hopkins

From John Manguso
May 7, 2019

Here it is. It was included in a slide show entitled, "The Way We Were" featuring some of the veterans living at the Towers at Park Lane in San Antonio. The program was composed by my neighbor, Bob Cook, in 2013. I don't know from whom Bob got the photo.

Editors Note: This is in reference to the photo on his bio page.  Mr. Manguso received this photo and I asked if I could use it on his bio page.  I'll find a way to add it to his bio page in the near future.  Thanks again.

Against The Sun

From Joe Thomas
May 7, 2019

The movie Against the Sun is based off the book The Raft which I think is worth reading. Incredible story.

Joe Thomas

Editors Note:  Yes the book is still available from the used book section on Amazon or on Kindle.  Be sure to search for Robert Trumbull The Raft other wise you will have trouble finding it as there is a novel by the same name.

BOM Video

From Martin Bunch
May 14, 2019

Here is another very well done video of play by play for the BOM. It emphasizes the US Airman casualties and names each one. Its very well done and accurate from my knowledge. I have read all the up to date books out. This is really good. Music and video is a bit weak but information is very good and fun to follow. I always pick up a few new tid bits of stuff from this battle that I didn’t know. My friend and old neighbor Roy Gee was mentioned in this at the end. He was an SBD Pilot during the battle and he always told me of his actions when I started taking flying lessons in the 80s. Its worth a watch for those not so book friendly but still interested in this amazing battle. Give it a watch..

Martin Bunch

Editors Note: This one is pretty well done.  There are so many out there that it is hard to find the good ones.  This is more of a documentary and has some interesting details.

Herman Wouk dies

From Scott Kair
May 19, 2019

Although he wasn’t a veteran of the BOM, Herman Wouk was among the first popular writers who grasped the full global impact of the battle upon the entire course of the war. His passing might well be worth noting.

Herman Wouk dies

Editors Note: For those who don't know he authored several noteworthy books that I read growing up as perhaps a few others did as well.  The Caine Mutiny was perhaps the most recognizable.  He also wrote two books turned into a mini series called 'The Winds of War' and 'War and Remembrance'.  I don't think I ever got to see the entire series as work often didn't leave much time for TV back then so can't say one way or another if they were any good.

The Akutan Island Zero

From Zsolt Szalanczi
May 25, 2019

Hi Thom, I received following link from my Hungarian model fellow, there is a short article with some pictures on the "Akutan Zero". I guess it is alredy known to all Midway Battle buffs: one of the benefits of the Aleutian action of IJN was that an almost intact Zero was recovered after the battle, which provided valuable intelligence information on the capabilities of this airplane:

The Akutan Island Zero

Editors Note: You have to scroll down a bit to the part about the Zero.  The one photo I found interesting is a picture of the Zero after being hit over Dutch Harbor.  May have to add it to our own page on the Zero.

Men of the Yorktown March

From Barrett Tillman,
May 25, 2019

Just today learned of the John Williams contribution to the score of the dreadful, horrid 1976 Midway movie. The piece is not really a march, and it just moseys along. Maybe sashays a little bit. Undistinguished but was glad to note that CV-5 got some recognition.

From Anthony Tully,
May 25, 2019


You are only now learning of this glorious fact?? In fact, it is what makes that "horrid" movie rather much better than that. The soundtrack so fit the mood in so many places, I actually like the movie. Expecations pre-Star Wars 1977 and especially Empire Strikes Back were lower---so even though it wasn't as good as ToraToraTora in accuracy, I enjoyed it for its fairly decent portrayal of the complex Japanese planning. The sortie of KdB from Japan and the launch against Midway---that music too just "feels right". I got to visit Pearl Harbor for real that very year two a month after seeing the movie and it "felt" like out there.

His music was fantastic, a taste of what was to come just the next year, and in 1980.

And the poster art of Akagi under attack (you see it there on the music link too) despite having the Yamato, etc in background is far better than what I have seen of the 2019 movie so far, which is ironic.

Trying to stick a subplot about the internment was par for the 70's -- its worse in the PC 21st C though, so not expecting a change there. As it was, it was low key and not as intrusive as it might have been.

