Maritime Heritage


Remembering the Battle of Midway

SBD Dauntless dive bombers approaching the burning Japanese heavy cruiser Mikuma.
SBD "Dauntless" dive bombers from USS Hornet (CV-8) approaching the burning Japanese heavy cruiser Mikuma to make the third set of attacks on her, during the early afternoon of 6 June 1942. Credit: Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives Collection.

June 4 - 7, 2012 Marks the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Midway in 1942

One third of the way between Honolulu and Tokyo, Midway Atoll became a critical air and sea base during World War II. The Battle of Midway (June 4-7, 1942) was one of the most significant battles of war, marking a major shift in the balance of power between the United States and Japan. The Japanese planned to assault and occupy the atoll in order to threaten an invasion of Hawaiʻi and draw the American naval forces that had survived the attack on Pearl Harbor out into an ambush against the brunt of the Imperial Japanese Navy. The courage and sacrifice of US servicemen ensured that the tables were turned on the Japanese, who ended up ambushed themselves.

Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument and the Battle of Midway National Memorial commemorate the 70th anniversary of the battle. To see and read more about the battle, please see our special historical site, "Remembering the Battle of Midway."

Click Here to learn about the 70th Anniversary Commemoration of the Battle of Midway on June 5, 2012 (you will be directed to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website).