Trivia: the reason the effects seem to "ramp up" when the Japanese carriers are attacked is that it is footage taken from a Japanese movie earlier than 1976 ---- that's why you have passable Japanese scenes and flight deck ops (aside from ToraToraTora) and yet no good models of the Yorktown class and only stock footage for the US side.

- Tony

From Barrett Tillman
May 26, 2019

Full disclosure:

In Y2K I sold a BOM script that I knew probably would not be produced but hey, the check cleared.

I'd not seen the 76 flick in years (no stomach for it!) but discovered later that I'd written Yorktown's departure from Pearl with a voice-over of Nimitz's running orders. Dang if that hadn't been done in the previous film!

As for film editing: man-o-man. Capt. Chuck Heston (Matt somebody) is told to fly the next strike "because we're short of pilots" BUT WE HAVE MORE DAUNTLESSES THAN PILOTS?!?!? SBD to SB2C to F9F. I knew George Duncan pretty well (Fighter aces & Golden Eagles) and used to kid him that his F9F ramp strike had appeared in so many films that he coulda joined the Screen Actors Guild.

I hold out some hope for the new BOM film based on what's possible with CGI today.

As ever

Editors Note:  One thing I can say about the new movie is there are no made up stories or people and they did not insert a modern agenda into the movie script.  There were some scenes that I told them were just not needed but provided them with scenes to replace them that were just as good or better.  And I was tasked with making the movie as historically accurate as possible so that was kind of my job.  See what happens.  Course I'm stepping on the toes of script writer so hard telling. 

As for the CGI I have not seen anything but from what they wanted in the way of accurate portrail of the cockpit and rear seat of the dauntless at least that part will be accurate or as accurate as I could find each and every little guage or canister or whatever.

As for our old 1976 movie.  I remember going to it and being disappointed.  Even the new  Sensurround didn't work to help the movie.

Announcements and Questions

USN WW II. dress

From Zsolt Szalanczi
May 17, 2019

I was wondering whether you or someone on the BOMRT would know this: Where could I buy original, used WW II. US Navy dress or a replica. I would be interested to have a AN-S-31 (M426A) USN khaki flying suit or a khaki cotton service uniform with standard navy visored officer cap. I was trying to find a retailer or internet shop with google but found not a right one. Thanks for any hint.

Zsolt Szalanczi

Editors Note:  I don't know where the best source for replica uniforms might be but there are quite few on the internet.  One place to buy great replica jackets is .  I've got a couple and they are great for these cold Nebraska winters.  The uniforms are a little harder to track down.  But I'll ask the Midway movie's prop department where they got theirs from.  I know they borrowed the real thing when they could but some of the extras had to have uniforms and I can't imagine they found that many originals.

Question about Incredible Victory

From Tom Hodges
May 18, 2019

What I read in Incredible Victory by Walter Lord says that Ens Charles Lane (VT-8 USS Yorktown) was given a room of one of the VT-6 pilots on the Enterprise the night after the battle. There were family photos and a bible which upset Ens. Lane. Did Ens. Lane ever say whose room that was?

I'm a distant cousin of Ens. Glen Hodges from VT-6. Here's an article a history professor from nearby Georgia Southern College (now University) wrote about him in 1998:


Editors Note:  I looked in some of the books I have but could not find an answer for you.  Perhaps someone here remembers reading or knows the VT-6 pilot.

Youtube Video

From Lou Wagner
May 18, 2019

Iv'e stumbled across this video.......

Does the Roundtable know about this?

Editors Note:  I don't normally look for video's on YouTube so I had not seen this one before.  Kind of interesting from the Japanese perspective.  Fairly long at 40 minutes.  Nothing that Shattered Sword didn't already cover.

Late Breaking News

Editors Note:  First official Movie Poster released for the new Midway Movie.  I waited to post the newsletter this afternoon because I thought the movie company might make some announcment on the anniversary of the battle.  But by early afternoon nothing.  Then I got this notice on Reddit just after publishing the newsletter.  Figures.  Sent a note to the movie company to see if it is official but have not heard anything back.  However I'm starting to see it posted all over the internet now so it must be an official release.  Looks pretty good.